Representative Tom McMillin (R) of Rochester introduced today, along with 8 co-sponsors, proposed smart meter opt-out legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill, known as H.B. 5411, contains a whole series of prohibitions against the electric utility companies of the state with regard to what are termed “advanced meters” and directs the Michigan Public Services Commission (MPSC) to enforce these prohibitions. Click here to continue reading this post.
Plans to force households to have energy smart meters installed have been shelved over health and privacy fears.
Smart meters communicate remotely from households to energy companies Photo: REX
6:30AM GMT 01 Feb 2012
The Government had promised that every household would have a smart meter by 2019 in a £12 billion programme to stop gas and electricity bills being estimated.
Officials are devising plans to allow people to reject the smart meters, which communicate remotely from households to energy companies.
The move is a victory for campaign groups and backbench MPs, who raised concerns with ministers that the devices emit electromagnetic radiation 24 hours a day and cannot be turned off.
Privacy campaigners were worried that half-hourly data on energy usage collected by smart meters could give clues about people’s way of life, such as when someone is on holiday, at work or asleep. Sources in the Department for Energy and Climate Change said the proposal was shelved to avoid the programme getting “bogged down” in lengthy legal disputes.
There has been a public outcry recently about the potential health effects of smart meters in the US and Canada.
About 400,000 have been installed in British homes. Most of the devices emit similar radiation to mobile phones, microwaves and wireless internet.
Campaigners are worried about the build-up of such devices in the home.
Some people claim to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields, saying it gives them symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and headaches.
In America, utility companies have been hit with multi-million dollar class action lawsuits from people who have had the devices installed in their homes.
Regulators say smart meters are safe. But protesters point to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s opposition to the devices.
Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, is now urging the Government to say whether smart meters will come with health warnings.
Charles Hendry, the energy minister, said: “We believe people will benefit from having smart meters. But we will not make them obligatory.”
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.
The radiation from “smart” meters is harmful to your friends and family too, Kristin!!
Kristin van Reesema is the Project Manager for Smart Street (Consumers Energy), a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based project, that combines smart grid technology and energy efficiency measures. Read more
Another “journalist” selling the smart meter company line. The reader comments suggest an opposing view. – Editor
By Tarryl Jackson | Jackson Citizen Patriot
By 2019, Jackson County residents will no longer have to guess what their monthly electric bill will be. They’ll be able to track energy use and costs, which could help them save money.
This will be made possible by Consumers Energy’s smart grid technology, a cutting-edge $750 million investment for the Jackson-based utility. Read more