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Iowa Utility Board rejects Alliant Energy's proposed $15/month charge to customers who don't want advanced metering

Posted: Wed, Feb 6, 2019 3:18 PM

In the fall of 2017, Alliant Energy began installing smart meters for customers in its Iowa service area. The work began in Northeast Iowa, with many smart meters getting installed in Decorah last year.  As of December, Alliant had installed smart meters for around two-thirds of its roughly 500,000 Iowa customers.

But not every customer wanted the "Advanced Metering Infrastructure" meters.  Alliant proposed to the Iowa Utility Board that it be allowed to charge those customers a $15 per month fee for opting out of the system.

On Wednesday the IUB issued its ruling in the case--and sided against Alliant on most of the major issues.  The Board rejected the proposed fees for AMI meters and also voted to allow residential customers to permanently opt out of having an AMI meter--not on a temporary basis, as Alliant had suggested.  The IUB ruling stated, "The proposal (by Alliant) is a phased-in effort to gain the benefits of efficiency to the company without having to address any of the customers' objections over a longer term or on a more permanent basis."

The Iowa Utilities Board has ordered Alliant to file a revised fee schedule with the IUB that allows all residential customers taking electrical service on the general residential rate to opt out and to allow the opt-out without any fee or charge at this time.