Smart meters targeted by Josephine County commissioners

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Josephine County Commissioners are taking action against Pacific Power’s new smart meters.

The ordinance, which would crack down on the $36 opt-out fee, was approved during a first reading two weeks ago.

Josephine County Commissioners met Wednesday morning and made it official. The reading was passed by the board three to zero.

The ordinance was drafted in response to Pacific Powers new smart meters, and the costs associated with opting out.

Commissioner Simon Hare said it’s all about consumer protection and choice. “All were doing is trying to afford all of the consumers the element of choice,” Hare explained, “which they are not really afforded right now.”

Hare said customers could simply take a picture of their meter and submit it to Pacific Power, saving the company a trip to read the meter.

The ordinance, with a few minor changes from Thursday’s meeting, will go into effect 90 days from October 31, on January 29th. You can read the full ordinance here.

Pacific Power released a statement saying it was disappointed the ordinance passed Wednesday and fears that it could lead to customer confusion around opt-out rates.

We will continue our work with regulators and stakeholders, including Josephine County, to ensure we are taking our customers’ interests into account, and will review the opt-out fees with the Oregon Public Utility Commission once meter installations are near completion in oregon, to ensure these costs are transparent and fair.

You can read the full ordinance here.

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