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Note: These are documents received from members. We have attempted to remove personal information, while still providing the comments and information from our members.
Note: We will continue to add to the following questions and answers as we have more information.
Is LPEA aware that there is a lot of information available that concludes that some forms of radiation are very dangerous and that there is no “safe” level of radiation?
LPEA’s board of directors and staff are very concerned with all aspects related to the safe operations of the system and understand that there is radiation emitted when providing electric service to our members. We are very concerned and strive to stay informed with the current information regarding ionizing radiation that is available and share that with our members. Sound, light and heat travel by means of radiation.
Would La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) invest in a Radio Frequency (RF) meter and share information regarding RF and associated health concerns with the membership?
LPEA has purchase an RF meter and offers a service to meet with any member to take measurements. Readings and reports have been shared with our members and these are available, some of which are on the website. Here is the link to one report:
LPEA has additional information on the website and has answered questions with the members who have stopped by the office or called in.
Are the AMI meters “transmitting all the time?
The report above includes information regarding the RF energy, the level of the radio transmissions and the number of times that LPEA’s AMI system sends out a signal each day. The meters transmit one to two times each hour.
The news is reporting that many of these types of meters are causing many fires across the nation.
Tantalus, the system LPEA is using, has more than 1 million modules that have been installed for many years across North America, with billions of hours of runtime, and not one fire. It is certainly possible for a fire to start due to bad wiring at the meter base, but that can happen with an old meter the same way it can happen with any new meter regardless if it is “smart” or not.
Most of the fires that have been reported in the media are a different brand and line that LPEA is not using. Those meters have since been fixed and are now being deployed by other companies, not LPEA. (http://blogs.rgj.com/factchecker/2013/01/02/philadelphia-utility-replaces-smart-meters-after-fires-same-brand-as-used-by-nv-energy/).
How susceptible are the meters to an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)?
All electronic devices are vulnerable to EMPs in one way or another. The AMI system would be effected by EMPs, as would many other electronics that LPEA’s has on our system. Lightning is one example of an EMP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse#Lightning.
There are numerous studies regarding the potential adverse effects of Electromagnetic Fields. Will changing the meters to the new AMI system effect the level of the fields?
No, the installation of the AMI meters will not increase the EMF fields by any measurable means.
Electromagnetic Fields are present when electric current is flowing. LPEA has a gauss meter that is available for loan to members who are interested in measuring the level of the fields. The fields will be present regardless of the type of metering system that is installed.
Additional Websites that may be of interest:
Are LPEA members being punished and charged an additional fee for opting out of having an AMI meter? What are the calculations for the opt-out fee?
The members that choose to opt-out will cause the cooperative to incur additional costs once the deployment is complete. The cost to read the meter for the members who choose to opt-out are calculated based on the number of meters that will be read and the expenses and costs associated with acquiring these reads.
How much does an AMI meter cost?
A new AMI meter costs approximately $70.
Can the unclaimed capital credits cover the cost of reading meters for opt-out accounts?
No, not at this time. The use of any unclaimed capital credits are currently defined and explained in the following LPEA Board Policies: 208, 403, 411 and 416.
Is there a price to disconnect from the grid?
Does LPEA have a financial connection to GE?
Why did LPEA not publicize that AMI meters were being installed?
LPEA always attempts to provide the membership with relevant, current information on activities that the cooperative is involved in.
Although there was not a specific “message on the bill” or “flyer” send out prior to the installation, the cooperative did provide updates on the LPEA website, during workshops and meetings and in our monthly newsletter, Colorado Country Life, radio and other means.
When and who actually made the decision to install AMI meters and why didn’t the membership have chance to vote on the installation of AMI meters?
The LPEA staff recommended and received approval from the LPEA Board of Directors to upgrade the metering to the AMI system. The elected LPEA board represents the members and are always interested in hearing concerns and questions. Board meetings are open to the membership with agendas posted ten days prior to the meeting.
Why isn’t there an opt-in to having an AMI meter versus an opt-out?
During the initial planning, communication and installation of the new meters, the vast majority of the membership did not express a desire to not have an AMI meter installed. The opt-out provision for the metering upgrade has been available for many months with many members choosing to opt out.
What is wrong with self reads? In other words why can I not read my meter and call it in or take a picture of the meter and send to LPEA?
With the anticipated completion of the deployment of the AMI meters and automation of the billing process, manual input of meter reads will no longer be necessary.
Will LPEA pay the cost to move the AMI meter from my house to a pole?
The costs to move a meter to a new location, or relocation and conversion of facilities, is the responsibility of the member. This is explained in LPEA’s Line Extension Policy. Here is a link to the document’s location on LPEA’s website:
Note: We will continue to add to the above questions and answers as we have more information.