The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) rescinded the decision they made last December to allow APS to charge an extortion fee to people who refuse a 'smart' meter.
by Warren Woodward
Smart meter opt-out fees have been rescinded in Arizona.
Extortive “opt-out” fees have been rescinded in Arizona. photo: The Republic

At a meeting last Monday, and after spending an hour in “executive session” privately discussing the issue with their lawyers, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) rescinded the decision they made last December to allow APS to charge an extortion fee to people who refuse a “smart” meter.

Last December the ACC had approved a $50 up front fee for those not “grandfathered in” with an existing analog meter, and $5 per month to avoid the harm inherent in “smart” meters. That misguided, illegal and ill-considered ACC decision was appealed both by Pat Ferre of Payson, Arizona and I in separate appeals.

In rescinding their previous decision, the slow-learners at the ACC decided to still allow APS to continue trespassing via their bio-toxic surveillance devices, AKA “smart” meters.

Meanwhile, people may continue to refuse “smart” meters at no cost. Be warned however that calling APS to refuse a “smart” may result in customer abuse. While some calls to APS go smoothly, I still get reports of people being told by APS that they have no more analog meters. That APS claim is nonsense; don’t settle for it.

There is also a recent ACC docket submission by someone complaining that APS replaced their analog meter with a “smart” meter when they had not asked for that. So be vigilant. A rogue utility is at large. It has captured its regulators and should be considered dangerous.

The ACC’s latest decision also allows for APS to reapply for an extortion fee in their next rate case which I believe is not until July, 2016. So the issue is not over..

You can listen to the ACC arrive at their latest decision at the 1:03:37 mark here: They talk for 14 minutes.

Note that even though they had just discussed the issue for an hour privately, when the mikes are on and the public is back in the room, the commissioners have a hard time talking. It’s like they are scared or something. Nobody wants to touch the tar baby. When they finally do begin discussion, they start by repeating the obvious like ‘well, Legal has given us 3 options, #1 is ….’ Note also that actually granting the relief that Pat and I had requested in our appeals — the removal of all “smart” meters as not compliant with various Arizona Revised Statutes — was never mentioned as an option. So the lawlessness continues at the ACC.

A couple telling details, from the AZCentral story:

“Other commissioners said they were unhappy to rescind a decision, although they gave few details as to why they needed to take such action.

“‘This would not have been my preferred mechanism, but maybe the most prudent one,’ Chairwoman Susan Bitter Smith said.

“Commissioner Bob Stump agreed.”

PS – Some people thought $5 per month was good deal. 1) Any amount of money to avoid harm is extortion. 2) There are people for whom $5 is unfordable. 3) “Opt out” is faux choice for people still getting injured by their neighbors’ meters. 4) APS is the party that “opted” everyone “in.” As such, any costs involved in “opting out” belong to APS. 5) $5 can become more very easily. The APS solar fee is a case in point. They asked for $50 and got $5 but are now back asking for $21.

See also:

Smart Grid Awareness: Smart Meter Refusal Fee Rescinded in Arizona (with audio clip)

AZ Central: APS smart-meter fees rescinded

  • I remember a couple of years ago when I told them I do not want the Smart meter on their house they told me they were going to charge me a fee. I wrote to everyone on this case and filed, the stated wrote back to me and told me I could sue them and they never bothered me again and I was never charged any fee. Glad they did not allow them to extort AZ citizens, thank you in kind.

  • They are charging us $32.40 per month + taxes of 12% here in British Columbia.
    So far I have not paid any of the so-called Legacy Meter Charges. It is now over $500 that they claim to owe them. There have been nearly a dozen threats to cut off my power, including at least 4 “anonymous” phone calls. These calls are always made in the 6 pm news hour and do not idea the caller as BC Hydro. By reverse look up of the number given I have determined who it is. Each time I have 24 hours to pay and phone them that I have paid or face my power being cut. This would then involve over $300 in reconnection plus the payment of the “overdue” amount.

    I will not pay this extortion fee. If my power is cut, I will be going to stand in front of or near the home of the Minister responsible for this nonsense.

    Our house was built in late 2010 so the meter is a relatively new digital meter (i.e. no where near its expiry date). There has been no rate cut since they laid off all the meter readers, but they still have a few readers because some of us are refusing to give in and some smart (sic) meters can’t yet be read remotely.

    I used to teach students how to read their analog meters, both 4 and 5 dial types, and how to calculate their electricity bills. It is much easier than doing your taxes!

    So, for a quick read of the meter, less than a minute, I am charged over $65!
    How pathetic is that? I do my own calculation, pay with online banking, and
    mail in my calculation. Since 2010 I have paid for every kilowatt hour of electricity we have consumed (and the associated taxes and fees).

    It is very encouraging to read of other jurisdictions continuing the battle. I suspect that, when fires attributed to smart (sic) meters, finally take lives, the insurance cost will kill the whole program. Very sad that it will have to come to that.

    • Actually insurance corporations are taking Lloyd’s of London’s lead to absolve themselves of liability for ANY WIRELESS DEVICE.
      Lloyd’s of London (lol) was the first to do so, in 2010, Exclusion Clause 32.

    • Your BCH bill ALREADY has meter reader salaries structure into “Basic Charges, and always has.
      Legacy fees are a case of double dipping.

    • No one should allow the utility or its agents or subsidiaries to tamper with the owner’s meter base, under load or otherwise. A report must be filed with the police for tampering.
      The utility says it is concerned about potential tampering? They need look no further than their own actions.
      Meter bases or sockets are inherently fragile. Over time metal fatigue becomes a factor. After a time, it is the compatible electromechanical meter itself which is often what “holds” or secures the meter base and keeps it intact while it allows everything to continue to function effectively.
      Even before 60 herts became ignored by the smart grid gang as the dafe standard and even before the introduction of damaging smart grid transients, conventional electricity over time affects meter bases, which tend to fuse components subjected to the heat of electrical currents.
      Sometimes the electromechanical meter’s stabs or prongs fuse with the owner’s meter socket’s jaws. Nevertheless, the two components work as one, and will continue to be just fine, that is, UNTIL the meter is removed. It is the removal itself which precipitates a state of danger. The hazards increase exponentially when a meter swap is done in violation of electrical code, by hurried unlicensed labourers, so called “techs” (max 2 days training in how to avoid liability and outright electrocution)who tamper with the owner’s insured meter socket while the whole system is under live load. Tampering is a recipe for disaster. So is removal of a meter. Bonus incentivized yoyos often swap out over 100 a day. This is a travesty of correct electrical procedure. These faux “techs” would not know a compromised meter socket if they saw one. And once a smart meter is on an analogue socket, it becomes a guarantee of of hazard, incipient damage, hidden arcing, wires subject to corrosion, damaged appliances and electronics, delayed fires.
      To add insult to injury, then an electrically incompatible monitoring device enabling and emitting surges and spikes is jammed on an owner’s meter base, which it does not match with or fit into correctly. This computer is a smart monitor which serves as a bait-&-switch doppelganger, not ever meant to be a match for an analogue meter base.

  • The solution is to tell the power company to “get that g*d damned thing off my property before I remove it with a sledgehammer.” Make a decision to do without electricity for a while. Human civilization did just fine all that way up until recently.

    They may be able to force the SmartMeter on you but they can’t force you to have power. Water is a different story. The only thing that truly requires electricity is the refrigerator. Change your eating habits so that nothing needs to be kept cold. You can use a portable gas tank to run a grill.

    As with GMO and vaccines, there’s got to be some kind of agenda behind SmartMeters. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be treating these things with military secrecy. If they were smart, they wouldn’t be so ham fisted and at least get them off the house. As with apartments and condos, Smartmeters are placed in a common structure while using a common wireless connection point at least not directly on the homes. But no, they have to force them onto the property.

  • I had Ph.D in physics. The EM wave emitting from a smart meter can create electrical currents in human body. And we know also that many types of cell membranes have electrical potential, which can be disturbed by this current and stop working normally. When I first saw the smart-meter film directed by Josh del Sol, blood-cell leaks caught my attention. I believe many functions of cells can be distorted by this high frequency EM wave, for example, Alzheimer may come to people with younger ages. I wish I have the funding to perform the medical test and report to convince people, and finally get rid of the meter!

  • FPL in Florida is charging $95.00 and $13.00 per month. FPL sent a guy out who refused to identify himself and was beating my analog meter off the wall when I confronted him he said I was stealing power. When I threatened to call the police he left. But I have his tag number and truck vin. They really are bastards…………

  • What are the lawyers names and how can we contact them. Can they help us in California? Can we recover the already extorted fees?
    What about going to small claims court?

  • I received postcards telling me that my utility in Fort Collins, CO was going to be installing Smart Meters in my neighborhood. I called them to tell them I wanted to opt out and I was told that I couldn’t but that I had 3 options: I could take the Smart Meter with continuous RF reporting or a Smart Meter that only reported (I believe) on a weekly basis, or I could get a meter that didn’t send an RF signal and they would charge me $11 a month extra for having to manually read the meter. They claimed that, if the meter didn’t have a FCC number on it that it didn’t put out RF. But, they did not leave the original meter on the house.

    I realized later that they had not informed me, in advance, that I had 3 options. So, I called back and asked if I had missed a mailing, because I hadn’t heard about the options before I asked. I was told,
    “We haven’t been telling people about those options”.

    Slimey, sneaky, corrupt, dishonest. Not enough adjectives. This town is the poster child for Agenda 21.

    • Can anyone tell me if I have any rights as an apartment dweller in Prescott, AZ? I have all the smart meters for our building on the back of MY wall, and I have a child recovering from leukemia. Should I just give up and move?

  • I am getting charged a “meter reading fee” and I am in Arizona.

    So this information is out of date.

    What can we do now?

  • I just got the letter from APS stating that as of Nov. 1, 2017 I will be charged
    a $5 monthly fee for keeping my “non standard” meter. Here we go!
    I know they are going to have a huge increase in rates come May 1, 2018.
    This just doesn’t seem right. They do this because they know we have no choice.
    We don’t have to like it. They win

  • As of December, 2020, SRP in Phoenix now charges $20 per month to opt out and have an analog meter. They read it every OTHER month, and estimate your usage for the off months. Then they say they adjust accordingly once the meter is read. This is extortion! Who can we appeal to to get this dealt with?

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