Smart Meter Refusal Fee Rescinded in Arizona

Meters Ignored

Smart Meter Refusal Fee Rescinded in Arizona

Arizona with SMLast December the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) set a $5/mo “opt-out fee” for analog meters as well as a $50 initial fee for those customers who wisely do not want invasive smart meter technology attached to their homes.

The ACC decision was disputed by interveners and following “legal advice,” on Monday April 13, 2015, the ACC, in an unprecedented fashion, completely “abrogated and rescinded” the December 2014 decision.

Bottom line, Arizona Public Service (APS) customers may not be assessed any fee for refusing a smart meter until the issue is completely revisited “afresh.”  If the APS wants to charge customers a fee for refusing smart meters, it will have to apply for such relief in a new rate case.

It is noteworthy, as of today, there has been no news coverage of the ACC decision reached on Monday.  This is unlike the coverage in December where it was declared that the “state settles smart meter debate.”  See link at:
http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2014/12/12/state-settles-smart-meter-debate/20343257/ for prior news story.

Update:  Late on Thursday, April 16, 2015, an Arizona news outlet did release a story entitled:  “APS smart-meter fees rescinded.”

Also at issue is whether smart meters are “safe.”  As reported at this website, a state study did not establish that Arizona smart meters were safe, only claiming that smart meters were “not likely to harm the health of the public.”  In addition, in early December 2914, SkyVision Solutions submitted comments to the ACC outlining how the state study on smart meters conducted by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) was seriously flawed.

This is at least a temporary victory for the people of Arizona, and it shows how the efforts of a few people can make a difference, in this case, with special credit given to Warren Woodward of Sedona, Arizona.  No doubt the utility company will again start the process to request customers pay a fee to avoid its so-called “smart” meters.  This would be unfortunate.  On the contrary, the utility should consider halting its deployment altogether.  As pointed out here at this website on many occasions, the risks far outweigh the benefits.

It should probably be mentioned that the Warren Woodward appeal to the December ACC decision asserted the following:

“… this appeal will reveal the vast amount of errors and omissions in the Decision.  These errors and omissions render as false the commissioners’ claim to have ‘fully considered these matters’.  This appeal will also expose … that the commissioners … falsely claim they are ‘balancing the public interest.”

It is apparent that the ACC commissioners fear legal repercussions of their actions from December 2014 and where they realize they have not yet fully considered the best interests of the consumer.

FULL ARTICLE AT: http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/04/15/smart-meter-refusal-fee-rescinded-in-arizona/

Consumer Organizations’ Grave Concerns on Smart Meters Ignored

Consumer Organizations’ Grave Concerns on Smart Meters Ignored

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Introduction

In June 2011, a resolution regarding smart meters was issued by the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD).  The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) is a forum of US and EU consumer organizations which develops and agrees on joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and European Union to promote the consumer interest in EU and US policy making.

Due to “grave concerns” with smart meters, here is the formal guidance that was provided to the US government and utility operators as part of the TACD resolution:  “Forbid utilities from installing smart meters without consumers’ informed consent.”

Why was this crucial guidance ignored?  Was it a matter of willful ignorance (or blindness) or willful negligence?

TACD Logo with Added SM

TACD Resolution on Smart Meters (2011)

The full name for the TACD resolution on smart meters is “Resolution on Privacy and Security Related to Smart Meters.”  Here are a few excerpts from that document:

TACD members … have grave concerns related to the privacy, data protection and security implications of smart meters.  The dramatic increase in the granularity of data available and frequency of collection of household energy consumption means that the smallest detail of household life can be revealed, with potential risks for consumers including identity theft, augmenting private and data broker consumer profiles (US), real-time surveillance, and unwanted publicity.  In addition to these smart meter privacy risks there may also be security risks — e.g., software or firmware, programming or installation, interoperability conflicts with other smart-grid-enabled technologies, and the threat of cyber attack.”

FULL ARTICLE AT:  http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/04/19/forbid-utilities-from-installing-without-consent/