Bill proposed to enable opt-out of smart meters in California


Assembly member
Jared Huffman
Sacramento, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — December 9, 2010 – California Assembly member Jared Huffman has introduced a bill (AB 37) that would enable individuals to decline the installation of wireless advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) devices.

Under the bill, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) would be required, by January 1, 2012, to identify alternative options for customers that decline the installation of wireless smart meters, and to ensure that these options are made available to customers.

Further the California PUC would be required to disclose certain information to customers about the technology of smart meters, including radio frequency, magnitude of signal, and duration of signal.

Finally, all utilities would be required to suspend their AMI deployments until all these requirements have been complied with.

According to the Act preamble it is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety. In order to ensure that utility customers in California are able to make informed decisions about the deployment of smart grid technology, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.

“This bill is about giving consumers reasonable choices,” said Huffman. “Whether or not you believe RF exposures from smart meters are harmful, it’s only fair that consumers who are concerned about health effects be given complete technical information and the choice of another technology for devices that are installed at their homes. We can do that while preserving the effectiveness of the smart grid and all the benefits it will bring for consumers and the environment.”

At Huffman’s request the California Council on Science and Technology, a non partisan, non profit group that provides expert advice on science and technology to the legislature, is conducting an assessment on current smart meter safety standards and is expected tp present a preliminary report later this month.

Last week the California PUC rejected an application to study the health effects of smart meters, saying the application should be deferred to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).