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Kauai utility votes to keep smart meter opt-out fees

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:58 a.m. HST, Jan 27, 2014

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative voted to keep fees that are charged to customers who don't want to use the company's wireless smart meter to measure their energy usage.

The fee is $10.27 a month for customers who don't want to use the smart meter.

Of the 10,901 ballots casted, 74 percent of KIUC members voted to keep the fees while 26 percent opposed.

"The record voter turnout along with the big margin for 'yes' votes suggests that the vast majority of members were engaged, understood what was at stake and wanted to send a clear message that they supported the board's decision to charge the fees," said Allan Smith, chairman of the KIUC board of directors. "We're grateful for that support and we thank the members on both sides of the issue who took the time to vote."

The Public Utilities Commission approved the charge last November.

The charge covers the cost of manually reading the meters.

Smart meters allow the utility to remotely read a customer's energy usage data and can connect and disconnect service.

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