Sun, Feb. 23

Cottonwood transitions to smart meters

COTTONWOOD - Smart meters have replaced about 10 percent of Cottonwood's analog meters since Arizona Public Service started the transition last week.

Spokesman Damon Gross said Cottonwood is one of the last towns to get the meters, which have been deployed across the state. Out of the 26,000 meters being installed in the area, about 873 residents have opted out of the program.

"There are no fees for customers making that decision," Gross said.

The utility sent a proposal to the Arizona Corporation Commission in March requesting that customers who opt out pay a one-time fee of $75, and $30 monthly.

"Because we won't have meter readers in the future, there would be some new costs that we would incur," Gross said.

Fees were "not marked up in any way," Gross said, and were decided based on how much it would cost to have an APS meter reader check electricity usage each month, rather than having that usage information transmitted through a smart meter.

While the ACC made a decision in November on how much to charge new solar customers to maintain the power grid, Gross said there is currently no timetable for deciding the opt-out fee proposal.

Customers can call APS's customer service line to opt out of receiving the new, digital meters.

"If a customer decides they don't want a meter for whatever reason, we respect that and their bill won't be impacted in any way," he said.

The remaining 23,400 smart meters will be installed by March.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal or Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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