Jefferson Public Utility District General Manager Kevin Streett speaks at a special meeting held at the Chimacum Fire Station regarding the PUD’s proposed opt-out program. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson Public Utility District General Manager Kevin Streett speaks at a special meeting held at the Chimacum Fire Station regarding the PUD’s proposed opt-out program. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson County PUD discusses opt-out program for meters

Policy would allow people to choose meter type

CHIMACUM — The Jefferson County Public Utility District’s proposed opt-out policy would allow customers to choose between a radio frequency transmitting electric meter or a non-transmitting analog electric meter.

Staff and Public Utility District (PUD) commissioners met at the Chimacum Fire Station on Wednesday morning to discuss the policy and to hear from the public.

Approximately 40 people attended the meeting.

After the presentation and a discussion led by Kevin Streett, general manager of the PUD, commission chair Jeff Randall asked the staff to write a resolution so the commissioners can adopt the opt-out program. No date had been set as of Wednesday for a vote on the matter.

“We need to provide an op-out policy for people right now,” said Kenneth Collins, District 2 commissioner.

“I think being able to provide people with the option of having a non-[radio frequency] meter needs to be available now for people who feel they are in danger of a transmitting meter.”

The opt-out program would allow PUD customers to decide if they will use the radio frequency (RF) electric meter that transmits the reading for billing and is now the standard for the PUD or choose to use a non-RF meter that would have to be read by the PUD manually.

Customers who chose to opt out would pay an additional $5 a month fee to cover the installation, reading, maintenance and operation of the meter.

The opt-out program would be available only for residential users who are not on solar power. The meters have to be accessible from the outside of the building. In many cases, commercial buildings will have them internally locked, Streett said.

“Commercial meters are not included with this because the meters may not be accessible,” Randall said.

Solar customers require a special type of meter that can measure both the incoming electricity gathered through their panels and from PUD, which an analog meter wouldn’t be able to measure accurately, officials said.

In terms of home businesses, Streett said many are still under the “rate seven” residential rate, but there are some that are under “rate 24” for small commercial businesses.

Only those under rate seven would possibly be eligible.

Customers asked about the possibility of self-reporting their meter readings instead of paying for a worker to come check it on their property, but Streett said that doing so was almost more work on the PUD, which would still have to dedicate staff time to input the data and have the meters verified; it is streamlined by having a professional do it.

“I like having the meter readers,” said Dan Toepper, District 3 commissioner. “We’re more accountable for keeping people accountable.”

For renters/non-property owners to opt-out, both the account owner and the property owner must agree on the new meter, however if there is a dispute, the property owner has final say.

The commissioners and staff agreed that low-income customers should be free of the additional $5 fee if they chose to opt-out of the standard meter.

________

Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].

More in News

Nurse Jessica Franz, shows a photo of her mother-in-law, Elaine Franz, outside Olathe Medical Center after working the graveyard shift Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, in Olathe, Kan. Elaine Franz died Nov. 10, one day before her 78th birthday, after contracting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Empty seats, delivered feasts as virus changes Thanksgiving

By Regina Garcia Cano, Matt Sedensky and Heather Hollingsworth | The Associated… Continue reading

‘Christmas Cabin’ starts Wednesday in Port Angeles

The Answer For Youth and the Sprouting Hope Greenhouse… Continue reading

Holiday craft sale scheduled in Sequim

The Shipley Center will host a Holiday Crafts Sale from… Continue reading

First Teacher online meeting features Santa Claus

Santa Claus will be the guest at a First Teacher… Continue reading

First vaccines expected in mid-December

Initial shots for front-line workers

Port Angeles Food Bank Executive Director Emily Dexter stands outside the food bank's new warehouse and distribution center at 632 N. Oakridge Drive near the Port Angeles Walmart. The covered canopy area will become the food bank's drive-thru distribution lane. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Port Angeles Food Bank moving to larger building

Site offers more refrigeration, covered distribution point

Downtown retail stores in Port Townsend were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, but many are planning promotions for Small Business Saturday. Local retailers across the North Olympic Peninsula are offering a variety of sales and promotions this weekend for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Motto on North Olympic Peninsula is to shop locally

Retailers offer post-Thanksgiving sales

Working on Thanksgiving in the Tri-Area Community Center kitchen are Anita Schmucker, center, and her foster kids, from left, Mya, Rosemary, Friday and Sadie. The family helped prepare some 300 dinners at the Chimacum center Thursday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Tri-Area community feast serves nearly 350 people

Volunteers cook, provide carry-out for drive-up guests

PASD joins move to remote learning on Peninsula

The Port Angeles School District will join other districts… Continue reading

Most Read