State investor-owned utilities required to allow customers to opt-out of ‘smart meter’ installation
Washington’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities will need to offer residential customers the ability to opt out of advanced meter or “smart meter” installation to address customer concerns about the new meters, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission said recently.
Critics say the smart meters don’t protect privacy and can cause health problems.
As moving to smart meters is underway in Washington in 2018, the commission will develop requirements for protecting consumer information as well as rule changes for company operations in upcoming workshops and rulemakings.
Recent federal legislation has supported the development of a modernized smart grid and has encouraged states and utilities to prepare for future energy demands. Smart meters gather customer usage data through two-way communication between the meter and a utility.