[VIDEO] The Mason County PUD 3 Commissioners Tuesday set the “opt out” fee for those not wanting a smart meter (also called Advanced Meters) at $25.00 a month. This fee is to cover the cost of the Utility sending staff to read those meters manually instead of the meter transmitting electricity use data to the PUD by radio frequency or RF. There are 37 PUD 3 customers who have opted out and those meters will be read every two months.
The opt out fee has been a hot button issue for some since the PUD 3 announced its grid modernization project and started replacing meters. Many are have voiced concerns over health issues caused by RF and have asked the PUD not to charge the opt out fee which was originally proposed at $50.00 a month.
Prior to taking action, Commissioner Bruce Jorgenson suggested cutting the opt out fee to $10.00 a month.
PUD 3 staff calculated the cost to read those meters using salary, travel and other factors, and provided options ranging from monthly readings to annual readings. Jorgenson said his figure was based on empathy.
Commissioner Linda Gott said she was comfortable with the proposal but wants to watch it for a year or so.
Commissioner Tom Farmer was looking at the opt out fee from a full system view.
Jorgenson withdrew his proposed fee amendment and the vote for the $25.00 a month opt out fee and reading every two month passed unanimously.
The following video is of the meeting, starting with public testimony and ending with commission action on Resolution No. 1708.