High bills lead couple to file smart meter lawsuit against Oncor

Michael Giberson

Elizabeth Souder, the Dallas Morning News, reports on a lawsuit filed against Dallas-based wires utility Oncor claiming fraud and negligence associated with the company’s installation of smart meters.  The lawsuit can be viewed at the newly established website www.oncorlawsuit.com.  The suit seeks class action status on behalf “all consumers in Oncor’s service area who have experienced significant increases in their electric bill since the installation of a “Smart” Meter system.”

Somewhat simplified, the lawsuit tells the story of a couple who say that their electric bills increased dramatically after Oncor installed a smart meter (reportedly from $400-$700 a month before, to as much as $1800 month after), the couple engaged in several attempts to get Oncor to disclose what was wrong with the meter and came away unhappy.

Other that the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” argument and complaints about Oncor’s customer service, there isn’t much in the way of evidence in the lawsuit. I guess that is what the discovery procedure is for.  Admittedly, I don’t know the underlying facts; I’m just reacting to the appearance of a lack of merit in the lawsuit.

Maybe the message here is to install smart meters at the end of winter and the end of summer (adjusting as appropriate for local conditions).  That way, the first smart meter bills are likely to be lower than the last “dumb meter” bills. If consumers are going to leap to conclusions based on a too little data (and we will), you may as well have them leap to a conclusion in your favor.

HT to the Texas Energy and Environment Blog.

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