(4/19/12) Today, the CPUC Commissioners unanimously passed both SDG&E and SCE opt-out proposals for the utilities’ embattled RF-radiation emitting smart meters. This will impact Southern California customers of San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, two of the state’s three largest independently operated utilities. Residential customers of both utilities may now officially request that the smart meters be removed from their residences. Edison indicates 28,000 have indicated an interest in opting out, and SDG&E has gone from an estimate of around a hundred to 3,000, to date. We think if the public understood the health, safety, privacy, or security issues better, and there was not a fee, close to 100% would opt-out.
SDG&E: 1-800-411-7343, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.sdge.com
SCE (Edison): 1-800-810-2369 ; Contact page at www.sce.com
The SDG&E opt-out will allow customers to pay to opt-out to an analog meter that does not produce RF microwave radiation emissions. The cost will be $75 to change out the meter (may be spread over 3 months, by request) and $10 a month for the meter reader and other related costs; CARE (low income) customers will pay $10 for the changeout and $5 a month extra. The SCE opt-out will similarly allow its customers to opt-out, but only to the last type of meter they had before the smart meter, which may, in some cases, not be an analog meter, but a digital, electronic meter that may also produce RF microwave radiation emissions. There will be a second phase to both proceedings in June, which will consider whether to allow entire local communities and customers in multi-family dwellings to opt-out as a group, and to possibly revise costs. Lawsuits involving the fees are anticipated, as California Public Utilities Code Section 453 forbids charging extra fees related to safety and services (see below).
CEP’s position is that this is an incomplete, interim plan that will provide some relief, but does not address exposures from neighboring meters, or that a zone of safety should be allowed to be established around one’s home, for those who request it. CEP’s position is that there should be no customer fees for the opt-out and that SDG&E and its investors should cover all costs; that commercial meters should be included in the opt-out; all banks of meters replaced with analogs, and that ultimately, the wireless and all RF-emitting meters should be banned and removed, replaced with safe analog meters. The full text of CEP’s position is found at http://www.scribd.com/doc/87895726/CEP-Comments-SDG-E-Opt-out-Proposal-by-CPUC
Today’s CPUC announcement:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, email@example.com Docket #: A.11-07-020
CPUC APPROVES ANALOG METER OPTIONS FOR EDISON AND SDG&E CUSTOMERS WHO DO NOT WISH TO HAVE
A WIRELESS SMART METER
SAN FRANCISCO, April 19, 2012 – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today modified Southern California Edison’s (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric’s advanced metering programs to include an option for those residential customers who do not wish to have a wireless Smart Meter installed at their location.
Edison customers choosing to decline an electric Smart Meter may retain the meter currently installed at their location or receive the meter form (i.e., an analog meter or a non-analog, non-smart digital meter) that had been at their location prior to the installation of a wireless electric Smart Meter.
SDG&E customers who do not want a wireless Smart Meter installed at their location can choose to have an analog electric and/or gas meter.
Customers participating in the opt-out option will be assessed an initial fee of $75 and a monthly charge of $10 thereafter. Customers enrolled in the CPUC’s low income program (California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)) electing to opt-out will be assessed an initial fee of $10 and a monthly charge of $5. The initial fee and monthly charge approved today are interim to allow residential customers to begin selecting the opt-out option immediately. The costs are subject to adjustment upon conclusion of a second phase of this proceeding where issues concerning the actual costs associated with offering an analog opt-out option will be addressed.
Said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey, “As we move toward a more advanced electricity grid, Smart Meters will offer customers real benefits. However, if a customer does not want to have a Smart Meter, our decision today gives them that option.”
The September 21, 2011, Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling directing utilities to establish a delay list is no longer in effect and all customers on a delay list will be transitioned to a wireless Smart Meter unless they elect to participate in their utility’s opt-out option.
The proposal voted on for SCE is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/EFILE/PD/161688.pdf. The proposal voted on for SDG&E is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/word_pdf/AGENDA_DECISION/164057.pdf.
To read a summary of the plans and more info on this proceeding, go to SMART METER Opt-out Vote Thurs. 4/19/12
Please note: all comments related to CEP’s recommendations to the judge (p. 16) refer to Center for Electrosmog Prevention, a La Mesa-based nonprofit that is a formal Party to this proceeding, representing utility customers. “More at SDG&E Opt-Out Proposal Comments filed 4/3/12″ http://www.electrosmogprevention.org/stop-ca-smart-meter-news/sdge-opt-out-proposal-comments-filed-4312/ and other related info at www.electrosmogprevention.org.
from CEP Comments on March 15, 2012, PD (p.6)
X. ALL EXTRA FEES AND COSTS ARE ILLEGAL, PREJUDICIAL,PREFERENTIAL, DISADVANTAGE, DISCRIMINATE AND BLOCK ACCESS
Media coverage and articles on the opt-out vote:
CPUC: SDG&E MUST LET CUSTOMERS”OPT OUT” FROM SMART METERS (East County Magazine)
La Mesan Emotional After Winning PUC Ruling on SDG&E Smart … (La Mesa Patch)