The town has 1637 meters and 534 replacement smart meters have been installed as of September 13th. CMP’s smart meter contractor, VSI Meter Services, will continue installation on several routes in Thomaston. These routes are the same as those followed by CMP meter readers. Additional routes will be successively scheduled for installation until the project is complete.
The brochure describes the non-standard options to the standard smart meter, and the costs associated with the non-standard options. Customers have 30 days to respond with their meter choice. IF the customer chooses the Smart Meter, no reply is necessary. It’s important that they not include their response for Option A or B with their CMP bill payment, those are now processed by a shared utility service center out-of-state and may not get to the attention of CMP personnel in a timely fashion. There will be a $25 surcharge applied to enrollments received more than 30 days after notification, so a timely response is very important. Customers can return the post card; call the toll free number on the brochure; or go to CMP’s webpage and complete the form there.
The brochure describes the three options:
Smart Meters will be installed at no cost.
Option A is a smart meter modified to receive wireless one-way communications from CMP only; it will not transmit data to CMP. There is a one-time charge of $20 for this option; and a monthly charge of $10.50. This meter will be read manually every other month.
Option B is an electro-mechanical meter like the one currently being used. There is a one-time fee of $40 for this option; and a monthly charge of $12.00. These meters will also be read manually every other month.
The one-time initial fees will be billed on the first bill after the customer registers their choice, if they choose a non-standard option. The monthly fee will be billed no sooner than October 1, 2011.
Some customers may not understand the purpose of the fees. The amounts were set by MPUC with the intent that costs incurred by CMP to accommodate customers who choose a non-standard meter are not covered by other ratepayers. The fees will cover CMP’s costs of maintaining two completely redundant metering technologies to support the options, including the expenses of maintaining inventories of two extra types of meters and spare parts, plus facilities and equipment for servicing, testing and training on the non-standard meters. The electro-mechanical meter is no longer being manufactured, so all inventory will come from refurbished meters. CMP will also continue to incur costs to manually read the non-standard meters.