State regulators on Thursday set a one-time $75 fee for utility customers who want their smart meter removed, with additional $10 charges each month to help pay for upkeep and monitoring of analog meters.
The decision ends years of wrangling over how much to charge utility customers who reject the new devices in favor of dial-spinning analog meters.
In a last minute concession, the California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to limit monthly to fees to three years of payments.
Some utility customers have health concerns about the effects of wireless signals from smart meters, while others oppose sharing detailed information about electricity and natural gas use. Regulators across the country are grappling with similar complaints.
California utilities and regulators, meanwhile, see around-the-clock data transmitted from smart meters as a crucial to making the modern power grid more efficient and less polluting.
The fees do not fully cover the expense of swapping out new technology for old, leaving some expenses to be absorbed by all utility customers.
Low-income utility customers will pay a one-time $10 fee, followed by additional $5 monthly fees, with a three-year limit.
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