In a letter to the Michigan Public Service Commission today, State Rep. Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron) demanded the commission act in response to what he calls “absurd bills” sent by Michigan energy suppliers to some customers.
Despite a February hearing in the House Energy Policy Committee that took testimony from dozens of individuals who expressed their frustration with inaccurate bills generated after Consumers Energy placed “smart meters” on their property, Michigan residents continue to receive inaccurate bills.
“I’m happy to help bring further attention to this problem, and more importantly, work to find a solution,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez has reached out to energy suppliers and is pleased that DTE has engaged in conversation, but he remains concerned about the ability to make timely progress considering the fact that incorrect billing has been an ongoing issue his entire 17 months in office.
“I would prefer to continue forward in a constructive manner with the energy suppliers at the table,” Hernandez said, “but I have never shied away from doing what is right for my constituents simply because it may not win me any friends in Lansing. I am willing to take more forceful action if necessary.”
The letter sent by Hernandez (attached) included an example of one citizen’s bill for over $1.9 million which Hernandez feels is just a symbol of the problems Michigan consumers face when state law guarantees a virtual monopoly for a select few energy suppliers.
Attached: Hernandez Letter to the Public Service Commission
Examples of overbilling
About Rep. Hernandez:
State Representative Hernandez grew up in Croswell and now lives in Port Huron with his wife Renee and two children, Kelsey and Kara. Hernandez credits his family upbringing for his conservative principles. His father, Salvador Hernandez Jr., worked his way up from general laborer to boiler operator at the Croswell pickle factory. Hernandez witnessed firsthand that hard work and determination can lead to success. Rep. Hernandez can be reached at (517) 373-0835, or for more information, you can follow him on Facebook here.
May 31, 2018
Michigan Public Service Commission
ATTN: Sally A. Talberg, Chairman
PO Box 30221
Lansing, MI 48909
RE: Continious problems with billing of “smart-meter” customers
Dear Chairman Talberg,
In the first weeks after taking office in January of 2017, I began to become aware of Michigan citizens who have had issues with new “smart meters” in general, with many specific cases in the 83rd District. As a freshman legislator serving on the Appropriations Committee I have felt that it was appropriate for me to allow my colleagues serving on the House Energy Policy to address these concerns.
While I applaud Chairman Glenn’s work in this matter, specifically his willingness to hold hearings to shine a light on this problem, recent conversations with residents regarding absurd bills sent by energy suppliers have prompted me to take a more active role in finding a common-sense solution to what seems to be an ongoing problem.
Attached is an extreme example of bills that I, as well as other members of the Legislature, have received on an all too regular basis.
At this point I must respectfully request that the commission hold energy suppliers accountable for their billing practices. I am open to ideas as to how we restore consumer confidence, but it is our duty to assure consumers they are being billed correctly. Testing “smart meters” in the field (not just prior to installation) would seem like a logical first step in solving this problem. If progress cannot be achieved in a timely matter, I will be forced to work with my House colleagues to find a legislative fix to assure consumers their bills are correct.
State Representative, 83rd District
Enc. Example of billing errors