Marin asks PG&E to halt meters


West Marin and Fairfax have filed a motion with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) urging Pacific Gas & Electric to delay the installation of smart meters in their communities until a community-wide opt-out program is offered. “The Board of Supervisors has joined this effort to insist that CPUC refrain from letting PG&E install any more smart meters until all outstanding issues affecting ratepayers has been addressed,” Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey said in a press release. “We will continue to protest PG&E charges in instances where no change is needed, as well as encourage the CPUC to let communities decide whether to opt-out of installations altogether.” Concerns related to the meters range from health effects to privacy invasions to higher bills. Currently PG&E is offering individual opt-outs for a one-time fee of $75 and a $10 monthly charge. But some feel that charge is unfair, and that nearby meters could have detrimental effects. PG&E has warned that as a last resort it would shut off the electricity of customers who opt-out and refuse to pay authorized fees. Since supervisors passed a moratorium on the installation of meters in unincorporated parts of the county, PG&E has continued to install them.