Bill would halt smart meter opt out fees

Posted at 7:21 AM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 10:26:07-05

A new bill would stop utility companies from charging its customers for opting out of smart or upgraded meters.

The bill was introduced Wednesday by Representative Gary Glenn.

Customers would also be allowed to report their usage to utility companies and have the meter physically read by utility employees at least once a month.

A public hearing will soon be scheduled on the bill.

Consumers Energy responded to the legislation with this statement:

"Our advanced meter technology program is good for Michigan as it offers customer benefits beyond the capabilities of traditional meters. The new technology – which follows national testing for accuracy and safety – provides our customers with more accurate bills, unique energy use information, the ability to lower bills by managing overall energy use and increased billing options. We are concerned that this legislation could limit the company’s ability to provide this updated technology to our customers and unfairly shifts the costs of maintaining older equipment to customers who have upgraded meters."