California utilities commission to allow customers to opt-out of smart meters
By Alison Hawkes
After repeated pressure from groups protesting the rollout of smart meters in Northern California, the California Public Utilities Commission announced Thursday that it will allow PG&E customers to opt-out of the devices on their homes.
California PUC President Michael Peevey said he had spoken with the president of PG&E to allow customers who are averse to smart meters to have their electrical use recorded without the use of wireless technology.
“We’re directing PG&E to prepare a proposal to allow opt-out of the devices at a reasonable customer cost,” said Peevey at a CPUC meeting in San Francisco stacked heavily with an anti-smart meter crowd.
Peevey did not say how much customers would be charged to opt-out or how the money collected would be used. He said PG&E is expected to submit a proposal in two weeks, although it would take the commission time to develop an opt-out process.
The anti-smart meter crowd was largely unimpressed with the announcement. Although they had been calling for an opt-out option, some insisted that nothing short of a moratorium would be safe to the public.