PG&E gets earful over SmartMeters at Santa Rosa hearing

Two hundred people turned out Thursday in Santa Rosa to rail against PG&E SmartMeters, complaining that individual opt-out fees are unfair, that cities should be able to get out of the program and that the wireless technology is a health threat.

"Do not impose a tariff to opt out, and allow communities to opt out," Fairfax Town Councilman Larry Bragman told an administrative law judge conducting a public hearing for the state Public Utilities Commission. "If you do that, you will drive more innovative solutions."

"It is unconscionable to extort money for safety, especially for people who cannot afford the cost of removal of this toxic device," said Ami Hartley.

Judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa will prepare a report for the PUC, addressing whether the fees PG&E charges customers who refuse to have a SmartMeter installed are justified.

A second issue is whether a community, be it a senior citizens complex or a city, should be able to opt out.

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