Is Gov. Patrick’s Smart Meter Mandate illegal?

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has issued an order that will require the state’s major utilities to submit a 10-year grid modernization plan (GMP) by summer 2014 that includes smart metering with advanced functionality such as outage detection and restoration, smart appliance communication and control, and power quality support, and voltage reduction. [Note that National Grid’s pilot results will not meet this deadline as the pilot installation hasn’t yet been completed]

To speed up the smart meter program, in January of this year, Governor Patrick announced that the state will pour millions of dollars into “demand response systems” that will advance a mandate to install wireless so-called “smart meters” in Massachusetts.

The federal government has set goals for states and utilities to upgrade their electrical grids, and has awarded $4.5 billion in grants to encourage this.  However, the federal government does not mandate the installation of smart meters, or even wireless smart meters.

On February 1, 2011, press officer Thomas Welch of the U.S. Department of Energy press officer responded to questions about whether the federal government has made the installation of wireless smart meters mandatory.  He wrote:

No.  The Federal government, including DOE, does not have any role in regulating the installation of smart meters, nor does it have a policy about the mandatory adoption of smart meters.

THERE IS NO FEDERAL SECURITY MANDATE FOR SMART METERS, according to George W. Arnold the national coordinator for smart-grid interoperability at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This agency of the U.S.  Department of Commerce is said not to be involved in regulations but is only tasked with promoting standards among industries.

While both the 2005 and 2007 energy bills were codified into public laws, NO part of them creates a federal law pertaining to individual consumers or dictating that the public must be forced to comply with provisions of SMART Grid.

Contrary to the bleating of manufacturers and utility talking heads,  who claim there is no “opt out”, the fact is you, the consumer must be offered the meter, or request a meter and “OPT IN”.  No one can be forced to comply with an unrevealed contract between private corporations, and to which you were never a party and had no knowledge of.

Massachusetts has approximately three and a half million electricity customers, the vast majority of which are served by an investor-owned utility. NStar, which serves most of the greater Boston area and National Grid (NGG) are the state’s largest utilities. NStar’s pilot results determined the utilities response that there is no rational basis for smart meter program going forward. National Grid hasn’t completed installation of its pilot so no data is available.

    • blogmeister says:

      Sounds like a dictatorship to me. Where is the democratic process for citizens to choose? Have no idea about the legality but am sure someone will probably file a lawsuit.

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