- The Washington Times - Friday, January 25, 2013

An Illinois woman was arrested after protesting Naperville city utility workers’ attempts to install a smart meter on her home.

A smart meter is a digital reader that records and reports energy use in hourly increments. Privacy advocates and private property rights activists have been raising the alarm on the meters for months. Environmentalists and local governments, however, generally favor the technology as a more reliable means of assessing energy use and charging accordingly.

And the controversy is spreading. In August, legal challenge in the District of Columbia centered on the installation of smart-meter technology in taxi cabs.

In a Thursday interview with The Blaze, Naperville homeowner Jennifer Stahl says she has been protesting the smart-meter program in her community for two years. But her battle ratcheted considerably; she was arrested on her own property after refusing to allow utility workers to install the meter.

“I was protecting my property,” she said, according to an interview published in The Blaze.

The city, meanwhile, affirmed its “right to access our equipment,” said city manager Doug Kreiger in the Chicago Tribune. And the arrest was simply a show of “exercising that right,” he continued.

So far, 57,000 homes in Naperville have smart meters, the city reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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