OG&E Customers Concerned About New Smart Readers

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OG&E customers can expect to see an extra charge on their bills this year. The utility company says they are installing smart grid technology.

“I’m not doing anything illegal,” said Bryan Fowler, a customer, “I’m not planning on doing anything illegal. It’s just not their business when I turn a light switch on and when I turn it off.”

Concerned about privacy and radiation, Fowler posted a sign on his meter that says “Do Not Install Smart Meter.” He said, “They’re gonna be giving electromagnetic radiation all day long.”

OG&E says they are updating technology. The company plans to install new meters at homes in Arkansas. The upgrade allows OG&E to track your usage without sending a meter reader to the house. “In the long run it keeps our costs down, which helps you out as a customer,” said Kathleen O’Shea, a company spokesperson.

O’Shea says customers will be able to track their usage at any time. “You’re not gonna have to wait until the end of the month to see how much your electric bill is,” said O’Shea.

Federal stimulus money funds half of the $360 million upgrade. Customers pick up the rest. OG&E says expect to see about an extra $1 per month on your bill for the next three years. “Why should I have to pay extra?” said Brad Gallardo, a customer, “I mean I’m already paying for the utility.”

OG&E says contractors will begin installing the new meters around March 20.