PG&E Tests Smart Meters

FRESNO, Calif. She is suspicious "Because when it went on, my bill went up." She complained, and the double meter was PG& E's response. She's willing to go along.

"Well, I'm hoping it's going to prove to me that, you know , one way or the other, either that I was wrong or they were wrong. One of the two. So, I'm happy that they come to do this." She said.

Spokesman Jeff Smith says the utility plans to install 150 double meters in hopes of winning customers confidence in smart meter technology.

"So that's really what we're working on at this point in time and the side by side testing is one of the methods that we're utilizing in order to do that."

But State Senator Dean Florez is among those who have little confidence in PG and E or their smart meter tests.

By phone from Sacramento he told us, "Well, I mean, I think it's a little late. They should have had these tests before they put in one meter, not now that all the meters are pretty much in."

Florez is holding a hearing next week on PG&E's practice of estimating utility bills. That was done when meter readers couldn't access property, but Florez doesn't understand why it's being done now, with Smart Meters .

Either don't estimate at all since we've paid the technology, or if you are going to estimate, go back to meter readers so people can be employed, have jobs and actually probably give us better readings than these smart meters which we are not sure they work at all." Florez said.

PG&E says equipment problems do require occasional estimates, even with Smart Meters. But Smith says the bills are ultimately corrected. For Juanita Hodge, she'll be watching her two meters, to try and make sure her bill is accurate after it doubled with the Smart Meter.

That's a big jump in anybody's book. I don't care what you're putting on smart meter, dumb meter doesn't make any difference, it wasn't coming up right for me. "

PG& E plans to install 150 double meters to residents throughout its service area in the coming weeks. Florez is holding a hearing on PG&E's meter problems in Sacramento next week.

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