Editor, here is further detailed information on opting out of the “smart meter.” There are 15,000 homes and businesses in Washington state that have been fitted with these meters to date. Although they will not be placed on Thurston County homes for some time, there is concrete action you can take now.
If you call Puget Sound Energy customer service and ask for a member of the Advanced Meter Infrastructure Team (AMI), you can ask to be put on a “Refusal List” — a pre-opt out list. Once on this list, when it comes time for the installations in your area, you will be contacted to see if you still desire to opt out.
Amy Andrews, accounting policy advisor at UTC in Olympia, who is in charge of the docket on smart meters, says the UTC has issued a policy statement to the utility companies in Washington state. It included recommended guidelines for companies to provide a non-punitive opt-out program be made available. This is not a law; it really boils down to a recommendation. It is now PSE’s turn to file an opt-out tariff with the UTC. My contact there says they hope to have their opt-out program approved by the UTC and in place by the end of this year, including any recommended opt-out fees.
PSE tells me the cost for opting out will cover the initial set up, installation, operation and maintenance of the meter. That cost is still to be determined but I would encourage customers to write a letter to the AMI Team and let them know you would like them to follow the guidelines of the UTC and ensure that the opt-out tariff be non-punitive to you the customer.
Once PSE’s opt-out program is approved, it is the UTC’s turn to go through a public meetings process of which you will be notified about through PSE.
Be Smart. Do your research and you may want to opt out of the smart meter.