The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) has adopted the Non-Standard Metering Service Rule, which allows a customer to choose a non-standard meter as an alternative to the standard advanced meter. Below are non-standard meter options and associated fees:
|Non-standard meter option||One-time fee||Monthly fee|
|Replacing existing advanced meter with non-standard digital meter||$201||$32.80|
|Replacing existing advanced meter with radio-disabled advanced meter||$174||$32.80|
|Replacing existing advanced meter with analog meter||$171||$32.80|
The PUC rule requires that customers considering opting-out be advised of the following limitations of a non-standard meter:
- You may experience longer restoration times in case of a service interruption or outage.
- You may be required to wait up to 45 days to switch Retail Electric Providers.
- You may be required by your Retail Electric Provider to choose a different product or service before initiation of the non-standard metering service, subject to any applicable charges or fees required under your existing contract, if you are currently enrolled in a product or service that relies on an advanced meter.
- In addition, you may be required to pay additional fees for requested discretionary services that are associated with your choice of a non-standard meter.
How to request a non-standard meter (opt out):
Customers opting for a nonstandard meter must sign a document provided by CenterPoint Energy (Opt-Out form), indicating the desired non-standard option, and return it along with payment of the one-time service fee by cashier’s check or money order payable to CenterPoint Energy to EMO-CREDIT CNPT 6, CENTERPOINT ENERGY, PO BOX 1700, HOUSTON TX 77251-9857.
The request will be completed within 30 days of receipt of the signed document and payment. If you wish to be notified of the planned installation date of the non-standard meter, include your phone number on the form, which can be obtained by calling 713-207-2222.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I opt out of having a smart meter? Yes. The Public Utility Commission has adopted the Non-Standard Metering Service Rule, which allows a customer to choose a non-standard meter as an alternative to the standard advanced meter, by replacing the existing meter with (1) an advanced meter with the communications technology disabled (2) a digital, non-communicating meter, or (3) an analog meter, subject to commercial availability.
Why do I have to pay to opt out? The standard metering service used by utilities like CenterPoint Energy is the advanced (smart) meter. Customers who choose non-standard meters are required to pay the incremental costs to provide the non-standard service, which include costs to manually read meters and perform other services through non-standard processes that would otherwise not be required.
Do I have to pay the one-time fee all at once? Yes. CenterPoint Energy will not install a non-standard meter until payment has been made of the one-time fee, which covers the material and labor costs of the non-standard meter installation.
What if I change my mind? Can I opt back in? Yes. Customers may request replacement of a non-standard meter with an advanced meter at any time. One-time fees for installation of non-standard meters will not be refunded in such cases, but recurring monthly fees will be discontinued following installation of the standard, advanced meter.