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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE BILL No. 4220

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

     (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

 

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 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

 

manner.

 

     (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

 

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

 

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.

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