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Smart Meters

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NEWS
October 14, 2011
Do we really need to spend $60 million on smart meters to tell us what most of us already know (Smart meters don't count as 'renewable', Oct. 2)? Or do we need to spend that much money to inform people that it is better to use electric appliances in off peak hours, such as in the evening or at night? The utility has been telling us that for years. Seems like a waste of money to me. Proponents contend that a smarter grid allows customers to take better advantage of renewable energy, and thus take part in “a cleaner, more efficient and more reliable future.” What does that mean?
NEWS
December 22, 2011
Merry Christmas to Mike Mohill. My Christmas wish for him is to learn to love smart meters (“Privacy, security are the real worries,” Dec. 15). Unfortunately, the absurd rant against smart meters goes on and on. If Mohill only uses a corded phone, writes his letters with pen and paper and never has any sort of diagnostic X-rays, then maybe he has a slight rationale for objecting to the minuscule radiation from smart meters. As far as Big Brother is concerned, Glendale Water & Power already knows how much water and electricity its customers use every two months.
NEWS
By Elise Kalfayan | July 14, 2011
Smart meters aren't worth the $50 million cost to Glendale after the $20-million federal stimulus grant - they may pose health risks, their transmissions pose security and privacy risks and their rollout is premature. A total of 43 city and county governments in California have reportedly taken action to oppose smart meters, and communities in other states have opposed them as well. While the smart grid is something we need to build, smart meters are an exercise in micromanagement.
NEWS
December 14, 2011
Regarding the Glendale News-Press Nov. 19 editorial titled, “The smart move is to choose a new battle,” I ask, why hasn't there been an open and televised debate on the merits of the smart meters? The News-Press editorial dismissed the concern on privacy and security, but only focused on the health issues, equating anti-smart-meter activists with people who claim certain vaccines cause autism in children. “Decades later,” the editorial states, “misinformation continues to be spread; nothing has changed.” What do vaccines and autism have to do with smart meters?
NEWS
July 8, 2011
Utilities are installing smart meters and moving toward a smarter grid. Modernizing our electrical and water infrastructure by integrating new technologies helps bring our system into the 21st century in order for us to meet future needs of our community in a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible way. Knowing the facts is vital to understanding the issues and benefits. The best way to understand how the smart grid helps you is to ask some basic questions: 1. How high is my water and electric usage and how much will my next bill be?
NEWS
March 22, 2013
I have long been opposed to the $54 million that the Glendale City Council has spent on the Smart Meter program.  The city council approved the expansion of the Glendale Water & Power computing system on the recommendation of the former GWP manager. The cost approved to develop the entire system approved was in the neighborhood of $70 million, including the $17-million-cost of the new meters provided by the federal government. I contended that the city council did not have the expertise to understand the development costs for the software upgrades required to complete the entire Smart Meter System.  There are undoubtedly more costs on the horizon.
NEWS
April 29, 2011
Glendale Water & Power has reached the halfway mark of installing high-tech smart meters — which officials say puts the utility on track to be the first in the nation to have a fully operational “smart grid” system. Full-scale installation of the 120,000 electric and water meters, which will allow two-way communication with the utility and let customers track real-time water and electric usage, began in December and is expected to be completed by summer. “We are 50% of the way to a smart-grid system foundation that will provide many benefits to our customers and our utility,” General Manager Glenn Steiger said in a statement.
NEWS
September 10, 2010
Regarding the proposed water rate increase, yes, Glendale Water & Power will have to raise rates because the cost of water from our supplier is going up and water resources are going down. What Glendale Water & Power should not have done is spend our revenues on so-called smart meters. Somehow this has to be paid, and it will come from our rates. We will always be obligated to our water supply source, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. However, we can control our own capital costs, and the smart water meters were a bad decision during this poor economy.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | December 9, 2012
All Glendale Water & Power customers next month will be billed through the 120,000 “smart meters” the utility has been installing for nearly two years, officials announced this week. And as the utility begins to collect more personal data through the rollout of the smart grid, it will need hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of security software updates. “It's just the final aspects to put in place,” said the utility's general manager, Steve Zurn, at a Glendale Water & Power Commission meeting Monday.
NEWS
By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com | May 13, 2011
Erik Bottema isn’t enthused about the city’s plans to install a high-tech “smart meter” at his north Glendale home. Earlier this year, he ordered a contractor hired by Glendale Water & Power to install the new meters off of his property. He has since contemplated installing a cage around his meter to prevent its replacement. Glendale and Burbank officials have lauded their respective multimillion-dollar smart-grid projects — which will allow two-way communication with the utility and let customers track real-time water and electricity consumption — as an exciting technological advancement.
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NEWS
By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com | February 13, 2014
Glendale Water & Power is expanding its program to help customers better monitor and control their electrical and water use with a new energy-saving tool - a thermostat that can be controlled from a smartphone. In the first phase of the project launched in 2011, 72 customers received digital picture frames that not only displayed personal photos, but also information about water and electrical use in the household and conservation tips. Now, 500 customers can sign up for an expanded pilot project that includes not only the picture frame, but also a smart thermometer that can be controlled remotely.
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NEWS
November 19, 2013
I read the article in the Thursday, Nov. 14 edition of the Glendale News-Press regarding the alarm of some parents at the Glendale School District's use of wireless routers in classrooms ( “Group signals Wi-Fi angst.” ). This issue comes up every time a new technology that transmits radio waves is introduced. Some people were alarmed when cellphones were introduced, when Glendale installed smart meters and when the gas company installed smart gas meters. We are bombarded by radio waves all the time.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com and By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | May 21, 2013
Since the massive rollout of roughly 120,000 digital utility meters that began in 2010, Glendale Water & Power officials now have just 53 of them to tweak, down from 919 in September of last year. The drop comes about five months after the utility began billing all of its customers directly through the so-called smart meters, which replaced analog systems. It also follows an internal audit that found 264 meters needed to be adjusted as of March. That means it took only two months for utility workers to cut down the number of meters that needed work by more than 75%. In an email, Glendale Water & Power General Manager Steve Zurn called it "significant progress.
NEWS
March 22, 2013
I have long been opposed to the $54 million that the Glendale City Council has spent on the Smart Meter program.  The city council approved the expansion of the Glendale Water & Power computing system on the recommendation of the former GWP manager. The cost approved to develop the entire system approved was in the neighborhood of $70 million, including the $17-million-cost of the new meters provided by the federal government. I contended that the city council did not have the expertise to understand the development costs for the software upgrades required to complete the entire Smart Meter System.  There are undoubtedly more costs on the horizon.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | February 6, 2013
While Glendale Water & Power prepares to cap off the back-end work of its years-long transition to smart meters, officials plan to create Web and mobile applications so customers can take advantage of the new technology more easily within the next year and a half. Utility commissioners said during a meeting this week that the applications have been a long time coming. . “We have yet to show some tangible benefits back to the customer so they can touch and feel this investment,” Commission President Zanku Armenian said.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | December 9, 2012
All Glendale Water & Power customers next month will be billed through the 120,000 “smart meters” the utility has been installing for nearly two years, officials announced this week. And as the utility begins to collect more personal data through the rollout of the smart grid, it will need hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of security software updates. “It's just the final aspects to put in place,” said the utility's general manager, Steve Zurn, at a Glendale Water & Power Commission meeting Monday.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | September 18, 2012
Invoices, change orders and other paperwork from Glendale Water & Power's smart meter contract lacked certain cost details, a practice that could put the city at risk of overpaying for work, a city audit found. The project, the original cost estimate for which was $29 million, has increased in cost by about $4 million since it was approved in 2009. But that was still within the $5.7 million set aside for contingencies. Still, auditors found that the paper trail for managing the contract lacked adequate details about modifications, airfare costs and professional service rates.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | September 8, 2012
Glendale and Burbank residents can expect to see their gas bills increase by up to $2 per month through 2017 as the Southern California Gas Co. rolls out a $1-billion digital upgrade for meters serving 6 million customers. “Data collection units” that look like 25- to 45-foot-tall light poles will also set up throughout the cities. About 18 are slated for Glendale - most of which will be in the northern part of the city - and seven may come to Burbank, according to the utility.
NEWS
July 24, 2012
I trust that locals fixated on GWP's finances took note of the recent L.A. Times article on JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s conniving, to the cost of anywhere from $57 to $200 million and quite possibly much more, in suspected thefts from California ratepayers (“Gaming of energy market jolts consumers,” July 18). Given the intense interest in utilities here in Glendale, I look forward to the Glendale News-Press going beyond pensions and smart meters to cover the local impact of this alleged corporate manipulation of California's energy market.
NEWS
July 21, 2012
Like dominoes tipping over, one after another, cities - first Vallejo, now San Bernardino, next Compton - are seeking relief from their fiscal incompetence and reckless irresponsibility by hiding behind bankruptcy laws that leave creditors and employees in the lurch, and the citizens to protect and serve themselves. You have to wonder how many others will follow suit as the state of California and the hundreds of government agencies under its jurisdiction keep on budgeting fictitious spending cuts, improbable tax and revenue increases and ineffective long-term public employee pension reforms as if the four-year recession soon will end and the good times are just around the corner.
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