An Act To Prohibit an Electric Utility from Charging a Customer for Using an Electromechanical Meter
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §3104, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 2003, c. 412, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §3104, sub-§3 is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §3106 is enacted to read:
§ 3106. Smart meter opt-out fees and charges prohibited
All costs incurred by a transmission and distribution utility as a result of a customer's choosing an electromechanical meter are just and reasonable for rate-making purposes.
This bill prohibits a transmission and distribution utility from charging a customer a fee, monthly charge or higher rate for declining the installation of a wireless smart meter or for the removal of a wireless smart meter. A transmission and distribution utility is prohibited from including any costs associated with a customer's choosing an electromechanical meter in rates charged to that customer.
With approval by the Public Utilities Commission, an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility may decrease the number of times an electromechanical meter is read for a customer that declines the installation of a wireless smart meter but may not read the meter less frequently than once every 12 months and may establish a rate collection method that is based upon the average electricity consumption of the customer. If a transmission and distribution utility prefers a more frequent electromechanical meter reading, the utility may establish a method for a customer to provide the utility with a more frequent electromechanical meter reading, as long as the method does not impose a cost on the customer. This bill requires the utility to establish a process by which the utility provides a refund to a customer if a billing based on average usage results in an overpayment by a customer and an appropriate rebilling of a customer if such a billing results in an underpayment by the customer.