Smart meters shouldn’t alarm citizens

Published 8:39 am Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Over the next several weeks, contractors with Georgia Power will be visiting homes in Decatur County to install new “smart” meters.

According to Area Manager Joe Truhett, the new meters will accomplish several goals. They will cut labor and transportation costs by allowing Georgia Power to remotely read customers’ power usage, without having to send an on-site “meter reader” to record the data. They will also allow easier communication of power outages — the meter will automatically report a power outage within seconds of the event.

Truhett also said that smart meters do not record the usage of individual appliances in homes — they only record total power usage. No additional data is collected. Another concern of some customers is that the smart meters emit dangerous radiation, but Truhett said the meters only transmit for less than 1 second a day, with radio frequency exposure below that of a cell phone.

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Groups like Stop Smart Meters Georgia ( continue to state that smart meters have a variety of dangers, including high radiation levels and the possibility of catching fire. They also question whether the smart meters could eventually lead to a further invasion of privacy in the long run, or whether the meters lead to higher power bills.

While every citizen has the right to come to their own conclusions, we fail to see any legitimate reason that anyone in Decatur County should be concerned about the installation of a smart meter. Those who still have questions or concerns are welcome to call Truhett at (229) 248-4401.