SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) _ PG&E’s controversial SmartMeters do work as advertised, but the utility’s attitude toward its customers falls far short of what it should be according to an independent review.

California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peavey said the study ordered of PG&E’s SmartMeters confirms that they are accurate. They measure how much energy you use and radio it back to the utility correctly.

“PG&E SmartMeters work as expected,” said Peavey. “There’s a clear need however for PG&E to improve some of their implementation, installation and educational protocols so that they more closely resemble the industry’s best practices. Unfortunately, this does not come as much of a surprise either.”

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The report found that PG&E has a terrible complaint record. One commissioner went so far as to say the utility treats its customers as the enemy.

PG&E’s Chief Customer Officer Helen Burt admits that there is room for improvement.

“We heard loud and clear that what was found lacking was customer communication and customer service,” she said.

However, Mark Toney, executive director of TURN, the Utility Reform Network said he isn’t satisfied.

“All these SmartMeters have done is to confuse people,” he said.

But PG&E said they will continue to install them.


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