DTE Energy proposes monthly fee to customers who don't want full use of smart meters

DTE plans to use high-tech smart meters on homes by 2013

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DETROIT - DTE Energy Co. is proposing a one-time $87 charge and $15 monthly fees for customers who don't want new electronic meters sending information back to the utility.

The utility is asking the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve the plan.

DTE plans to put high-tech meters on homes, which would allow the company to keep track of consumption without visiting.

But customers still could opt out and have someone read the electronic meter.

DTE said so-called smart meters can quickly identify outages and give consumers more information about how they use electricity.

The meters transmit information to a remote location by a radio-frequency transmitter.

Critics have raised privacy concerns.

DTE hopes to have more than 1.2 million meters in place by the end of 2013.

Consumers Energy also uses them.

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