Bill Text: MI HB4220 | 2017-2018 | 99th Legislature | Introduced

Bill Title: Public utilities; consumer services; utilities' use of advanced meters; provide for certain requirements and prohibitions. Amends 1939 PA 3 (MCL 460.1 - 460.11) by adding sec. 10gg.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-02-16 - Bill Electronically Reproduced 02/15/2017 [HB4220 Detail]

Download: Michigan-2017-HB4220-Introduced.html




















February 15, 2017, Introduced by Reps. Glenn, Lucido, Howrylak, McCready, Barrett, Liberati, Zemke, Runestad, Hernandez, Allor, Kelly, Canfield, Noble, Hornberger, Hoitenga, Wentworth, Garrett and Robinson and referred to the Committee on Energy Policy.


     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

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 provide for a

restructuring of the manner in which energy is provided in this

state; 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.




     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.


     (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


accepting the installation of an advanced meter or hub meter or the


use of an advanced meter function.


     (c) Install an advanced meter or upgrade the functionality of


the 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 meter.


     (3) A utility shall notify a customer in writing of the

utility's intention 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 at


the customer's address, as well as the functionality of the


advanced meter, its method of communication, and frequency of data




     (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 may promulgate 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 that they can opt out,


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's giving up any


rights or making any other ancillary agreements. A customer that


does not opt out when first notified does not give up any rights


regarding having an advanced meter removed in the future.


     (5) Within 30 days after receiving a customer's request that


an advanced meter be removed from the customer's residence or


business, a utility shall remove the advanced meter and replace it


with a traditional meter that is not an advanced meter. Limited to


actual costs, a utility may charge a 1-time all-inclusive fee, not


to exceed $150.00, to remove the advanced meter and to provide and


install a traditional meter. However, a utility shall not charge a


fee if the utility installed the advanced meter in violation of the


notice requirements in this section or 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 shall 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 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.


     (b) "Regular basis" means once per billing cycle.


     (7) Subject to subsection (2), the commission shall not


approve a utility tariff that alters rates for customers that do


not use an advanced meter if the utility's cost estimates are based


on more than 1 manual meter reading per year by the utility. 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 is 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 include a residential


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




     (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


are met:


     (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.


     (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 a device that measures, records, or sends a customer's


utility usage or other data by use of radio waves or broadband over


power lines.


     (ii) Allows for 2-way communication between the meter and the


utility or its agent.


     (iii) Allows for a utility or its agent to control a


customer's thermostat, appliance, or service.


     (b) "Hub meter" means an advanced meter that generates

stronger radio waves as a result of the meter serving as a hub for


other advanced meters it communicates with in a given area.


     (c) "Traditional meter" means an analog or similar meter that


is unable to transmit usage information and is only intended to be


read by an individual through a visual display. 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


include 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.