Smart meter one time fee waived, monthly cost remains

Oregon – Pacific Power won’t charge you a one time fee to opt out of their new smart meters, but opting out will still cost you.

Pacific Power began installing new meters it can access remotely via a wireless network in Jackson, Josephine and Siskiyou counties this summer. The company previously said people who opt out would be charged a one time fee of $137.

While that has been waived, it’ll still charge people $36 a month to read the old meters, but some are concerned the meters may potentially impact their health. According to the American Cancer Society, they produce radio frequencies which it states are possibly carcinogenic.

But it isn’t clear what the health risk, if any, there could be from having a meter at your home. According to the California Council on Science and Technology, smart meter radio frequencies would have to be 3500x stronger to be considered hazardous.

Pacific Power says it’s a late adopter of the technology because it wanted to make sure it’s safe for customers. The company says customers who opted out prior to August 14, will receive a refund of the $137 fee. In all, Pacific Power will replace more than 640,000 meters in Oregon and California from now through fall 2019.

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