ACC Approves APS “Smart” Meter Extortion Fee and Discrimination Against Solar & Commercial Customers
Information & Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ September 13, 2017
Yesterday, in a 4 to 1 vote, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) commissioners voted to give APS everything APS wanted regarding “smart” meters.
The decision was made without discussion and took about five minutes. The points I made in a filing last week against the administrative law judge’s Recommended Opinion & Order were completely ignored. Condoning accounting fraud, condoning APS & ACC Staff dishonesty, neglecting the requirements of a previous decision, multiple examples of obvious judicial bias — all were ignored. The only reason the decision took five minutes was because the administrative law judge took it upon herself to read her pro-APS, pro-“smart” meter propaganda, and because commissioner Bob Burns wanted to explain his lone No vote.
Burns’ previous statements and votes regarding “smart” meters have all been pro-APS. However, because he is in a legal battle with APS and the other commissioners over APS’s refusal to divulge political donations, he is now voting against anything APS wants. If he wins his legal battle, the whole APS rate case will likely be overturned, yesterday’s “smart” meter decision included.
I will also be appealing the ACC decision. But neither Burns’ current legal actions nor my upcoming appeal will stop what the majority of commissioners decided until and if either Burns or I win. In other words, just because a decision is appealed does not mean that decision gets put on hold.
Meanwhile here’s what will go into effect this October 1st:
- $5/mo. on your bill for refusing a “smart” meter. (Still cheaper than all the problems you may get from a “smart” meter. I get calls and emails all the time from injured people.)
- $50 upfront fee to refuse a “smart” meter if you have not done so already. In other words, if you don’t have a “smart” meter now, you will not be charged the $50 upfront fee.
- Solar and commercial accounts not allowed to refuse “smart” meters. Once the “smart” meters are installed, I strongly suggest those customers contact Paul Harding at totalemfsolutions.com. Using thousands of dollars worth of state of the art equipment, Paul will measure your place and make recommendations for mitigation. (I do not get any kickback from Paul.)
- No more analog meters. Refuseniks will get a non-transmitting digital meter. By the way, unless APS pulls a fast one (something never to be ruled out!), the non-transmitting digitals APS has used so far (and is proposing to use) really are non-transmitting. I’ve measured them. They do not have a Switch Mode Power Supply either.
- Not that anyone reading this would, but no lipping off to APS employees. Here’s a highly discriminatory provision that applies only to customers who refuse “smart” meters. You will not be able to refuse a “smart” meter if “Company employees have received verbal or physical threats, including, but not limited to, verbal threats while installing meters or performing maintenance to Company equipment, and physical threats such as weapons or dogs.” One would think that provision would apply equally to any APS customer — nope, just to Refuseniks. So when they come to take your analog, my suggestion is to suffer in silence. Hate to see anyone end up in Room 101.
It’s hard to say how quickly APS will be changing out the analogs. I doubt everyone’s will get changed exactly on October 1st. The pity is that if Burns or I win our cases, APS will have already removed the analogs and likely say they just can’t get analogs anymore. In various filings during this rate case, I hammered on how wasteful it was to chuck perfectly good, working meters, but the commissioners and ACC Staff, who normally beat their chests about “sustainability,” couldn’t have cared less.