Consumers Energy going forward with smart meters despite investigation by Michigan Public Service Commission

Tarryl Jackson | Jackson Citizen Patriot By Tarryl Jackson | Jackson Citizen PatriotThe Jackson Citizen Patriot
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Consumers Energy plans to go forward with its deployment of smart meters despite an investigation launched by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Last week, the commission announced the investigation, saying that electric customers in the state and several municipalities have expressed concerns about the installation of such meters.

The commission wants information from utilities by March 16, and a public comment period is open until April 16.

The MPSC plans to review recommendations about the use of smart meters at a later date.

The company is investing $750 million into smart-grid technology in  response to the state’s 21st Century Energy Plan, which emphasizes the  need for renewable energy and energy conservation.

Consumers Energy plans to start its smart meter deployment in Muskegon County in August and expects to have 50,000 meters deployed in Muskegon and Ottawa counties by the end of the year, said Roger Morgenstern, smart grid communications coordinator at Consumers Energy.

There are currently about 5,000 pilot smart meters installed in Jackson County.

“We will be working closely with the MPSC to give them and their staff the information they are looking for,” he said. “We don’t see it having an effect on our deployment schedule.”

Smart meters allow residents to see exactly how much energy they are using on a real-time basis, allowing them to adjust usage to cut monthly bills, company officials say.

It also has the capability to alert the utility if the power goes out, without the customer having to report the outage. Meters will send a “last gasp” signal, helping the company locate the problem and find an alternate route for sending energy.

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2 Comments

Filed under Grand Rapids, Michigan

2 responses to “Consumers Energy going forward with smart meters despite investigation by Michigan Public Service Commission

  1. stop smart meters now at http://www.w4ar.com has been fighting smart meter installation for a few years and has been doing resolutions in 10 or more cities and we are going for more. we will prevail!

  2. we will stop the smart meter invasion..we now will have power. People are now seeing the whole picture of what is all behind this!!!!! AGENDA 21 AND ICLEI!!!! look it up or go to our website.

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