Was wondering if more has been reported or changed as far as PG&E not charging the $75 for taking off the smartmeter (which was never asked for in the first place) and the $10 extra/month fee. The opt-out is by May 1st. Thanks!
Was wondering if more has been reported or changed as far as PG&E not charging the $75 for taking off the smartmeter (which was never asked for in the first place) and the $10 extra/month fee. The opt-out is by May 1st. Thanks!
I'm anxious, too. I've been on their do-not list and their last-to-install list for a long time, and now they're robo-calling me frequently to urge that I either sign up for the fee/surcharge or roll over and get installed. Is there anybody out there in Wacco-Land who knows if there's any chance at all that they may get forced to back off? We still have our analog meter, so it's not a matter of swapping something back. Grrr . . . . -- Elizabeth Fuller
The next CPUC meeting is on April 19th, and then no meetings are scheduled until after the opt-out. This site shows meeting dates: https://ia.cpuc.ca.gov/requesttocomment/
The last I heard the agenda was to demand a free opt out and the ability for whole towns to opt-out. So I'd wait until after April 19th to opt out, unless you know you are terribly disorganized, in which case I'd opt out now. 1-866-743-0263 available 24/7. I will definitely post the results of that CPUC meeting on Wacco.
Meanwhile please sign this petition demanding a free opt-out:
First, thank you all for signing the petition. It is gratifying to check in every day and see the new signatures every day. The statements you include are very powerful. Thank you to all who have taken the time to write me a personal note of support as well.
Starting May 1st PG&E plans on charging us the opt-out fees. PG&E claims that over 10,000 customers have given notice to opt out. This means that PG&E will be making a profit of $750,000. plus an additional $10 a month, totaling an additional $1,200,000 yearly from people who are opting out due to experiencing adverse health conditions, or having bills tripled or who object to the privacy violations from smart meters.
May 1st is coming up quickly. We need more signatures to make our point. I am just one person and I need help in getting the word out. I have started a facebook page to use as a forum to voice your complaints, exchange ideas, post videos, or offer suggestions on what we can do to stop PG&E from installing smart meters and charging us if we want to opt-out.
Here is the link to click LIKE: https://www.facebook.com/StopPgeSmartMeterOptOutFees
Please spread the word.
PG&E called me last week to see if I wanted to opt-out. I told them I wanted to opt-out and not be charged because I was concerned about the health risks. I was informed by Angel, the agent in the Sacramento office I spoke with, that he had, "read all that stuff on the internet and it was not true. Smart meters do not cause any adverse health conditions." I'm sure Angel would 'enjoy' hearing from those of you who signed the petition including any details on how your health has been compromised because of a smart meter installation. PG&E's phone # is: 1 800-743-5000. You might even ask to speak to Angel in the Sacramento office.
In the meantime keep spreading the word, get on facebook, tweet - whatever you can do to get more signatures, as I will be delivering the petition to PG&E in person. Does anyone want to join me?
Thank you for your partnership,
I got my call from PG & E asking if I still wanted to opt out and pay their fees, or if I'd like to get my smart meter now - there was also an option to speak to a rep which I did. He tried arguing with me, but to no use.
Basically he said that if you opt out you'll be billed - but finally said it depends on what the CPUC decision was, and that we might not be billed. I said I'd be protesting my charges, especially the initial one time charge to either keep the old meter you have or have the old meter re installed. The old meter is still on my house, so I really protest any charges.
The following member has expressed gratitude to Sabrina for this post:
I think a lot of you will like this one. We are calling the utility bully's bluff as a mass movement.
We Are Not ‘Opting Out’………….We Are Refusing to Opt In.
Posted on April 10, 2012 by onthelevelblog
By Joshua Hart, Director Stop Smart Meters!
The following is written for customers of PG&E in Northern California, but it is also applicable to customers of other utilities around the US and internationally who are unjustifiably charging steep penalties simply to retain one’s analog utility meter.
As PG&E’s arbitrary May 1st deadline for ‘opting out’ of having a smart meter on your home approaches, we’re starting to get a lot of questions from people, asking what to do.
That PG&E certified letter is sitting there on your desk, in the pile of tax papers, and you’ve heard a lot of different opinions about how to best protect yourself from all the documented dangers and violations of smart meters. Should you send back the form, essentially agreeing to pay hundreds- even thousands of dollars to PG&E over the coming years? Should you do nothing, refusing to pay opt out fees but also continuing to refuse access to the utility? Or should you just give up and let them install a smart meter, obeying the authorities despite the overwhelming evidence pointing toward a serious risk to our privacy, health, and safety?
Well it probably doesn’t come as any surprise that we would not recommend allowing a smart meter on your home, under any circumstance. But what are the risks and advantages of the other two options? What if you already have a smart meter installed and want it removed? What if you live in an apartment building with 100 meters on the other side of the wall? The answers are not simple. There is just no one sound bite that covers it. The legal, political, and social contexts surrounding this heated issue are constantly in flux.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t adhere to some basic principles and defend your rights against the utility bullies.
As we are not lawyers we cannot offer you legal advice. But what we can do is to tell you what our plan is, being faced with the unreasonable choice of paying hundreds in fees or accepting a smart meter.
Here’s what we’re planning to do:
• Ignore their illegal opt out notice.
• Send the utility a certified letter informing them that they do not have permission to install a telecommunications device on our property.
• Secure our meters, change the locks, lock our gate, and post no trespassing utility signs. Tell any installer to leave immediately and call police if they do not comply.
• Refuse to pay any extra charges that might show up on our bill.
• Those in apartment buildings are organizing with other tenants, often getting the support of building managers/ owners (pdf). Organize a meeting and get a speaker.
Some people- for various reasons- are not up for a fight with their utility. If the only way to keep an analog meter on your home is by going along and paying PG&E’s extortion fee- then by all means pay the fee. Do not agree to having a smart meter on your home under any circumstances. We are telling you these devices are dangerous. Keep your distance! Plus, we imagine that obtaining any compensation for damages in the future will be far more difficult if you have agreed to a smart meter installation.
If you are worried about the cost, allowing a smart meter is far more expensive in the end, when you consider meter power consumption (adding about $3 or more onto the average monthly bill), inaccurate and inflated bills, risk of fire, and health damages from microwave radiation. Paying ten bucks a month is actually a bargain, when you consider the horrific alternative. This program should never have been approved by regulators in the first place. The smart grid is bad energy policy that is hurting people in the wallets, hurting health, and hurting the environment they’re pretending to save. That is why we need to protest, and refuse the fees, together.
It’s critical to understand your rights and the utility company’s rights. The one huge mistake we see people making again and again is deferring to the utility to tell them what their rights are. Do not call up the utility company to ask them what your rights are against the utility company. They will lie to you- their call center operators are trained to do so. If you want to know what your rights are, read the letter of the law or consult a lawyer.
Here’s what the California State Utility Code says:
Code 328.2(b) states: “No customer should have to pay separate fees for utilizing services that protect public or customer safety.”
Code 453. (b) states: “No public utility shall prejudice, disadvantage, or require different rates or deposit amounts from a person because of medical condition”
So, we’ve established that CA utilities may not charge people more based on medical condition or to protect safety. Being sickened by and sensitive to microwave radiation is a documented medical condition. Microwave radiation emitted by smart meters is a Class 2B carcinogen (pdf). The fire and electrical safety risks of smart meters have been well documented. Any fee charged to anyone who prefers an analog meter is therefore illegal.
Here’s what the US Federal Energy Act of 2005 says:
Title Xll, Subtitle E, Section 1252, (a), (14), (C) states: “Each electric utility subject to subparagraph (A) shall provide each customer requesting a time-based rate with a time-based meter capable of enabling the utility and customer to offer and receive such rate, respectively.”
It’s pretty clear at this point that smart meters are not mandatory. (Please post the legislation that makes them mandatory if you dispute this) Despite all the lies, the fabrications, and the bluster, the truth remains that smart meters were only legislated by Congress to be offered to people, not forced upon them. We repeat. There is no mandate. Opt out programs make the false assumption that there is some “requirement” that supersedes the contractual relationship between a utility and a property owner. This is simply not the case. There is a difference between utility company policy and the law. The latter always trumps the former and you can bet that the utilities seek to blur the line in the public mind, whenever and wherever possible.
Given questions about the legality of PG&E’s opt out program, we’re going to stand our ground, lock up our meters, send the utility letters of no consent, and refuse to pay any fees. If you are a lawyer, we’d like to hear from you.
Like any defiant act, there are risks. We cannot predict how the unruly animal known as our modern utility industry will react to this–certainly the law doesn’t seem to matter much to them. It is possible that they will attempt collection of unpaid opt out fees, or even shut off our power. That won’t go down well in court. And it certainly won’t go down well in the court of public opinion. We’re stocking up on candles and hedging our bets.
When this dispute ends up in a court of law, we will be in a much stronger position for not consenting to either the smart meter installation or the opt out fees. Make sure to document everything in writing via certified mail- we know many people who only communicate with the utility this way, to preserve a record. If you have suffered an injury or loss from the smart grid, lodge a formal complaint.
While possible, it is hard to imagine the utility shutting off power to thousands of people or entire towns. The public backlash from that kind of bullying would make the December shut off of twenty or so families in Santa Cruz County look like a picnic. Using such bullying tactics could risk the monopoly over power delivery and profits that these utilities hold so dear. There is just so much that people are willing to take before they demand change and choice.
Each of us has to make our own decision. Is it worse to have to pay thousands of dollars during your lifetime in protection racket fees? Or is it worse to risk a possible brief interruption of service during a historic showdown between thousands of ratepayers and the utility?
The moral of the story is that you should be confident in defying the utility, as part of a mass movement of ratepayers. Utilities failed to seek adequate permission for their failing smart grid plans. They are the ones who are desperately trying to make you believe you have no rights. They are the ones who are attempting to bluff their way through a debacle of their own making.
It’s time we called their bluff.
Sign the petition to demand an end to opt out fees
Sign the petition promising to refuse to pay
This entry was posted in California, Citizen rebellion, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, Federal Energy Act of 2005, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, PG&E. Bookmark the permalink.
Last edited by ubaru; 04-15-2012 at 10:40 PM. Reason: changed a dead link for Send the utility a certified letter
I wish this could be more clear particularly if P, G & E already stuck a smartmeter on my gas meter when I wasn't there, and I don't want it there. If I don't do anything, it will just stay there.
Last edited by Barry; 04-15-2012 at 02:44 PM.
Yes, and I think it will not be clear as long as we're shaking our fist at PG&E with one hand and giving them money - paying them to provide our household energy - with the other.
When we're ready to come together and cooperate in meeting those needs ourselves, then we can reclaim our power and free ourselves from an adversarial relationship that characterizes our dependence on big energy.
(And, yes, the same principle applies to all the unequal-power relationships that are so pervasive in a hierarchical society.)
The following member has expressed gratitude to CSummer for this post:
Well said, thank you!
This rebel approach is optional. And the most important priority being expressed here in Joshua's article is that Smart Meters are dangerous--health, fire, theft from hacking from the street, etc. Do whatever it takes to not have one, even if that means paying. So wait, if you want, until the April 19th CPUC meeting to see if they'll go for a free opt-out, but paying the upfront fee of $75 and then $10 a month, if need be, is so worth it....especially if one is being negatively affected by them. And you can still rebel, if you like, after opting out, by refusing to pay that part of your bill.
Watsonville mom Diane Dutton has started a website to fight
extortionate utility opt out fees- and smart meters in general- check
it out and *spread the word*:
A great protest project for the weekend: take your camera out and get
your neighbors involved- then send Diane your pics at
[email]email@example.com. The more handmade and unique signs the
Let the utilities know how you feel about their "smart" grid!!
I don't recommend kissing your meter though--even analogs put out strong EMF's.
And if you haven't already seen it here is some powerful stuff from
smart meter opponents in Canada: http://thepowerfilm.org
Thanks for taking action to fight illegal and immoral opt out penalties!
Stop Smart Meters!
Director, Stop Smart Meters!
The punitive, arbitrary smart meter opt-out fees were never evaluated by the CPUC, and they are being used to intimidate customers into accepting the smart meter. These fees will be evaluated in a second phase of the proceeding at the CPUC, within a couple months. Community wide opt out will also be decided. Sebastopol asked for a moratorium two years ago, and we still have many analog meters in town. I will continue to fight for a NO FEE opt out at the CPUC.
IMPORTANT: I have been told PG&E has hired 2 companies to install smart meters in Sebastopl on MAY 1, so please help get the word out to call PG&E at 866-743-0263.
If you have a smart meter: Call PG&E 866-743-0263 tell them to remove it. If they charge you, you can write "paid under protest" on your check(s) and keep a copy. Or you can NOT pay and risk having your power turned off, or having them reinstall the smart meter. *
If you have an analog meter: Call PG&E at 866-743-0263 and tell them you plan to keep your analog meter. If they charge you, you can write "paid under protest" on your check (s) and keep a copy. Or you can NOT pay and risk having your power turned off, or having them install the smart meter.* I do not recommend that you lock up your meter and ignore PG&E, because other CA Utilities (SCE) have broken locks and sawed off metal cages.
*RISKS and BENEFITS of NOT paying the fees: Not paying the fees is a form of direct action that will have risks and benefits. The risks are PG&E may turn off your utilities, or install, or re-install a smart meter. If they turn off your utilities you can tell us and we will bring it to the medias attention. If they install a smart meter you can tell them to remove it and restore the analog. This can be helpful if many people take this action as PG&E does not want this kind of trouble.
Neighbors meters: Talk to your neighbors about these choices. Some people, including myself will offer to cover the costs of neighbors opt out, to protect themselves and their children.
For more info see:http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=7157
See also: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=7387
The following member has expressed gratitude to Sasu for this post:
So, Ubaru, how do you feel about the move to take over public power by the County, as articulated by our bright young supervisor, Efren Carillo? Anyone else besides Barry care to weigh in on this quite interesting and important issue?
I live in Marin and this is the first I've heard of it. What are the significant points about it?
Ok so the short of it is that the April 19th CPUC meeting yielded no gains for us. We still have the fees. Communities cannot opt out as a whole, yet. Multiple meters on apartment buildings are still allowed. But we aren't done fighting! More meetings lay ahead to hash this out.
So what this means for many of you is to go ahead and opt-out before May 1st. 1-866-743-0263 available 24/7 The $75 won't be billed to you until July, and you can choose to not pay it if you like.
Southern California won the opportunity to opt-out which they are celebrating, albeit with the same extortionist fees. So please take the time to contact your S. CA friends and family and let them know. Their numbers to opt out are
SDG&E: 1-800-411-7343, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.sdge.com
SCE (Edison): 1-800-810-2369 ; Contact page at www.sce.com
The push back against Smart Meters is going viral nationally and internationally. The more people who dare to not pay the fee, and keep spreading the word about the harmful effects of Smart Meters, the harder it will be for PG&E and other electric companies to get away with this. So now's the time to blaze brightly!
Here's the latest in detail with some help for how to choose what to do. Also, it's time to get your neighbors on board. These things radiate 92' in all directions.
Opt-Out Options – So Cal Utilities Now Included
Posted on April 20, 2012 by Admin
Skirmishes Won. Battle Continues.
Our colleagues in Southern California are cheering today at the news that ‘smart meter’ opt-out plans similar to the one authorized by the CPUC for PG&E’s service area will now apply in the Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric service areas as well. Opt-out programs still only apply to individual residences, not businesses. Still include illegitimate, extortionate fees. Still don’t include community-wide opt-out. But, hey. You have to celebrate even partial victories. These are significant wins on the road to a victory for informed democratic choice, and a Wise – as opposed to a so-called ‘Smart’ – Grid.
In this edition, we summarize FYI what we know at the moment about the opt-out state-of-play. Click here and/or scroll down for a MayDay Opt-Out Poster you can print, post and pass on. We link to Sandi Maurer of EMFSafety Network and Josh Hart of StopSmartMeters.org who weigh in with valuable advice on strategy. Other links fill out the picture, reporting on So Cal developments. Finally, an industry blogger gives his idea of how to stem the opt-out tsunami he fears is sweeping the country.
What About ‘smart’ meter Opting Out Options?
by Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle
Wondering what to do about your certified letter from PG&E about whether or not to choose a ‘smart’ meter or pay to keep an analog meter by May 1?
You have a few choices. There is no one size fits all solution. I’ll give you some broad outlines here, but you can get more details elsewhere on this blog or StopSmartMeters.org, and EMFSafetyNetwork.org.
Of course we recommend you do NOT accept a ‘smart’ meter under any circumstances because of severe health risks, serious privacy invasion, endangering national security, fire safety risk, electronic interference, accuracy problems and higher bills. And be sure to talk to your neighbors about their choice of meters too because their radiating ‘smart’ meters can effect you adversely.
Here’s the Current ‘Fee Structure’
Currently the fees to opt out for regular customers are $75 up front and $10/mo.
For CARES customers, it’s $10 initially and $5 per month.
CARE income level limit for a 1-2 person household is $31,800.
But, it seems fair to ask…
Why Pay for Opting Out When We Haven’t Opted In As Law Requires?
The Illusory ‘Mandate’
The key on this issue is the concept of ‘time-variant pricing,’ or ‘time-of-use-metering.’ That means that utilities, according to this scheme, will be able to charge variable rates depending on (a) what time the electricity is used and (b) how much, at what price, electricity is available on the grid at that time. This is a hairy, insider-baseball topic. Here’s the essence of what we argued in our Objection to the Proposed Opt-Out Ruling that pre-dated the current decision (link to full PDF). Please pardon the brief lapse into legalese ‘proceeding lingo.’So, Some Options to Consider
“1.a) The proposed decision presents a false deadline for mandating choice of meters.
The proposed decision by Commissioner Peevey is premature. By law, customers do not have to decide until Jan. 2014 whether or not to opt out of time variant pricing. Customers should be allowed to have analog meters at least until they are required by law to choose whether they will use time variant pricing on Jan. 1, 2014.
For example from page 21 of the PD:
To ensure that the electric non- communicating meter is able to take advantage of smart grid benefits in the future, it must be capable of capturing interval energy consumption data. While this capability is not needed at this time, it must be available by January 1, 2014. …
The Proposed Decision does not accurately represent the relevant code;
Pursuant to Pub. Util. Code § 745(b)(2) an electrical corporation may employ
mandatory or default time-variant pricing… for residential
customers after January 1, 2014….
The relevant parts of the code read:
Public Utilties Code section 745. (d) On and after January 1, 2014, the commission shall only approve an electrical corporation’s use of default time-variant pricing in a manner consistent with the other provisions of this part, if all of the following conditions have been met:
(1) Residential customers have the option to not receive service
pursuant to time-variant pricing and incur no additional charges as a
result of the exercise of that option…. [emphasis added)
The law states time-variant cannot be mandatory or by default, but must be offered to residential customers as an option.
SB 695, signed by the Governor on October 11, 2009 and PUC Code 745 (b)(2) and (3) state that the Commission shall not require or permit an electrical corporation to employ mandatory or default time-variant pricing without bill protection for residential customers prior to January 1, 2014 or employ mandatory or default real-time pricing, without bill protection for residential customers prior to January 1, 2020.
Both Public Utility Code and California state law state that:
- The individual residential customer’s decision as to whether or not to opt for ‘time-of-use’ metering is meant to be totally voluntary on the basis of informed consent, and, in any case, does not need to be made until Jan. 2014
- There is no legal requirement that such a customer have a meter capable of capturing time variant data already in place by that date since the residential customer may at that time opt out.
- Unnecessary costs to PG&E will occur from rushing to install unwanted meters that will ultimately be rejected.
- Customers should not be forced to pay for PG&E’s mistake."
You can choose to: 1) opt out, keep your analog meter, (or have your ‘smart’ meter removed) and pay the extortionate fees (which compared to the risks and the increased billing for most ‘smart’ meters, is probably less in the long run) We believe that to be forced to pay to avoid being harmed in the many possible ways by 'smart' meters sure looks like a protection racket. So you should mark ‘paid under protest’ on your check and keep a record. For legal protection, be on the alert not to sign away any of your rights in any meter agreement with PG&E.
2) You can say you refuse to opt out because you never opted in and protest the fees if you still have your analog meter. Lock up your analog meter, don’t allow a PG&E installer onto your property and send them a certified letter saying you refuse to pay their still legally contested fees. You may need to stock up on candles for this option though, because PG&E may either force a ‘smart’ meter on you while you’re not home or cut off your power. If thousands of people do this, however, it will be far more difficult for PG&E to get away with.
3) You can opt out by calling PG&E, but wait to pay your $75 until you see what happens at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC.) PG&E gives you 3 months to pay the up front $75 charge and there are ongoing legal challenges to these fees at the CPUC. EON has been representing ratepayers interests in Phase I, arguing for no cost opt out and to allow people to keep their analog meters rather than what PG&E first wanted which was a ‘smart’ meter with the radio turned off. But we presented evidence showing that wouldn’t solve the many problems caused by digital meters. We also are insisting on Community wide opt out.
(You can read PDFs our arguments to the CPUC here and here if you want all the nitty gritty details.)
Next Phase: Community-Wide Opt-Outs
We’re now getting ready for the next phase. Phase Two of the CPUC proceeding has been ordered to happen, but hasn’t been scheduled yet. In Phase Two Community Wide opt out and the true costs of opt outs are going to be thrashed out.
4) You can support our efforts to defend our right to a Community-Wide opt out and to pay no fees. Marin County as well as Lake County and Santa Cruz County, among 50 other California cities and counties, have legally objected to forced installation of ‘smart’ meters. Marin, Lake and Santa Cruz actually wrote ordinances and support community wide opt out.
As of now, only residences are being included in the opt out option. This problem of excluding businesses (think health clinics, day care centers, etc.), the radiating data collectors on utility poles and situations where folks and apartments have banks of multiple meters, as well as the problem with being zapped by neighbors’ meters, all make community wide refusal of this harmful wireless mesh network technology necessary.
Pushback Going Viral
The push back against this poorly thought out plan is national and international. Recently another leading cyber security expert, David Chalk, has forcefully spoken out about the incredible security dangers of a wireless grid. He joins other highly informed sources including former CIA director James Woolsey, and the US Inspector General Gregory Friedman, who clearly state the hazards a wireless electricity grid poses to national security. They point out that it’s too hackable and the electricity grid is a known target of cyber warfare. David Chalk says we’d be within three years of a total breakdown of the power grid.
(see full source articles on our blog here. )
"Smart Grid" Plans Endanger Our National Fleet of Aging Nuclear Plants
One of our main worries about all this is that a more vulnerable power grid makes nuclear meltdowns at our already rickety nuclear reactors situated on earthquake faults and in tsunami zones, much more likely since they depend on external power sources to keep the cores and fuel pools cooled. It only takes a few hours with no electricity to cause a meltdown. Back up emergency diesel power generators at nuclear reactors are notoriously unreliable, and, even if they do work, have a limited amount of fuel stored.
There’s even more: the FBI has recently issued an alert re ‘smart’ meters because of potential hacking. A large utility in Puerto Rico lost hundreds of millions of dollars because a criminal racket provided ‘reprogramming’ services to residences and businesses to lower their bills. [ See: FBI: Smart Meter Hacks Likely to Spread
From Krebs on Security ]
So now, many more people, even in the electrical industry, are finally realizing the problems with the green- washed and over-hyped ‘smart’ grid and ‘smart’ meters. There are much better ways to modernize our electrical grid if Big Brother snooping, ultimate corporate control and quick profit aren’t the driving motives.
PG&E opt out: 1-866-743-0263 or online:
Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle
Last edited by ubaru; 04-26-2012 at 01:46 AM.
OK, I just did the opt-out call, and I've been told that (a) a regular meter-reader will put stickers on the meters that say the meters are not to be swapped for Smart Meters, and (b) at a later date, someone will come to "test meters for accuracy." I could not get any answer as to how that would occur, and whether there would be an interruption of electrical power (cue shutting down all the hard disks). They're theoretically going to call to give warning.
So, now addressing Part II of this saga, if I continue to pay my PG&E bills for the regular billing, subtracting the $75/$10 add-ons, does anybody know how long it takes for that to mess with my credit rating, and is there any guess about how far in arrears it goes before they threaten to cut the power, assuming that I pay the regular portion of my bill on time every month? Remember the Enron era, when a lot of people paid their bills every month but subtracted the surcharge?
I think well be stuck with this bullshit charge, but after viewing videos by a user named thisirradiatedlife on YouTube ,I can tell you that PG&E is being very devious in the way they derive their supposedly lower than a cell phone/wifi emission levels. The woman making these videos is going around SF taking readings on a very expensive hi end gauss meter with an attenuator. And she's seeing spikes that are consistently high and which occasionaly go out past the highest reading on her machine, which was 200,000 milliwatts.
The way PG&E derives their low emission numbers is by averaging the pulses against the times the meters aren't firing. They are seen to fire up to 70 times a minute, but the pulses are only fractions of a second,vadding up to about a minute or so a day, that is, from one meter alone. However, there are experts who question the safety of these high emf pulses, infrequent though they may be. Also, there are apartment buildings with as many as 20 in a bank that when measured, are firing continuously and well above safe levels as established by the FCC. In fact, the woman who is measuring this stuff found that the emissions were even higher than those of a rooftop cell phone repeater that had a barrier and a sign warning people to stand back! These videos are up on YouTube. Just search for thisirradiatedlife. They were enough to convince me to opt out, as my meter is just a few feet behind my desk where I work all day.
Last edited by Barry; 04-26-2012 at 06:06 PM.
PG&E's premise for charging for nothing was so dubious and shaky and now it has fallen. Opt out folks! One and all....before May 1st, 2012 1-866-743-0263 24/7 Do it now.
See article here.
It's only a matter of a short time before this technology will go the way of cigarettes.
p.s. I just called PG&E opt-out line and they do not know about this......YET. But the story broke today.
Here is one line from the article. "Meanwhile, PG&E operators have been telling customers that they will be charged starting May 1st, even though the policy has been suspended. Critics of the utility accuse PG&E of fraud in asserting that the opt out fees are still valid, and working behind the scenes to obscure the suspension of the policy."
Last edited by ubaru; 04-26-2012 at 01:37 AM. Reason: fixed links
While we're waiting to see if indeed PG&E is going to be prevented from cutting our throats, check out what's nibbling at our ankles. Have y'all noticed that the little "PPP" surcharge, which is used "to fund state-mandated gas assistance programs . . ." (nice idea, help the needy) has been getting heftier? It also goes toward "energy efficiency programs and public-interest research and development." I'm sure it does. Whatever, them as gets it are getting a little more -- it used to be 8.4¢ per therm, now in 2012 it's 8.618¢. Not exactly big bucks, but it used to amount to a "tax" of 6 1/4%, now it averages 7.5% of my gas bill.
Well, if I were a single mom trying to keep the kids warm when it's nasty out, I'd be pretty glad this was being collected. But who's in charge of deciding how it gets spent, and what constitutes "public-interest research and development"? When you multiply the wintertime average PPP I pay, $10 to $12 each month, by the number of PG&E ratepayers, that's a pretty honkin' big pot, and now the pot is even bigger. Who stirs, and who's got the dipper?
Q&A about not entering into a contract with PG&E on this bogus opt-out.
Just called the PG&E opt out number (4/27 5pm).
Their automated system forces you to agree to the charges.
I hit 0 for a real person and spoke with a man named Adam in Sacramento. He tried to get me to agree to the charges, and refused to enter me as an opt out without agreeing to the charges.
I told him that I'm not entering into a contract with him over something that is still being contested in the legal arena. He kept saying that the 'State of California' already approved the charges.
I demanded repeatedly that he enter me as an opt out, and told him that I will deal with billing separately as I see fit. He demanded that I agree to the opt out charges. I did not. He did not enter me into the system as an opt out.
Call back, you'll get a different person. Tell them this: You don't
agree to the charges because the PG&E Advice letter 3278-G/4006-E is
posted on the CPUC Energy Division website as NO ACTION. NO ACTION
means they cannot act on the advice letter, therefore they cannot
legally charge the fees at this time.
Will someone please try this and let us know what if they accept your opt-out without your agreeing to the charges?
Also, it is not advised to use PG&E's website as it makes you agree to a bogus contract.
Bottom line is still that it's better to opt-out and pay, or refuse to pay later on. We're just experimenting with getting around their contract.
Last edited by ubaru; 04-28-2012 at 02:02 AM. Reason: refuse to pay later on
Called PG&E today. Spoke with Andrew in Sacramento. We had a solar system installed last year, so the meter that feeds electricity back into the system is another sort...and not a smart meter. My concern was for our gas line...
Asked: Do gas lines get smart meters, too. Answer: YES, unless you opt out.
Asked: Is our phone call being recorded? Answer: YES.
So, I added a comment saying "I am concerned about the health risks smart meters are associated with.The information PG&E has been telling consumers about occasional EMF broadcast spikes is erroneous. My husband measured the smart meter on our neighbor's house and the smart meter emissions are almost constant. (Andrew did not deny it.) I also said the plan to have entire communities barraged by EMF transmissions is alarming to us and we don't want the smart meters on our house. Further stated I was not 'opting in' to the smart meter program. I prefer keeping our current analog meter which is working just fine."
Andrew quoted me the fees: $75 for 'opting out' and $10/mo.
I said I do not want to pay those fees as the meter I currently have is working just fine. So he added a note on our records: "Customer does not agree with the fees." (Andrew was very personable and polite.)
Then Andrew said within the next few weeks a PG&E worker will come out to put a sticker on our meter saying NOT to replace it with a smart meter. I'm a bit concerned about trusting PG&E on this. Am inclined to put my own sticker on the meter, to make sure they don't sneak a fast one by us.
I'm also going to follow up my call with a letter stating our position addressed to both PG&E Customer Service and the President of the CPUC, using some of the legal info links posted on WACCOBB. (Thanks for those everyone!)
COMMENT: Don't use the website. Speak to a SmartMeter customer service rep. Take advantage of the fact that the calls are recorded and make a clear formal statement about your meter preferences and objections to fees being charged for a program you have not opted in to. You could make an even stronger statement by saying those fees are illegal and discriminatory.
Way to go Mudwoman!
What I've heard from PG$E is that they will now ignore signs and stickers that homeowners put on their meters. They are going by who has opted out and who has not.
Your concern about trusting PG$E is justified. The thing to do is call PG$E back and insist that they only come onto your property at an appointment time that they make with you (when you are home).
I spoke this morning a little before 9:00 with a PG&E Opt-out rep. He says the story circulating that the opt-out fees have been suspended is a hoax and that the CPUC set the fees. Manuzzle
The one I spoke to tried to say that to me too, that there is a ton of propaganda out there that's false about smart meters - I was not in a mood to argue, even though I did tell him I disagreed - he told me nothing like I'd get a sticker placed on the meter (though I have my own signs on both analog Gas and Electric meters) - I'm wondering if I should be calling back to be sure I am opted out of both meters? I did not specify to him.
PG&E may be fined over former executive's spying
Thursday, April 26, 2012 (SF Chronicle)David R. Baker
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. may face fines after one of its former executives was caught spying on critics of the utility's SmartMeters in 2010, California regulators reported Wednesday.
The California Public Utilities Commission has opened an investigation into spying by William Devereaux, the former senior director of PG&E's $2.2 billion SmartMeter installation program.
Devereaux used a fake name, Ralph, in an effort to join an online discussion group of activists opposed to the wireless meters, which some people consider a threat to public health. But his real name appeared next to his e-mail address, and the group's moderator recognized him. When confronted by reporters, Devereaux admitted using an alias, and said he had been monitoring online groups of SmartMeter foes for several months. He resigned shortly afterward, in November 2010.
The incident triggered investigations by both PG&E and the utilities commission. In an order released late Wednesday, the commission alleges that Devereaux told others within PG&E, including his boss, senior managers and a member of the company's legal department, about his activities. The order does not name any people who allegedly knew what Devereaux was doing.
"PG&E's senior management's failure to act leads us to believe that they either condoned or approved of Mr. Devereaux's behavior," the order reads. "When PG&E management finally did take action, it was only after Mr. Devereaux's deceitful acts were exposed by the media."
The company could face unspecified "fines and/or remedial actions" as a result, according to the order.
A PG&E spokesman said Wednesday that the company's own internal investigation found some employees were aware of Devereaux's online activities at the time. But they did not know he was using an alias, said spokesman Greg Snapper. The company, he said, would continue to cooperate with the commission's investigation.
"Our former employee's activity did not follow PG&E's core values," Snapper said. "Our expectation and clear message to employees is that they participate in social media with integrity and respect and they're transparent about their work with PG&E."
Snapper would not comment on whether past or current PG&E employees have been disciplined in connection with Devereaux's spying.
David R. Baker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. email@example.com
Last edited by Barry; 04-30-2012 at 03:06 PM.
Does anyone think that the fees will later be called illegal? My landlord has the electric in her name and there is no way she is going to play the game of not paying it. Wondering if someone is starting a lawsuit against these criminal actions of charging fees to PG & E? Any lawyers out there in our sweet community? This would be so awesome....
The following member has expressed gratitude to Elizabeth Lakin for this post:
Yes the fees are already being called illegal. A bunch of lawsuits are already in the works.
This is from eon3.net
If you have an analog meter: Tell PG&E you plan to keep your analog meter. When they ask you to agree to the charges tell them, “NO, the fees are arbitrary, punitive, likely illegal, and the fees are being legally contested at the CPUC!” Be assertive. Here’s the legal scoop: At this time the PG&E Advice letter 3278-G/4006-E is posted on the CPUC Energy Division website under Closed Advice letters, however it is listed as NO ACTION. NO ACTION means they cannot act on the advice letter, therefore we believe they cannot legally charge the fees at this time. If they ask you about access to your property, tell them they need to make an appointment.
If you agree to the fees, you can express that you are only agreeing under duress. If and when they charge, write “paid under protest” on your check, and keep a copy. Or don’t pay.** Don’t just ignore PG&E, either call or write a letter, or sign up online. PG&E’s online opt out form does not force you to explicitly agree to the charges.
I just spoke with a representative when I called to opt out and he said that it was the public utilities (California Public Utilities) who mandated the fees and switching over to the smart meters. Interesting, no?
PG$E has got the CPUC in their back pocket. Public my *ss.
Reader comment: (these steps worked for him!)
Steps for Opting out of SmartMeter and Refusing Charges
When you call 1-866-743-0263, listen to the options until you get to an opportunity to talk to a live person.
I am opting out and here’s the deal:
I refuse (not, I don’t want) to be charged because
1) the charges may be illegal
2) Your advice letter on the charges (the PGE letter they sent awhile ago) has been posted on the CPUC website as ‘no action’, so you have no right to demand charges.
3) And three, the charges for opting out are being challenged at the CPUC.
If the person on the other end says ‘No accept charges then no opting out’, say goodbye, count to ten and redial (they have several operators).
When they agree to your demands (opt out without charges), they will ask if you have a locked gate or a dog.
Tell the truth and add that no one may come on your property without permission. And that means that they must make an appointment by talking directly to you.
Insist that they make note of your objections and conditions (you should hear keys clicking). Finally, have them read back to you what they have written.
I just called to confirm I was opted out of both the electric and Gas meters, and the person I spoke with this time said that, "yes" when you opt out you are opting out of both - I also confirmed they had my statement protesting the fees of which she confirmed. I asked her, what if someone didn't get the chance to opt out yet, and or had a smart meter they wanted removed, and she said it's never too late for that. They simply put in the May 1 deadline so that they could start to put in the smart meters that had not been put in yet, but that any time someone wants to opt out they still can, EVEN if they come out tomorrow putting a smart meter on your house that you didn't want - they will come back to remove it upon request.
PG&E’s Opt Out Fees Mired in Dispute and Procedural Flaws
Posted on May 1, 2012 by onthelevelblog
tear gas) is in the air. Apart from a historical day to celebrate and defend workers rights, May 1st also happens to be the “deadline” for signing up for PG&E’s opt out program. Yet it’s not really a deadline. You can opt in or out at any time according to PG&E. And lacking justification for charging the fees or forcing a smart meter, our domineering monopoly utility is left with empty threats, legal ambiguities, and cheap intimidation tactics to force their unwanted meters.
Let’s take a look at where this issue stands as of today:
PG&E’s legal ability to charge $75 up front and $10/ month for keeping your old analog meter, or having your smart meter replaced with an analog, is under a cloud of uncertainty today after Marin County attorneys filed a motion at the CA Public Utilities Commission (pdf) to halt any further deployment of smart meters and demanded a moratorium on the collection of opt out fees, citing the mishandling of Edward Hasbrouck’s protest.
Hasbrouck- an SF activist and author- filed a protest against PG&E’s advice letter- containing the opt out policy and the provision that those who did not respond to certified mail requests- would be ‘deemed to have elected’ to pay more for the analog meter. As it turns out, that crucial addition was suggested by CPUC staffer Marzia Zafar who urged PG&E to include it in an e-mail dated Feb. 13th.
Marin’s motion states:“Until further disposition of this suspension by the Commission and appropriate notice to the parties in this proceeding and the public generally, and subject to any subsequent requests for review thereof, the rates, terms and conditions contained in this Advice Letter are not in effect. These terms and conditions of service include not only the interim rates set forth in the Decision, but also PG&E’s proposed tariff provisions defining the procedures set forth in OP 2 (a) and (b) of the Decision. If, for example, a Smart Meter is installed while there is no effective tariff provision governing the service provided, legal uncertainty — at a minimum — results regarding what, if any, rates would apply and what right, if any, PG&E had to install the meter if the customer did not affirmatively agree.”
Read the full post here: http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/002006.html
The CPUC initially stated on April 20th that PG&E’s opt out fee program advice letter was suspended. Then they retracted that, listing the advice letter on their website as “no action.” Then, when utility customers started citing the published status of the advice letter to refuse the fees, yesterday the CPUC took the extraordinary step of removing the listing of the advice letter altogether!
So in other words, the official sanction that PG&E is leaning on to charge hundreds in millions of fees to millions of Californians retaining their analog meter- is simply not in place. It’s in the throes of legal dispute. At the very least there is a necessary procedural delay to the fees, yet the CPUC- a public agency we fund through our tax dollars- refuses to admit that they screwed up, mishandled a timely and relevant protest against an ill-conceived punitive charging plan, and do what needs to be done- officially put a hold on the fees.
Like they did in Vermont, at the very least California needs a one year moratorium on any fees, while unresolved issues are pending. CA regulators are on the right track further investigating the PG&E spying scandal. Now it’s time for them to wise up to PG&E’s violations of the state utility code in charging unjustified and unsubstantiated punitive smart meter opt out fees. They just don’t seem to be able to wrap their heads around this fact- we never opted IN!
Andrew Kotch at the CPUC News and Information Office had this to say: “The opt-out program and its fees have never been suspended. The program continues as approved by the CPUC in February: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PUBLISHED/NE...SE/158621.htm”
Funnily enough that’s not what your legal division has been saying!
As a California utility customer in PG&E territory, you would be entirely justified in refusing to participate in this half-baked policy or pay the punitive fees. Or write “paid under duress” on your check. Report any unauthorized installations or illegal power disconnections to us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are upset about PG&E’s continuing abuses, come and PROTEST PG&E at their Annual Shareholder Meeting on Monday May 14th 9:30am at 77 Beale St. (Financial District) San Francisco. Details forthcoming.
The EMF Safety Network has retained James Hobson, an attorney with Best, Best and Kreiger (BBK) from Washington DC. BBK represents jurisdictions in California and has 200+ attorneys in California and DC. Hobson worked with Janet Newton, the director of EMR Policy Institute on FCC litigation. He is highly recommended by our advisors. He is helping primarily with the CPUC Application for Rehearing, has reviewed commercial opt-out letters, and provides counsel for the opt-out proceeding.
Our current goals are to obtain Smart Meter customer rights, which include free opt-out, community wide opt-out, commercial opt-out, full disclosure, informed consent, and health and safety hearings. We are participating in the CPUC proceeding that is now consolidated with all the utilities involved. The CPUC pre-hearing conference to determine the scope of the second phase of the proceeding begins on May 16 in SF.
With Hobson's help, we are adding information to the Application for Rehearing and the CPUC has stated they will decide on this in June. If they reject it, then we can sue the CPUC, and PG&E. We have also retained an expert in RF calculations to evaluate and refute PG&E's technical claims.
It would be helpful to raise an additional $25,000 for the year, for attorney fees and to hire a private investigator to expose the fire hazards of Smart Meters. This year the EMF Safety Network has received over $58,000 in donations and have an additional $30,000 pledged.
You can help in two ways.
1. Direct people to fill out and send in Declarations: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=7684
2. Direct people to financially support our legal efforts.
They can specify where they want their funds to go towards: smart meter, fire investigation, or the Sebastopol cell tower lawsuit.
Donations payable to EMF Safety Network:
EMF Safety Network
PO Box 1016
Sebastopol CA 95473
Donations over $100 can be tax deductible but should be made payable to EON, and sent to the above address. EMF Safety Network is a sponsored project of Ecological Options Network (EON) a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
With tremendous gratitude for all the work you have each contributed to making our campaign successful.
I want to invite you all to make a quick phone call to the CPUC at 1-800-789-0550 24/7 and Harold Williams at 1-800-649-7570 who is the one Public Utilities Commissioner who takes calls on Smart Meters. His number is available M-F 8:30-4:30. You may get his voice mail.
They are tabulating the public's opinion about smart meters, so the more calls they get, the better.
Smart Meters emit dangerous amounts of radiation
We don't like them spying on us
Shouldn't be mandatory
The whole program should be scrapped...like DDT, asbestos, and cigarettes
No opt-out fees, we never opted in, discriminatory against those with disabilities, low income, and the uninformed
Whole communities and counties should be allowed to opt-out for free
They should not be allowed in multiple numbers on apartment buildings and condos.
The P in CPUC stands for public. Get back to serving the public, not PG&E.
Let them hear from many of us.
Thanks, your 2 minutes makes a difference.
Last edited by ubaru; 05-12-2012 at 01:50 AM.
Our efforts in Public Education are taking hold and beginning to pay
dividends! According to Bloomberg in May 10th's San Francisco Chronicle (Front page
Business Report), to date 9 states are offering electric utility
customers procedures to opt out of "Smart"meters or are considering same.
This is happening, not only in the United States, but worldwide, as a result of
community led insistence on our right to choose and social conscious-raising
in regard to the numerous deleterious aspects of this multi-billion dollar
Remember, all it takes is for each of us to discuss the smartmeter issue
with one new person a day.
Thanks to all of you, we have the right to choose.
The following member has expressed gratitude to ubaru for this post:
The following member has expressed gratitude to Sabrina for this post:
This might have been a good idea, except for the fact that Harold Williams is not a Commissioner, and thus has no decisive power. He's only a PUC frontman, put there to take flak and vent steam. The PUC sent him to one of the earlier Sebastopol meetings called by Efren Carrillo, where PG&E stood us all up by not showing up after they had agreed to come and answer questions. Harold acted and looked sympathetic to our plight, even pretended to be indignant that PG$E failed to show up, but afterwards nothing happened in the way of positive changes of PUC policy.
Yes, the public's opinion will be duly collected and tabulated, then put in the dumpster. Sorry to be so cynical and untrusting. Just yesterday in his KGO report of the PG$E shareholders meeting in San Francisco, Michael Finney described the choreographed process of going through the motions very apty:"We asked PG&E what will happen to those petitions.
"'The petitions are not part of the regulatory process; we do understand they're a statement from our customers of interest and concern and we do want those customers to call us,'" PG&E spokesperson Greg Snapper said.
"'Hopefully someone will be willing to accept the petition, if not I'll keep trying,'" Smith said.
"PG&E did invite SmartMeter opponents to contact PG&E directly and take their case to the California Public Utilities Commission. PG&E promises it will help customers get their voices heard at the PUC."
The only way to rattle their cages is through procedural challenges on statutory issues. Witness the waves made among internal regulatory communications obtainable through public record, by the legal challenges of Edward Hasbrouck alone: http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/002001.html
Brown and/or the State Legislature needs to put the present commissioners in the dumpster, and start over with real people free of industry connections and commitments. But Brown is mute on this issue.
Disclaimer: Preceding commentary not to be misconstrued as an endorsement of Efren Carrillo.
California PUC Stonewalls on Smart Meter Health Damage; Attempts to Cover Up Testimony Demanding Health Hearings
Posted on May 31, 2012 by onthelevelblog
In California, the second phase of the smart meter ‘opt out’ proceeding took place at the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco on May 16th, overseen by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Amy Yip Kikugawa. This is the same judge who nearly cleared the room after we asked questions about the peak pulse of radiation from smart meters on September 15th of last year. After Sue Brinchman of the San Diego based Center for Electrosmog Prevention posted the transcript of the recent public proceeding on her website, the CPUC wrote to her by e-mail and asked her to remove it- that the transcript was not allowed to be posted online:
.“…it has come to our attention that you have posted transcripts on your web site. Please do not post any transcripts on your web site or any web site.”Why would the CPUC want to suppress the transcript of a public, judicial proceeding paid for by the taxpayer and critical to the outcome of how the smart meter ‘opt out’ is paid for, who pays, and how it is structured?
Well it’s pretty clear from reading the transcript why they don’t want the public to know what’s going on in these proceedings. Again and again, parties in the proceeding raise the health issue (more than 14 times according to our count) and each time Judge Amy dismisses it. It’s fairly obvious she has her marching orders; she has shown herself to be a reliable ally of corporate stooge and president of the Commission Michael Peevey.
Imagine (just for arguments sake) that someone ends up in court after murdering someone. The district attorney and a long string of witnesses all tell the judge that the perpetrator must be charged with murder and a trial must be held. The evidence is strong and compelling, and each witness can testify to the crime from different angles. Yet the judge refuses to acknowledge the evidence, insisting on reviewing the perpetrator’s parking tickets, and telling the DA and the crowd of witnesses that they should seek a separate trial for the murder case.
“But we have, your honor!” they exclaim. “No one else has agreed to hear the case- we’ve been turned back every time.” The Judge nods, and proceeds to discuss the “critical” issue of how much the accused will have to pay for illegally parking his gold Mercedes while he committed the murder.
The analogy is not exact, but the level of corruption, injustice, and betrayal of public service is even worse in this case. PG&E and the other utilities are responsible for a quiet public health catastrophe, and the CPUC- fuelled by our tax dollars- is looking the other way, betraying their responsibility to protect public health and safety . Fines that sound large to the public are levied for violations that led to the San Bruno explosion, but these amounts pale in comparison to the huge profits energy companies are making off our backs. Executives who place profit over people’s lives one day are on to their next position making millions the next.
These psychopathic individuals should be criminally prosecuted and sent to jail for a long time. That’s the only thing that might make future execs think twice before gambling with public health and safety. Instead, ordinary people taking peaceful action to defend themselves against microwave violence end up in jail.
The Orwellian doublethink evident in this proceeding would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. When you see the system so broken that it won’t even admit to a blatant crime in progress, the public is left no other option than to take matters into their own hands.
Any opt out program that ignores its own raison d’etre is destined to be discriminatory, illegal and ineffective.
Above is the video of the proceeding courtesy of EON. Below are edited sections of the transcript from this proceeding. In defiance of the CPUC’s attempt to quash public access to this document, we have posted the full version here in the public interest.
Thank you to the brave, eloquent intervenors in this case. We admire their patience and keen sense of justice. May the people prevail against the technocratic smart grid. As Steve Martinot says, “people are more important than technology.”
We’re not so sure that the system agrees.
Second Phase Opt Out Proceeding CPUC– Excerpts from Transcript (including many of our local smart meter activists).
I believe it is totaly wrong for P.G.&E. to charge people for removing smart meters for a fee and a monthly fee applied to our bills every month for not using one on top of our regular bills. What is Effren Carrillo doing about this?? I found out through P.G.&E. that the P.U.C. made this decision and customers need to contact them for anything to change . Why should we be charged extra for something we did not want or request?
I got my bill with the $75 fee tacked on, I paid the bill, leaving off the fee. I understand we have three months to pay the fee. I am hoping this will die in the courts before that. I just believe this kind of extortion can't be legal. We, the consumers paid for the roll out of the smart meters. Surely the cost of not having one is relatively insignificant to such a behemoth. The last I heard was there are only around 10,000 people who opted out in northern CA . And you know, they could've put us on an honor system, ie we couldve reported our own usage with maybe a reader coming out once a year to keep tabs on us. I mean really, this is wrong people.
Attached (I hope) is what Carrillo wrote to the CPUC back in April.
Last week the CPUC suspended opt-out fees for Southern California Edison. PG&E here we come.
California Public Utilities Code Section 745 (d) (1) is fairly explicit about prohibition of opt-out fees:
"Residential customers have the option to not receive service pursuant to time-variant pricing and incur no additional charges as a result of the exercise of that option. Prohibited charges include, but are not limited to, administrative fees for switching away from time-variant pricing . . ."
Defiance of the above-quoted Code Section by CPUC approval of opt-out fees establishes the commission as a rogue, outlaw agency acting without authority. Suspending opt-out fees for Southern California Edison is probably the first step to bringing the commission back into compliance. PG$E most likely comes next.
I totally agree, and yes the CPUC is acting so far from being a public advocacy group. But the pressure is on them to make things right. Could you please share where you got the information that we have three months to pay the extortion fee? Knowing this would be helpful to many folks as we buy time to fight it.
We are not limited to three months. Our time has already been bought, by us. Consider the following clue:
It is curious if not revealing to compare previous and current PG$E billing statements for those of us who have "chosen" to opt out. The easiest way to show this would be to submit copies of bills. But since account numbers, etc. appear there, and Waaco isn't exactly private, a more belabored description is appropriate. Check it out, and see if this observation matches your own bills:
On the bill for the month of March, the various charges are itemized and added up resulting in "TOTAL CURRENT CHARGES" (X amount). Following that, noting full payment for the previous bill, appears the bold-print bottom line in a box:
"TOTAL AMOUNT DUE (same amount)
DUE DATE - 4/(XX)/2012"
Now comes the first bill (May's) to include a $75 charge for "SmartMeter Opt-Out Initial Fee", accompanied by more nauseating hype about how they "believe in choice when it comes to the meter at (y)our home." Here the billing format has changed significantly. Same itemization of the various standard charges (without yet listing the opt-out fee), but now instead of "TOTAL CURRENT CHARGES", it states "Current Charges Due 06/(XX))2012" (X amount, exclusive of the opt-out fee). Then again noting previous balance payed, then under that comes the $75 opt-out fee. Finally comes the big bold bottom line in the box, visually the biggest attention grabber:
"TOTAL AMOUNT DUE" (Sum of above-listed current charges + $75 opt-out fee)
So here's the kicker: There is no due date stated on this bill for "TOTAL AMOUNT DUE", only for current charges exclusive of the opt-out fee!
Implicit/complicit in this odd change in billing format are issues of corporate authority and customer consent. If we read between the lines, it says "We don't have the authority to charge you this fee, but if you're gullible/compliant enough to pay, we'll accept it anytime you're ready. And by the way, we believe in money."
In view of last week's CPUC suspension of opt-out fees for Southern California Edison, let the waiting game commence.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold Smart Meter public participation hearings in four different locations sometime next fall. The hearings will provide an opportunity for people to speak to the CPUC about Smart Meters, and the Smart Meter opt-out program. The CPUC has asked the EMF Safety Network to determine the locations by July 16. If you are a California utility customer, please take this survey, which will help decide which four locations will be chosen: https://www.
The following member has expressed gratitude to ubaru for this post:
Vermont Offering Free Smart Meter Opt-Out~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Last month the State Legislators of Vermont voted to allow utility customers a no fee Smart Meter opt-out!
Specifically, the bill says that customers must be allowed "to choose not to have a wireless smart meter installed, at no additional monthly or other charge".
The legislation also calls for future reports related to smart meters to be submitted on: cost-savings associated with smart meters; whether any security breaches occurred because of the wireless technology; and the health effects of smart meters.
In California, the Public Utilities Commission approved arbitrary and punitive opt-out fees, and is forcing customers who do not want Smart Meters to agree to the charges- even though they've never evaluated the charges! Seems like Vermont has a few smarter people in charge.
Call for Smart Meter Declarations~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are collecting declarations from California utility customers who've been impacted by Smart Meters. These declarations will be included in CPUC proceedings, and/or future civil lawsuits. This is a legal document that you believe is true to the best of your knowledge and you will testify to.
Please circulate this call for declarations to others who have been impacted by Smart Meters.
- Copy and paste the declaration template (below) into a Word document or download a Word template by clicking here.
- Follow the prompts in the template. Click here for an example.
- Email completed form to email@example.com.
- You will receive a confirmation by email, with a final copy converted into PDF/A format.
- Print out and sign two copies of the PDF/A format.
- Mail one signed copy to: EMF Safety Network, PO Box 1016, Sebastopol CA 95473 and keep one signed copy in a safe place for your own records.
Thank you for your help!
PG&E and SCE Commercial Opt-Out Letter Templates~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you have a place of business and want to write a letter to PG&E or SCE to tell them you do not want a smart meter installed?
To access both letter templates, click here.
EMF Safety Network Contact Information~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The following member has expressed gratitude to ubaru for this post:
I did the telephone opt out. Though I have had a meter reader presumably all along, only since opting out have I actually seen her, monthly. It takes her a second to read the meter from the street. I have yet to see the charge on my bill.
Last edited by Barry; 06-14-2012 at 04:48 PM.
Join Multi-Unit Residents Speaking Out About Smart Meters! CPUC June 21
Posted on June 14, 2012 by admin
A group of residents from low-income senior housing communities in Marin will protest opt-out fees, calling attention to unfair challenges that a punitive, extortionate opt-out program presents to multi-unit building residents who want to live in a SmartMeter-free environment.
Where: California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness, S.F.
When: Thursday, June 21, 9:00 a.m.. Sign in from 8:30 to 8:50.
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org
To P.G&E., Governor Jerry Brown, C.P.U.C., President Obama: Ban all Wireless SmartMeters from the state of CA and the entire U.S.A.
Our goal is to reach 200 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:
The following member has expressed gratitude to ubaru for this post:
The following member has expressed gratitude to tammatha for this post: