PG&E offers to let customers keep 'dumb' meters

Pacific Gas and Electric customers will be allowed to opt out of the utility's smart meter rollout and keep their old, mechanical meters

December 20, 2011 — Pacific Gas and Electric customers will be allowed to opt out of the utility's smart meter rollout and keep their old, mechanical meters.

Customers have voiced a variety of complaints about smart meters ranging from cost and billing accuracy to privacy and public health concerns. In response, PG&E will introduce this opt-out concept to the California Public Utilities Commission, which could vote on it early next year.

PG&E is on track to deliver and install 10 million smart meters in its Northern California service territory by mid-2012.

In November, CPUC regulators proposed an opt-out plan that would charge customers who did not want a smart meter an initial $90 fee and an ongoing monthly charge of $15. The initial fee would be waived for low-income customers, who would pay a monthly charge of $5.

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