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Utility Releases Smart Meter Opt-Out

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

March 25, 2011

Following protests from customers and concerns voiced by advocates, California's public utility has released an opt-out plan for its smart meter program, meeting a deadline set by the California Public Utilities Commission. Mercury News reports that Pacific Gas & Electric's (PG&E) plan will allow customers to opt out of having the wireless portion of the smart meter turned on. However, the action would cost customers fees that one advocate says are "not affordable" and would discourage customers from doing so. Smart meters will measure home electricity usage in real time, in some cases down to the appliance level, prompting privacy concerns.
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