GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Smart technology has revolutionized so many parts of our everyday lives.
But some are asking if smart meters, which are mandated to replace all electric meters in Pennsylvania over the next 15 years, go too far.READ MORE: Upper St. Clair Family Starts Non-Profit Organization To Honor Son Who Died Of Kidney Disease
First Energy’s Aaron Ruegg says in the long run smart meters will provide consumers detailed information about electrical use, and make you “able to better understand electricity use.
Also, Ruegg says, “They can make more informed decisions on how to manage and control their electricity consumption in the future.”
But State Rep. Mike Reese, of Mt. Pleasant, is concerned that the detailed information about what goes on inside a person’s home as it’s revealed by electrical use could be sold to marketing companies or others.
Rep. Reese says, “I think it’s important to get on the books right now that that information is private. It’s the individual consumer’s information and it should not be given out to a third party without their consent.”
So, the Republican from eastern Westmoreland County has introduced a Smart Meter Privacy bill.READ MORE: Gov. Tom Wolf Releases Plan For Pennsylvania's 121 State Parks
Duquesne Light and First Energy have almost identical policies when it comes to how your usage information is handled.
First Energy’s Ruegg put it this way, “We do not sell any information about customers to third parties, and we don’t disclose a customer’s information without prior consent to anyone unless it’s required by law through a subpoena or a court order or regulatory agency.”
Rep. Reese says a lot can change with technology in ways we can’t even imagine. While he applauds the utility companies’ policies, he wants to see that privacy backed up by law.
“I think it’s important to put it in statute, that way it’s rock solid, and in the future, this won’t ever occur,” he said.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Public Schools Leaders Discuss Ways To Spend Federal Funding Through American Rescue Plan
A similar bill passed the state house last year but failed to reach a vote in the senate. House leaders have already pledged to bring it to a vote again and Rep Reese is optimistic it will be passed in the Senate.