An Illinois utility said customers who refuse to have an electricity meter installed will see an additional $20 monthly fee on their bills.

Ameren Illinois said the so-called smart meters, which transmit details about power usage, enable the utility to pinpoint outage problems and fix them faster.
It said the meters can be read remotely and that the $20 fee covers the cost of sending out a person to read the older analog meter.

The company is set to install 780,000 of the new electricity meters in central Illinois and 468,000 upgraded gas meters, which offer similar capabilities.