BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Ormond Beach residents can expect to find pamphlets in their mailboxes in the coming days, concerning Florida Power and Light’s installation of smart meters.
The pamphlets are meant to alert customers that contractors will soon be installing energy smart meters at their homes in the coming weeks, as well as to educate residents on the new hardware.
The shift to smart meters has been met with hesitancy by some locals, though.
During the Sept. 18 City Commission meeting, over a dozen residents encouraged officials to give residents the power to opt in for the meters, as opposed to automatically being included on the installation list.
In response, the commission approved a resolution for an opt-in clause. But the board was careful to emphasize that it has no direct jurisdiction in the matter.
Still, residents can opt out -- although, so far, a relatively small amount have actually done so.
“To date, out of about 3.8 million meters installed (in Florida), about 14,000 customers have been adamant about refusing a smart meter,” said Bryan Olnick, FPL’s VP of Smart Grid solutions and meter operations, at a smart meter workshop held Sept. 20.
Elaine Hinsdale, a spokesperson for FPL, said the company started installing the smart meters in Volusia County in July, and will have completed its installations in Volusia and Flagler County by the end of December.
Hinsdale added that the meters are meant as a way for residents to have as much information as possible about their energy-use habits, in order to adjust their behavior to save money, if needed.
The smart meters will send usage information to FPL remotely, instead of being gathered at homes by a meter reader, and show residents their usage by the hour.
For more, or to opt out, call 1-800-871-5711 or visit FPL.com/energysmart.