Dominion Virginia Power’s Smart Meter Installations
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA (NEWSPLEX) — Dominion Virginia Power has been making switches to its meter system by installing meters with what the company says are more user-friendly technology, but not everyone wants to switch.
The smart meters have the ability to provide customers with information about how much energy they use with the lights on.
However, Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek says she wants to shine a light on Dominion itself.
Though smart meters have been popping up outside of many homes, there is an opt out policy, which Mallek said she used.
“Their installer appeared yesterday and wanted to change our current meter to a smart meter. I had already filled out the opt out form,” said Mallek. “He was not happy about the fact that I was here and then tried to persuade that really I should have a smart meter, even though I already opted out for one.”
According to Mallek, a representative from Dominion came to her home and told her, if she opted out, she’d have to pay a fine, and that news didn’t sit too well.
“What really got my goat was that he then ended his conversation by saying ‘Well you know you’re going to pay $30 a month as a surcharge if you don’t have a smart meter,'” said Mallek. “That sounded wrong.”
She said she then sent an inquiry to the Smart Meter Team of Dominion, and a representative said there is no fee.
“There’s no charge for a customer to have a smart meter installed or maintained at their home,” said Janell Hancock, Dominion Virginia Power spokesperson. “Nor is there a charge for a customer who opts out.”
Dominion representatives said there may have been miscommunication and they believe the employee said there may be a fee due to the type of meter and equipment already installed at Mallek’s home.
But she says she just wants to give a warning.
“Now some people will want one and that’s there choice,” said Mallek. “But individuals need to be able to make that choice without feeling like they are being put in a corner and being told they are going to pay $360 a year.”
Dominion representatives say, if you have any questions about smart meter installations, contact them directly.
You can find a link to their FAQs page alongside this story.