Lawmaker pleased with appellate court ruling
State Rep. Tim Kelly today said he is pleased with a recent Michigan Court of Appeals order that the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) look more closely at its authorized opt-out program for utility customers.
“To require a customer to pay for a new meter, even when their analog meter is in working condition, shows blatant disrespect for the struggling families in Michigan,” said Rep. Kelly, R-Saginaw Township.
“I agree with the many legislators and the attorney general that utility customers should be given a choice without the economic penalty that is being forced upon them,” Rep. Kelly said. “Many of the constituents are asking how the utility companies are justifying the replacement of all the current meters with more expensive units when they have not proven that there will be a cost savings with the switch.”
Although Rep. Kelly did not agree with the original opt-out tariff, he finds it encouraging that the MPSC was ordered to delve deeper into the financial concerns as well as customer concerns on data collection, privacy and cyber security.
“With our electrical grid vulnerable to cyber-attacks, it only makes sense to try and safeguard our citizens with the introduction of this technology,” Rep. Kelly said. “Smart meters are not immune from hacking and the sophistication of criminals has risen to a level of great concern. The ability of these meters to work remotely poses a greater threat than ever before and our constituents deserve the reassurance that their data will be secure.”
Kelly believes that legislation is warranted to assist with consumer choice.