California’s Marin County maintains smart meter ban for another year


Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to maintain its ban on smart meters for a further year, on the grounds that the California Public Utilities Commission hasn’t yet formally approved any community opt-out provisions or final fees.

This is now the fourth year the temporary moratorium has been in place, with the first introduced in January 2011 and reimposed annually subsequently. At issue, a memo from Marin County Council deputy David L. Zaltsman to the Board states, was a lack of response by the PUC to “certain conditions regarding (smart meter) safety and accuracy.” Thereafter the PUC has been working on options for allowing opt-outs from smart meter installation, but the process is still ongoing.

Marin County falls within the service area of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which offers an opt-out option to customers.

In a Marin News report, PG&E’s Brittany McKannay was quoted as saying that the company believes individual choice is important rather than a community opt-out, and that if a customer wants to opt out, they can call PG&E to get on the opt-out list.

McKannay also said 191,931 smart meters have been installed in Marin, and 3,495 customers have opted out.

At the meeting a representative from the town of Fairfax indicated that that town would also be renewing its smart meter moratorium.