Revised PG&E smart meter opt-out proposal now available

The revised PG&E smart meter opt out proposed decision is now available.  This will come before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to be voted on at their business meeting on Wed. February 1 in San Francisco.

Here’s the highlights:  The opt out choice will only be the analog meter, not a “radio off” meter.  Customers can choose to either have a smart meter or an analog meter. The proposed interim cost is $90 initial fee per customer and $10 a month fee. For low income proposed fees are $10 initial fee and $5 a month.  This revision allows for a second proceeding to further analyze costs and community wide opt out.

For a quick review read the summary at the beginning and/or the Findings of Fact/ Conclusions of Law and the Order at the end of the paper.

Another Commissioner can submit an alternate proposal.  We will support an alternate proposal if it includes hearings on health impacts of smart meters and a no cost interim fee until the second proceeding is complete.  Failing a modification, or alternate proposal that includes these issues we will urge the Commission to reject the proposed decision.


Call or email the CPUC:  866-849-8390 or 415-703-2074

Refer to revised proposed decision 11-03-014.  Ask the Commissioners to:

  • Modify the revised proposed decision to include hearings on health impacts in the second proceeding, along with cost evaluation and community wide opt-out.
  • Provide immediate relief to those requesting it and restore the analog meters, however do not charge any interim fees for opting out.

Attend the CPUC meeting on Wed. February 1 at 9 am at the CPUC, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco.  Plan to arrive by 8:45 am to sign up to speak to the Commission.  Prepare a 1-2 minute statement.

11 thoughts on “Revised PG&E smart meter opt-out proposal now available”

  1. In Oklahoma they will throw you in jail if you remove your smart meter and have an analog meter installed. It is a felony according to what I have been told by another who in fact did just that. I am off the grid, period now.

  2. Some years ago I attended a hearing at CPUC in SF as a rural property owner in Mendocino Co, to request that PG&E not install overhead power lines through our heavily treed rural subdivision due to extreme fire danger. The PG&E attorneys and the commissioners were on a first-name, “Hi how are you” basis. Our request was turned down and the above-ground lines were installed dispite strong evidence of the danger. Sure enough, during a long hot summer a tree was ignited from the overhead PG&E lines near my house. Someone happened to be jogging by at the time and reported it to the fire department and the fire got put out before spreading. Since then I have not trusted the CPUC’s integrity or responsibility to the public. That particular commission certainly was not trustworthy.

  3. I have trouble sleeping ever since they installed the smart meter on my house. How can I get it taken off???

  4. I have talked to 2 PG&E meter readers .
    There are 2 classifications of meter readers.
    There are permanent (now called regular) meter readers. They earn $29.00 per hour plus full benefits.
    There are “hiring hall” meter readers that earn $35.00 per hour with no benefits. I guess the IBEW union figures that full benefits are worth $6.00 per hour.
    A person who earns $35. per hour earns around $70,000 taxable income per year.
    So, no matter what, PG&E is going to make a huge profit out of anything and everything that they do.
    I read a very informative article in the industry watch section of Electrical Contractor magazine a few months ago .
    The article described the main purpose the the automated meter reading program.
    They said that a utility with 1 million meters can save $8 million per year for 10 years (the life expectancy of the current SmartMeters).
    PG&E has around 10 million meters, so PG&E can save $80 million per year for 10 years, in other words, profit $800 million off of a project that did not cost the owners, investors or the utility one dime. The project was entirely funded by the ratepayers, to the tune of $2.2+ billion.
    And keep in mind, PG&E is not going to lower their rates or rebate one cent back to the ratepayers because of the savings from eliminating the meter reading department, in fact, part of the project is to eventually be able to implement new time differentiated pricing schemes. PG&E hopes to eventually sucker people into volunteering to sign up for a so called “smart pricing” program. This program will enable PG&E to be able to charge up to ONE DOLLAR per kilowatt/hour during the hours of 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
    PG&E knows that their customers can’t change their lives and simply quit living or working during those hours, and PG& plans on capitalizing on that to further gouge their customers.
    Now, PG&E has faced the fact that they will never be able to completely eliminate all the meter readers, because of all the customers who have renewable energy systems like solar and wind, the SmartMeters don’t give credit for current being generated by customers who feed excess power back to the grid. All those customers either have their original E1 analog meters or an E6 TOU meter, both of these meters are not SmartMeters, and still must be read manually once a month.
    Also, the brain children at PG&E didn’t anticipate any opposition to their brilliant marketing scam, so they will not profit as much as they thought.
    No matter what, PG&E will find a way to come out of this sweet deal smelling like a rose. PG&E attitude is , any money for free is better than nothing. Perhaps they will hit up the taxpayers for some ARRA or TARP federal stimulus corporate welfare money to make up the difference of lost profits.

  5. Sent from a friend:
    Was talking to a meter reader recently. In a 6 hour period, he reads approximately 750 meters. This includes both gas and electric, each counted as one meter. (apparently the 6 hour period is the part of his work day spent meter reading).

    Six hours is 360 minutes: and divided by 750 meters is about half a
    minute per meter, or approx 1 minute per house with both gas &
    electric meters. (I assume these figures are for populated areas, and
    the meter reading probably takes more time in country areas, plus many
    people have propane out there, thus only 1 (electric) meter per house will be read
    in those areas).

    But just talking about the average populated area: If the meter reader works 22 days per month and reads meters for 375 houses per day (750 meters divided by 2 meters per house), that means he can read meters for 8250 houses per month, or 99,000 houses per year. Even disregarding the proposed $90.00 analog “start up” penalty,
    if every opt-out house pays $10.00 per month, that means the utility
    could collect $990,000.00 per year from the opt-out customers for the
    services of one meter reader for that year!!!!!

    [Please note that if you multiply 8250 houses times $10.00/month x 12
    months it still comes out to $990,000.00 per year.]

    (I doubt if the meter reader gets paid that much!)

    Of course, this assumes that the whole town opts out, since if the
    meter reader has to spot – read one meter here, one there, it would
    take him longer.

    Still, it sounds like an insanely huge windfall for PG&E!

  6. I think part of what we should ask for is the opt-out to be offered to everyone, not just those who happen to know about the delay line. And that it be for gas meters, not just electric meters. Will someone please take that to the CPUC? And otherwise promote this idea in a bigger way?

  7. Smart meters cost about $300.

    So if you don’t want one, then the PG&E utility monopoly in Northern & central California need not purchase one for you and they avoid spending $300.

    Now if they charge you about $100 for opting out and keeping your old analog meter, then they still owe you $200.

    Passing this information along from another source.

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