OKLAHOMA – Town hall focuses on smart meter concerns


Town hall focuses on smart meter concerns

Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 7:38 am

Approximately 50 residents participated in a town hall meeting to discuss smart meters and utility bills Monday night at the Claremore Conference Center.

Some city utility customers have complained about increases in their electric bills, voicing concern that smart meters installed recently are not providing accurate readings. Monday’s meeting saw discussion of the smart meter system, as well as various other aspects of the city’s delivery of electric service to customers.

 Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas announced during the meeting that there will be a fee for those opting out of the new smart meter system — $30 a month.

“We have approximately 10,500 individual residential units. We are going to allow that option but not without a cost. There will be a fee assessed to every homeowner, because we have to send someone out to the home to read the meter physically, both the water and electric,” Thomas said.

The fee will go into effect on Jan. 1. Currently, fewer than 60 residents are on the opt-out list.

“So those 60 people are not all in a row. Claremore is 15 square miles. It is not fair for those 50 to be subsidized by the 10,450,” said Thomas. “When we were looking at 10 people who wanted to opt out, it was going to be $50. The fewer people that opt out the higher the cost will be.”

Opt-out fees are common among utility companies. Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, which services Tulsa and other surrounding areas, offers an opt-out option that includes an initial, one-time fee of $183 and a $28 per month fee.

Claremore’s municipal utility department, which delivers electricity to city residents, will not charge an initial one-time fee.

The city’s frequent power outages were also discussed. One resident, Amy Pinkerton, voiced concern during the meeting about regular “blinks.”



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