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Washington utilities must provide smart meter opt outs for residential customers

UPDATED: Fri., May 25, 2018

From staff reports

Washington’s electric and gas utilities must provide an opt-out for customers who don’t want “smart meters” installed at their homes.

The state Utilities and Transportation Commission adopted the policy in April, ahead of advanced meter rollouts by Washington’s investor-owned utilities.

Advanced meters provide energy consumption alerts and automated customer outage detection.

Avista Corp. will spend $165 million over the next two years to install smart meters in Washington. Company officials say the new meters will allow 450,000 electric and gas customers to track their energy use within a 24-hour period and help the utility more quickly respond to power outages.

However, customer’s can opt out by calling the Spokane-based utility’s customer service number, (800) 227-9187.

Smart meters track the customers’ energy use and send the information to a network router installed on a nearby utility pole. The data is sent to Avista through a secure satellite or cellular signal.

Avista officials say the utility already has measures in place to protect customers’ privacy.

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