LANSING (WWJ) — Michigan residents against the controversial “smart meters” will get a chance to speak out against them at a special hearing held in Lansing on Tuesday.

In Michigan, DTE has installed over two million of the meters, which report when and much electricity is being used by homeowners through radio frequency waves. A number of customers are concerned about the meters, saying that they are being forced to use them.

Bob Sitkauskas with DTE Energy will be at the meeting and said that one of the issues customers have is their privacy.

“All of our data is encrypted and we have very limited access to that data,” Sitkauskas said.

Sitkauskas said that they only transfer the data information. Another concern, he says, is the radio frequency emitted from the meters.

“It’s actually less than WiFi or less than a cell phone in your ear,” Sitkauskas said. “Definitely less than a microwave or even walkie-talkies. All of these meters have been tested and fully comply with any FCC limits or standards.

Sitkauskas said that displeased customers can opt-out of using the meters. He also said that the devices have a disconnect switch inside of them, which came in handy during August’s floods.

“Remember last winter when we had the tremendous snow storms, we had a heck of a time reading meters,” Sitkauskas said. “These meters can be read over the air, so there’s no reader going in the backyard.”

Sitkauskas added that the meters can let officials know when a home has lost power to help workers restore electricity faster.

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