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Home News Latest Comment period still open on Smart Meter opt-out program costs, allocation

Comment period still open on Smart Meter opt-out program costs, allocation

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The California Public Utilities Commission is continuing to take comments from utility customers across the state regarding a proposed program for opting out of having a Smart Meter on one’s home.

The opt-out program allows residential customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and other utilities around the state – including Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. – who do not wish to have a wireless gas or electric Smart Meter installed at their home to instead have an analog meter.

The commission last week held a series of two-hour public participation meetings at five locations around the state – Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Clemente and Santa Rosa.

The CPUC approved Smart Meters for customers of PG&E – which serves Lake County – in July 2006, according to commission records.

Early last year, in response to concerns from Lake County residents, the Board of Supervisors, Lakeport City Council and Clearlake City Council all passed temporary moratoriums on Smart Meter installations in their jurisdictions, as Lake County News has reported.

However, PG&E said it would not stop the installations because only the CPUC holds the power to pass a binding installation moratorium, and the CPUC reported that it didn’t plan to do so.

The commission ordered PG&E to create an opt-out program, and on Feb. 1 of this year the CPUC issued a decision that modified PG&E’s Smart Meter program to include that opt-out option. It issued similar decisions for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric.

Based on the CPUC’s decisions, customers who opt out of the Smart Meter programs must pay fees for the service.

Those additional costs currently include and initial $75 fee and a monthly $10 charge, the commission reported. Customers enrolled in the CPUC’s low income program, California Alternate Rates for Energy, are assessed an initial fee of $10 and a monthly charge of $5 if they opt out.

Written comments on the Smart Meter opt-out program may be submitted to the CPUC Public Advisor, 505 Van Ness Ave., Room 2103, San Francisco, CA 94102, or via email to [email protected]

Refer to Application number A.11-03-014 on any written or email correspondence.

The CPUC said all public comments received are provided to the CPUC’s commissioners and the administrative law judge assigned to the case.

For more information on Smart Meters, visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Demand+Response/ami.htm or http://www.turn.org/issues/energy/item/446-opting-out-of-smart-meters.html .

For more information on the CPUC, visit www.cpuc.ca.gov .

Email Elizabeth Larson at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.

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Comments (3)Add Comment
Greg_Cornish
@ 1000 ft. limit guest
written by Greg_Cornish, December 25, 2012
Never heard of this. You have a link? I'd like to find out about that broadcast limit.
Baxter
1000-foot limit for SmartMeters to work
written by a guest, December 25, 2012
If you live in a remote area where houses are more than 1000 feet apart, smartmeters don't work, so human meter-readers still need to visit those homes even after the SmartMeter has been installed.

If you are an opt-out who lives in such a rural area, PG&E would need to continue to send a manual meter-reader to your home regardless, even if you had a SmartReader. Therefore, PG&E should not be charging you a fee for a service that would be needed even if you had not opted out.

If you are an opt-out in such a rural area, you need to alert the CPUC to your situation. PG&E will not stop charging you unnecessary fees out of the kindness of its corporate heart. The CPUC exists for the purpose of seeing that giant companies like PG&E do not rip consumers off. The link to contact the CPUC is in the article above.

And while "opt-outs" are pointing out that you should not be charged the monthly fee, you may also ask the CPUC to require PG&E to explain the rationale for replacing functional analog meters with expensive new "SmartMeters" that cannot work as such because the household is outside the 1000-foot broadcast limit.
Greg_Cornish
Smart meter
written by Greg_Cornish, December 24, 2012
I was dubious at first and even postponed it once. After it was installed I signed up for free energy monitoring and can't be happier. You become so energy conscious by viewing your data, its amazing. When I started comparing costs of heating I decided to go with electric powered radiant heat and will use $800 or more less dollars than last year heating with diesel.

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