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MPSC Launches Investigation into the Deployment of Smart Meters by Regulated Electric Utilities in Michigan

Contact:  Judy Palnau, 517-241-3323
Agency:  Michigan Public Service Commission

January 12, 2012 - The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today launched an investigation into the deployment of smart meters by regulated electric utilities in Michigan.

Noting that electric customers and several municipalities have expressed concern about the deployment of smart meters by electric utilities operating in Michigan, the MPSC today opened a docket for the purpose of addressing these concerns to the degree possible, in light of the limits of the Commission's statutory authority and expertise. 

Today's order directs all regulated electric utilities to submit information to the Commission in Case No. U-17000 by March 16 on the following topics:

  • The electric utility's existing plans for the deployment of smart meters in its service territory;

 

  • The estimated cost of deploying smart meters throughout its service territory and any sources of funding;

 

  • An estimate of the savings to be achieved by the deployment of smart meters;

 

  • An explanation of any other non-monetary benefits that might be realized from the deployment of smart meters;

 

  • Any scientific informa­tion known to the electric utility that bears on the safety of the smart meters to be deployed by that utility;

 

  • An explanation of the type of information that will be gathered by the electric utility through the use of smart meters;

 

  • An explanation of the steps that the electric utility intends to take to safeguard the privacy of the customer information so gathered;

 

  • Whether the electric utility intends to allow customers to opt out of having a smart meter; and

 

  • How the electric utility intends to recover the cost of an opt-out program, if one will exist. 

 

Interested persons have until 5 p.m. on April 16 to file comments on the information submitted by the utilities.  Written comments should be sent to: Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, Michigan 48909.  Electronic comments may be emailed to: mpscedockets@michigan.gov.  If you require assistance prior to filing comments, contact Commission Staff at (517) 241-6180.  All comments should reference Case No. U-17000.  Comments and other documents received in this proceeding will become public information, posted on the Commission's website, and subject to disclosure.

 

Today's order directs the MPSC staff to prepare a report for the Commission's consideration by June 29.  The staff report will summarize the filings in this docket, independently review the literature regarding smart meters, and identify any developments in other jurisdictions pertinent to this investigation.  At the end of its report, the staff shall make its recommendations, including suggestions regarding how best for the Commission to implement the staff's recommendations. 

 

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

 

Case No. U-17000

 

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara.  Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/michiganLARA, "Like" us on Facebook or find us on YouTube www.youtube.com/michiganLARA.

 

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