Power struggle: Local woman uses gun to stop worker from installing smart meter


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,” the 55-year-old Taormina, who is licensed to carry a weapon, said. “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.”

“I am very upset with it,” her husband said.

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 their job,” a CenterPoint spokesperson said. “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.


8 Responses

  1. kris says:

    GUYS you CAN have them removed- even if you are in an apartment and don’t own the property. No guns, no arguments. I wrote an email to APS our power here in Phoenix AZ. I told them it interfered with my wireless signal and radio, too (for good measure) by LAW (FCC part 15 & 18) they MUST remove it. And they did- the next day (yesterday) they were very polite, the man came over and knocked on the door said to turn off my computers etc to not cause damage to my eqpt as he’s gonna shut power down while he changed it. Mine is the ONLY analog in the bank of meters in my complex. ANYONE can have it removed, but you HAVE to use the right terminology! “interference with wireless/radio/TV” etc. They will NOT remove it just by asking or demands. You MUST use FCC part 15 and/or 18 rulings to have them take it out. Admin or ? contct me by email to see their letter to me they sent after my complaint. They were very polite, very nice about removing it and there was NO TROUBLE! Please do not scare the pants (or more!) off your meter man by pulling guns or using bodily harm threats. It’s just plain mean to do that.

  2. m says:

    Not all meter send out RF. Some just sent the data thur the powerline.
    If the grid is overloaded they can turn off the power to some locations like non payers.
    How much is your bill times that by 12 and then by 10 years, that’s the payoff for solar.

  3. Archie1954 says:

    Just cut off their power and force them to use solar!

  4. Stan Sikorski says:

    Gramma has some serious balls! Good for her!

    “We are deeply troubled by anyone who would pull a gun on another person performing their job,” a CenterPoint spokesperson said. “CenterPoint will be taking additional steps – including court actions – because what happened is dangerous, illegal and unwarranted.”

    Um excuse me Mr. Communist. The only danger was to your rude employee that kept pushing Gramma who could have put a bullet in his ass. Illegal? Not quite. The property he was on was hers and she is legally allowed to carry a gun and use it to protect herself on her property. The only illegality here was your employee not following her wishes and physically assulting her by pushing her. Unwarranted? That employee of yours is lucky he wasn’t trying that crap at my residence. I would have blown him away. Then I would come after anyone that dared to do anything about it. How’s that for unwarranted?

    • kris says:

      c’mon- now I agree with us protecting our property, but it’s not necessary. It’s mean to pull a gun on someone- ever had a gun pointed at you?? You NEVER are the same- EVER! All a person has to do is use FCC part 15 and or18 rules by LAW they must remove it. The smart meter interfered with my wireless- they came out within 72 hrs (yesterday 🙂 to take it out. NO guns, NO threats needed. Yes they did! I am so proud of myself. Why my other neighbors haven’t done it is beyond me. Mine is the only analog in the bank of meters in my complex. YES I am in an apartment I dont even own this place. I wrote an email to APS stating it interfered with my signal, by LAW they must remove it. They were very nice about it too. I do not like smart meters, they are invasive, very invasive. I think they are going to use them for some other sinister purpose, maybe allowing a “virus” to infect the system and all of us will lose power, who knows?? either way, mine’s gone. Yay! my email is kmakhl@yahoo I can send you the email they sent me and the one I sent them.

  5. I didn't know the particulars when they put mine in. If you have one how do you get rid of it?

  6. john says:

    Good for her. They put my smart meter in about a year ago when I wasn’t home and didn’t have any idea what they really were all about. I kinda just thought it was a way to read my meter without coming onto my property.

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