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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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10/18/2013 11:31:00 AM
VOC seeks no-penalty opt-out on smart meters

Yvonne Gonzalez
Staff Reporter

The Village of Oak Creek's Big Park Regional Coordinating Council unanimously approved a resolution Oct. 10 that asks the Arizona Corporation Commission to allow APS customers to opt out of the smart meter program without penalty.

APS is at the tail end of its deployment of 1.2 million smart meters in Arizona, replacing analog meters that need to be read manually. The utility has requested the ACC allow them to charge analog customers $75 initially and an additional $30 per month.

A representative from Sedona Smart Meter Awareness, a nonprofit organization that has been educating the public on the possible negative health effects of smart meters, gave a presentation during the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council's Sept. 19 meeting.

The group has given similar presentations to Sedona and Clarkdale, though Clarkdale has yet to take any action on the issue. Sedona members agreed to send a letter to the ACC asking that customers be allowed to opt out without the fee.

The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council represents about 6,000 people through 28 voting members, and does not make or enforce policies or laws. Business owners and homeowners associations make up this unincorporated section of the Verde Valley.

President Ken Rouse said the group wanted to represent the 28 voting entities fairly and make sure each member of the community had a chance to have their voices heard.

"When an issue comes up like smart meters, we try to provide a way for the issues to be discussed," Rouse said. "We can make our voice heard and hopefully people who hear us as a community speaking out will be influenced by what we have to say."

Rouse said this was not a statement for or against smart meters, but a request that residents be allowed to make the choice for themselves without the threat of a fee or a more expensive monthly bill.

"The resolution that we passed at that meeting simply says that we are asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to seriously consider our proposal that we as individual customers and residents be allowed to opt out of the smart meter program without penalty," Rouse said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: Carl Nye

Two things for Stick it to consider:

We have all been paying for the reader to come to our houses to take the readings for years. Theoretically, for every smart meter that now doesn't require a physical visit to be read, APS is saving the cost of the reader. So overall, the cost of "reading the meters" should go down as less meters need to be read. It's not an "extra expense" to read the opt-out meters.

Secondly, I strongly suggest you view the documentary "Take Back Your Power". It can be borrowed for free from the library. This is information that EVERY person must see to realize the full scope of the smart meter issue.

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Baer

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has not approved the fees proposed by by APS for rate payers refusing, or "opting out," of the "smart" meters. While the ACC has allowed APS to continue installing these devices, the AZ Department of Health Services is conducting a year-long study on the health effects of microwave radiation.

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: Stick it to Everyone else.

So a handful of people want to opt out but not pay the expense of having someone come out to read their meter? They would rather make everyone else pay for this extra expense they are causing. Get over it!

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013
Article comment by: Thank you Ms. Gonzalez

Thank you for reporting important news in an informative manner.
This has become very rare in our local papers. This important opposition against radiation is for your generation and the little ones most importantly. We must not sweep unpleasent news under the carpet any more. We must become community driven on all levels. Our lives depend on it.
Thank you.

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