Policy Makers Avoid ‘Smart” Meter Opt-Outs – For Now

By Published On: December 4, 2014

A plan that would have those who do not want to change from analog to digital meters pay $10/month fee plus an initial opt-out fee of $75 was delayed Dec. 4 by the California Public Utilities Commission. This delay causes “more debate and anguish,” said commission president Mike Peevey. He added that allowing communities like Sebastopol and Fairfax to refuse new meters is “mind boggling.” Using the underlying assumption of those who want to hold on to analog meters that electro-magnetic frequencies from those meters are unhealthful, commissioner Mike Picker noted that communities that want to opt out en masse should also remove other electro-magnetic field sources like wireless communications for computers and cell phones. “I was a skeptic,” about the potential health implications of digital meters, said commissioner Mike Florio. “But I’m reluctant to ignore the pleas we’ve heard for all these years,” he added. Any decision on the costs and requirements of “smart” meter opt-outs is expected at the end of the year. In the proposed decision opting out would allow utilities to increase their revenues by $36.7 million.

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