Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is implementing a smart meter opt-out program that’s intentionally designed to intimidate and discourage customers from opting opt. The audiotape from SMUD is a unique inside look into industry plotting against their customers.
SMUD is charging $127 upfront and $39.40 per month, and they will cut off customer rights to opt out by Dec. 31, 2012. They plan to only notify those who’ve already complained, which is 2,500 of their 600,000 customers. SMUD will not notify the rest of their customers, nor post about the smart meter opt out program on their website, because they don’t want them to know about it. In addition the ‘radio-off’ smart meter is their only opt out option, and if you move, you lose the right to opt-out.
Even though SMUD is very concerned about their ‘reputational risk’ at [01:51:54] the directors make fun of people who don’t want utility smart meters on their property.
One director says, “The $166 upfront will convince them they can really afford a lot of tin foil hats” [laughter]…Another director says, “But they are already wearing them!”
In closing Director Posner says, The less that’s said about this, the better off we are.” The last thing they want is a social media campaign that exposes them as unfriendly to their customers.