From Midland Daily News
October 22, 2015
Glenn bill backs Schuette action on ‘smart meters’
Utility customers in Michigan would have the option of choosing between a new advanced meter and existing traditional equipment to measure their home energy usage under legislation introduced recently by Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, and Rep. Rose Mary Robinson, D-Detroit.
The bill would put into force an opinion by Attorney General Bill Schuette that the utility companies lack the authority to charge fees to customers that opt out of an advanced metering program, which was dismissed by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
“Attorney General Schuette is rightly concerned for Michigan residents’ privacy and security on the smart meter issue and I appreciate his leadership to protect the people of our state,” Glenn said. “I am happy to sponsor House Bill 4916 to overturn the Public Service Commission’s rejection of his position so that electric customers can choose a metering option that they are comfortable with and want.”
Electric companies are transitioning to the advanced or “smart” meters to capture and transmit usage information in real-time so the utility can manage the power grid needs and delivery. The smart meter initiative has raised cyber-security concerns, as well as issues about customers’ private information, prompting Glenn’s bill to provide a choice.
“Smart meter data provides a remarkably intimate picture of a home’s electrical usage, and we’ve seen examples of this data shared, sold and mishandled,” said Glenn, who is vice chair of the House Committee on Energy Policy. “There is already plenty of data sharing going on in our wired-in world, but we can decide to limit those intrusions by not participating in those services or companies. Moreover, it is a legitimate cyber-security concern that machines that can shut off electricity in our homes are computerized and connected to the Internet. For a basic life necessity such as electricity, where participation is not a choice, consumers still must have the freedom to choose.”