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California Regulators Map Out Smart Meter Opt-Out Options

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A PG&E SmartMeter. (CBS)

A PG&E SmartMeter. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – State utility officials are mulling over whether to provide consumers a smart meter opt-out option for those who don’t want the digital devices installed at their homes.

The possibility was the topic of a public meeting on Wednesday at the California Public Utilities Commission in which many Bay Area residents were able to get answers about concerns they may have about the devices.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Administrative Law Judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa moderated the discussion.

“Whether someone wishes to opt-out, they can have any number of reasons or no reason,” she said.

Utility officials were on hand to answer questions about the digital meters, which record consumption of electricity and gas and communicate that information back to the utility for monitoring and billing.

Among the main complaints from consumers has been a spike in their bills, power surges and a concern about possible health risks from the wireless radio frequencies of the devices.

Any final decision on an opt-out plan is still months away.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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