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Sounding like the Unibomber’s anti-technology manifesto, Michelle Harvey (“Say no to smart meters” Dec. 12, TGI) calls smart meters “invaders.” She worries that KIUC having the same information they collect manually from the old meters will somehow turn them into spies and burglars.

Invoking the “right to privacy,” Michelle thinks smart meters can know when we’re asleep.

Quoting a conspiracy theory website as her source, she believes smart meters can be used to determine “when to best plan a robbery, targeted home invasion, or burglary.”

I just don’t picture KIUC adding burglary to its business plan, do you? Ironically, any burglar can walk up to the old meters and read the “private” data any time. That’s much easier than investing billions in developing an entire smart grid technology to find out when people are sleeping.

To prove negative health effects, Michelle says, “Recently, the Santa Cruz top health official officers disclosed findings that smart meters do cause health threats.” Two years ago, a Santa Cruz County administrative officer submitted a letter saying cell phones are bad so smart meters must be bad, too. There was no study, no data, no findings, just an opinion. It’s online for anyone to read and laugh at. Santa Cruz’s Gary-Hooser-like politicians don’t overrule all the real studies and the conclusion of the Environmental Defense Fund that smart meters are not only safe, their energy saving benefits are great for the environment, too.

As a KIUC customer unafraid of new things, I don’t see why I should have to pay for Michelle’s paranoia. It’s not discrimination, as Michelle calls it, to charge people who refuse a standard meter for the costs of maintaining their old meters. KIUC charges to install special equipment for customers who add solar, too, as they should.

Out of the 18 American energy co-ops that participated in this smart grid upgrade, Kauai is the only one that allows conspiracy theorists to opt out of the standard meter. That’s more than enough of a concession.

Charging all of us for their unwarranted fears would be wrong.

Chuck Lasker, Kalaheo

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