In recent years, Ohio utility companies have significantly raised its “customer fees” for the installation, maintenance, operation, and replacement of Smart Meters. Consumers were told that Smart Meters would be more convenient and reduce their bills. This has not necessarily been the case for many Ohio Duke Energy consumers. Instead, many have complained they are receiving higher bills after Duke Energy installed Smart Meters on their homes even when their energy use decreases. Health and safety complaints have been reported as well.
Read Dr. David Carpenter, Dr. Hardell, Dr. Havas and Dr. Milham and Dr. Herbert’s letter on smartmeter health impacts to North Carolina PDF of Letter
On October 21, 2020 Dr. David Carpenter presented to the WSSC Water Authority on smartmeters
In 2016, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a Smart Meter opt out program for Ohio Duke Energy residential customers who agreed to pay $100 to have their Smart Meters replaced and $30/month to be in the program. Customers who opt out receive Smart Meters with the RF turned off. In 2017, a letter signed by 3 doctors was submitted to PUCO asking that there be no Smart Meter opt-out fees charged by Duke Energy and all other Ohio utility customers because of health risks from these devices. The opt-out fees remain in effect with no exceptions.
Despite growing Smart Meter complaints, ongoing rate increases and delivery riders have been approved by PUCO for Duke Energy Smart Meter technology. Ohio Consumers’ Council (OCC) and at least one local newspaper have also attributed the high number of service disruptions solely to the Smart Meter remote shutoffs. Of all the Ohio utilities, Duke has the highest percentage of shutoffs. This issue always comes up whenever Duke Energy makes application for a new rate increase for Smart Meters which happened again in 2021. In regard to this new proposed rate increase, an OCC representative said that Duke should reduce customer bills, not increase them.
Complaints from Ohio Duke Energy consumers about overcharges and Smart Meter opt-out fees prompted a Southwest Ohio for Responsible Technology (SWORT) board member, Vince Welage, to do a study using comparative data from residents’ utility bills. The panel study consists of a group of residential customers who submitted monthly bills covering the period 2018-2022. Not all of the customers in the study have opted-out of Smart Meters.
The study itself concentrated on the hidden cost items on the bills which are the delivery riders for both gas and electric usage. The study reveals that Duke Ohio customers’ bills keep going up because of Smart Meters. There is a list of approved rate increases, riders, and tariffs included in the study. On 7/26/2022 there was a radio interview with Mr. Welage about his study. He also gave a presentation to an Ohio group on 7/20/22: Mr. Welage has written 2 articles about other risks associated with Smart Meters that were published in the Ohio Statehouse News (1, 2).
Duke Energy North Carolina charges no opt-out fees for customers with doctors’ notes stating that they can’t have Smart Meters on their homes. Duke Energy customers in other states have asked for Smart Meter opt-out programs as well.
Video News Stories
September 26, 2020 “At Home with Gary Sullivan” Radio Show: Ohio Caller reports Duke smart meters causing terrible problems with health, and interference with CPAP medical equipment
NORTH CAROLINA Duke Stories: