Today the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) reviewed Pacific Power’s filing to reduce the monthly meter reading fee for customers who have opted out of using smart meter technology at a public meeting in Salem and made a decision to reduce meter reading fees for all opt-out customers.
Pacific Power’s filing recommended moving all opt-out customers to a $10 monthly meter reading fee, a decrease of $26 a month for most opt-out customers. Pacific Power’s request would have discontinued the triannual meter reading program, under which opt-out customers had been offered a lower monthly fee ($9 a month) for having their meters read manually three times a year and paying estimated monthly bills. Customers with smart meter technology do not pay a monthly meter reading fee.
Commissioners decided the following:
- To approve Pacific Power’s request to reduce the meter reading fee from $36 to $10 each month for smart meter opt-out customers on a monthly meter reading program, effective yesterday;
- To decline Pacific Power’s request to eliminate the triannual meter reading option for opt-out customers and to direct Pacific Power to reduce the cost of that option from $9 to $3 per month, effective yesterday; and
- To direct Pacific Power to submit a more developed proposal to the PUC to consider transitioning opt-out customers away from the triannual meter reading option.
“We value the public comments we continue to receive on this topic and the engagement of the Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon, which give us the customer perspective on these important decisions,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “Today’s decisions will benefit Pacific Power customers who have opted not to use smart meter technology but recognize that a considered transition may be possible in the future.”
In November 2018, the PUC requested alternatives to Pacific Power’s recommended $36 monthly meter reading fee for all smart meter opt-out customers. A pilot program was approved by commissioners in March 2019 that decreased the number of meter reads to three annually for smart meter opt-out customers, reducing the monthly meter reading fee from $36 to $9.
If customers have questions about their monthly fees, please contact Pacific Power at 888-221-7070.