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Commonwealth Edison customers who refuse to have smart meters installed will be charged $21.53 a month, regulators decided Wednesday.

"If customers make the decision to refuse a (smart) meter now and incur monthly charges associated with this choice it should be with full knowledge that this refusal is simply deferring the inevitable," the Illinois Commerce Commission said in its order.

The Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, passed in 2011, requires ComEd to install smart meters for all customers of a 10-year period but some customers have said they don’t want them or haven’t given ComEd access to their meters so that they can be swapped out.

The meters electronically send information about customer electricity usage back to ComEd, which eliminates the needs for meters readers. The ICC argued that the charge is reasonable because of the extra costs associated with reading older analog meters.

The utility had argued that the fees should be higher.

ComEd is required to complete installation of the meters for all customers in its service territory by 2022. The ICC said customers will ultimately receive the smart meters regardless of whether they want them or not.
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