Safety, service and customer choice are very important to Southern California Gas Co. With this in mind, we want to respectfully clarify some concerns from a recent letter about smart meters.
First, SoCalGas advanced meters are not the “smart meters” some may have heard about. We’re installing small battery-powered modules on existing meters that will read and securely tell SoCalGas how much gas customers use. No personally identifiable information is sent and advanced meters don’t communicate with other meters or turn appliances on or off. As for radio signals, advanced meters only transmit a brief signal a total of less than two minutes over a whole year. So any radio energy from these is much less than from everyday items like laptops and cellphones.
Customers get detailed information and tools to help better manage energy use. And they’ll enjoy greater privacy, no longer having someone enter their property every month. Once fully installed, the advanced meters system will help our environment and create savings. By helping us take our service fleet off the road, it will help eliminate nearly 7 million miles driven each year to read meters. This is expected to reduce 140,000 tons of CO2 emissions. It will also enable operational and environmental savings over its life — savings passed along to customers in overall rates.
Finally, SocalGas respects customer choice. We’ve filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide an opt-out program for those who don’t want an advanced meter installed. This way, customers can choose if they want to pay for continued manual meter reading service. As we await a decision from the CPUC on the opt-out program costs, customers who don’t want an advanced meter can call SoCalGas and request to be placed on a deferral list and an advanced meter won’t be installed.
SoCalGas has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to our customers for more than 140 years. We believe our advanced meters offer benefits to our customers, community and environment. To learn more, please visit http://www.socalgas.com/innovation/advanced-meter
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