MPSC Investigates Deployment of Smart Meters by Michigan Utilities.

6 Apr 2012

Back in February, DTE Energy announced that it is installing 120,000 “smart” meters at homes throughout Washtenaw County (DTE claims that more than 1 million of its customers will have smart meters by the end of 2013).  The so-called “smart” meters wirelessly distribute information about electricity consumption to DTE and, among other things, helps the utility to remotely monitor power outages.  The meters also give consumers the ability — through a free online account — to monitor their hour-by-hour electricity usage on the day after the power is used (Arthur recently blogged about a similar program from CMS Energy).

Sounds great, right?  Well, not everyone is happy about it. Apparently there has been a steady stream of complaints with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) about the deployment of smart meters.  The MPSC, in turn, announced back in January that has launched a statewide investigation into the health, privacy and cost implications of the devices.  The deadline for comments from the public is April 16th (electronic comments may be emailed to: mpscedockets@michigan.gov), and MPSC staff members plan to develop appropriate recommendations, if any, by June 29th.

Surprisingly (at least too me), this has become a really hot topic of debate (just Google it) and it will be interesting to see how the MPSC comes out on the topic.

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