Home » From The Readers, Letters to the Editor » Maine Calls Smart Meter Audit After Ratepayers Costs Increase 1,848%

Maine Calls Smart Meter Audit After Ratepayers Costs Increase 1,848%

Sedona AZ (June 7, 2013) “But now, just 3 years later, Central Maine Power (CMP) has come begging for an over 8% rate increase because they found that, instead of saving ratepayers $363 million, their “smart” meter program is actually going to cost ratepayers $99 million,” by way of introduction writes Warren Woodward in a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor about similar savings claims made by APS to its regulatory oversight, ACC. 

The following is Woodward’s letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission commissioners, elected by the public to protect its interests, and to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and AZ Attorney General Tom Horne: 

Warren Woodward 
55 Ross Circle 
Sedona, Arizona 86336 

June 3, 2013

Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) 

Docket Control Center 

1200 West Washington Street 

Phoenix, Arizona 85007  

Re: Docket # E-00000C-11-0328


ACC Commissioner Bob Burns

ACC Commissioner Bob Burns


Are you aware of what just happened in Maine? 

The story in a nutshell is this: Central Maine Power (CMP) had bragged that “smart” meters were going to save ratepayers $25 million in “operational costs” and $338 million in “supply-side savings” over 20 years. On that assumption and without any independent verification, the gullible Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) approved CMP’s “smart” meter program.

But now, just 3 years later, CMP has come begging for an over 8% rate increase because they found that, instead of saving ratepayers $363 million, their “smart” meter program is actually going to cost ratepayers $99 million. CMP was wrong by 1,848%!

Late to the party, the MPUC is finally calling for an independent audit. You can read the MPUC “Draft Order Initiating Management Audit” here: https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={C71F721C-6C4D-42A5-B78E-53554C6A20ED}&DocExt=pdf

This brings up several points. All are ones I have made to you repeatedly in the past. 

1.  Utilities are chronic liars and anything they say must be verified independently. That’s your job which you have not done! Audit the “smart” meter program in Arizona now.

2.  The misnamed “smart” grid is all cost and no benefit. Indeed, all of the equipment involved is vastly more expensive than what was used in the past so why would anyone think otherwise? Do the independent cost/benefit analysis you should have done years ago and do it now.

3.  Because of the proven added costs inherent in the “smart” grid, ratepayers not wanting to participate should get a refund. Do an audit now to determine the refund amount.

4.  Utilities are gaming their guaranteed rate of return on “capital investments” at the expense of ratepayers. Audit now. Cost/benefit now.

aps logoFor the umpteenth time I will remind you of Connecticut’s pilot “smart” meter program which proved the same thing as Maine’s recent financial fiasco.

The “smart” grid is of no economic benefit to ratepayers. Indeed, it is an added expense borne by ratepayers.

As the Connecticut Attorney General summarized, “…the costs associated with the full deployment of AMI [“smart”] meters are huge and cannot be justified by energy savings achieved.” When will you wake up to that fact and halt this toxic, rights-violating boondoggle?

You have another example of “smart” grid fiscal failure right here in Arizona.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has had so-called “automated meters” for years but, as you well know, TEP is requesting a rate increase. Aren’t rates supposed to be decreasing because of the new meters? Isn’t that what Commissioner Robert Burns told us would happen in his recent editorial, the one he wrote about the (completely unspecified, unsubstantiated) savings that would supposedly be passed on to customers?

Meanwhile, “poor” TEP has just built a gargantuan new office building. They have enough money to continue unabated influence peddling via “charitable” and political donations. And, like the multimillion dollar APS CEO, the multimillion dollar TEP CEO has had repeated yearly compensation increases at a time when many people are lucky to even find work.

Now TEP wants a rate increase? For what, so they can keep living large on the backs of ratepayers while their “smart” grid is nothing but a ratepayer rip-off?


Warren Woodward

Cc: Governor Jan Brewer, Attorney General Tom Horne


For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!


  1. Tanner says:

    how tired am I of govt politicians ripping us off by selling us out, see when I vote next election

  2. N. Baer says:

    APS “opt out” represents a 1,613% increase for Sedona residents!

    Reasons for City to file motion to intervene on behalf of Sedona rate payers for NO Fee opt out and community wide opt-out. There is every advantage for the City to intervene prior to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) finalizing its “opt-out” policy.

    Here’s why. We learned from the ACC’s Docket that APS has proposed to charge an upfront fee of $75 plus a lifetime monthly fee of $30. We will use 10,000 as round number of residential and commercial accounts for our analysis.

    As told to ACC Commissioner Brenda Burns by APS, this $75 fee is for the labor and cost of replacing analog meters with “smart” meters. But because installation of “smart” meters hasn’t begun here in Sedona, there should be no fee. That translates into saving of $75 for each of us, or $750,000 for the entire city.

    The average monthly meter reading fee now is $1.86. The proposed $30/month amounts to a 1,613% increase! Currently, 10,000 accounts equals $18,600 a month, or $223,200 a year for meter reading. This would increase to $3.6 million every year under APS’s proposal! The first year’s opt-out fee of $435 total and $360 yearly thereafter, will make opting out unaffordable for many, especially those on fixed incomes or disabled.

    Even if we pay the proposed upfront and monthly opt-out fee, APS still has the right to install a wireless router or collector in our neighborhoods, or even a pole mount outside one’s bedroom window .

    The router has a transmission range of 5 sq. miles and the collector’s range is 125 sq. miles. Neighboring meters have a transmission range of 1,200 feet. Individual opt-out is therefore largely meaningless in what is essentially an unregulated cellular network.

    We don’t mind paying the regular $1.86 but anything more than that is ridiculous. APS will not waive our $750,000 upfront fees plus the $3,600,000 per year unless our City intervenes to SAVE us the money. Intervening is free. It is a low cost and high impact option for the City to save us money.

  3. mrwidemouth says:

    Smart Meters – something to be afraid of?

  4. Bettye says:

    June 19, 2013, at 5:00, City Council will be holding a Special Meeting in Council Chambers to look at AB1619 regarding resident’s concerns regarding Smart Meters.

  5. Sharlett says:

    Smart Meters continue to be one of our new, across the county and local, fights.
    We need to cause and implore this Council to get themselves “educated” and enlightened and start working For the citizens on this issue.

    From everything I’ve been able to read: Smart Meters are not our friends and just another way for big elec co’s to cut their costs, only in order to increase their profits, without once ever dealing with our health, safety and welfare.

    Perhaps this topic will be a diversion for our Council instead of their grandiose needs of spending our money to promote their crazy wish list, that has no quantifying revenue to support it! A dream list that they still want us to just go to sleep on.

    Shouldn’t it be called “Stay Focused on the Real wants of this town in all the best ways?” Health, Safety and Welfare?

    That includes the Smart Meter issue and Council ditching their dream list desires and sticking with legal and elected basics.

    Friends: it all comes down to health, safety and welfare.

    Very happy to learn there will be another “Special Meeting” for Council next week on the 19th to deal with Smart Meters. Think this one has merit: to discuss this very controversial issue of Smart Meters which is a much wider issue than just the tiny town of Sedona…yet every bit as large as the national issues and our basic issues.

    Suggest one and all either send a letter to all Council members and City which says you are not in favor of smart meters and ends with the following: “I request that my comments get “read” into the meeting of 6/19 comment section of that item of the Council Meeting”. That should assure you that you are on record and don’t have to sit through all their “Stuff”.

    But, please do watch that meeting on Channel 4 on 6/19/13.

    Can we help them get through this issue so they can deal with it and then finally come back to, and somehow become responsible for their spending frenzy routines we are all party to?

    I would like to think so – yet see no clear answer.

    I won’t allow a smart meter on my house – nor do I wish to witness a “Dumb Council”(vs a Smart Meter) who has no ear for us on any level of wants and who have no interest of pulling out in their spending frenzy!

  6. Sue Bush says:

    The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) says, based on the science, that smart meters are “serious public health issues” and that “continuing with their installation would be extremely irresponsible.”
    Read the full AAEM statement here.

    Prominent National Physicians Group Calls for Immediate Halt to Smart Meter Deployment smartmetersafety.org

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