Smart meters kept at bay

01/31/2013

The Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to extend for a third year a moratorium on the installation of controversial smart meters in unincorporated Marin. The prohibition cites insufficiently addressed concerns about possibly deleterious impacts to residents’ health, privacy and utility bills. “The primary reason for our action was to send a message to the [California Public Utilities Commission] and [Pacific Gas and Electric Co.] that we do not support further installations in our area until the CPUC has taken action to finalize the cost for an individual to opt-out of a Smart Meter installation and to decide whether an entire community can opt-out of the installation of Smart Meters within their jurisdiction,” Supervisor Steve Kinsey said by email. “While many people are comfortable with this technology, there is a vulnerable population that deserves consideration. And it doesn’t make sense to me for a person who is satisfied with their existing meter to be forced to pay high fees to simply keep things the way they are.” The CPUC allows PG&E to charge a $75 setup fee and a $10 monthly fee to opt-out of the smart meter program, and a discount is offered to low-income residents.