DPU To Consider Advanced Metering Infrastructure ‘Opt-Out’ Provision

los alamos county


The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) seeks approval of proposed General Rule GR-16 on Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) from the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).

The rule includes a provision under GR-16.03 to allow customers to opt out of the AMI project without penalty. AMI is a method of communication technology to read meters remotely without having to physically access meters on customers’ properties.

BPU will consider Rule GR-16 at the Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 board meeting held at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos, NM.

Should BPU approve the rule and Los Alamos County Council authorizes execution of the contract with Ferguson, the AMI equipment will be ordered.  Crews will begin the process of switching out approximately 8,000 existing electric meters for electric smart meters and attaching communication modules to 14,000 existing gas and water meters no sooner than August 2019.

DPU’s contractor will install the equipment in a phased approach, beginning in Pajarito Acres, progressing to La Senda and then finishing up the remaining neighborhoods in White Rock, before moving to the townsite.  The project could take up to 18 months to be fully installed.

Reasonable efforts will be made to advise customers that because DPU is county-owned, it has been interpreted that all metering data collected is considered public information under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).  In addition, DPU will inform customers who express privacy concerns regarding 15-minute consumption data being public records that Rule GR-16.03 affords them the ability to opt out without penalty. For these customers, DPU will disable the newly installed electric smart meters and modules so that information is neither stored nor transmitted electronically.  DPU’s meter technicians will continue to read the electric, gas and water meters monthly for customers who elected to opt out.

Los Alamos citizens who would like to provide public comment may do so, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 at the BPU meeting held at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at 1000 Central Ave., Los Alamos, NM.  A copy of the Rule GR-16 is available on the County’s website at rebrand.ly/DPU-AMI-GR16 or at the Customer Care Center at 1000 Central Ave., Los alamos, NM 87544.