Provides consumers the option to elect not to use smart meters and provides that the commission shall not charge a fee to consumers making such election.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to providing consumers the option to elect not to use smart meters
PURPOSE: Provides consumers the option to elect not to use smart meters and provides that the commission shall not charge a fee to consumers making such election.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Adds Section 67-B to the Public Service law.
JUSTIFICATION: Smart meters are an advancement in technology that allows utility companies to track a customer's electricity consumption remotely, eliminating the need to send workers to the house. The smart meters are intended to give consumers information about their consumption and educate owners on their usage.
However, there is a public sentiment that this information has the potential to expose private information about homeowners and their schedules. Many believe that the smart meters have the potential of being hacked into, similar to criminals accessing credit card information through hacking into unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Consumers have expressed concern that the information collected by a smart meter has the potential to give criminals a schedule for when a house is most likely empty.
It is important to ensure that the homeowner's light to privacy is not infringed upon. Until a code or a regulation is implemented that can guarantee the security of the information collected by the smart meters, consumers should have the option to elect not to use a smart meter.
In response to consumers concerns, over the past year, the Public Utilities Commissions of California, Maine, and Nevada have all issued orders that allow customers to opt out of smart meters. In March 2012, the Georgia State Senate also passed legislation allowing customers to opt out of smart meters.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7184 IN SENATE May 1, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to providing consum- ers the option to elect not to use smart meters THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 67-b to read as follows: S 67-B. SMART METER; ELECTION NOT TO USE. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, THE COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE THAT CONSUMERS MAY ELECT NOT TO USE SMART METERS OF ANY INVESTOR OWNED ELECTRIC LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY SUBJECT TO REGULATION BY THE COMMISSION; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE COMMISSION SHALL NOT CREATE AND REGULATE A SURCHARGE FOR CONSUMERS WHO MAKE SUCH AN ELECTION. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "SMART METER" MEANS AN ELECTRIC METER THAT IS CAPABLE OF RECORDING CONSUMPTION OF ELECTRIC ENERGY AND COMMUNICATING SUCH INFORMA- TION UTILIZING TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE METER AND THE ELECTRIC SUPPLIER FOR MONITORING AND BILLING PURPOSES. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15608-02-2