Sheila Hemphill and her son, Coleman Hemphill, on the dangers of smart meters and the legal strategy activists can use on a wide variety of issues. Curtis Bennett, Chief Science Officer, Thermografix Consulting, talks about expert testimony he gave on the health effects of smart meters.
BRADY — In October, the city council of this Central Texas town voted unanimously to purchase advanced electric meters, known as smart meters, for the city-owned electric utility. But some residents resisted, and the smart meter vote played a large role in last weekend’s recall of the city’s mayor and the electoral defeat of two council members. Voters here passed a referendum last weekend to enshrine in the city charter the right of residents to refuse the installation of smart meters on their property. Sheila Hemphill, an organizer of the effort, called the victory her “San Jacinto.” The reaction in Brady could signal a shift in the debate over smart meters, which collect detailed data on electricity use and transmit it to the utility using radio frequencies. A raft of bills were introduced during the legislative session that would allow individuals to keep their old meters for free, but all have faltered. Local resistance to smart meters, however, appears to be rising.