SmartMeter opponents score major victory

March 10, 2011

Pacific Gas & Electric took a major hit Thursday when state regulators announced that they expect the utility to offer customers the option of declining wireless SmartMeters. [Associated Press]

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is giving PG&E two weeks to develop a process where customers can opt out of the wireless meters if they have health or other concerns.

The announcement, made by CPUC president Michael Peevy, came just prior to testimony from dozens of people and advocacy groups at Thursday’s commission meeting that exposure to radio frequencies and radiation from the wireless electricity and gas meters was harming people’s health.

PG&E maintains that the meters are safe. Other PUC commissioners have said they want to see more research on whether the electronic meter-reading system can impact health.

Peevey says he believes PG&E should allow customers to opt out for a “reasonable cost.”



  1. Gsan says:

    Those that opt out shouldn’t be allowed to have cell phone service for the same health and higher rate considerations.

    (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
  2. ApathyWillKillYou says:

    Given that the PUC is part of government and given these words:

    “and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”

    should now read:

    “and that government of the government, by the government, for the government, shall not perish from the earth”

    The government is suposed to work for the people. But now that governments are going broke they work for their own survival and expect the people to pay more for less!

    The GOVERNMENT has the POWER and the DESIRE to keep itself self sustained and in ever increasing INEFFICIENT ways. I’m afraid (actually convinced) that the genie (government) is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back!

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  3. willie says:

    I heard a sarcasm: If we paid all elected officials to stay home and do nothing, we would have less problems and save money.
    I Tend to feel the same way with CEO in some private and semi-private entities.
    They are only there because they were born or inherit from a priviledge class with no common touch other than how to manipulate it!

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  4. pasowino says:

    I have to presume that the “reasonable cost” thing must be to cover the cost of a meter reader coming out to read your meter. I think where the problem lies is currently, we are all paying into the cost of reading meters, but when smart meters are installed, it would be unfair for us with smart meters to subsidize the cost of a meter reader driving all over town to read the meters of people who opt-out.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • Kettel says:

      “reasonable cost” Right now to go from regular meter to time of use, there is a $238. fee for meter “reprogramming”. A lineman comes out and installs a TOU meter.

      I suspect the “fee” will be in line with that, when you remove or opt out of a smart meter.

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  5. RobertWilliams says:


    Ten cities and counties actually went beyond and passed ORDINANCES PROHIBITING WIRELESS smart meter installation and that forced PUC’s hand.

    Opt-out is not the solution to the WIRELESS meter problem.

    People who opt-out but have neighbors who don’t are still affected by the Wireless RF radiation emitted by the meters 24/7.

    People who are unaware of the health problems (and pets, animals, birds, bees, etc) and people who cannot afford the payment for opt-out are still affected.

    Isn’t being forced to pay to avoid something that you don’t want called EXTORTION?
    Isn’t being forced to pay not be hurt a basic example of extortion?

    The attorney for the PUC was previously the attorney for PG$E.
    The Chairman of the PUC was previously the President of the Utility Company.

    Does that affect their perspective and their loyalties?

    The PUC is supposed to be Regulating PG$E. But instead, the PUC is a just a stage for PG$E.

    It may not have started that way years ago, but that is the way it is now.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  6. Cindy says:

    It isn’t right that people who have been unfortunate enough to have the meters installed should have to pay to have them removed. They should have asked my permission before they installed that meter in the first place. I’m not going to pay them to remove it and I am going to get a letter from my allergist stating that I have been suffering from a continuous bright red rash and welts that appear everyday as soon as my allergy medication wears off (and the medication is starting to wear off faster by the week). I have it right now on both arm’s,. my neck and my leg. My desk is against the inside wall where they installed the smart meter and it’s been happening for months and getting worse by the day. Initially I didn’t think it could be the smart meter because the meter was here about 3 weeks before it happened. My doctor say’s that it can take a few weeks to reach the point of an allergic saturation. I am really angry and itchy.

    ….. and another thing, my bill has gone up an average of over 30% since they put in that “lying meter” and I haven’t done anything different to cause an increase in my usage. eerrrrrrrr

    (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
  7. willie says:

    If we allow them to install, they save money and make money.
    If we op out, we pay a 10-15% “NOT once, NOT twice, NOT three times” but ONGOING, they will make big money for doing nothing.Reufuse to allow installation AND refuse to pay the monthly ongoing, lifetime op out fee.
    This whole thing should have been s*h*i*t can from git go!

    (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
  8. ds_gray says:

    “…Peevey says he believes PG&E should allow customers to opt out for a “reasonable cost.”

    Now begins the dance. PG&E will now alter tactics and start passing out cash, perhaps not in the form of direct payouts to the members of the CPUC, but if they can pony up $40mil to try and get a ballot proposition passed, I wouldn’t put it past PG&E management to buy favor on the CPUC. Negotiations as to what ‘reasonable cost’ means will begin soon, but will drag on for months while the meters continue to be installed. ‘Reasonable cost’ will likely be a 10-15% premium on the utility bills PER MONTH of those who choose to opt out, accompanied by nag letters saying ‘let us smart-meter your house and save’.

    Many thanks to CalCoast for keeping us up to speed on this topic. This issue still seems to be under the ‘mainstream’ news outlet radar.

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down

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