Southern California Edison (SCE) residential customers have the option to choose an Edison SmartConnect meter or a traditional electric meter, following a final decision today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
SCE supports the CPUC’s decision and will respond quickly to customers who choose to opt out of the Edison SmartConnect program. Starting May 9, customers may opt out by calling 1-800-810-2369.
For customers already on the delay list, calling the number will enable them to enroll in the opt-out program and keep their current meters. Customers who have a smart meter, but would like to opt out, can have their meter exchanged for the type (i.e., electro-mechanical analog meter or non-analog, non-smart digital meter) that was previously in place.
“Meter technology worldwide is transitioning from analog to digital technology, but our customers come first,” said Erwin Furukawa, senior vice president of Customer Service at SCE. “Customer choice is something that is important to us, and we’re glad that the CPUC was able to come to a timely decision to accommodate all our customers.”
Edison SmartConnect meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices. They are replacing traditional electric meters and providing a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid. Customers with smart meters will have access to their daily energy usage data through SCE.com. By signing up to receive email, voice or text message alerts, customers can track usage against a monthly budget target of their choice.
SCE began introducing these programs and services last year and more than 2.3 million customers now have access to them. More customers will be able to make better-informed decisions about energy use by enrolling in the smart meter-enabled programs and services throughout this year. Once advanced features are fully activated, SCE’s smart meters will be able to communicate with the next generation of smart thermostats, appliances and other devices.
The CPUC's final decision requires customers who opt out of the program to pay a $75 one-time set-up fee and a $10 recurring monthly charge. The cost covers manual meter-reading and associated operational and billing activities. Income-qualified customers pay $10 for the initial set-up fee and $5 a month. The first smart meter in the Edison SmartConnect program was installed in September 2009 in Downey. Installations will continue through 2012 to a total of nearly 5 million SCE residential and small-business customers in the utility’s 50,000-square-mile service territory. To date, SCE has installed more than 4 million smart meters.
Edison SmartConnect is a $1.6 billion program the CPUC authorized. SCE’s smart metering program was designed to help achieve California’s energy policy goals relating to improved electric system reliability, customer energy efficiency and demand response, and reduced environmental impact.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.