Attorney General Urges Consumers to Understand Smart Meter Data, its Benefits and Potential Pitfalls
Smart meters are being installed at homes across Illinois to modernize how the state’s electricity utilities, including ComEd and Ameren, measure electricity usage. These meters digitally record information that may help consumers better understand their energy usage habits. In turn, the utility companies can use the data to offer special pricing programs to those customers who are able to closely monitor their usage and change their energy habits.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan offers a few important points about smart meters:
m A “smart meter” is a wireless device that digitally records how much electricity you use in short intervals, providing a precise look at your energy usage habits.
m Having a smart meter does not – on its own – lower your electricity usage or lower your electricity bill.
m The data provided by a smart meter can only lower your electricity costs if you first learn how to read the data, then take the time to monitor your electricity usage and ultimately change your energy usage habits.
m ComEd and Ameren are not allowed to share your smart meter data with alternative electricity suppliers or other third parties unless you sign an authorization allowing them to do so.
m If you have a smart meter, an alternative electricity supplier may contact you by phone, by mail, or in person to persuade you to sign an authorization form and share your smart meter data for the previous two years, and for the next two years.
m Beware that signing an authorization to provide smart meter data may lead to solicitations from alternative electricity suppliers about programs that may or may not reduce your electricity bill.
m It is entirely up to you whether you share any smart meter data with any third party.
m If you decide to share your smart meter data, an alternative electricity supplier will have access to it until your service ends or for six months after you sign the authorization, whichever occurs later.
m If you are thinking of sharing smart meter data with an alternative electricity supplier, consider the following:
Smart meter data can reveal details about your life. Spikes in electricity use may indicate when you are home, while low use may indicate you are not home.
Please remember, if you received an unsolicited telephone call or visit from an alternative electricity provider you do not have to provide any information or authorize access or changes to your service. Please don't hesitate to contact the Lake Forest Police Department or the Illinois Attorney General if you have any concerns.
March 25, 2016 - Press Release from Attorney General Madigan
Getting Smart About Smart Meters Brochure
Protecting Older Americans Against Fraud
If you feel you may be a victim of fraud, please don’t hesitate to call the Lake Forest Police at 847-234-2601
Our nation’s seniors worked hard their entire lives and saved for retirement. Unfortunately, there are many criminals who target them and seek to rob them of their hard-earned savings.
Far too many older Americans are being financially exploited by strangers over the telephone, through the mail, and, increasingly, online. Worse yet, these seniors may also be targeted by family members or by people they trust. Many of these crimes are not reported because the victims are afraid that the perpetrator may retaliate, the victims are embarrassed that they have been scammed, or sometimes simply because victims are unsure about which law enforcement or consumer protection agency they should contact. Additionally, some seniors do not realize they have been the victims of fraud.
The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging has made consumer protection and fraud prevention a major focus of its work. In recent years, the Committee has held hearings examining telephone scams, tax-related schemes, Social Security fraud, and the implications of payday loans and pension advances for seniors, among other issues. The Committee launched a toll-free Fraud Hotline: 1-855-303-9470. By serving as a resource for seniors and others affected by scams, the Hotline has helped increase reporting and awareness of consumer fraud. For full report, click here.
Voluntary Weapons Turn-In
The Lake Forest Police Department administers a Voluntary Weapons Turn-In Program where residents can turn firearms, weapons, old ammunition and fireworks into the Police Department for destruction.
The purpose of the Weapons Turn-In Program is to reduce the likelihood of a tragic accident involving a firearm occurring within a residence in Lake Forest, especially involving a child. Any resident possessing a firearm or other weapon they no longer desire to own can drop it off at the Public Safety Building anytime day or night.
All firearms being dropped off should be unloaded.
Should a resident feel unsafe or uncomfortable about attempting to unload or transport a firearm for destruction should call the non-emergency police telephone number at
847-234-2601 and request that a police officer respond to pick up the firearm.