Smart meters are a hot topic these days mostly in regards to whether or not they are safe. Itron is one of the largest manufacturers of smart meters and they happen to be right here in Spokane. Avista is our local power company – used to be Washington Water Power years ago and they are now updating the power poles in various neighborhoods to accommodate the new changes. The light colored pole in the picture below is the new ones being installed next to the old one. The old ones will be removed at some point.
Whether or not smart meters are really a health hazard is one issue and whether or not you should have a choice in accepting one is another. It is a fact that smart meters have burned homes to the ground as well as other issues that are highly documented. As a matter of fact, there are entire regions such as in Canada that have outright banned them because of their dangers.
Here is a free viewing of the award winning documentary Take Back Your Power so you can see a few of these documented problems with smart meters:
To learn more about this video and about Josh del Sol’s work regarding educating the public on these matters, go here:
If you happen to be in Spokane, Washington, Avista is actually making is simple to opt out from having a smart meter installed on your home. I’m definitely opting out because regardless of anyone’s opinion to the contrary, it is an indisputable fact that smart meters have never undergone testing to prove they are safe!
Here is Avista’s page with the instructions on how to opt out: https://www.myavista.com/about-us/energy-innovations/smart-meters-opt-out
I’m posting the pertinent info about the opt out option here for convenience. The form is here and it will cost you $5 per month: The opt out form is here: https://www.myavista.com/-/media/myavista/content-documents/smart-meters/noncommunicatingdigitalmeterrequestform.pdf
How to opt out
If you choose to opt out, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) approved the following qualifications and charges that will be added to your Avista bill:
- A $5 ongoing monthly fee to cover some of the cost of manually reading a residential non-smart meter
- Note: The $5 ongoing monthly fee is waived for income qualified customers
- A one-time $75 fee if you choose to opt out 31 days after a smart meter is already installed
- Residential customers who live in a single-family home or a multi-plex with four units or less qualify for opt out. The request must be made by the Avista customer of record (family members, neighbors or landlords cannot act on behalf of another customer).
For your convenience, there are multiple ways to opt out of receiving a smart meter:
The opt out form is here: https://www.myavista.com/-/media/myavista/content-documents/smart-meters/noncommunicatingdigitalmeterrequestform.pdf
- If you meet the qualifications, please complete and sign the application form and submit it to Avista.
- Scan or take a photo of it and email it to email@example.com
- Mail it to Avista at:
Attn: Opt Out
1411 E. Mission Ave.
Spokane, WA 99202
- FAX it to Avista at 509-777-9650
- We must receive your signed form in order to formally complete the opt-out process. If we don’t receive your completed and signed form, it may result in you receiving a standard smart meter.
- You may also contact our Call Center at 1-800-227-9187 and one of our representatives can assist you.
Here are the benefits claimed by Avista:
|Feature or benefit||Smart Meter||Opt Out|
|24/7 Access to Usage Information||Yes||No|
|Bill-to-date trend chart||Yes||No|
|Projected next bill||Yes||No|
|Remote service capabilities||Yes||No|
|Automatic outage detection||Yes||No|
|Ongoing monthly fee||Included||$5*|
|One-time fee if you opt out 31-days after smart meter was installed||Included||$75|
*Ongoing monthly fee is waived for income qualified customers
24/7 access to info? I already know what my usage is at any time and so do most people. They may not know how to calculate it, but they know what is drawing electricity. Bill trends? Any adult that has experience paying bills already knows what they are paying and what they will expect to pay on their next bill. Remove service capabilities? How many of you go on vacation and the first thing that pops into your mind is – “Gee, I wonder how many kilowatt hours of electricity my home is drawing?” – NOT. Automatic outage detection? When my lights go out, that tells me my power is out faster than any smart meter can. Also, if I’m away, my neighbors know and will call or text me so I can have someone come over and plug my refrigerators into my backup battery bank. And I have to pay $5 per month for being someone that uses common sense and isn’t relying on being glued to some website or app that is supposed to make my life easier but doesn’t?
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