Sebastopol City Council bans Smart Meter installations

Yesterday morning, at a specially scheduled meeting, the Sebastopol City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance banning Smart Meter deployment in the city and impose a $500 fine for violations. Sebastopol became the 15th California government to adopt an ordinance. The city council also approved a resolution directed at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The city had previously requested a moratorium as well as health and safety studies, but PG&E began installing Smart Meters and antennas anyway. The ordinance states that PG&E did not obtain permits for installations in the public right of way as required by law, and did not consult with the city, as ordered by the CPUC in land use matters.

The ordinance cites the city’s legal authority to take this action under the California Constitution as well as in Public Utilities Code Section 2902, which reserves the city’s right to “supervise and regulate public utilities in matters affecting the health, convenience and safety of the general public”. The ordinance describes the “major problems and deficiencies” including meter inaccuracy, job loss of meter readers, meter vulnerability to hacking, surveillance use, and the threat to public health. It notes that the Smart Meter program could actually increase energy consumption.

The resolution advocates a no-cost opt-out for individuals and communities, and a moratorium until Phase 2 of the opt-out proceeding is completed, and “until the CPUC has fully investigated the health, safety, security, privacy, and consumer benefit complaints by holding evidentiary hearings.”

The ordinance takes effect immediately.

http://ci.sebastopol.ca.us/sites/default/files/events-and-meetings/ordinance_1057_smart_meter_moratorium.pdf
Smart Meter moratorium ordinance #1057

http://ci.sebastopol.ca.us/sites/default/files/events-and-meetings/resolution_number_5920_city_of_sebastopol_opt_out_smart_meters.pdf   Smart Meter resolution #5920

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat coverage: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130221/ARTICLES/130229912/1350?Title=Sebastopol-City-Council-OKs-SmartMeter-ban- http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130220/ARTICLES/130229967

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