Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Michigan's New Public Utility Rules Hearing


Below is a close approximation of what I said at the Michigan Public Service Commission hearing on September 22, 2016, regarding the new rules for Michigan natural gas and electric utility customers.  

About 35 people spoke.  A lot of those who spoke have been harmed by new public utility meters (digital, "smart", AMI, AMR ERT), and a few severely disabled by them.  

Time will tell if our comments will fall on deaf ears.  Is corporatocracy alive and well in Michigan? We will see...

This is regarding Case No. U-18120

It is my view that "Full disclosure by public utility companies to customers regarding equipment" must be added to the "Consumer Standards and Billing Practices for Electric and Natural Gas Service" Rules.  
If a public utility customer asks any questions about metering technology, the public utility company must be obliged to give all the information possible on the equipment, to the customer.  
I argue that public utility customers have a right to know exactly what public utility companies propose to install on homes and businesses.  
This is my view because:  Instead of telling us that their new AMR ERT natural gas meters transmitted over 450,000 times per month, our natural gas provider told us that they transmit only once per month.  That's a huge discrepancy, in my opinion.  Had they been obliged to give us full disclosure, we would have refused installation.  
I was already avoiding cell phone use because of a sensitivity I had developed to radiofrequency radiation, so had our natural gas provider told us their new AMR ERT meters pulsed radiofrequency radiation over 450,000 times per month, we would have refused installation.  
According to the proposed new Rules, our natural gas provider could have then turned our natural gas service off, right then and there, without notice.   
It is my opinion that here in Michigan, that rule could prove to be catastrophic for public utility customers.  In the winter with below freezing temperatures, if gas or electricity is shut-off, it could be just a matter of hours before pipes begin freezing and bursting, leading to loss of property. 
It is my view a minimum of a 21-day notice must be given to public utility customers prior to any shut-off, for any reason.  
It is also my view that an "Analog Meter Choice" be added to the new Rules.  As evidenced by the Oversight Committee Hearing in December of 2014, and perhaps about half of the people here today, there is a growing number of people in Michigan unable to tolerate new metering technology.  I can not tolerate new AMR ERT meters, but our natural gas providers have no analog choice.  
I argue that it is our right to choose what radiofrequency radiation and electromagnetic field emitting devices are in, and/or on, our homes. 
Thank you.    
(End of my comment.)

The Commission will continue to take written and electronic comments through 5:00 p.m., October 13, 2016.

Send written comments to:  
Executive Secretary
Michigan Public Service Commission
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Electronic comments can be e-mailed to mpscedockets@michigan.gov.  If you require assistance, contact Commission staff at (517) 284-8090 or by e-mail at mpscedockets@michigan.gov.  

All information submitted to the Commission in this matter will become public information available on the Commission’s website and subject to disclosure.  All comments should reference Case No. U-18120.  Please do not include information you wish to remain private.

The new proposed rules for gas and electric public utility companies can be found here:  http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile/docs/18120/0001.pdf

For more information, please see "Large Turnout for Michigan Utility Rules Hearing."

And here's the stories of two Michigan women who also testified at this hearing:


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