Some Wisconsin utility customers reject wireless meters

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Associated Press | November 14, 2013

MARSHFIELD — About two dozen customers have rejected wireless meter technology being installed by a Wisconsin utility company, citing concerns about the electromagnetic frequency and privacy.

Marshfield Utilities began installing meters last summer that track electricity and water use and wirelessly transmit data to the company's office. About 1,000 of the utility's 8,200 water meters have been replaced so far, said Nicolas Kumm, Marshfield Utilities electric, communications and gas manager.

He told News-Herald Media  that customers who reject the meters will be charged $15 to $25 per month for someone to come out to read their meters.

"I think some people will change their mind after they find out what the cost is," said Bob Trussoni, Marshfield Utilities general manager.

The state Public Service Commission will set the specific cost after the utility applies for an opt-out provision for the advanced meter system, he added. That application will come after the utility determines how many customers want to opt out.

Dorothy Schnitzler is among them. The retiree, who owns a home and rental property in Marshfield, worries the electromagnetic frequency emitted by the meters could cause illness.

"When I first heard about these smart meters, I looked them up on the Internet, and there is a lot of information about the dangers and potential dangers," she said.

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