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

COVID death youngest on Peninsula

Clallam man in his 50s

Peninsula COVID-19 cases, infection rates reported

Sunday’s toll: 12 more in Clallam, none in Jefferson

During She Tells Sea Tales on Saturday, Joyce Gustafson of Port Townsend will offer the story of events that set the course for her life. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
She Tells Sea Tales brings adventure online

Sailors applaud women choosing unusual directions

Geoduck harvesting area shut down after diver’s death

Port Angeles man, 35, dies after air tube apparently entangled in debris

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. A new study from federal researchers provides the most detailed look yet at what the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas eat. Scientists with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center spent years collecting fecal samples from the whales as well as scales from the fish they devoured. They say their data reaffirm the central importance of Chinook salmon to the whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Study: Chinook salmon are key to Northwest orcas all year

Data confirm central importance of the largest of the species

A webcam shot at Hurricane Ridge shows deep snow Thursday morning.
Olympic Mountains’ snowpack well-fed

Storms leave region in good shape for summer

A boat sits moored next to several boathouses at Port Angeles Boat Haven on Thursday. Port of Port Angeles commissioners are suggesting replacing boat houses with floating homes. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Port of Port Angeles suggests floating homes

Agency sends letter to council asking to remove ban

Skipper Jared Minard, left, and Ella Ventura, boatswain, accept the Hiltner Trophy for Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields. The Chief Seattle Council named the Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields, ship 1212, as its fleet flagship during a recent award ceremony. The selection as flagship allows the Marvin Shields to retain the traveling Hiltner Trophy and fly the flagship pennant at its masthead for the second year. The Sea Scouts is a program for youth ages 14-20. For more information, visit www.seascoutshipmarvinshields.org.
Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields named fleet flagship

The Chief Seattle Council named the Sea Scout Ship Marvin Shields, ship… Continue reading

Sinclair Place resident Martin Arnold cuts the ribbon to mark the start of the the senior living facility’s Freedom Ceremony. 

The ceremony marks the fact that 100 percent of the residents have been vaccinated which allows the facility to ease rules regarding movement out into the community. 

Pictured on the left is Victorya Rivera, community relations manager at Sinclair Place.
Ribbon cutting marks 100 percent vaccination for facility

Sinclair Place resident Martin Arnold cuts the ribbon to mark the start… Continue reading

Most Read