Mich. customers oppose fees to refuse power meters

By: AP
By: AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Some residential customers vow to continue battling Michigan's largest utilities over the freedom to not have new electricity meters installed outside their homes.

State regulators this week decided to let residents opt out of "smart" meters if they pay $67 upfront and nearly $10 a month to DTE Electric. Consumers Energy has similar fees pending before the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Some people worry the wireless meters cause health problems and let utilities know too much about energy usage.

Utilities say replacing analog meters helps them better manage demand on the grid. The advanced meters give more accurate readings and help utilities better respond to power outages.

The debate has the attention of Michigan lawmakers who have introduced bills to prohibit charging fees to customers who don't want the meters.

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