CREATED Jun. 5, 2012
NAPLES- A local candidate for State Representative is ready to fight more than just political opponents.He is going after FPL over the cost of new smart meters in so many homes.
Peter Richter is running for Florida State Representative, District 106, but he's not waiting to be elected to speak up. He has major concerns regarding privacy when it comes to FPL's smart meters.
"They can tell when you are home, when you do your laundry, when you do your dishes," said Richter.
Smart meters collect electric and natural gas usage from your home. The info is recorded and sent to FPL, but privacy isn't his only concern. He says customers are paying for these fancy new meters even after FPL claimed that wouldn't happen.
"Where is the money coming from? It's got to come from us. That's why they're asking for a $600 million dollars more,"said Richter.
Richter says FPL is asking for a rate increase and it's proof these meters aren't free. If approved, the average customer would see a $7 a month increase on their electric bill next year.
I took his concerns to an FPL spokesperson.
"Are we in return paying for these smart meters?," asked Fox 4 reporter Julie Salomone.
"Whether it's a smart meter or a mechanical meter, the meter is part of the cost of the electrical service which is right now the lowest in the state," said Elaine Hinsdale, a FPL spokeswoman.
The spokesperson says Richter's claims are based on misinformation and smart meters only record energy being used and the information is encrypted and securely transferred to FPL.
"Smart meters only record the amount of electricity that is used at a particular address just like the old meters," said Hinsdale.