September 26, 2018, Introduced by Senator COLBECK and referred to the Committee on Energy and Technology.
A bill to amend 1939 PA 3, entitled
"An act to provide for the regulation and control of public and
certain private utilities and other services affected with a public
interest within this state; to provide for alternative energy
suppliers; to provide for licensing; to include municipally owned
utilities and other providers of energy under certain provisions of
this act; to create a public service commission and to prescribe
and define its powers and duties; to abolish the Michigan public
utilities commission and to confer the powers and duties vested by
law on the public service commission; to provide for the powers and
duties of certain state governmental officers and entities; to
provide for the continuance, transfer, and completion of certain
matters and proceedings; to abolish automatic adjustment clauses;
to prohibit certain rate increases without notice and hearing; to
qualify residential energy conservation programs permitted under
state law for certain federal exemption; to create a fund; to
encourage the utilization of resource recovery facilities; to
prohibit certain acts and practices of providers of energy; to
allow for the securitization of stranded costs; to reduce rates; to
provide for appeals; to provide appropriations; to declare the
effect and purpose of this act; to prescribe remedies and
penalties; and to repeal acts and parts of acts,"
(MCL 460.1 to 460.11) by adding section 10gg.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
Sec. 10gg. (1) A utility customer may choose between the
placement or use of a traditional meter or an advanced meter
regardless of the utility that provides service to that customer. A
utility shall honor the direction of any customer with an advanced
meter who chooses to instead be serviced by a traditional meter or
to not accept new advanced meter functionality, including in
situations when a customer had not previously opted out of that
placement or use.
(2) A utility shall not do any of the following:
(a) Make the provision of any portion of utility service to a
customer contingent on the customer receiving service through any
meter or similar device other than a traditional meter. A utility
may prohibit a customer with a traditional meter from participating
in certain time-of-day tariff discounts.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, impose any
fee or disincentive on a customer for opting out of or not choosing
the installation or use of an advanced meter, the installation or
use of a hub meter, or the acceptance or use of an advanced meter
(c) Install an advanced meter or upgrade the functionality of
an existing advanced meter after the effective date of the
amendatory act that added this section unless the customer has been
properly notified and has not opted out of the installation or
upgrade. If a customer has not opted out of the installation or
upgrade, an on-site utility worker or his or her agent shall
nevertheless not install an advanced meter or upgrade the
functionality of the advanced meter if the customer has posted a
sign on the current meter forbidding the installation or upgrade of
an advanced meter or the customer verbally informs the worker at
the time of installation not to install or upgrade the advanced
(3) A utility shall notify a customer in writing of the
utility's desire to install an advanced meter at the customer's
address or to upgrade the functionality of a previously installed
advanced meter. The utility shall send the notice by first-class
mail separate from any billing mailing. The utility shall keep a
copy of each mailed notice on file for review by the customer or
the commission. Each notice must do all of the following:
(a) Include the customer's name, service address, and
anticipated date of installation.
(b) State the utility's desire to install an advanced meter or
change the meter's functionality at the customer's address, as well
as to fully describe the functionality of the advanced meter, its
method of communication, and frequency of data communication.
(c) If the advanced meter the customer would be receiving is a
hub meter, explain how a hub meter differs from other meters.
(d) State the customer's ability to choose a traditional meter
or nonhub meter and the customer's rights under this section.
(e) Clearly explain the process for a customer to opt out of
the installation of an advanced meter or hub meter or the use of an
advanced meter function.
(4) The commission shall promulgate utility customer meter
choice and opt-out procedures that are composed of simple, easy-to-
understand steps that an average customer can easily understand
that do not place any undue burden on the customer. After being
notified under subsection (3), customers must be provided with at
least 45 days to communicate with the utility their desire to opt
out, with a clear deadline listed on the notice. Opt-out procedures
must be free of charge other than the cost of regular mailing. An
opt-out procedure or process must be narrow in construction so as
to inform the utility of the customer's intentions and not be made
contingent upon or contain language that would require the customer
to give up any rights or make any other ancillary agreements. A
customer that does not opt out when first notified does not give up
any rights or options granted to that customer under this section.
(5) Within 30 days after receiving a customer's direction that
an advanced meter, hub meter, or new functionality be removed from
the customer's residence or business, a utility shall accommodate
the customer and, limited to actual costs, charge a fee not to
exceed $150.00 for the installation of the new meter. However, a
utility shall not charge a fee to remove an advanced meter if the
utility installed the advanced meter in violation of the notice
requirements in this section, installed the advanced meter or
upgraded the functionality of the advanced meter in violation of
subsection (2)(c), or installed the advanced meter before the
effective date of the amendatory act that added this section. A
utility shall not charge a monthly fee for using a traditional
meter unless the customer is offered the opportunity, but is
unwilling, to read and report the customer's usage under subsection
(6). Any monthly fee for using a traditional meter must not exceed
$5.00 per month.
(6) A utility shall allow each customer to read and report
that customer's service usage if the customer reports reasonably
accurate usage on a regular basis. A utility shall provide a
customer with a preaddressed envelope and form upon request or
permit a customer to report meter readings on a secure website, by
telephone, or by other reasonable means. At least once every 12
months, the utility shall obtain an actual meter reading of a
customer's energy usage to verify the accuracy of readings reported
under this section. Notwithstanding this subsection, a
representative of a utility may manually read a customer's meter on
a regular basis as otherwise permitted by law and correct a reading
as necessary. If a customer fails to report usage or the utility
does not receive a customer's service usage on time, the utility
may manually read a customer's meter or charge that customer based
on an estimate of prior energy use in a manner approved by the
commission. A customer that intentionally reports inaccurate
information may be assessed a reasonable penalty under rules
promulgated by the commission and may be subject to any other
penalties provided by law. As used in this subsection:
(a) "Inaccurate information" means the intentional
underreporting of meter data in an effort to not pay for provided
services. Inaccurate information does not mean minor differences in
readings by less than 5% to account for variations based on the
time of day that the meter is read and similar factors.
"Regular basis" means once per billing cycle.
(7) The commission shall consider the ability to self-read
meters as part of any proceeding and shall fully recognize and
value that customers have a legitimate interest in controlling
third-party equipment placed onto their property that is not
inherently necessary as a condition to receiving service.
(8) A customer's energy use data and internet user information
are private and confidential and a utility or its agents shall not
sell, rent, or share that data or information except as provided by
competent court order or law. A utility may report data relating to
electric or compressed natural gas vehicle fueling to the
department of treasury. The department of treasury shall use that
information strictly for taxation purposes and shall not share that
information with law enforcement without a warrant, and that
information is not subject to disclosure under the freedom of
information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246, except for
aggregate data used for research purposes in a nonidentifying
(9) A utility shall ensure that any data from an advanced
meter communicated by networking technology are sufficiently
encrypted so that the data cannot be intercepted by a device other
than a device used by the utility. A utility shall not communicate
by networking technology meter use data that includes a customer's
name, Social Security number, address, or other identifying
information except for an independent and unique customer
identification number that is assigned by the utility. The utility
shall assign a customer identification number in a manner that
includes safeguards to prevent a device not owned by the utility
from associating the number with a particular customer or address.
(10) A utility shall not post a customer's energy use data or
bill on the internet, except over a secured transfer protocol or
similar secured connection that uses 1 or more additional security
measures, such as a customer-selected password, to ensure that only
the customer can access the information.
(11) A utility shall not wirelessly or otherwise remotely shut
off service to a customer unless both of the following requirements
(a) At least 48 hours before shutoff, a utility representative
visits the property to which the service is to be shut off,
verifies that it is the correct address, and follows all other
shutoff procedures required by law.
(b) The utility has a commission-approved, comprehensive
security program that reasonably ensures that a customer's service
will be shut off only through authorized access to the utility's
computer system, that is open to inspection and audit by the
commission, and that is designed to prevent unintentional shutoff
due to network hacking or terrorism. The commission shall
collaborate with the department of state police in approving or
auditing the security program.
(12) As used in this section:
(a) "Advanced meter" means a meter or metering device system
that is owned or leased by a utility or its agent and that meets 1
or more of the following requirements:
(i) Is non-analog in nature.
(ii) Is a device that measures, records, or sends a customer's
utility usage or other data by use of radio waves or broadband over
(iii) Allows for 2-way communication between the meter and the
utility or its agent.
(iv) Allows for a utility or its agent to control a customer's
thermostat, appliance, or service.
(b) "Hub meter" means an advanced meter that receives data
from other customers' meters as a result of the meter serving as
part of a network for other advanced meters it communicates with in
a given area.
(c) "Traditional meter" means an analog meter. A traditional
meter is not designed to be and is not capable of transmitting
usage data by using radio waves or broadband over power lines,
allowing 2-way communication between the meter and the utility or
its agents, or allowing a utility or its agents to control a
customer's thermostat, appliance, or service. A traditional meter
does not mean a digital meter or an advanced meter that has certain
functionality turned off or deactivated.
(d) "Utility" means a person that sells natural gas,
electricity, or water to retail customers in this state and that
either sells the natural gas, electricity, or water at rates
regulated by the commission or is owned by a municipality.