Smart meter installation: What Washtenaw County residents need to know
Here's what you need to know about smart meter installation throughout Washtenaw County.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Why: DTE will know immediately when a home loses power, instead of waiting for the consumer to call. Consumers can also get alerts if they lose power at home. This eliminates the need for meter readers, but DTE says there won’t be layoffs.
When: The utility, using a contractor, is already installing the first of 120,000 smart meters throughout Washtenaw County. Installation is expected to be complete by the end of 2012.
Cost: DTE is absorbing the cost.
Can I opt out?: DTE told the Michigan Public Service Commission that it is developing an opt-out program, but it’s likely to carry fees.
Is my personal information at risk?: DTE says it will not transmit any personally identifiable information, such as a customer’s address, phone number, account information or social security number.
Is there a health risk?: Several studies have shown radiofrequency transmissions are minimal, but some consumers still report ill effects.
Investigation: The Michigan Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, is investigating the implications of smart meters and plans to decide whether to take any action this summer.