Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) customers in Illinois have the availability of a temporary refusal or deferral program so that they can retain their current analog electrical usage meter. Unfortunately, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has ordered ComEd to install new wireless smart meters for all customers as part of the “Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act” over a ten-year period.
As part of a ruling by the ICC issued on February 5, 2014, customers can refuse to have smart meters installed at a cost of $21.53 per month. “If customers make the decision to refuse a [smart] meter now and incur monthly charges associated with this choice, it should be with full knowledge that this refusal is simply deferring the inevitable,” the Illinois Commerce Commission said in its order. Beginning in 2022 the ICC has stated that customers will receive the smart meters regardless of whether they want them or not.
[Updated June 2014: Note that ComEd has accelerated smart meter deployments and now intends to complete its installation by the end of 2018. See link at: ComEd Receives Approval to Accelerate Smart Meter Installation. Note the biased nature of the article in that it states that: “New timetable advances customer benefits three years ahead of schedule.” It also, of course, advances the schedule for the many risks and hazards related to smart meter technology. Regarding benefits, … ComEd’s own pilot program demonstrated that:
“A new report by independent researchers shows that less than 9% of about 8,000 randomly selected households used their newly installed smart meters to save money by adjusting thermostats or turning off appliances during the afternoon or on hot days. As part of the test, ComEd imposed higher rates or offered rebates during peak- demand hours to encourage consumers to cut back. Overall, reduced demand from those paying variable rates was ‘statistically insignificant,’ the report says. In a few cases, some households inexplicably used more energy during peak hours when rates were higher, which the report called ‘counterintuitive’ …”
Based upon a review of documents submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission, ComEd is assuming that 0.5 percent of total customers (about 20,000) will refuse smart meter installations during the term of the smart meter deployment. In addition, all non-smart meters are now planned for conversion during 2019, the first year after the last year of the smart meter deployment period, which is 2018.]
When contacted by ComEd that a smart meter installation is scheduled for your home, SkyVision Solutions encourages customers to take advantage of the deferral program if they possibly can afford the monthly penalty fee. At this point it is not clear whether ComEd will even advertise or inform consumers of the available option. It is likely that consumers will need to contact ComEd and insist that a new smart meter not be installed due to any number of reasons, including health issues, invasions of privacy, targeted home invasion/ physical security concerns, cyber threats, fire and safety concerns, billing issues, consumer choice, environmental impact, etc. As a customer, you can initially call ComEd at 1-866-368-8326 to request a deferral. A follow-up letter to document any phone conversations with ComEd is recommended.
A lot can change in the months and years ahead. Continued push-back on smart meters by consumers is essential. Let’s hope that people in authority at the ICC and elsewhere come to their senses and realize that the costs and risks associated with smart meters far outweigh any purported benefits.
ICC Press Release on Smart Meters Feb 6, 2014
For a related blog posting on how ComEd compares smart meters to baby monitors, refer to the following link:
Other Recommended Reading:
Opting Out of the New Utility “Smart” Meters is a Healthier Choice
Nine Reasons Why Today’s Smart Meter Systems Are a Mistake
Smart Meter Privacy Invasion ALERT
When Smart Meters Get Hacked: The Nightmare Scenario
The “Smart” Grid Is Not Smart, Safe, or Green
Whether it defers the inevitalbe or not, I haven’t had to deal with it for two years. So defer away! I also have gate locks so have fun.
Where in the bill does it say it’s mandatory to charge people a deferral fee?
I understand that it’s mandated to have 100% conversion by 2024 but where does it state that comes can charge us for differing if it’s not technically mandatory yet? How about a class action on that?
Here’s another one if other meters are available why do I as a consumer not have the ability to use what ever meter I’m comfortable with?
Comed is forcing me to use a device I don’t want… the State of Illinois is making this device mandatory by forcing these companies to install them,that’s unconstitutional to comed but comed won’t bring up a claim or consumer or constitutional law suit because they gain from using these devices because it over charges the customers so they won’t cry foul.
But now we the consumer are being damaged because an unconstitutional act was placed upon a utility vendor who benifits from it so they don’t complain.
Further more, with this being an invasion of privacy and risk potential robbery by someone who can hack the system and determine when your home and when your not based on your usage pattern. I find that this then places me with unwanted and potential harm.
I find the mandatory replacement is unconstitutional and comed charging me $21.53 a month for something that’s not mandatory I have until 2024 should also be against the law…
This is a UTILITY company. Theread has to be some kind of violation in one of the infrastructure and utility acts state and federal.
Obama care was sued as unconstitutional because a government or entity can’t force you to purchase a product even if there are many options to choose from. They couldn’t force you to buy a product.
In almost all respects I agree with your points. But the bottom line is that the legislation did not provide an opt-out. Therefore, strictly speaking, the ICC could have simply stated that any customer refusing a smart meter be disconnected. That would have been completely within their authority. Then you wouldn’t have to pay a fee, but you also would be off-grid. Instead, the ICC has allowed customers to refuse for now and also pay a penalty fee for not accepting the smart meter at this time.
I seen my bill go up over $100 dollars a month since they installed it. So I’ll pay the 21.53 a month no problem. But you bet that I am going to seek legal action for this.
The law mandates that the meters be installed by 2024. Just because COMED put them in before that state mandate and I want to Defer or Opt Out there’s nothing in the bill that says they can charge me $300 a year for not having one before the madame deadline.
Who’s the class action lawyer that wants to take this on. I have over 100 people ready to sign up for this in my face book feeds and I’m sure I can get all 262 members of my home owners association to sign on as well. Please reach out to me. 847-312-3386
The state legislature when it mandated smart meters did not provide for an “opt-out” program, and the Illinois Commerce Commission believed it only had the authority to temporarily defer meter installations. In February 2014, the ICC ruled to approve a $21.53/mo deferral fee, stating, “The Commission finds that Staff’s proposed $21.53 is reasonable, cost-based, and likely to deter meter refusals.”
Hi! I just did a search using these keywords: activism, Illinois, smart meters. It turns out there is a petition out there by MoveOn.org to Ban Smart Meters in Illinois. Here is the link for the petition https://petitions.moveon.org/p/e_MUx_okv8. As of today, there are only 67 signatures. They need a lot more.
I just tweeted your link to sign the petition. There are several organization in Illinois that oppose these meters. I have sent my state rep much information on these meters. I never met him, but I will. I gave him a choice of filing an amendment to the act, or I will do it in court. Have not heard a word from Rep Demmer yet, so I will personally give him a wake up visit. Naperville has a large website opposing smart meters. The need to know and so does the City of Burr Ridge who passed an ordinance banning smart meters. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/burr-ridge/news/ct-dbr-smart-meter-cancer-tl-0630-20160628-story.html. http://www.napervillesmartmeterawareness.org., https://takebackyourpower.net, http://stopsmartmeters.org. https://smartgridawareness.org. and https://eon3emfblog.net/smartmeter-briefing/. Here is a list. There were more a couple of yers ago.
https://stopsmartmeters.org/frequently-asked-questions/contacts-database/. I suggest we both contact these organization with your link to MoveOn.
Thanks for providing those links. I looked over it briefly that day and will make sure to peruse that information again soon.
As I understand the Illinois smart meter installation is mandatory for every one. This is where I come in. I was declared disabled by the Social Security Administration due in part to my hypersensitive to RF and microwave radiation. The administrative law judge stated this fact in her report adjudicating me disabled. The Illinois Smart Meter act is unconstitutional to all those who are hypersensitive as I am.. Class Action? You betcha and I am the guy getting the ball rolling.
Have you got anywhere? I’ve been working on this for over 3 weeks- I’ve talked to the ICC, contacted the General Assembly, the Disability Rights IL, CUB, Ameren, looked at other cases and documentation. My head is spinning. DRI couldn’t help me (or didn’t want to). My husband is VA disabled and we are fighting the fees of installing and monthly fees (since there is currently in place analog users who self-read).
A complaint can be filed in state or federal court to find the smart meter mandate act unconstitutional due to the fact the law does not provide accommodations for those who are hypersensitive to RF and microwave radiation as determined by the Americans With Disabilities Act. This case will most likely be filed in federal court. I have been extremely busy with another large case. I suggest getting a subscription to Pacer. It is the federal case data bank where one can find all papers filed in any federal court in the country. It is very cheap to use and you can download any legal brief filed. Start with https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=17974239076251781689&q=Tennessee+v.+Lane&hl=en&as_sdt=4,112,127 AND https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=6561706852611120473&q=americans+with+disabilities+act+judge+discrimination&hl=en&as_sdt=400006. These federal cases will give you guidance in pursing any complaint against the statute (law). Please be in touch as this will be a class action.
Any news on law Suit I’m tired of being charged an extra $24 for refusing this meter
I have been gathering studies done that indicate there are those who are hyper-sensitive to RF and microwave radiation. In my case, the administrative law judge recognized my hypersensitiveness as one of my disabilities. I was evaluated by Dr. Hart. What I am currently doing is reading my own meter by taking a photo of my meter on the 13th of every month. I then import the photo to my computer then send the photo of the face of the meter to ComEd via email as an attachment. This will be a cause in court as an injunction since the extra charge, $24 is for a physical reading of you meter by a ComEd technician. You will have a complete record on you reading your meter and ComEd charging you for you reading your own meter. Hence, class action induction filed in court. Actually, fraud.
Here is ComEd’s website for reading and sending your meter reading. I already had enough proof to file and injection. https://www.comed.com/MyAccount/MyBillUsage/Pages/HowtoReadMyMeter.aspx
I am now ready to send them a certified mail notice to cease their fraud, based billing. Give them 10 days to respond, the file and injection. There are some things needed before one files in the circuit court. The Illinois Commerce Commission for many claims against a utility must be filed with the ICC, but not all.l I have the case law on this issue. I will keep you posted.
Hi Linda, type in a google search, ComEd read your meter. It is on ComEd’s website. On the 13th of each month, take a photo of your meter clearly showing the face of the meter. Go on ComEd’s webpage and click on the use email to send the photo of your meter including your account number. I have never paid the penalty for not having the SM because I have consistently emailed the face of my analogy meter. Their fee is for ComEd to readi manually your meter. I am now preparing to send them a bill for all the times I have done this. I am about to give State Rep Demmer a choice: file for an amendment to the SM act, or I will do it in court.
I am interested in many aspects of what you are talking about regarding your lawsuit. I also am extremely sensitive to RF/ EMF. Will look into the aspects of reading the meter and sending it in to avoid the charge of $24. Just wanted to post something for now.
I am curious to know the status of your lawsuit. Right now I am paying the extra money for deferred installment. I am not sure when they are planning on having the mandatory installments. I went through a lengthy process of filing a lawsuit under the FHA when a neighbor was harassing me, which went on for five years, two years prior to filing and three years, once i filed, so I don’t have the funds nor the stamina to file anything myself, at this point. I do have Electrical sensitivities and am on disability, so I am really curious to understand what is happening with your lawsuit. I do know in other states, I believe North Carolina, they did allow people to opt out if they have electrical sensitivities. So, anything you can share as far as the status, would be greatly appreciated.
ComEd keeps contacting me to install the smart meter. My old meter is located in a location that makes it impossible for the technician to install it. To move the old meter is going to cost me a few thousand dollars which I don’t have since I’m on a fixed income. I’ve told them this and they have no options for me.
Sorry to hear of your problems. Not sure what is causing your meter needing to be relocated upon change-out. Sometimes over the years, home additions or remodeling make one’s original meter nearly inaccessible due to poor planning at the time of the change in home design. In these cases the meter will eventually have to be relocated and this would normally be homeowner responsibility. For ComEd customers, paying the $21.53/mo opt-out fee may at least delay your having to relocate meter now until you can save enough money to hire an electrician to relocate meter box to a location more suitable for access by the utility company.
One issue I have recently seen is where a homeowner installed a deck which basically covered the bottom half of meter box enclosure although meter itself could still be read. Before smart meter installation, the homeowner cut out a section of deck around the meter box allowing better access. After meter installation, a hatch of sorts was screwed back in place.
Yep they Refuse to install mine too because apparently I have a double tap so I have to contact electrician which is gonna cost me extra money or are they keep charging me $24 a month
This is ridiculous. I just realized the dangers of a smart meter. I never even knew one was installed and never was informed. I am livid. Today I called Com Ed and asked them to remove it immediately. They are coming in two working days. However, they now want to charge me $77.00 to remove this piece of deadly garbage. Our government is trying to control all of us; this is not right and we are slowly getting toxified every day.
I had a question from a blog reader regarding how ComEd customers pay for the smart meters in terms of their bill and whether their rates go up when they get the smart meter.
Actually you are already paying for the smart meter whether you get one installed or not, about $3 per month was approved by the ICC for smart grid implementation. This extra charge would be in effect for at least 10 years.
The fact you defer getting a smart meter by retaining an analog doesn’t affect the extra $3/mo you are already paying. This charge is not part of the price/rate for electricity but it is likely embedded in what you pay as a fixed delivery charge each month. I’m not a ComEd customer so I don’t know exactly how the actual utility bill charges are itemized.
So if you defer and pay an extra $21.53 per month for that, you will also be paying an extra $3 or so in your bill as if you had the smart meter.
What ComEd says at its website is: “The cost of all smart grid improvements for residential customers is about $3 per month. Smart meters are a key component of the smart grid and will comprise approximately $2 of this monthly cost.”
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