Smart Meters

A Smart Meter on display Nov. 8 during a Pacific Power workshop at the Mill Casino-Hotel in North Bend.

SOUTH COAST — For Pacific Power customers wanting to opt-out of the new smart meters, the company announced a new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option.

This will help reduce monthly fees starting March 13, according to a press release from Pacific Power.

“We’ve heard from customers that the fee to opt out of a smart meter is burdensome, and we have continued to look for new options,” said Pacific Power Vice President of Regulation, Etta Lockey in the release. “This has been a collaborative process with the PUC and the Citizens’ Utility Board, and we are pleased to offer this new option to customers.”

Smart meters have been installed in most homes now, a wireless upgrade that sends hour-by-hour energy usage information to both customers and the company. However, it lets customers see that information whenever they wish online rather than waiting for a monthly bill.

“While only around one percent of customers are opting out of the meter upgrade, choosing to do so adds a cost to continue manual meter reads,” the release said.

Originally, opt-out fees cost $36 a month, but under the new Equal Payment Option will now cost $9 a month. This is done by reducing the number of manual reads to three times a year instead of once a month, the release said.

“It also allows customers to pay a level or equal monthly amount based on a historical average of their previous bills,” the release said, though the first opt-out plan will still be available for monthly meter reads at $36 a month.

To sign up for the new option, customers can call 1-866-869-8520.

For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net/smartmeter or call 866-869-8520.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.