Take Back Your Power

A group of Naperville residents still believe that it’s not too late to stop the installation of new smart electrical meters across the city. More than 150 people recently attended a “Take Back Your Power” rally at the Naperville Municipal Center.

“We are advocating for residents to retain their meters at no penalty and we really are just coming together as a community,” said Kim Bendis, President of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness.

The new meters are a part of the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative, an investment in the city’s electric grid.

“We’re becoming more efficient,” said John Krummen, Naperville Smart Grid Initiative Ambassador. “Just like the cost of gas goes up and we get more efficient cars, this is what this project represents.”

Naperville Smart Meter Awareness organized the rally. The not-for-profit has been very vocal about opposing the meters, speaking at city council meetings and trying to add a referendum question to last month’s primary ballot to give residents a chance to vote on whether they want the project to continue.

“When I found out about it, I was very concerned that when I spoke with the people over at the utility, we really didn’t have a choice,” said Katharine Kotecki, a Naperville resident.

So far, the new meters have been installed on about a third of the homes and businesses in the city. But opponents say that doesn’t mean it’s too late to stop the project.

“If they were fully informed, they would not want the smart meters,” said Bendis. “The smart meters that have been installed, a lot of people do not want those meters on their homes.”

“I’m very frustrated,” said Scott Derengowski. “I want my analog meter back. It worked for 30 some years, why do I need this other thing?”

Residents at the rally expressed concern over the cost, health risks, privacy, and security of the new wireless meters. Naperville Smart Meter Awareness urged the crowd to take back their power and do what it takes to keep their current analog meters.

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