Recently the California Public Utilities Commission approved an opt-out order allowing customers of Pacific Gas & Electric in northern California to have their Smart Meters replaced with the previous analog meters. An identical order for San Diego Gas & Electric homeowners was proposed last week by a CPUC administrative judge, but the proposal will still need to be voted on by the Commission.
The actions follow a long-running campaign by consumers against Smart Meters, largely because of alleged adverse health impacts from radiation. The new electrical meters incorporate a radio frequency to communicate data with the utility companies. There have also been complaints regarding privacy from the meters’ alleged potential ability to gather detailed data about electrical usage by individudal home appliances.
The PG&E order included a requirement for homeowners to pay a $75 installation fee and $10 monthly fee to opt-out and have an analog meter. Many opponents angrily decried the fee at the CPUC meeting in San Francisco, causing the room to be cleared by security guards, according to the Silicon Valley Mercury News. PG&E expects about 150,000 customers to opt-out.
The southern half of Mission Viejo will be included when the SDG&E order is approved. Northern MV is served by Edison, and no order has yet been proposed for SCE. Its MV customers were allowed to opt-out before the Smart Meters were installed, pending a future CPUC decision on a long term resolution.