A metro Atlanta man told CBS Atlanta News Tuesday that he refused to allow the Cobb Electric Membership Corporation to install a new electric smart meter on his home because of health concerns.
"No, I don't want it put in and they shouldn't be charging us $20 extra a month to read it," Homeowner John Vescuso said.
Vescuso said Cobb EMC sent him a letter informing him that if he chooses to keep his old analog meter, they'll charge him an additional $240 a year.
"I think that's highway robbery. I could see $2 or $3 a month, but not $20 a month," Vescuso said.
Cobb EMC said the smart meters are more accurate and cost effective. Plus, they allow the power company to monitor usage electronically without going door to door.
"If we come out to a member's home to read the meter we have to make sure we are recovering those costs since we don't have the meter reader routes any longer," Cobb EMC Spokesperson Mark Justice said.
Vescuso said studies have shown that smart meters emit dangerous radio frequency levels which are making people sick.
So CBS Atlanta News asked Cobb EMC why they've pushed the new meters on more than 190,000 customers.
"The California Council on Science and Technology determined there were not any health risks and basically it's like having a cordless phone inside of that meter and it sends us the data and we don't have to send drivers out to read those meters," Justice said.
As for Vescuso, he plans to keep his old meter unless Cobb EMC can assure him of one thing.
"If they guarantee that it's not going to have any radiation or they can put up shielding to prevent any radiation from coming off of it, fine I'm willing to accept that," Vescuso said.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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