FPL smart meter update: There will be a monthly fee if you refuse a smart meter

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Starting this spring there will be a cost to not having Florida Power and Light install a smart meter at a home or small business.

The Florida Public Service Commission modified a plan by FPL to charge people who do not allow smart meters on their property.

If an FPL customer decides to opt out of the smart meter program, he or she will have to pay a $95 enrollment fee and also pay the utility a $13 monthly surcharge.

The PSC says that FPL had sought higher rates but they were lowered at Tuesday's meeting.

4.5 million smart meters have been installed by FPL since 2009 according to PSC documents.

FPL estimates that 12,000 customers would be covered by the new fees.

The smart meters, according to FPL, are equipped with a two way radio transmitter that relays customer usage information and can be read remotely.

Some residents are concerned about the possible long-term health effects of the radio frequency from the new wireless technology, have privacy concerns or are worried about possible fire hazards.  

Representatives from FPL said the technology is tested and safe and will be more convenient for homeowners.  A spokesperson said the technology will allow homeowners to take control of how much energy they're using and what times they're using it.

FPL in its filing to the Public Service Commission, stated that the new fees would become effective on April 21 of this year.

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