Petition to Ensure “Smart” Water Meter Opt-Out for Citizens Serviced by Baraboo Area Public Utilities
Electric, Gas, and water utilities are increasingly moving toward “smart meter” technology. Smart meters are digital devices that incorporate a wireless component so that consumption-related data can be broadcast to the utility. Utilities promote smart meters as a way to conserve energy and reduce costs. However, the facts do not always align with these claims.
Moreover, smart meters carry certain risks to privacy, safety, and possibly health.
Currently, Baraboo residents have no choice but to accept these undesirable risks.
In particular, we, the undersigned, find it unacceptable that the Baraboo Water Utility has, over the past year or more demonstrated its unwillingness to provide an opt-out to its customers. We are disturbed that it has instead threatened customers with discontinuation of service for refusal to accept a smart meter and any risks that pose a concern.
We, the undersigned, believe every customer should have a choice. It is wrong for the publicly managed Baraboo Water Utility to leverage its position as a monopoly and bully the very citizens in whose name it operates.
Whatever a customer’s concerns about smart meter technology-privacy, safety, and/or health-those customers should rightly have a choice about the kind of technology that they use in communicating their water usage to the Baraboo Water Utility.
We, therefore, respectfully ask:
1. The City of Baraboo and the Baraboo Water Utility to work with constituent customers in a meaningful way to develop an opt-out so that no one is subject to the whims of a monopoly but may instead have the freedom to accept or reject smart meter technology based on the level of risk that is acceptable to them.
2. The City of Baraboo and the Baraboo Water Utility to similarly develop a plan to assist those customers who, having already accepted installment of a smartmeter, subsequently wish to have them removed from their private property and replaced with an option.