In a recent press release, FPSC Chairman Art Graham states,
Smart meters reduce meter and billing costs, reduce billing errors, and help the utility quickly identify service issues, but we recognize that a handful of customers want to keep their ‘non-communicating’ meters. While these customers should expect to pay a fee to cover this added cost, we want to ensure that the associated charges are reasonable.
This comment sheds light on the Commission’s denial of Florida Power and Light Company’s (FPL) Non-Standard Meter Rider (NSMR) as proposed. However the utility has 10 days to refile its tariff with PSC recommended adjustments. Commission Staff estimates that the cost adjustments will reduce the customer enrollment fee by $10 from $105 to $95 and monthly surcharge fee by $3 from $16 to $13. Many utilities will find the opt-out cost elements attached to Staff’s recommendations helpful.
Since September 2009, FPL has installed more than 4.5 million smart meters for its residential and small business customers, making smart meters the standard in FPL’s service territory. However, to accommodate the estimated 12,000 customers not wanting the new meters, FPL requested PSC approval of the NSMR. In addition to the decision, readers may find the simple and straightforward FPSC Smart Meter Briefing Paper helpful. I think it strikes the right tone in explaining what is often a contentious issue.
By the way, next week I’m headed to the land of the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks. Join me as well as the Honorable Philip Jones, Commissioner of Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission, and Matthew Blizard, Director of NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection, at Law Seminars International’s “Cybersecurity Law and Strategies” conference January 27-28th in Seattle, Washington. I will present on “Electric Smart Grid Implementation” from a utility perspective as part of the “Challenges & Solutions: Addressing Additional Risks” panel. Click here to view more information about this conference and to register. Hopefully I’ll see you in the Emerald City.