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State Regulators Consider PG&E SmartMeter Opt-Out Plan

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) -- State utility regulators are considering a plan that would allow Pacific Gas & Electric customers in Northern California to pay to switch off the wireless signals on their so-called "smart meters."

California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey proposed the opt-out fees Tuesday in response to critics who say the devices PG&E started installing in 2007 to eliminate the need for meter readers can cause headaches.

Under Peevey's proposal, customers would be charged an initial opt-out fee of $90 and an ongoing monthly charge of $15 to have the radio signals on their meters turned off or to have a digital meter without a radio transmitter installed.

PG&E suggested a similar payment plan in March after resistance to smart meters led several communities to place moratoriums on the devices.

The commission could vote on the recommendation as early as January.


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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