Consumer agency challenges smart meter opt-out fee

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The state Bureau of Consumer Protection wants officials to back off a plan to make NV Energy customers pay to opt out of a smart meter.

The bureau filed a motion Tuesday asking the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada to rethink upfront fees of about $108 for northern Nevada customers or $99 for southern Nevada customers, and recurring monthly charges of about $8.

Bureau officials recommend the utility leave old analog meters in place for customers opting out, instead of giving them new digital meters that don't transmit data. The bureau says keeping the old meter will eliminate most costs of the opt-out program.

NV Energy has installed about 1.3 million smart meters, which transmit data directly to the utility.

Some customers fear they pose health hazards or invade privacy.

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