As the state continues to rebuild from super storm Sandy, New Jersey Assemblyman Angel Fuentes recently introduced bill A3816, in hopes of improving electric service reliability. In addition to simplifying right-of way issues involved in a traditional maintenance practice such as vegetation management, the bill also requires utilities to include in their plans:
7. (c) The installation and use of smart grid infrastructure and smart meters that would have the ability to alert the electric utility when and where electric utility service is lost, find service disruption locations quickly, and notify a customer when to expect restoration of service. The plan shall allow a customer to opt out of receiving a smart meter. Where the electric utility reduces meter reader personnel as a result of the operation of smart grid infrastructure, the electric utility shall recognize any existing employee bargaining unit and shall continue to honor and abide by any existing collective bargaining agreement for the duration of the agreement.
As written, the bill has been referred to the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee. It is identical to S2429 2013-01-08, introduced in the New Jersey Senate and referred to the New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee.