MEDFORD, Ore. -- Some Oregonians are fighting Pacific Power's latest switch to smart meters. Pacific Power’s website writes a smart meter is a digital electric meter that can send and receive communications through the company's secure wireless network. Over the past few months Pacific Power has been installing those new smart meters in Jackson county homes. It said the new smart meters record energy usage information and send that updated information throughout the day. The No Smart Meter group isn't having it.
"People have been coerced and they’ve been strong armed with lies. They already got those meters on their homes that they don't want. They need to take those off and get the analog meters back on. These people are angry," said No Smart Meter advocate Randal Barrett.
The group is concerned the meters give off radiation and harm people nearby. The protesters also worry the smart meters take other data information besides how much energy is used in the home.
"To put a computer on the side of houses that can monitor so much of our activity is totally illegal. It is an assault. It is an affront and they should not be doing that. It is absolutely wrong," added protester Tom Cluney.
“We don't want that invasiveness on our home. We don't want the government misusing this to cause harm to us like China. We don't want that," added Barrett.
Pacific Power said no other data besides energy usage is shared or collected. No personal information is included with the transmission of usage data either. In order to opt out of having a smart meter, you have to pay a monthly $36 fee. Pacific Power said this covers the cost of manually reading the meter.