HOUSTON, Texas - July 19, 2012 - Thelma Taormina didn’t want a new electric meter, and she went to great lengths to keep her old one.
When a worker showed up at her northwest Harris County home to install a smart meter, she grabbed her gun.
"He just kept pushing me away," said the 55-year-old Taormina, who is licensed to carry a weapon. "He saw it and went back the other way."
CenterPoint Energy has nearly completed installing more than 2 million smart meters in the Harris County area.
But Taormina says she shouldn’t be forced to get one.
The smart meters digitally count kilowatts and wirelessly transmit information.
"Our Constitution allows us not to have that kind of intrusion on our personal privacy," she said. "They’ll be able to tell if you are running your computer, air conditioner, whatever it is."
The Public Utilities Commission is now considering allowing homeowners to have the smart meters removed.
Meanwhile, the Taorminas have formed a group called “We the People,” which is asking for hearings that could change when and where smart meters are placed.
For now, the Taorminas get to keep their old meter. But that might not last - despite the warning signs they’ve posted at their home.
"We are deeply troubled by anyone who would pull a gun on another person performing (his or her) job," said an unnamed CenterPoint spokesman. "CenterPoint will be taking additional steps - including court actions - because what happened is dangerous, illegal and unwarranted."
The Taorminas and the group "We the People" plan to continue asking the PUC to not force people
to use the new meters.
Ed. Note: Actually, what Taormina did is not illegal; in Amerika, private homeowners are lawfully entitled to use firearms to repel those trespassing on their property. If CenterPoint wants to avoid the “danger” of such action, it should avoid sending its workers to trespass on private property, or where their presence is not wanted.