DC Public Service Commission Declined Opt-Out Investigation
Although the order was issued earlier this year, as one of the few Commissions to say no to smart meter opt-outs, I thought it was worth reporting. On December 7, 2011, the Office of Peoples Counsel petitioned the District of Columbia Public Service Commission to initiate a formal investigation to determine whether it is reasonable for Pepco to offer an opt-out provision to its AMI program. In its response, Pepco cites a number of reasons against creating an opt-out provision, including the fact that the ARRA grant it received is contingent upon full implementation of AMI. Most importantly, Pepco pointed out that the DC Council approved AMI for "all" consumers and did not include an opt-out provision. Therefore, creating an opt-out provision is beyond the authority of the Commission. The DC PSC agreed:
Once the Commission determined that Pepco had received sufficient ARRA funding, Pepco had statutory authority to implement an Advanced Metering Infrastrucfure for "all" consumers. OPC does not cite, nor are we aware of anything in the statute or its legislative history that reflects a legislative intent to give the word "all" anything other than its common meaning. The word "all" means every member, without exclusion. Where the language of the statute is plain and unambiguous, there is nothing for this Commission to do but apply the statute according to its terms.