Lansing, MI, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- January 18, 2012 - The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has launched an investigation into the deployment of smart meters by regulated electric utilities in Michigan, following concerns raised by customers and municipalities.

The investigation appears to be aimed at heading off a situation experienced in other states, notably California which has seen increasingly vocal opposition to smart meters and demands such as opt-outs.

The Michigan PSC is calling for information on the following points:

  • The electric utility's existing plans for the deployment of smart meters in its service territory 
  • The estimated cost of deploying smart meters throughout its service territory and any sources of funding
  •  An estimate of the savings to be achieved by the deployment of smart meters
  • An explanation of any other non-monetary benefits that might be realized from the deployment of smart meters Any scientific informa¬tion known to the electric utility that bears on the safety of the smart meters to be deployed by that utility
  • An explanation of the type of information that will be gathered by the electric utility through the use of smart meters
  • An explanation of the steps that the electric utility intends to take to safeguard the privacy of the customer information so gathered
  • Whether the electric utility intends to allow customers to opt out of having a smart meter
  • How the electric utility intends to recover the cost of an opt-out program, if one will exist.

Based on the responses of the utilities and other comments, the PSC will prepare a report by June 29. The report will summarize the findings along with any other pertinent information, and make recommendations.