After earlier insisting that only "a few" of its SmartMeter customers were incorrectly billed, PG&E has now been forced to admit
it has no idea what the total is -- but tens of thousands were installed improperly and even more were just not working correctly.
Growing numbers of customer complaints led the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate Pacific Gas & Electric; that led to yesterday's disclosure of hundreds of pages of documents
regarding the SmartMeters, which send information via wireless technology.
Well, they also send misinformation. Contrite PG&E officials on Monday admitted they turned up 43,376 problematic SmartMeters; 23,000 installed improperly; 11,376 that did not retain consumer usage information; and 9,000 that encountered problems in connecting up with the wireless network. The "vast majority" of the 23,000 customers whose meters weren't properly installed likely received inaccurate bills -- they could be too high, they could be too low, they could have no correlation whatsoever to reality. PG&E just isn't sure.
Those 667 pages of reports can be perused here.
PG&E officials claimed that 99 of every 100 of its SmartMeters is working just fine. It warrants mentioning, however, that 1 percent represents 50,000 utility cusomters. And you don't need a SmartMeter to know that's a hell of a lot of people.