- Fees will not be raised above interim fees, to be capped at $75 to sign up for smart meter opt-out program and monthly charge $10.00 to cover meter reading and other expenses; CARE (low income) customers pay $10/$5). (CEP requested NO FEES, this was not granted. However, fees could have been raised and weren’t. CEP emphasized what a burden the fees were.)
- IMPORTANT: Limits all fees to the first three years of each customer’s opt-out period – customers who signed up in May, 2012 should make sure they are not paying opt-out fees after the three year deadline. NOTE: This ruling partially adopts CEP’s request to socialize costs (within the general rates), by spreading it across the customer base.
- IMPORTANT: Meters will now be read every two months vs. every month. This will help those who must be present when the meters are read, when the meters are in their fenced, locked backyards, etc. NOTE: This ruling partially adopts CEP’s insistence during proceedings that reading the meters less often is do-able and lowers costs.
- IMPORTANT: The decision socializes all additional costs to customer base and may issue refunds to customer base, based on actual costs of opt-out;
- The decision causes dual commodities covered by one fee for single utility customer. NOTE: Thjs decision partially adoptes CEP’s stance to socialize costs.
- The decision determined that fees based will be on location not number of meters (may open up possibility of multiple meter single charge for multiple customer location);
- The decision does not allow any exit fees, which were sought by the utilities. NOTE: This ruling partially adopts CEP’s insistence during proceedings that all means possible should lower opt-out costs for customers.
- IMPORTANT: ALL customers must receive an analog-only meter (a “legacy” meter – ie. electromechanical, not an electronic or wireless meter). [This appears to change what Edison has been doing, with regards to some of its customers so far in the opt-out - by replacing the current smart meter with the digital (sometimes wireless) meters that customers had prior to these.] NOTE: This ruling partially adopts CEP’s insistence that analog meters only be used for the opt-out, by all utilities.
- Health and safety was not allowed to be within the scope of this proceeding, violating the CPUC’s own policies; CEP has taken the stance that health and safety MUST be considered under state law and CPUC policy, both of which are being ignored by the CPUC so far, in smart meter and smart grid proceedings.
- Fees of any kind are viewed as unjust and illegal by Center for Electrosmog Prevention, due to forcing people to pay for safety and for medical needs - not to be exposed to 24/7, hazardous, pulsed microwave rf radiation, not to be continuously irradiated;
- Unsafe smart meters will continue to be used in the general community, exposing the general population to hazards, even if some opt-out, this is not a sufficient reduction in exposure – CEP feels that smart meters should be banned and removed, replaced by safe, electromechanical analog meters, and that no benefit justifies harm to the public, ignoring hazards;
- This decision does not allow non-residential (commercial opt-out. It does not allow commercial opt-outs. Some small businesses have smart meters inside or outside, very close to employee or customer areas.
- Opt-out fees potentially will be raised in the future as part of a general rate case request;
- The decision does not allow community opt-outs (by local gov’ts and multi-family unit dwellings) even though 57 California municipalities, including 12 counties, have indicated they do not want hazardous smart meters in their jurisdiction.
- The decision ignores highly hazardous banks of smart meters located near or on living spaces such as multi-family unit dwellings;
- The decision does not address exposure to neighbors’ smart meters for those who wish to avoid microwave rf radiation exposure for prevention or due to current illness; forces customers with two utilities (SDG&E or Edison and So CA Gas) to pay double fees for one location (residence);
- The decision does not recognize that fees violate state and federal laws concerning right to safety without additional cost, discrimination or disabled customer rights;
- The decision does not recognize that people with a wide variety of medical conditions may be impacted by smart meter radiation or that smart meters may actually cause medical conditions, and as such, are advised by American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEMonline.org, a highly respected professional physicians’ association with many hundreds of members) not to have a smart meter on their residence and that the AAEM and other scientists and experts have repeatedly warned the CPUC about the dangers of smart meters and that the World Health Organization has determined this type of radiation to be a potential carcinogen, that the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC has warned the public and parents of children to reduce their exposure to rf radiation due to potential health impacts supported by thousands of peer-reviewed studies.
SDG&E orders on p. 80-81)
• Residential electric service is offered only at a customer’s location, not in a public, physical
• It is unclear that an RF-enabled electric or gas meter is a public, physical facility subject to the ADA.
• The opt-out fees and charges are imposed on all customers, regardless of disability status.
• Opt-out fees and charges are assessed to recover costs associated with providing opt-out
• RF sensitivity is not defined as a characteristic protected under Gov. Code § 11135.
27. The opt-out fees and charges are not an impermissible surcharge required only of persons who
28. No court or agency has found that RF sensitivity is a “disability” or “psychological disorder”
29. The IOU’s provision of an opt-out service does not fall within the scope of Title III of the ADA.
30. The opt-out fees and charges do not violate the ADA.
31. The opt-out fees and charges do not violate Pub. Util. Code § 453(b). (p. 77)
Director, Center for Electrosmog Prevention, a CA nonprofit
Center for Electrosmog Prevention
P.O. Box 655
La Mesa, CA
Center for Electrosmog Prevention www.electrosmogprevention.org
Smart Meter Dangers www.smartmeterdangers.org
SCASM Southern Californians Against Smart Meters www.causes.com/causes/610453-southern-californians-against-smart-meters-scasm
American Coalition Against Smart Meters (ACASM) www.causes.com/acasm
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