Edison opt out number: 1-800-810-2369 $75 + $10/mo- deadline for sign-up is 7-9-12
6-12-12 note: opt out fees are under 120 day suspension pending review
V-DAY FOR CONSUMERS - BIG WIN FOR CALIFORNIACPUC APPROVES SCE OPT-OUT DECISION
(Santa Barbara, CA – April 19, 2012) In an historic pro-consumer ruling, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted in favor of Consumers Power Alliance (CPA), a consumer rights coalition headquartered in Santa Barbara, and ordered Southern California Edison (SCE) to provide Opt-Outs for their customers. The Decision – that affects SCE’s approximately 11 million customers - followed eleven months of legalitiesthat included a workshop, pleadings and hearings regarding the PG&E Opt-Out Plan, which ultimately became the template for the SCE Plan.
It was not an easy battle for the grassroots organization SCE initially balked at changing the mandatory program to one that allowed customers to have their say. Over the course of the proceedings, the wirelesssmart meters became increasingly unpopular, as customer complaints of bruising, sometimes bankrupting bills, disabling radiation sickness, fried appliance and wiring, fires, and other hazards grabbed the attention of media and elected officials. More and more California communities took action, including the counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo, and the cities of Carpinteria, Goleta, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, Buellton, and the village of Montecito. Citing unresolved health and safety concerns, the civic leaders of 55 California communities notified the CPUC that they wanted the utilities to offer Opt-Outs for the protection of the health and safety of their residents.
Highlights of the SCE plan include permanent opt-outs “for any and no reason” and retention of the customer’s current analog meter, or, if removed, restoration of their old meter. Approval was given tointerim fees of $75 for set-up and $10 per month for meter reading, discounted interim CARE fees of $10 for set-up and $5 per month, and a three month installment payment plan for set-up fees. Per the decision, aPhase 2 Hearing, as yet unscheduled, will be held to determine the final fees, the viability of community opt-outs, and other relevant details.
Passage of the SCE Opt-Out Plan closes the six-month long Delay Install Program, where customers could stop installation with a simple telephone call. The utility will now be permitted to install free of restrictions. However, the CPUC has directed the utility to provide customers seeking Opt-Outs - who do not want a smart meter or had a smart meter erroneously installed and want their old meter restored - with an Opt-Out Service. If this service follows PG&E’s procedures, it will include a toll free number, internet application, and notification of all Delay Install customers via telephone and letter.As our attorney releases further information and analysis, you will be informed. CPA wishes to extend our deepest thanks to the thousands of volunteers who made V-Day happen. Congratulate yourselves. This has been truly a team effort. We have a couple more things to wrap up, including getting more of our neighbors to opt-out. DECISION MODIFYING DECISION 08-09-039 - Conclusions of Law – Effective Now.
Thank you for your support.
- A residential customer should be allowed to opt-out of a wireless smart meter for any reason, or for no reason.
- The opt-out option adopted must balance the concerns expressed by customers against California’s overall energy policy.
- Allowing residential customers an opportunity to opt out of receiving a wireless smart meter should not impede ongoing state energy objectives.
- It is important that the selected opt-out option has the capability to allow customers to take advantage of smart grid benefits.
- Although a non-communicating smart meter is the preferred opt-out option, an analog meter opt-out option could be offered at this time, as there are no mandatory residential TOU rates.
- Customers who participate in the opt-out option should retain the meter currently installed at their location or receive the meter form (i.e., an analog meter or a non-analog, non-smart digital meter) that had been at the customer’s location prior to the installation of a wireless smart meter.
- Until there is additional information on the costs to offer multiple opt-out options, only a single opt-out option should be offered.
- Since SCE’s deployment of the Edison SmartConnect Program is consistent with the requirements of D.08-09-039, it should be allowed to recover the costs associated with offering the opt-out option to the extent those costs are found to be appropriate, reasonable and not already being recovered in rates.
- A residential customer selecting the opt-out option should be assessed an initial charge and a monthly charge.
- A discount should be provided to customers enrolled in the CARE program.
- There should be a second phase in this proceeding to consider cost and cost allocation issues associated with offering an opt-out option
- It would be appropriate to include the substantive and procedural components of D.12-02-014 in this proceeding for purposes of statewide consistency.
- The modifications to SCE’s Edison SmartConnect Program to include an opt-out program should be implemented as quickly as possible.
- An interim initial fee and monthly charge for customers electing the opt-out option should be assessed until a final decision on cost and allocation issues is issued.
- SCE should be authorized to establish a new two-way memorandum account to track revenues and costs associated with providing the opt-out option until a final decision on cost and allocation issues is issued.
- The September 21, 2011 Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling directing the utilities to allow residential customers to be placed on a delay list should no longer be applicable for SCE.
Consumers Power Alliance (CPA) is putting power back into the hands of consumers. Donations should be sent directly to Tobin Law. Find the mailing address on our webpage: www.consumerspoweralliance.com
Consumers Power Alliance (CPA) is a public benefit association dedicated to the ongoing education, representation, and protection of California consumers. CPA participates in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulatory proceedings and other related activities.