Permanent Smart Meter Opt-Out Coming?

by on March 19, 2012

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.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Ruecker March 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

Once again we get screwed by the CPUC & utility companies.

Charging for an opt out is crazy – especially for tacking on a $10 per month fee.

Stephen Masek March 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I’ve noticed periodic strong interference with AM radio reception in the evenings, and wonder if it is caused by the so-called “smart” meters in houses around mine? I collect and restore old radios, mainly from the 1930s. I already found that new ceiling fans may contain a device to limit bulb wattage which causes bad AM interference (a violation of FCC rules which the FCC has thus far refused to address). I wonder if they are also turning a blind eye to radio frequency emissions from “smart” meters?

Joe Holtzman March 20, 2012 at 12:48 am

The Smart Meters have proven to be safety problems with both unacceptable RF emissions, power surges, and fires. I believe any extra payment to assure personal safety is extortion by the public utilities.

I have placed my family on the delay list and sent Edison a specific letter informing them of our city ordinance on trespassing related to my property.

Patti Bout March 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

I had a smart meter installed and so far, not a problem. Didn’t even notice the change out.

Haya Sakadjian March 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

Thanks for posting this article!! I would gladly pay the fee to opt out of the smart meter. We have SDGE down here in Laguna Niguel.

Please keep us posted of the CPUC outcome…


Steve Caporaso March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Why would we have to pay for something we do not want and costs Edison nothing to install the new meter. Is this their way of getting rid of employees, at the same time asking for rate increases? They want it both ways. I have opted out and will watch to see what happens with the CPUC directive to So.Cal Edison.

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