Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Now Offer Smart Meter Opt-Out
The California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) recently modified Southern California Edison's (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric's advanced metering programs to include an option for those residential customers who do not wish to have a wireless Smart Meter installed at their location. Customers participating in the opt-out option will be assessed an initial fee of $75 and a monthly charge of $10 thereafter. Customers enrolled in the CPUC’s low income program (California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)) electing to opt-out will be assessed an initial fee of $10 and a monthly charge of $5. The CPUC cautioned that the initial fee and monthly charge are interim to allow residential customers to begin selecting the opt-out option immediately. The costs are subject to adjustment upon conclusion of a second phase where issues concerning the actual costs associated with offering an analog opt-out option will be addressed. The opt-out option is for residential customers only; the Commission declined a request to allow commercial customers an opt-out option. The Commission explains in both decisions that the opt-out option is a service.
This opt-out option is a service because the standard for metering has been transitioned throughout the country and for the most part the world from the older technology, analog meters, to today’s technology, smart meters. In this decision we are not reversing that transition, however, we do approve an option for those customers who, for whatever reason, would prefer to not have a wireless smart meter. …As a result, this decision further finds that customers electing the opt-option shall be responsible for costs associated with providing the option.