Michigan town opt out fees escalate even with their moratorium!

Posted: March 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

Sheffield should follow their lead:

The Sterling Heights City Council on March 3 voted unanimously to adopt a resolution requesting assistance from State Rep. Henry Yanez, in procuring a legal opinion from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on questions relating to the authority of a Michigan home rule city to regulate smart meters.

The City Council adopted a moratorium in 2013 that opposed the installation of smart meters in Sterling Heights until such time that an opt-out program is available for residents who do not wish to have one installed on their residence. “This moratorium, as well as others adopted in many other Michigan municipalities, prompted the Michigan Public Service Commission to issue an order directing the utilities to provide information regarding their plans for smart meter deployment, including whether an opt-out program would be offered,” Vanderpool said.

“The MPSC approved DTE’s opt-out program, which provided for installation of a non-transmitting smart meter, and payment of a one-time installation fee of $67.20 and a monthly charge of $9.80 for manual meter reading,” Vanderpool said. However, as concerns about the cost of the opt-out program continued to grow, city officials responded by sending letters to State Sen. Tory Rocca, and State Reps. Jeff Farrington and Yanez urging their support of pending legislation that would afford opt-out participants the option of keeping the existing electromechanical meter installed on their residences.
In part, the resolutions seeks answers regarding the following questions and concerns:
* Whether a Michigan home rule city has the authority to prohibit the installation of smart meters on residences;
* Whether a Michigan home rule city has the authority to regulate the installation of smart meters to protect residents who prefer to retain their electromechanical meter as an alternative to the non-transmitting smart meter available under the utility’s opt-out program;
* Whether a Michigan home rule city has the authority to prohibit the imposition of a fee for those customers who elect to participate in the smart meter opt-out program.

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