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Smart Meter controversy comes to Morro Bay 

As of press time on Dec. 8, the Morro Bay City Council was expected to pass a resolution declaring the city’s concerns about further installation of
Pacific Gas & Electric’s new digital meters within city limits.

While the measure is more “symbolic,” according to Councilwoman Betty Winholtz, and not quite as hard-nosed as moratorium ordinances adopted by a number of cities and municipalities in Northern California, it’s intended to encourage utility reps to come to Morro Bay and directly address residents’ concerns.

“I’m getting calls from residents with issues about the meters, mostly related to privacy and potential health effects as well as their overall accuracy and costs,” Councilman Noah Smukler told New Times. 

Smukler predicted that once residents have a
direct dialogue with PG&E reps, they would feel better about the new technology, and that the resolution wasn’t necessarily the first step to a moratorium.

Though Smart Meter installation hasn’t officially begun in the city, approximately 112 of the new meters have already been installed as a time-saving measure in businesses and industrial buildings that had maintenance work in the last few months, according to PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno. The utility expects to have roughly 7,000 meters in Morro Bay by mid-spring.

The utility began installing of Smart Meters in North County in late November. According to Moreno, roughly 13,000 meters are already in place in Paso Robles, 8,600 in Atascadero, and 1,300 in Templeton.

PG&E maintains that the new meters are safe and comply with federal regulations.

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