Smart Meters are being installed by utility companies, including Kosciusko REMC and NIPSCO, which are basically wireless devices used to transmit utility usage directly to the utility companies. Warsaw resident Rich Gaul says the meters are a violation of privacy.
Rich Gaul of Warsaw has been approaching the Warsaw Common Council for the last two months asking them to educate themselves on Smart Meters – also called Advanced Meters – and ban them from the city.
Gaul says Smart Meters are a health issue, security risk and an privacy invasion. He also says the meters result in unfair billing, hackable technology and could even lead to potential economic disaster. He likens the new technology to illegal wiretapping and surveillance of all residents of Warsaw as well as Kosciusko County.
At Monday night’s Warsaw Common Council meeting, Gaul again asked the council if they had reviewed an email he sent to each member regarding the meters. He also asked the city officials to take a stand and ban Kosciusko REMC and NIPSCO from enforcing opt-out fees.
KREMC and NIPSCO are both using Smart Meters, which are devices that wirelessly send information about electricity use to utility billing departments. They are devices the utility companies say could help consumers control energy use, but devices which Gaul says are not only dangerous to human lives, but illegal.
In an email sent to all council members, Gaul said that while REMC may claim neither they nor the federal government are using surveillance on citizens, the issue is that the utility companies have the ability to do so with Smart Meters and have such plans in the future. He also says utilities have future plans to monitor all homes and if they deem that anyone is using too much energy for air conditioning or heat – regardless of whether they can afford to pay for the energy use or not – the company will turn off the utilities to homes or businesses as a part of an unconstitutional green initiative under the foreign United Nation’s Agenda 21.Gaul writes, “The energy companies say they cannot do these things, but nothing is further from the truth once all the new smart appliances sold today in stores get forced on Americans and get integrated into their homes and businesses. Then the electric company, federal government, and hackers can monitor and spy on each American citizen.”Specifically, Gaul asked the city to ban the utility companies from charging city residents the opt-out fees. He says residents are being charged anywhere from $13 to $30 a month to opt out of having a Smart Meter installed. “These are fire hazards, health hazards, and it is illegal to charge a fee in order to protect your own health and safety. It’s discrimination,” said Gaul. “I’m asking you to ban those fees for city residents.”
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said the city has no authority over the utility companies and that Gaul would need to file a complaint with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Councilman Jeff Grose agreed with Thallemer, but also advised Gaul to approach Kosciusko County Commissioners and the Kosciusko County Council as the county has a larger population of residents affected by the Smart Meters.
Gaul said he appreciated any help the council could provide and would continue to pursue a ban of the Smart Meters opt-out fees.