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Sawyer Schulze, an Alcara employee, installs a smart meter this spring at a residence near Lebanon. the state Public Utility Commission will discuss the program at a meeting Tuesday in Salem.

The state Public Utility Commission is meeting Tuesday in Salem to discuss Pacific Power’s smart meters program.

Pacific Power introduced the new meters earlier this year, saying that the meters will help the company respond to outages better and also give customers the ability to log into their accounts to get real-time information on usage.

The company also received pushback on the plan, with residents expressing concerns about health risks, data security and the fairness of Pacific Power’s opt-out fees. Residents testified with concerns on the smart meter program at a number of Corvallis City Council meetings.

Tuesday’s meeting at 9:30 a.m. at 201 High St. in Salem will include an informational discussion of public feedback involving commissioners, PUC staff and representatives of Pacific Power. The public is welcome, but no oral testimony will be taken.

A second agenda item will look at the $137 opt-out fee that Pacific Power has been charging. Public comment will be taken on this agenda item.

Those who cannot make the trip to Salem can watch by going to  https://www.puc.state.or.us/Pages/Live-Stream.aspx and click the “view event” link next to the Aug. 14 meeting listing, which will appear approximately 10 minutes prior to the meeting.

Residents may continue to submit written questions, comments and concerns to puc.publiccomments@state.or.us, by calling 800-522-2404, or by mail to Oregon Public Utility Commission, P.O. Box 1088, Salem, OR 97308-1088.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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