October 6, 2012

Smart meter foes seek to end opt-out fee

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Smart meter opponents in Maine are continuing to press for the Public Utilities Commission to eliminate a fee imposed on customers who opt out of the program.

Ed Friedman said there should be no fee for choosing not to allow installation of a device that he says is both an invasion of privacy and a health risk.

Two dozen activists protested last week outside the Public Utilities Commission offices in Augusta.

The commission thought it had dealt with health and safety issues in 2010, when the issue was first raised. But the state supreme court sided with opponents of the meters, who argued that regulators ignored their legal mandate to ensure the delivery of "safe, reasonable and adequate" utility service.

Now, the commissioners have opened a new investigation.

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