The San Jose Mercury news reports that the California PUC has ordered PG&E to provide a way to “Opt-out” of Smartmeters for those who don’t want them.
Although difficult to verify, apparently the CPUC commission made a formal decision “ordering” PG&E to return in two weeks with a method for allowing those who object to “Smart’meters to refuse to have one installed. (I’m a bit skeptical that there is an “Order” because the “decision” was not made during a public meeting.)
This is a big victory, but it is only a first step.
There is a downside. The PUC President has said he is fine with PG&E charging customers a fee to not have the devices. (Analogous to “You only want a salad? No Meat? – Well, that’s going to cost you.”)
The idea of charging someone for something they don’t want and don’t have is not reasonable.
Health and Privacy advocates remain firm that there need to be hearings on all the problems with smartmeters. Nina Beety a Monterey Peninsula health advocate wrote —
“Michael Peevey and the other CPUC commissioners have received thousands of complaints from the public and experts about the many problems with Smart Meters.
“Now, in the wake of the report from the California Council on Science and Technology, they have seen the substantial critiques of this report, pointing to serious health impacts from Smart Meter technology, including from the now-retired, former chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, California Department of Public Health — Dr. Raymond Neutra; his Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB) actually studied EMFs.
“The Commission has seen reports showing Smart Meters can violate FCC compliance rules and exposure guidelines, as well as pose dangers of electrical fires.
“How does an opt-out address these real problems and issues? It does not.
“A real step in the right direction is an immediate halt to the program statewide, a disconnection of existing meters, and a truly independent investigation into all the problems with these meters.
“Do I expect that from an agency chaired by the former president of Southern California Edison? I do not. But I will ask it of my legislators, including Alex Padilla, who I hope will take more responsible, courageous, and real action on this issue.