EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene Water and Electric Board tried to clear the air Tuesday night over the implementation of controversial smart meters.
EWEB commissioners are considering moving all customers to the radio transmitting meters by 2017, but there are concerns surrounding the change.
The EWEB Board of Commissioners heard more than two hours worth of health and physiological studies and science at Tuesday’s meeting. The data was concerning the use of the new meters and the signal they transmit.
“We moved from the rural community and embraced the wireless community and we immediately got sick,” said resident Yaqin Sliwinski.
Sliwinski said he noticed the impact radio frequencies have had on his life and is worried about the effect that the citywide implementation may have on others. He’s also nervous about the health of his family.
“I have two beautiful grand children. Their nursery is on the other side of the wall where the meter would be,” Sliwinski said.
John Simpson, EWEB Board President, said the smart meters measure how much electricity flow through homes in order for the company to bill its customers correctly. “In the October time frame, the board will reconvene to make a decision on whether to roll out meter reading in this community,” said Simpson.
Sliwinski was pleased with the decision.
“I think they’re wise to slow down and look at the evidence and the thousands of worldwide independent studies are kind of showing,” Sliwinski said.
EWEB says the system has a very small radio frequency, and that many other communities and companies already use them. EWEB doesn’t have employees physically read the meters in a way for the company to cut costs.