smart_meterThe Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would allow LUS customers to opt-out of smart meters for electrical and water service that are set to be installed in 2012, but in order to assuage what is evidently paranoia about “Big Brother” oversight of their utility usage, customers will have to pay a fee to remain in the 20th century.

LUS customers can opt out of having smart meters installed on their home by paying a $12 monthly fee for manual meter reading. LUS will charge an additional $25 if a customer wants a meter re-read and $50 to pull and test a meter. The fees will be tied to the Consumer Price Index, meaning they will rise with inflation.

The smart meters are being partially funded by an $11.6 million federal grant and will allow customers to better monitor their utility usage. But a pair of Lafayette residents got all Free Republic creepy in an article Sunday in The Daily Advertiser, worrying aloud whether LUS or, worse, the feds would use the smart meters to spy on them. We’re not making this up.

LUS’ customer and support manager, however, tells the daily the remotely read meters will only allow the utility company to measure overall usage of electricity and water, albeit in a more timely manner.

Read more here.

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