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AARP, California Public Utilities Commission, CPUC, Edison International, Michael Peevey, Ophelia Basgal, PG & E, Southern California Edison, Uncategorized

CPUC Orders Edison and PG&E to Offer Customers ‘Smart Meter’ Delayed Installation Program

Ruling from CPUC President Peevey Provides Temporary Relief for Customers Concerned about Health, Constitutional Rights and National Security Issues & Wishing to Opt-Out

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — CPUC Orders Edison and PG&E to Offer Customers “Smart Meter” Delayed Installation Program

Ruling from CPUC President Peevey Provides Temporary Relief for Customers Concerned about Health, Constitutional Rights and National Security Issues & Wishing to Opt-Out

Pressure has been mounting against “smart meters” and their forced installation from an ever-increasing number of counties, cities, consumer advocate groups, environmentalists, constitutional rights organizations, international scientists and health practitioners.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has responded with a stunning order that impacts the state’s three Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) and their customers.

In a Ruling issued Wednesday, September 21, 2011, CPUC President Michael Peevey ordered Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to establish to set up formal “Delayed Installation Programs” (DIPs). The DIPs will allow customers to request delayed installation of the so-called “smart meters.”

The five-page Ruling was a product of a CPUC Opt-Out workshop held on September 14 by Administrative Law Judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa. It allows customers who still have an analog meter and who have asked to be on a “delay list” to keep their analog meters while the CPUC considers requests to allow customers to decline the new meters permanently.

The IOUs were also told they must give customers “sufficient advance notice” that a smart meter will be installed so that the customer can request delayed installation, and, according to the Ruling, any customer who has an analog meter and requests a delay in the installation of a smart meter must be placed immediately on the “delay” list.

“The order is essentially a temporary moratorium on smart meter installation for those who want to “opt out” of this rushed and controversial deployment,” commented Consumers Power Alliance partner Connie Hudson of Calabasas. “I applaud the CPUC for listening to all the people who have expressed concerns. Like other Moms with young children, I don’t like to take chances with my family’s health, privacy and safety.”

Public trust in utility companies has plummeted over the smart meter issue. Throughout the state, customers have expressed outrage that they have not been notified before, during or after installation, that the meters were forced on them without their consent, and that the utility companies are not revealing information about the meters potential hazards reported in hundreds of scientific studies. Coalitions have been built that unify all political persuasions to fight smart meters and defend those at risk, bringing together as allies the likes of Nader’s Public Citizen, AARP, Sierra Club, TURN, and tea parties working with Earth First, Realtors and Eagle Forum members.

In July, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to support a “no-cost opt-out” option for its ratepayers. Other municipalities that have filed similar requests with the CPUC include the counties of San Luis Obispo, Marin, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, San Francisco, Tehama, and 36 cities, representing a total state-wide population of 2,695,947.  

Nationwide, the revolt is growing, as more information surfaces confirming the meters threats to health, the environment, privacy and national security. Critics also cite complaints from around the country that the meters cause utility bills to escalate. According to Eric Eisenhammer, Founder & Coordinator of the Sacramento-based Coalition of Energy Users, “It only makes sense. Vast amounts of domestic energy suppliers are being shut down by this administration, and these meters actually operate as rationing devices. You are given a “baseline” or quota, and then you are penalized for going over it, through a tier system, peak time pricing and 24/7 monitoring. In areas like Palm Springs, average bills can be $1500 a month during the summer, and some seniors are being forced to decide between medication and turning on air conditioning.” Utility companies counter with a shrug, a “trust us and our unhackable technology” mantra, and say the “demand modification” of customers will teach them to keep use and bills down.

While Irene Kopel of Santa Barbara says she is grateful for the delay list, she remains unflinching in her demand for Opt-Outs, “Our personal property rights should be respected. I should have the final say as to what gets installed on my personal home, and I should not have to explain and defend that choice to anyone.”

At present, the Ruling does not change anything for customers who have already had their analog meters replaced. However, it does require the utilities to post information on their websites about how to sign up for the Delayed Installation Program.

Customers are directed to contact SCE at 800-810-2369, and PG&E at 877-743-7378. Both numbers are toll-free.

Media Contact: Consumers Power Alliance Consumers Power Alliance, (818) 661-4515,

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About Leslie Brodie

Leslie Brodie is a reporter, writer, blogger, activist, and a religious leader in the community.

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