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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 27, 2013 03:43 PM
From: Senator Donald C. White
To: All Senate members
Subject: Smart Meter Technology bills
I plan to introduce three bills to address consumer concerns related to smart meter technology.

Act 129 of 2008 requires electric distribution companies to develop energy efficiency and conservation plans and requires electric distribution companies to deploy smart meter technology throughout their service territories according to a 15-year depreciation schedule. Smart meter technology transmits usage data to both an electric distribution company and the consumer on an hourly basis.

The three bills include:
1. Consumer "opt-out" of smart meter usage
2. Consumer consent to share smart meter information
3. Repeal of smart meter mandate

Please contact Anne Achenbach, of my staff, at 7-4404 or aachenbach@pasen.gov if you have any questions.

Document #1

Introduced as SB818

Description: 1.  Consumer "opt-out" of smart meter usage

The first bill would amend Title 66 (Public Utilities) to permit consumers to “opt-out” of having smart meter technology deployed on their property.
Many of my constituents have expressed their concern of having smart meter technology placed in their homes or businesses without their consent.  Their concerns range from securing sensitive and personal information to the health impacts of radio frequency (RF) waves.
This legislation would provide consumers the ability to “opt-out” of having a smart meter and require the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to create a fair surcharge system to be paid by consumers.  My bill is similar to laws recently passed in Maine, Nevada and California.

Document #2

Introduced as SB817

Description: 2.  Consumer consent to share smart meter information

The second bill will ensure customer consent is required before an electric distribution company may share customer meter data or provide meter access to a government agency.  The bill will amend Title 66 (Public Utilities) to add “government agencies” to the list of specifically enumerated third parties where customer consent is required in order for an electric distribution company to provide access to customer meters and meter data.
Part of the mandate is the requirement that, with customer consent, power companies provide direct meter access or meter data to third parties including electric generation suppliers and providers of conservation and load management services.  While it makes sense for certain third parties to have access to data necessary to ensure that consumers are billed properly for the services they receive, I am concerned about this information being shared with government agencies without prior consent.

Document #3

Introduced as SB816

Description: 3.  Repeal of smart meter mandate

The third bill would amend Title 66 (Public Utilities) to repeal a mandate imposed on electricity companies to install smart meter technology on the buildings of their customers.
While smart meters may have their advantages, I have heard from many constituents that believe their usage should not be mandated.  This bill would simply remove language requiring energy companies to provide smart meters.  Electric companies can continue to offer the technology as an option to their consumers.