Smart meters are spreading throughout the country as utility companies search for ways to cut cost and streamline operations.
But such promises from Centerpoint Energy did not sway a Houston woman.
Thelma Taormina got her gun when she was unable to prevent a Centerpoint worker from trying to install as smart meter at her home, according to Houston television station KENS5.
Taormina, 55, contends smart meters are an unnecessary violation of her privacy.
“Our constitution allows us not to have that kind of intrusion on our personal privacy,” she told the TV station. “They’ll be able to tell if you are running your computer, air conditioner, whatever it is.”
Texas regulators are considering a measure that would allow residents to have smart meters removed from their homes.
There is not an opt-out program for OG&E customers in Oklahoma or Arkansas, company officials said, because that would create holes in the network and limit the system’s benefits to customers and the company.
OG&E has installed more than 600,000 smart meters in Oklahoma, while Centerpoint has put in more than 2 million in Houston.
For now, Taormina will be allowed to keep her old meter, but her utility company is not pleased with her actions.
“We are deeply troubled by anyone who would pull a gun on another person performing their job,” a CenterPoint spokesperson told KENS5. “CenterPoint will be taking additional steps – including court actions – because what happened is dangerous, illegal and unwarranted.”
Taormina has formed a group called “We the People” to push regulators to allow Texas residents to choose whether they want smart meters.