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.