Recently Commission staff provided a Briefing on Smart Meters: Technical Information and Regulatory Issues to the Florida Public Service Commission. As previously reported, the FPSC held a public workshop last year to gather information and address concerns raised by customers. The Briefing summarizes the workshop. Although many of the typical issues are raised, I think utilities will find staff’s conclusions most interesting. For example, tucked on pages 2 and 4 are insightful conclusions I consider headline-worthy:

The FPSC has jurisdiction over cost recovery of smart meters, but does not have specific statutory authority over the smart meters themselves… RF emission standards are established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Briefing, page 2

The FPSC does not have regulatory authority over any potential health effects from smart meters; the FCC is the entity that has jurisdiction over the issue.

Briefing, page 4

Yes, the Briefing is an interesting read. Staff also wonders what will happen to the 25,000[1] customers FPL estimates are on its hold list because of smart meter concerns. Right now the costs to read these customers’ analog meters are socialized among most ratepayers, which can reduce the overall savings that may be achieved by smart meters. Staff expressly states it believes all charges should be cost-based to ensure any subsidization is kept to a minimum.

Finally, staff suggests that the Commission continue to monitor the issues, but not take any specific action at this time.

[1] This figure represents .5% of all of FPL’s smart meter installations. Briefing page 6.