KIUC board passes smart meter deferral resolution

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution clarifying the process by which the co-op allows members to not have a smart meter installed.

“KIUC’s Board of Directors is confident in the safety and security of the technology used by the smart meters KIUC is installing, but recognizes that some members/customers have expressed concerns about perceived health and security issues related to smart meters,” states the resolution.

The board also recognized that some co-op members “have expressed uncertainty or have taken certain positions” as to the rights of those who do not want a smart meter.

KIUC currently has a deferral program in place. The resolution states when installation of the smart grid project nears completion, the co-op may convert the deferral policy into an opt-out program enabling KIUC members to decline smart meter installation.

But those who choose not to have a smart meter may be locked into a higher bill and have some additional fees, pending approval from the state Public Utilities Commission.

Smart meters will eliminate the need for manual reading and more than 100,000 miles traveled annually around the island, according to the resolution.

When smart grid installation is close to being finalized, “KIUC may also choose to request that the PUC approve the recovery of KIUC’s costs and impacts caused by those members/customers that decided not to receive a smart meter, including but not limited to the additional cost of installing, maintaining, replacing and reading the meter that is being used in lieu of the smart meter,” the resolution states.

Visit www.kiuc.coop to download deferral forms or go to KIUC office at 4463 Pahe‘e St. in Lihu‘e during regular business hours for the form.

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