LANSING, Mich. -

The Michigan Public Service Commission is investigating the use of "smart meter" technology by utilities in the state.

The commission on Thursday announced the start of the investigation. It says electric customers in the state and several municipalities have expressed concern about the installation of such meters.

The commission wants information from utilities by March 16. A public comment period is open until April 16. The commission plans to review recommendations about the use of smart meters at a later date.

Proponents say smart meters can alert utilities of outages and cut costs. Opponents question whether the price justifies a customer's savings. Similar concerns have been raised in other parts of the country.

Comments can be submitted by mail to:

Executive Secretary Michigan Public Service Commission

P.O. Box 30221

Lansing, Michigan 48909.

Or by email at mpscedockets@michigan.gov.