The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today denied Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) proposed Non-Standard Meter Rider (NSMR) tariff and recommended adjustments to the NSMR to reduce customer fees and surcharges. The new tariff would affect FPL customers declining smart meter installation.
“Smart meters reduce meter and billing costs, reduce billing errors, and help the utility quickly identify service issues, but we recognize that a handful of customers want to keep their ‘non-communicating’ meters,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “While these customers should expect to pay a fee to cover this added cost, we want to ensure that the associated charges are reasonable.”
In reviewing FPL’s proposed tariff, the PSC determined cost adjustments to decrease charges for customers opting out of smart meter installation and recommended that FPL revise and refile its tariff within 10 days. PSC staff estimates that the cost adjustments will reduce the customer enrollment fee from $105 to $95 and monthly surcharge fee from $16 to $13. If FPL refiles the NSMR as recommended, Commissioners granted administrative approval to implement the new tariff.
FPL requested PSC approval of the NSMR as an alternative for the estimated 12,000 customers expected to request the tariff and keep their current meter. Since September 2009, FPL has installed more than 4.5 million smart meters for its residential and small business customers. Smart meters are equipped with a two-way radio transmitter to relay customer usage information and can be read remotely. Customers can view their energy consumption online by month, day, or hour.
By statute, the PSC’s jurisdiction over smart meters is limited to meter cost recovery and ensuring accuracy of the meters the utility owns and maintains.
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