Judge to make ruling on SmartMeter moratorium

August 30, 2010 7:01:04 PM PDT
There is an administrative law judge's ruling that is expected to come out soon on a motion calling for a moratorium on SmartMeter installations.

Ten days ago, a hearing was held on San Francisco's request for such a moratorium until it could be determined smart meters were working properly. At that hearing, PG&E argued such a freeze would be costly, but declined to release figures citing confidentiality.

Judge Timothy Sullivan ordered the utility to make that information public within a week.

7 On Your Side has now obtained documents submitted by PG&E to the court and those documents show PG&E estimates it would cost it anywhere from $17 million to $87 million to stop the program.

PG&E also says it would have to lay off 625 employees. It says most are related to labor, storage, and operational costs.

The Utility Reform Network says it supports a moratorium because SmartMeters have not benefitted consumers.

"What's actually happened with SmartMeters is thousands and thousands of customer complaints, a huge amount of unhappiness, and certainly consumers do not seem more informed about their energy bill. If anything, they seem more confused," says Mindy Spatt from The Utility Reform Network.

While PG&E did make some of its cost information public, some remains under seal.

The utility has asked the judge to allow that information to remain confidential.

No word on when the judge might rule on that.


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