Privacy Legislation

SB 181 – Smart Meter Opt-Out Provision (2013-2014)

Link to Bill:
http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_SB_181
Status:
Failed
Summary:

SB 181 requires electric utility companies to obtain customer consent before replacing traditional electrical meters with “smart meters,” which monitor consumer electricity usage and communicate this information back to the utility company.

Primary Sponsors:
Committee:
Public Utilities (S)
LSC Legislation Status:
http://lsc.state.oh.us/coderev/sen130.nsf/Senate+Bill+Number/0181?OpenDocument
Jurisdiction/Legislation Level:
State
Our take on this bill:

The ACLU of Ohio supports SB 181 because it gives Ohio energy consumers the ability to opt out of smart meter usage, neither requiring nor prohibiting smart meter use but instead giving decision-making power back to the consumer. While installation of smart meters is encouraged because of their environmental and cost benefits, there have also been growing numbers of consumer complaints regarding safety and privacy concerns. Simply put, Ohioans should be allowed to choose whether or not they want a device in their homes that monitors all their energy usage data. The home is, after all, afforded the greatest level of privacy protection under the US constitution. SB 181 allows Ohioans to interact with their electric utility companies in the way they see fit, and the ACLU of Ohio supports this bill and other legislation that strengthens the right to privacy in the home.