SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – California regulators said Pacific Gas & Electric Co. can start charging its customers fees to avoid having wireless utility meters installed in their homes.

Four members of the California Public Utilities Commission approved a proposal Wednesday that allows PG&E to charge residential customers an initial fee of $75, and a monthly fee of $10 to opt out of the company’s SmartMeter program.

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Low-income customers who want to opt out can be charged an initial fee of $10, plus an extra $5 each month.

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KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Dozens of people and advocacy groups from Fairfax to San Luis Obispo testified at the commission’s meeting saying exposure to radio frequencies and radiation from the wireless electricity and gas meters harms people’s health.

PG&E maintains that the meters are safe and will bring down the utility’s meter reading costs.

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