Resistance to smart meters is mostly a Northern California phenomenon, though Times staff writer Melanie Hicken reported last month that a small group of residents in Burbank and Glendale is protesting installations by municipal utilities in those cities. We suspect the local outcry would be louder if the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which is nearly as unpopular among Angelenos as PG&E is among Northerners, were rolling out smart meters for residential customers more quickly. It has barely started, and as with other DWP initiatives to modernize its grid or invest in more renewable power, there is more talk about smart meters than action. Given that the devices would result in layoffs of meter readers, and that the electricians union holds enormous sway over DWP initiatives, plans are likely to remain on the drawing board for quite some time.
Though that may head off a smart meter controversy, L.A.'s dirty, antiquated and inefficient power system is nothing for Angelenos or DWP leaders to be proud of.