Smart meters use two way communication to give information from you to your utility.
Smart meters are sort of required. Of course they are not quite required by law and court cases have been won against them. The utility company will tell you there is no opt out allowed. The only problem apart from the invasion of privacy in the personal information it gives to a private company which can be sold are the health hazards. The smart meter used in America can damage your DNA, cause cancer, cause other diseases and kill you. Many people are within ten feet of their smart meter outside their window. They are also within 92 feet of several other smart meters at their neighbors home. Smart meters pose risks above federally allowed radiation standards up to 92 feet away.
Smart meters seem to be particularly damaging to small children. PG&E set up a smart meter in the children’s play area of a daycare center without advising either the parents or the daycare operator of the health hazards.
Italy has smart meters that do not damage electricity users with unwanted radiation but Americans are not allowed to have them. 2012 is an election year. It is time to demand candidates to protect you and your family from radiation.