Jul 30, 2014
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Last Chance: PG&E Smart Meter Opt-Out Deadline is Tuesday

If you don't want the SmartMeter service, make sure to do it Monday.

Last Chance: PG&E Smart Meter Opt-Out Deadline is Tuesday

PG&E wants to hear from you.

If you don't want the SmartMeter the company installed on the side of your house, PG&E must be notified by tomorrow, May 1, according to info posted on the utility's website.

Controversy

The SmartMeters have generated currents of controversy since PG&E allegedly began installing them without notification to customers. Homeowners have raised concerns over issues ranging from radiation emissions to privacy woes.

Leaving the SmartMeter program and telling PG&E you want to have the older analog meter re-installed at your home, will cost you. A ruling by the California Public Utilities Commission three months ago allows PG&E to charge $75 for the change, and charge you an additional $10 per month on top of the regular energy charges.

For its part, PG&E consider the SmartMeters to be an essential upgrade to the company's customer service, making the distribution system more reliable. The meters record homeowner energy use in great detail; once an account is set up on the PG&E website, an electric customer can get close to a real-time estimate of home energy consumption.

A groundswell of opposition has emerged from PG&E's handling of the program. A website called Fight the Fees! has been created by a Watsonville woman, with many customers complaining and enclosing photos expressing opposition to the announced fee charges. The essential question being asked: "Why should we pay to discontinue a service we never wanted in the first place?"

Will you use the new system or pay to stay analog? Tell us in the comments.

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