Are your utilities offering you the opportunity to call them to delay installation of smart meters at your home until the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) makes a decision about smart meter options?
Since April 2011, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has had a phone number for its customers to call to be put on a “delay” list.
However, some of its customers didn’t or don’t know PG&E’s delay list. Others had requested to be added to the delay list but PG&E installed the smart meters anyways.
Meanwhile, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers, and So Cal Edison (SCE) customers complained that those utilities have been turning deaf ears when they requested delayed installation or an opt out.
SCE went so far as to tell the CPUC and its customers that if you didn’t want a smart meter you would have to “refuse” the meter at the “point of installation,” meaning customers would have to be home when the installer arrived (“point of installation”) in order to delay installation. How easy or practical is that, especially when SCE phone reps would not inform customers what date and time they would show up to install? Can you afford to stick around every hour at your home for days and weeks on end until the installer happens to show up?
As a result of the problems with SCE’s “delay” program, SDG&E’s failure to offer one, and PG&E dishonoring its own delay program, which CPUC President Michael Peevey referred to as “confusion” about the delay lists evident at the Sept. 14, 2011 CPUC Smart Meter Opt-Out Workshop — Commissioner Peevey issued a new ruling yesterday (Sept. 21) addressing the delay lists.
So now, according to Mr. Peevey’s ruling, by Monday, September 26, 2011, SCE, PG&E and SDG&E (also called IOUs) must now meet certain requirements in their delay programs. Here is an excerpt from his ruling (and we’ve bold-faced certain words):
IT IS RULED that no later than three business days after the mailing date of this Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company shall include the following requirements as part of their procedures for customers who currently have analog meters and wish to delay installation of a
1. The investor-owned utility (IOU) shall provide information on its website that if a customer currently has an analog meter, the customer may request a delay in the installation of a smart meter. The information shall include instructions for how the customer may make such a request.
2. The IOU shall provide the customer sufficient advance notice that a smart meter will be installed so that the customer may request that installation be delayed.
3. Any customer who currently has an analog meter and requests a delay in the installation of a smart meter shall be placed immediately on a “delay list.”
4. Once a customer has been placed on the delay list, a smart meter shall not be installed at the customer’s location unless:
a. The customer contacts the IOU and requests that he/she be removed from the delay list; or
b. The IOU sends a letter to the Commission’s Executive Director for authority to install a smart
meter at the customer’s location. A copy of that letter shall also be sent to the affected customer.
The IOU must receive written authorization from the Executive Director before installing a smart meter at any customer account on the IOU’s delay list.
So call your friends, neighbors and loved ones who live in SCE, SDG&E and PG&E territory and share this news. Tell them to call their utilities to get on the delay list, and also tell them to keep updated on the CPUC proceedings, get involved, and support the parties (organizations and local governments) that are participating in the CPUC Smart Meter Opt-Out proceedings and are fighting to protect your and their interests.
Here are the phone numbers to call:
1. Kenneth Devore, SCE Smart Connect Director, told the Judge at the Sept. 14, 2011 opt-out proceeding workshop that those wishing to add their names to the Delayed Installation List should call 800-810-2369, which is called Edison’s Smart Connect Gateway. Read “Delay List” instructions on SCE website, in column on your right: http://www.sce.com/CustomerService/smartconnect/installation.htm
2. PG&E: 1-877-743- 7378
3. SDG&E 1-800-411-7343
If you experience any verbal or physical abuse, roadblocks or hurdles or hoops to jump through when refusing a smart meter or requesting to be put on the “delay” lists, submit a Complaint form to the CPUC, and also send a copy of your complaint to the Consumers Power Alliance (firstname.lastname@example.org ), the EMF Safety Network (EMFSafe@sonic.net), theh Utility Reform Network (TURN@turn.org), the Center for Electrosmog Prevention( (email@example.com) and the CPUC Public Advisors (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).
While you’re at it, pick up the phone and call President Peevey and tell him about any problems, too. His phone number posted on the CPUC website is: 415.703.2782.
His contact info is also here: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/aboutus/Commissioners/01Peevey/contact.htm
Suggestion: If you would like to be added to the “Service List” of persons receiving updates from the CPUC on the smart meter options, including Rulings such as this, then fill out this CPUC form:
Members of the general public, check the “Information Only” box.
Do not fill out the “Transcript” portion of the form unless you want to request and pay for that. Follow the e-mail instructions on the 2nd page.
For those of us who live in municipal water and power department territories, share this latest development with your utility board members and City Manager, Mayor and City Council, and ask them, “What are you doing to offer something comparable?”
Keep in mind that the delay list for the IOUs is just that – it is NOT an opt out.
In addition, Commissioner Peevey’s Sept. 21 ruling only applies to customers who still have their analog meters on their homes. Is that fair? What about those who did not know about the delay list, or did not consent to or refused the smart meters and the smart meters were installed anyway? What about those who have been made sick once the smart meters were installed and want them off to live a normal and healthy life again? Shouldn’t they be allowed to be added to the delay list, too?
In addition, if the CPUC at the end of the opt-out proceedings comes up with a smart meter option(s) decision that is unacceptable, unreasonable, inequitable, unfair, and detrimental to the safety and health of Californians, the citizenry and their local governments may very well have to go to the courts or California legislators.