GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Protesters and Pacific Power workers are expected to clash this weekend as an anti-smart meter group plans to protest the device at the energy company's upcoming workshop.
The workshop this weekend in Grants Pass is set to address concerns about the recent smart meter installation in the Rogue Valley. According to Pacific Power's online invite, customers will "meet with Pacific Power staff and smart meter experts, gather information and facts and see demonstrations."
The anti-smart meter groups is called "No Smart Meter." This isn't the first time the group has protested Pacific Power. Protesters with the group have voiced concerns on everything from the meter's capabilities to track more than power usage data to how smart meters could be impacting their health.
"Our goal is for public awareness for people to understand how these do pose a health risk to your home primarily... For them to see primarily that this is a way for the government [to invade] into [your] home," said "No Smart Meter" advocate Randal Barrett. "Putting a computer on your home and forcing you to pay extortion fees if you won't do it. Should put up a red flag for everybody."
Pacific Power has disputed those claims saying the meters are safe and that no additional information is taken with your meter reading. Opting out of a smart meter costs customers a $36 monthly fee to pay for someone to manually read the meter.
In response, Pacific Power released the following statement:
“We want to be sure our customers know we are here to help them understand the benefits of the smart meter upgrade in Oregon, while also addressing their questions and concerns. These free workshops offer an in-person opportunity to have a conversation with us, learn about smart meters first hand, and gather facts and information,” said Christina Kruger, Pacific Power regional business manager for Southern Oregon.
The Pacific Power workshop is this Saturday, September 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Josephine County Fairgrounds, Arts and Crafts Building.
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