After years of debate, Arizona Public Service Co. won approval Tuesday to charge customers $5 a month if they refuse a “smart meter” to track electricity use.
Smart meters, used by nearly all 1.1 million APS customers, use wireless signals to transmit customers’ energy use to the utility.
The company long ago proposed fees for customers who refuse the meters, similar to utilities in other states and its Arizona counterpart, Salt River Project.
SRP charges a $20 monthly fee for customers who don’t want a smart meter, even though the company manually reads meters every other month, estimating the usage in between.
But the Arizona Corporation Commission wrestled with the concept for APS, approving fees in 2014, then rescinding them in 2015 amid legal concerns. By a 4-1 vote Tuesday, they once again approved them.