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Kauai utility wants to charge smart meter avoiders

By Alan Yonan Jr.

LAST UPDATED: 10:05 a.m. HST, Oct 03, 2013

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative plans to seek regulatory approval to levy a charge on customers who chose not to use the company's wireless smart meters.

Utility officials said Wednesday they will ask the state Public Utilities Commission to authorize a $10.27 per month fee for customers who opt out of the smart meter program.

Smart meters allow utilities to remotely read customers' meters as well as connect and disconnect service.

KIUC says about 10 percent of its 30,000 customers are opting not to use smart meters. The cooperative says it costs about $340,000 a year to send technicians to read old-style meters still in use at 3,000 homes and businesses.

Utility officials say they think it's fair to assign the cost of reading the old meters to cooperative members who have chosen to keep them rather than have the entire membership pay.

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mcc wrote:
Monopolies can do anything they want to do to force people to do what they do not want to do.
on October 3,2013 | 09:19AM
tasod wrote:
The math doesn't seem to add up. The cost of $340,000 divided the 3,000 "non-smart" customers would equal about $113 . The proposed fee barely covers that cost. The fee will still mean all customers would be paying just over $10 a month just for meter reading.
on October 3,2013 | 09:38AM
Numilalocal wrote:
If every non-smart meter household would get rid of their microwave ovens, wi-fi and cell phones, they'll get a bit more credibility as each of these technologies emit similar waves. Smart meters cannot tell what devices are being used and cannot turn off individual devices. What they will do is enable the utility to have peak-time billing: power use would cost more during high consumption times such as evenings and perhaps mornings. Me, I'll just adjust my schedule for the minuscule amount of power I use: my bill's less than $50.00/month.
on October 3,2013 | 09:45AM
LizKauai wrote:
Anti-smart meters was the litany before the anti-GMO fear mongering. Before that was the anit-Superferry. You win some and you lose some in the fear-mongering business.
on October 3,2013 | 09:59AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I don't think it is fair for the rest of the customers to pay for the old way of reading the meters for those who refuse to have the new devices installed. They should either simply charge the old meter users what it costs to check those meters and not spread it to all complying users of the new meters. Maybe if they start charging the cost to have personnel go to each home that are not in compliance, these customers will change their mind. Just don't charge everyone for the rest that want the old style. That's just not right.
on October 3,2013 | 10:54AM
Forever_Grateful wrote:
About 5 or so years ago a video went around on the Internet about "SMART METERS" - it warned against allowing them to be installed because ... its a Big Brother thing. They can do more than read your meters remotely, turning power on and off remote (they can do that now) but they can listen in on your conversations in your household AND can turn on a light or an appliance, anything plugged in, for a certain amount of time causing your electric bill to rise just enough you won't notice or complain. The video also showed where these smart meters can SEE inside your house. I know we can't believe everything we read or see on the Internet but this video was convincing to me!
on October 3,2013 | 06:02PM
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