GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

SDG&E “smart meters” being rolled out in the Navajo area

Posted by George J Janczyn on April 1, 2010

San Diego Gas & Electric will soon be replacing all electric and gas meters in the Navajo area in San Diego. The current schedule shows San Carlos, Del Cerro, and Allied Gardens upgrades will take place April through June of this year. Residents are supposed to receive a notification letter several weeks in advance.

The new “smart meters” record energy use information and have two-way communication between the meter and SDG&E. All residents will receive a new meter — it is not an optional upgrade. Information, including an interactive map, is available from SDG&E’s website.


From SDG&E’s website: “Smart meters are digital meters with two-way communication that send energy use information to SDG&E. In the future, electric energy use will be recorded every hour at your home and every 15 minutes at your business. Natural gas information will be available on a daily basis. This information can help you understand how you are using energy so you can make money-saving and environmentally friendly changes.”

Once the smart meter is installed, residents will be able to see hourly updates on their energy usage via the Internet. The meters can be connected to a Home Area Network to control home digital devices such as home security systems, appliances, temperature controls, etc.

SDG&E will no longer need to send meter readers to record your energy usage; that information will automatically be sent from the new unit.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that there have been problems with television sets disabled when a new meter was installed. Reportedly, some older model televisions are susceptible to the power being turned off and back on again.

Residents are advised to unplug sensitive electronic and electrical devices before technicians shut off the power to replace the old meter.

Faulty SDG&E smart meters replaced / SignOnSanDiego — “Some of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.’s new smart meters turned out to be not so smart last week. They got confused during a software update, cut power to customers and stopped communicating with the company.” – May 21, 2010

The Associated Press ran this story describing concerns that smart meters have security holes and are vulnerable to being hacked.

This San Diego Reader article speculates on SDG&E’s motives in rolling out the new meters.


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