Did California Smart Meters Gouge Homeowners?

The California power company Pacific Gas & Electric is receiving a lot of backlash due to the results of its smart meter installations. Smart meters are used to make electronic readings of meters instead of sending out meter-readers; they also are intended to help consumers monitor their energy use.

But homeowners have complained about inaccurate bills, some of which have doubled without warning. State energy regulators are investigating and will test some of the 5.7 million units installed at homes. During the four-to-six-month investigation regulators also will test the devices in a lab.

PG&E has said the soaring bills were caused by high electricity rates and heat waves, although an initial investigation found several recurring problems with the meters and their installation, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.