Feb 20, 2012 10:36 PM by Shawn Kline

Smart Meters' "opt-out" back on table

City-Parish President Joey Durel and LUS talk "smart"... Smart Meters that is.

Many people are asking for an "opt-out" plan with these new meters LUS calls "more accurate." Opponents say they're too accurate and invade your privacy.

That's how many spent Lundi Gras; instead of throwing beads, some were throwing questions, wanting to know more details about a the system that will monitor your electricity.
They're called smart meters.

"The biggest thing we heard was privacy," Jim Crumling said. "There were concerns about privacy."

Are these smart meters too smart?

Crumling says the system's accuracy raises a number of questions about privacy; he says the meters are capable of measuring every joule your home consumes.
That's why he's been pushing for an "opt-out" plan.

City-Parish Council voted on one before, but it failed.

"We just really wanted to give the people an opt-out," Crumling said. "That's all we were really ever after."

Now, some changes have been made:
In December, the plan was to charge those who opted out an additional fee of $12, covering the cost to pay a meter reader.

Now, the plan calls for a $5 fee.

Councilman Don Bertrand says time around, the opt-out plan could pass.

"I just think it's going to have the votes." Bertrand says, "I don't think there's a concern about folks opting out."

If the plan does pass, LUS customers will have a choice:
Get smart or pay the price ($5).

Council votes on the opt-out plan February 28.



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