Pacific Power Issues Statement Regarding Smart Meter Opt Out Program
PORTLAND, Ore. — January 11, 2019 — Pacific Power issues the following statement regarding a proposal filed today with Public Utility Commission of Oregon:
Pacific Power’s rollout of smart meters continues in Oregon through 2019, an upgrade which gives customers greater insight into their home or business energy use and brings new benefits such as reduced outage times. We remain committed to supporting our customers during this change, responding to their needs and listening to their feedback.
This includes finding new ways to reduce the financial impact of fees charged to those who choose to opt-out of the upgrade, while ensuring costs remain fair to all customers. To reduce the upfront cost of opting out, we earlier removed the $137 fee covering a future replacement of a smart meter and continued to explore other fee options.
Today, we filed a proposal with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon for a new Fixed-Bill Pilot. The program is designed to help alleviate the financial impacts of the monthly $36 meter reading fee by reducing the number of annual meter reads. It also provides customers with greater predictability on their monthly bills with the same amount due each month.
This proposal will be presented by Pacific Power during a public hearing in Salem on Tuesday, January 15 at 9:30 a.m. at the Public Utility Commission of Oregon. If approved by the Commission, the Fixed-Bill Pilot will be available as early as March 1 for an initial group of 200 customers. The program offers the following features:
- Participating opt-out customers pay a monthly fixed dollar amount for a 12-month period and have their meter read three times per year.
- The monthly payment includes an average of the customer’s most recent 12-month energy bills, a 7.5 percent adder fee to cover energy usage fluctuations, plus a $36 meter reading fee charged three times per year across 12 months or $9 per month. There would be no annual reconciliation against the customer’s energy consumption.
- Prior to the end of twelve months, the customer will receive a new offer for the next 12 month period and has the option to continue participation in the pilot.
- Below is an example of a how a monthly bill on the pilot could be calculated (example is based on the average monthly use of 900 kWh for an Oregon residential customer).
Average bill (based on prior 12 months): $98.52 for 900 kWh per month
7.5% Adder: $7.39
Meter Reading Fee: $9.00
Monthly Payment: $114.91
Customers who are interested in providing feedback may contact the Public Utility Commission of Oregon at 800-522-2404 or the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board at 503-227-1984.
Customers can reach Pacific Power by calling 866-869-8520 or visit www.pacificpower.net/smartmeter to learn more about smart meters.
Our statewide upgrade to 590,000 smart meters began in January 2018 and will conclude later this year. Nationwide, more than 70 million smart meters are already installed at homes and businesses, which includes half of all households in the U.S. Pacific Power smart meters are a key component to updating the energy grid initially built for technology from 100 years ago. They help us hold down operating costs, improve customer service and reliability while maintaining the highest standards of security and customer privacy.
Press release from Pacific Power