Public Service Co. wants to charge some customers a flat fee of $183 and then $28 a month to not get a new smart meter.
Hundreds of PSO customers already have refused installation of the smart meters because of health concerns about radiation, privacy issues and safety problems with the meters themselves.
PSO claims no such problems exist.
Initially, PSO was not permitting customers to refuse the new smart meters and stick with the analog meters that have worked without problems for decades and don’t emit radiation.
PSO has filed a request with Oklahoma Corporation Commission to essentially force customers to switch by charging them almost $500 in fines for not accepting the meters.
PSO plans to send letters to customers threatening the increased costs if they don’t comply with the mandatory installation of smart meters should the Corporation Commission approve the penalty fees.
PSO is already charging hundreds of thousands of customers $3.11 a month for the cost of the meters – whether the customer wants them or not. PSO plans to spend $130,000,000.00 of customer revenues to install more than 520,000 smart meters in the Tulsa metro area and state.
PSO has “noncommunicating digital meters” that it can install instead of smart meters. Those don’t broadcast radiation.
PSO customers who don’t want smart meters can call Customer Operations at 1-888-216-3523 and 918-599-2208. Customers who had smart meters already installed don’t have any recourse at this time but some legislators are looking for remedies. If a customer is not at home, PSO or its contractors will install a smart meter without permission but they will leave a note on the door.
Joe Esposito, who lost his electrical service for awhile in a dispute over a smart meter at his home in Owasso, said there is not one study that shows that the radiation from smart meters is safe.
PSO claims that there are studies that show that the radiation is no worse than that of a cell phone.