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KIUC members to vote on fee for non-smart meter users

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:00 p.m. HST, Nov 14, 2013

A group of Island Kauai Utility Cooperative members has gathered enough signatures to challenge the KIUC board's decision to impose a fee on utility customers who chose not to have a wireless smart meter installed.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on Oct. 31 approved the fee proposed by KIUC, describing it as "reasonable." The fees took effect on Nov. 4. Customers without a smart meter pay $10.27 per month for the extra costs of manually reading and servicing the old meters.

Board policy enables petitioners who gather at least 250 valid signatures to put to a member vote any action of the elected, nine-member cooperative board. KIUC officials said yesterday they had verified the authenticity of the signatures.

The next step is for the board to meet with members of the petitioning group to discuss the method of submitting the challenged action to the members for a vote and to develop the wording of the ballot.

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