Rep. Glenn sets second hearing on protecting homeowners from ‘smart meter’ fees
Published 10:56 pm, Sunday, March 5, 2017
State Rep. Gary Glenn, of Midland, chair of the House Energy Policy Committee, will hold a second hearing Tuesday to take testimony on House Bill 4220 allowing Michigan homeowners to reject the installation of electric utility “smart meters” with no charge.
The hearing is scheduled for 9-10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 7 in Room 519 of the House Office Building in downtown Lansing.
The first hearing on the bill drew a large crowd on Feb. 21.
“As we could tell from the first hearing, public interest in this legislation is high,” Glenn said. “It’s an issue all over the state.”
The second hearing on the legislation comes soon after the Michigan Public Service Commission rejected a bid by Consumers Energy to raise opt-out fees for the smart meter program.
Consumers Energy and DTE Energy now charge residents nearly $70 up front and nearly $10 a month afterwards to opt out of programs involving advanced electricity meters installed outside residential customers’ homes. The new meters are replacing older analog models.
Glenn’s bill would ban utilities from charging homeowners fees if they don’t want smart meters.
Many homeowners reject the new technology, with reasons varying from health to privacy concerns to property rights.
“No matter the reason, a private property owner should never be forced by a monopoly to install this technology,” Glenn said. “Homeowners should be free to choose.”