NC Smart Solutions Opt Out Frequently Asked Questions

Q. So, if I am a Duke Energy customer, I can opt out?

A. Duke Energy is divided into TWO companies Duke Energy Progress (DEP) and Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC).

See map below:

As a general rule, Duke Energy Carolinas comprises the eastern part of the state; Duke Energy Progress comprises the western part.  There are also several independent companies that provide power within the state.

If you are still uncertain, look at the bottom of your bill.  There will be a code that begins with “DEC” or “DEP” before a string of numbers.

Q.  Which company has the Opt-out option in place?

A:  Duke Energy Carolinas.  Therefore, NOT all of North Carolina has an Opt-out option yet.  The currently available Opt-out exists only in Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) territory; the North Carolina Utilities Commission approved DEC’s “Rider MRM” under Docket E-7, Sub 1115.

Q.  Do I need a doctor’s note to opt out?

A.  No. You do need a doctor’s note to qualify for a medical fee waiver – which means you won’t be charged for opting out.   The DEC option is available to anyone by paying fees if one does not have a doctor’s note.  When requesting to opt out of a Smart Meter, a person who has a doctor that will help them should ask for the forms necessary to get the health-related Opt-out FEE WAIVER.  Duke will provide the forms and, under the current process, you must have your doctor sign in front of a notary.

Q.  What is the link for Duke Energy Carolinas Smart Meter opt-out option?

A.  https://www.duke-energy.com/our-company/about-us/smart-grid/smart-meter/smart-meter-opt-out

Q.  What if I am in the other territory – Duke Energy Progress (DEP)?

A.  The North Carolina Utilities Commission has (NCUC) and open docket E-2 Sub 834. On the docket, Duke Energy Progress (DEP) is asking the Commission to approve a Smart Meter opt-out option similar to the one that was approved for Duke Energy Carolinas for their customers.

View the docket here.

View comments from your fellow North Carolinians here.

Q.  What do I do in the meantime while I wait for the NCUC decision?

A.  Until this Smart Meter opt-out option is approved, NC customers whose utility bill says Duke Energy Progress on it should call to be put on the “bypass” list. If you have not already been switched to a smart meter, the list will bypass your conversion to one. Once the Smart Meter opt-out option is approved, customers will have a choice of paying a one-time fee plus additional monthly charges to opt out, or else get a fee waiver by submitting the appropriate health related Opt-out forms.

Q. I’d like to write a letter to voice my opinion about – E-2 Sub 834.  What should I include?

A.  Read our Safety and Privacy Concerns.  Read the letters submitted for the docket that was approved.  In addition, here are some suggested items to include in your comments:

  • Request an ANALOG meters as your Smart Meter opt-out option rather than “radio-off” Smart Meters.
  • If you are an apartment dweller, these meters are of specific concern. Apartment dwellers should be able to protect themselves against having entire banks of smart meters mounted on or near their walls.  Request an automatic fee waiver for every apartment in a building where the meters are making anyone (who has a doctor’s verification) in that building ill.
  • Request that health care providers other than MDs should be allowed to sign the verification form (such as acupuncturists and chiropractors).
  • Request that the requirement for notarization be eliminated if the request is submitted with a cover letter on the physician’s letterhead.