Thursday, 27 September 2012 12:36
by Walter Pierce
LUS tinfoil fee: $12.20 per month
Written by Walter Pierce
Eugene opted out.
Lafayette residents who fear that “smart meters” will sap their vitality, scramble their brains or otherwise render them incapable of living rich, fulfilling, private lives will have to pay a smidgen over $12 per month to keep one foot in the 20th century.
Lafayette Utility Systems is recommending that customers who opt out of the program pay $12.20 per month for the luxury of having a human manually read their water and electric meters. LUS began converting to so-called smart meters — meters that transmit utility-usage data remotely and consequently don’t require monthly visits from meter readers — in an effort to spy on, sorry, an effort to promote efficiency. Proponents say the new meters will also detect abnormalities in usage that can signal leaking water pipes or dangerous electrical situations, helping customers reduce their utility bills and not die. The meters are being installed through a Smart Grid Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Smart meters came under attack from the Tin Foil Brigade as soon as they were announced, and in February the City-Parish Council approved an ordinance letting customers opt out of having the meters installed at their homes and businesses. According to an LUS memorandum sent to council members earlier this month, about 430 LUS customers opted out. That’s fewer than one percent of LUS customers. So there’s that.
The council on Tuesday will vote on an introductory ordinance that sets the opt-out fee at $12.20 per month beginning with the start of the fiscal year on Nov. 1. The ordinance also stipulates that the monthly opt-out fee is more or less an estimate of what it will cost the public utility to keep meter readers on the payroll and that the fee can be adjusted after LUS gets a true cost history of the opt-out program.
The annual cost to opt out of the smart meter program comes to $146.40, which is just enough the cover the price of Team Leader’s Floor Warden Emergency Unit survival kit. Something to think about, what with the Zombie Apocalypse and all.
At $129.95, the kit includes:
The Team Leader® Floor Warden Emergency Unit survival kit features the write stuff: a golf pencil, a grease pencil and chalk!
* Extra Large Backpack * 21 oz Water Bottle * Knee Pads - XL * Chemical Goggles Vented Anti Fog * Red “Danger” Caution Tape 3”x 300” * Barricade Tape 300” (Caution) * Flashlight - uses “D” size batteries * Alkaline D size Batteries (Pair) * Hard hat - White * 14 N 1 Pocket Tool * Brass Whistle w/ Lanyard * Utility knife * Flat fold n95 dust mask - single * Heavy Duty Work Gloves * Duct Tape 60 Yds x 2” * Mighty Mega Mite Bull Horn * “C” Size Batteries (Pair) * Clipboard * Golf Pencil * Single Sheet Protector * Safety Vest P-HI7 w/ Clear Legend * 15” Pry Bar * White Rope-1/4 x 50” Nylon * Distress Banner (15”x36”) with Poly Bag * The Sound Horn * AM/FM Radio w/ Battery & Light * Adult Poncho * Mayday Large Solar Blanket 84” x 52” * Light Stick - 12 Hour Green * Light Stick (Yellow) 30 Min High Intensity * Lumber Crayon * Grease Pencil * Chalk * 10” Adjustable Wrench
First Aid Kit Contains: * Blood Stopper Trauma Dressing * 2 - 1”x10 Yds Surgical Tape * 4 - Single Pair of Nitrile Gloves * 2 - Ice Pak (Small) 5”x6” * 5x9 Combine Dressing Surgical * Hydrogen Peroxide 2oz Bottle * 4 - 3 x 3 Sterile Gauze Pads * 3 - 4 x 4 Sterile Gauze Pads * 64 Page First Aid Guide * CPR Mouthpiece - Pro Valve
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Finally, mad people on the interwebz is a good thing! World wide webby outrage has caused the village of Moreauville to reverse its plan to confiscate pit bulls and Rottweillers and euthanize them simply because of their breed, WAFB reports here. The plan? They're going to enforce the leash law. Well, that would have been a good place to start.
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
NOV 26 Unless you're in Virigina, you shouldn't count on seeing our Governor on Election Day. Mark Ballard writes in the Advocate's political blog that Bobby will be appearing at a GOP love fest of some kind there, instead of spending the day here.
NOV 26 This post on The Lens takes a look at the ongoing dispute in New Orleans over the banners about the upcoming tax election for the school system. The banners are hanging on schools, and some feel they are promotional, which is not allowed, instead of educational - which is allowed.
NOV 26 Not all college students are focused on football games and parties at this time of year. This post on DIG Baton Rouge recounts an LSU student group that tries to make sure that those who are hungry and homeless are not forgotten by those of us who aren't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly