Residents Fight Smart Meters

Grand Prairie hosts Oncor Town Hall

By Kim Fischer
|  Sunday, Mar 7, 2010  |  Updated 3:52 PM CDT
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Residents Fight Smart Meters

NBCDFW.com

Electric distributor Oncor is installing millions of the new meters throughout North Texas during the next few years.

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People from all over the Metroplex went to Grand Prairie's city hall Saturday morning to complain about Oncor's new smart meters. Nearly 800,000 homes in North Texas are equipped with the new meters, but thousands of those residents say the new system is broken, and now it's breaking them.

Those upset people from all over the DFW area took to the podium to speak their piece.

"Instead of pointing fingers at each other, we need to find the problem and fix it now," said Grand Prairie resident Trina Hall. "nothing has changed so there's no reason why the electric bill has doubled except the new meter that has come in."

Oncor representatives were also at the meeting. Their stance is that there's nothing wrong with the smart meters.

"We are absolutely confident that the accuracy of these meters is what it should be" said Oncor spokesman Chris Schein.

He says the high bills are from the cold weather, or in about 7,000 cases, human error. But some legislators aren't buying it.

State Representative Kirk England said, "I think there's a problem, and I think it's more than just weather."

Some residents say the proof of that, is right in the bills.

"Now, it's just as high as my mortgage. My mortgage is right at $800, my electric bill is $755" said Bruce Stovall.

Oncor has brought in a third party to test the meters.. But the results could take months. Months these residents say they don't have.

"Someone needs to have a voice for us citizens" Hall said.

Oncor says they've already done 2,800 onsite meter tests and won't stop until every complaint is addressed.  Until the tests are finished, oncor is suggesting that people compare their current electrical provider's cost, with other companies by going to www.righttochoose.org.

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