Pros and cons of smart meters debated

Next month, Consumers Energy will start installing "smart meters" in thousands of homes in Muskegon and Ottawa counties. Instead of sending an employee out to read your residential electric meter, the smart meters use cell phone technology to send a daily readout to the utility.
WZZM-TV
Aug 21, 2012

Consumers Energy says it will save customers money.

"We think there are great benefits to our customers," Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern said. "We actually show over the 20-year life of the meter there will be a $40 million benefit to our customers in terms of energy savings."

Opponents at a presentation at Herrick District Library in Holland on Monday night said there is no evidence the meters conserve electricity or save money.

"There are no studies that show people use significantly less energy because they have a smart meter installed," said David Sheldon, president of Michigan Stop Smart Meters.

Opponents also say the meters are an invasion of privacy because they can tell what appliances in a home are running, at what time and for how long.

To read more of the story and see the WZZM-TV video report from Monday's forum, click here.

The Consumers Energy website has information for customers who want to opt out.
www.consumersenergy.com/

The Michigan Stop Smart Meters web site gives more reasons for their opposition.
michiganstopsmartmeters.com
 

Comments

Boater

I have looked at the Consumer's Energy website searching for the repercussions of "opting out" of the SmartMeter and I cannot find any information available. It states in this article, "The Consumers Energy website has information for customers who want to opt out." , Please provide a link the the actual information, because when I put "opt out SmartMeter" in their search, the only thing that comes up is the technology and cheerleading for the SmartMeter. I'm not interested in big brother installing a meter INSIDE my home.

Mark Brooky

That's a good question, Boater. I also can't find anything about opting out. So, I've asked Consumers Energy. I'll let you know what I find out.

Mark Brooky

Here's the lowdown from Consumers Energy:

They said they are in the process of updating some web content, including a dedicated toll-free number for smart meter-related questions. For now, customers can call 1-800-477-5050 and request opting out of a smart meter. It will be noted directly on their account.

Hope that helps.

DespisesUninformed

Thanks Mark!

I contacted CMS (Consumers Energy) at the 800 number given to opt out of receiving a smart meter.
I was informed that there will additional charges for staying with the old meter as "they are no longer available or serviceable", which is completely false. These meters ARE available and ARE serviceable, however, CMS is choosing to implement Smart Meter Technology.

Further, the additional charges have NOT been established as CMS "is waiting to see how many people opt out and then determine how much additional money it will cost" before setting these charges. The customer service representative states I will be receiving a letter in the mail outlining the additional charges before the first billing is sent that includes these charges.

Although I understand it will cost more money to manual read the old style meters, I think it's a bunch of crap that I get charged more for not wanting their technology!

GH55

No, I don't want a device that may help me conserve electricity, other than looking at my bill once a month, and save some money.
No, I don't want a device that may give Consumers some idea that my power is out, and help get it back sooner, which they cna' do now until someone calls.
No, I don't want a scary device in my house that uses cell phone technology to report my usage. I think I will call on my cell phone and tell them I want to opt-out!
Its very hard to become more efficient if you have no idea how you are operating. That goes for both the power company and the customers.
The best alternative energy is the energy you don't use!

bellaswan

I think this is a good technology and i would certainly want this in my house. It is better to get daily updates about your electric consumption than to get shocked at the end of month. In this way you can estimate how much power is being consumed and you can lower your consumption accordingly.
Appliance repair Simi Valley

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