PG&E wants to hear from you. Today.
If you don't want the SmartMeter they installed on the side of your house - and they've installed a lot of them - the company wants to hear from you before tomorrow.
According to information on their website, May 1 is the company's deadline to opt out of the program.
The metering systems are being installed as part of a nationwide "smart grid" in 25 states around the country, according to California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey.
The SmartMeters have generated currents of controversy ever since PG&E began installing them without notifying residents. Opponents of the meters argue that the meters emit harmful electromagnetic signals and radiation, and that FCC standards don't go far enough. Critics have also raised concerns about the privacy and data security issues related to the meters, and about .
Leaving the SmartMeter program, and telling PG&E you want to have the older analog meter re-installed at your home, will cost you. , customers electing to keep analog meters will be assessed an initial fee of $75 and a monthly charge of $10. Low-income customers can opt out of the Smart Meter program for an initial fee of $10 and an ongoing monthly charge of $5.
PG&E considers the SmartMeters to be an essential upgrade to customer service, making the distribution system more reliable. The meters record homeowner energy use in great detail. Once an account is set up on the PG&E website, an electric customer can get close to a real-time estimate of energy begin used at their home.
What do you think? Are you comfortable with a SmartMeter?