SmartMeter™ Opt-Out FAQs
Get answers to frequently asked questions
Following are answers to common questions about the SmartMeter™, plus helpful links and resources.
What are the costs to opt out of the SmartMeter™ Program?
There is an initial $75 setup charge and a $10 monthly charge. If you are an income-qualified customer (enrolled in our California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs), the initial setup charge is $10 and the monthly charge is $5 for your first 36 months in the program. After you have been charged for 36 consecutive months, the monthly charge will automatically be discontinued.
Why do I have to pay to opt out of SmartMeter™?
Generally, the opt-out costs help to maintain two meter-reading systems.
Do I have to pay a setup charge and monthly charge for each meter at my residence?
No, the setup charge is per residence, not per meter. If you have both a gas meter and an electric meter at your property, only one setup charge and one monthly charge will be added to your energy statement. However, if you would like to opt out for other residences on your account, there is a setup charge and a monthly charge for each additional household.
Once I opt out, when can I expect the analog meter to be installed at my residence?
The installation will be completed within 10 business days. As your analog meter installation date nears, we will call you to let you know when we plan to visit your home.
Who can opt out of the SmartMeter™ Program?
The California Public Utilities Commission's Final Decision authorizes residential customers to opt out for any reason, regardless of whether they have a SmartMeter™ or an analog meter in place.
When did the commission's decision go into effect?
The SmartMeter™ Opt-Out Program went into effect on February 1, 2012. On December 18, 2014 the California Public Utilities Commission made another decision that affects the monthly fees and frequency of meter reading for opt-out customers.
- Monthly Charge—After 36 consecutive monthly charges, residential customers will no longer be charged.
- Meter Reading—Customers enrolled in the Opt-Out Program will have meters read every other month, which started in late September 2015.
Can customers call to opt out?
What happens if I don't indicate a meter preference for my home?
If you do not advise us that you wish to opt out, we will assume that you prefer to have SmartMeters™ at your home. We will upgrade the meter at your home to a SmartMeter™ as part of our standard upgrade process. We will notify you before we plan to upgrade the meter at your home, and you'll have another opportunity to opt out at that time.
How often will the meter at my residence be read?
The meter at your residence will be read every other month rather than every month. When the meter(s) are not manually read, customers will receive an estimated bill based on your historical usage. If needed, we will “true-up” or reconcile your estimated bill against your actual usage when we read the meter the following month.
Do I need to provide access to the meter at my residence?
Yes, it is important that you provide easy and safe access to the meter(s) during your scheduled read date so that we are able to obtain an actual read.
How will I know when my meter is being read?
We do our best to read your meter. You will receive the following meter read reminders from PG&E:
- Phone/ Email/or Text – PG&E will send you a reminder a few days before the meter(s) are scheduled to be read (usually 2 days prior)
- Mail – PG&E’s energy statement gives you a heads-up the month before the meter(s) are scheduled to be read
Remember, by providing us safe and ready access to the meter you can avoid extended periods of estimated usage which can lead to multiple months of estimated bills.
What happens if I move?
If you move to a new location and elect to enroll in the Opt-Out Program, you will need to pay the initial setup and monthly charges for that residence. After you have been charged for 36 consecutive months at your new residence, the monthly charge will automatically be discontinued.