SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS / AP) — California regulators will ask Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to set up a process so its customers can opt out of smart meters if they have concerns about the devices’ potential health effects.

California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey said he will ask the utility to develop the proposal over the next two weeks.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Peevey’s announcement came before dozens of people and advocacy groups testified at Thursday’s commission meeting that exposure to radio frequencies and radiation from the wireless electricity and gas meters was harming people’s health.

PG&E maintains that the meters are safe. Other PUC commissioners have said they want to see more research on whether the electronic meter-reading system can impact health.

“Although the great wave of scientific evidence demonstrates that radio frequency from SmartMeters is safe, we take our customer’s concerns seriously,” said PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno. “Our challenge is how we address our customer’s concerns while insuring them the enormous benefits that SmartMeters and the Smart Grid offer.”

Moreno offered no specifics on alternate technology for SmartMeters, nor the possibility of any additional costs.

Mindy Spratt with The Utility Reform Network or TURN said they are pleased by the CPUC directive.

“We’ve not taken a stance on the issue of the meter itself as much as that we have a position as a consumer advocate that a consumer should have a medical opt-out available,” said Spratt.

Peevey said he believes PG&E should allow customers to opt-out for a “reasonable cost.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. BobB says:

    Taxes are making me sick, can I opt out?

  2. Chris Pepper says:

    Ive had a smart meter for a year and it’s really not a big deal, looking back my bill is about average if not a little better each month than before.

  3. OB1vid says:

    Maybe someone should install Smart-People.

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  5. NanS says:

    Dan, you’re right to bundle SmartGrid and cell phones in the same package. They are both harmful to humans and other species. Consider stepping outside the perimeter drawn for us by the “authorities.” They are not using sound science, especially the studies funded by the industry making these products.

    Consider reading independent research such as found on And there’s even more out on the Internet for us to truly learn how electromagnetic fields (EMF) are affecting us.

    The effects of EMF are insidious and slower than those of, for example, electricity that can give us a shock.

    Those who lead their life as if EMF and GMOs are safe, or even good, for us are playing with fire.