SUPPORT HB 3421 AND SB 1044 SMART METER NO-COST OPT-OUT For PUCT regulated, Cooperative and Municipally Owned Utility Customers In the 79th Texas Legislative Session, Dennis Bonnen authored HB 2129 that requires electric utility providers to consider establishing certain consumer option programs that encourage the reduction of air contaminant emissions. The bill was later amended by the Senate to require the PUC to develop a plan for deployment of advanced meter infrastructure (AMI), "smart meter" data networks. The bill did not create a mandate; however, the PUCT created rules and regulations mandated smart meter installations for Texans. No cost/benefit analysis was done. No human health impact studies were conducted. No input from citizens was received. In a February 2012 letter, Bonnen wrote, "I am greatly concerned that providers are acting beyond the purview of the HB 2129 for forcing smart meter on customers. This was not the intent of the legislation." (See 1-Bonnen) Current investigations in California have exposed significant concerns related to their AMI smart meter implementation. The US Attorney General and the California State Attorney General are investigating Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) due to a 2010 gas explosion which killed eight people. During this investigation, 120,000 emails were released revealing collusion and corruption involving California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) Chairman Michael Peevey and PG&E executives. Their emails expose smart meter health issues, over-billing complaints, excessive initial and monthly opt-out fees designed to inhibit individuals from opting out, and the intentional delay of CPUC public hearings until full smart meter deployment was complete. The activities and incriminating statements from the CPUC are relevant to Texas given that PG&E, uses Silver Springs Network AMI and mesh network which is the same technology used by ONCOR (Dallas/Ft Worth and NTX regions), San Antonio's municipally owned CPS Energy, AEP Texas (North/Central Texas) and CenterPoint servicing the Houston area and in millions of homes across Texas. In the 2012 and 2013 Texas Senate Business and Commerce and PUC hearings, Texans testified to the exact same problems being experienced in California. Another smart meter technology used in Texas is from the Sensus Corporation, provider of the FlexNet AMI, which uses "endpoint to base station" signals that transmit two watts of energy per transmission. Citing overheating and fires, in October 2012, 190,000 Sensus meters were removed by Pennsylvania Electric Company. In July 2014, 70,000 Sensus meters were removed in Portland and 105,000 in Saskatchewan Canada resulting in the resignation of SASKPOWER CEO Robert Watson. In addition, Nevada's NV Energy and APS in Arizona are currently being investigated due to recent fires. Silver Springs Network, Sensus and other AMI systems are deployed in over seven million homes across Texas. Billions of taxpayer dollars were spent on an infrastructure that includes smart meters, touting a mere 10-15 year service life, replacing analogs with a 25-30 year service life. Smart meters require perpetual software upgrades as evidenced by Austin Energy's 2013, $60 million software upgrade A multitude of issues and risks associated with the implementation of AMI are outlined in this document including: health, overbilling, cost prohibitive opt-out fees, lack of cost-benefit analysis, customer disinterest in utility usage data, misleading the public, inadequate FCC standards, and failure to disclose public health and safety risks.