By having a “smart” or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meter you are, by default, enrolled in National Grid’s Worcester Pilot (aka “Smart Energy Solutions”) and the company’s “Time of Use” pricing plan  from which you can Opt Out at any time for no fee by calling 1-800-322-3223. At least four to six thousand participants have Opted Out so far.* Those Opting Out of the Pilot would go back to having an AMR meter that is read wirelessly by a passing van. Because of concerns submitted by those who have been following the controversy, Massachusetts DPU currently lets customers “Opt Out” from having the standard wireless, continually transmitting Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meter but for a fee.
You may ask, “Why would I want to ‘Opt Out’?” Watch a two minute video of one man’s experience with smart meters and why he ‘opted out’:
In June, 2014 Massachusetts DPU not only mandated AMI meters for everyone but allowed utilities to establish opt out tariffs to cover their alleged costs of manually reading non-RF emitting meters.  National Grid customers in Worcester who “Opt Out” of having “AMR” or “Automated Meter Reading”Å meters are charged $26 “installation” for “replacing” an AMR meter with a non-ERT emitting meter (regardless of whether they actually have to reinstall the old meter or not) PLUS an extra $11 a month “tariff” proposed by National Grid, April, 2014.  While not yet approved for AMI “smart” meters these same fees have been proposed by National Grid to Mass. DPU, August 19, 2015 . If approved by Mass DPU, this would be charged regardless whether the company actually sends someone out to read it or they just send you an estimated bill.
Opinion: Charging $11 a month for not accepting a remotely controlled “smart” meter is extortion. National Grid justifies this by asserting their cost of sending out a reader for a very few, widely separated customers who refuse AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) or AMR Meters. This tariff for not accepting an AMR meter was approved by Mass. DPU and the same fee for not accepting an AMI or smart meter is to go in effect on 4/1/2016.
Question: Isn’t “reading the meter” included in the administrative cost of having an account? The minimum charge you pay to be connected for service is supposed to cover such housekeeping tasks the utility must do for any account holder, whether big or little.
The AMR (Automated Meter Reading) technology (where a van drives by each month and “wakes up” your meter to report itself without the driver having to physically access the meter to read it) has been used for 20+ years. Prior to AMR the reader came by to physically read everyone’s meters. If yours was in a basement or otherwise inaccessible and if you were not home s/he left a card on which you were expected to take your own reading and phone it into an answering machine.
Suggestion & Opinion: Nowadays the company could email a monthly reminder to take your reading & submit it through a web page – or call it in to voicemail if you don’t have internet. If you forget, they can always send an estimated bill. No way can such a system cost $11 a month per customer! Eleven dollars a month is blood money to coerce you into being surveillanced and also subjected to microwaves.