New Bill Addressing Concerns with Smartmeters

PG&E Smart Meters

Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D–Marin) introduced new legislation in response to consumer concerns raised over potential health effects of Smartmeters, the Advanced Metering Infrastructure currently being deployed by California utilities to better manage electricity consumption and pricing. Huffman’s bill, AB 37, directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide an “opt-out” alternative for customers who do not wish to have a wireless Smartmeter installed. It also directs the utilities to disclose important information about the Smartmeters to consumers, including the timing, magnitude, frequency and duration of Radio Frequency (RF) emissions so that individual consumers can make informed decisions.  The bill directs the CPUC to temporarily suspend deployment of Smartmeters until this opt-out alternative is in place. “This bill is about giving consumers reasonable choices.  Whether or not you believe RF exposures from Smartmeters are harmful, it’s only fair that consumers who are concerned about health effects be given complete technical information and the choice of another technology for devices that are installed at their homes,” said Huffman.  “We can do that while preserving the effectiveness of the smart grid and all the benefits it will bring for consumers and the environment.” The California Council on Science and technology is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the safety of Smartmeters and a preliminary report is expected later this month. Assemblymember Jared Huffman represents the 6th Assembly District, which encompasses southern Sonoma County and all of Marin County. First elected in 2006, Huffman chairs the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and also serves as Co-Chair with Senator Fran Pavley of the Legislative Environmental Caucus.
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