You've heard the US Postal Service ask for your help in controlling your dog and pets, but now Consumers Energy is taking up the charge.
Consumers Energy has changed the policy when it comes to dealing with certain dogs and is asking for your help.
The utility wants you to "restrain or properly contain" your dog while your meter is being read. Customer Field Services Manager Charles Montgomery says: "The bottom line is that even the most friendly, easy-going dog can become aggressive when a stranger enters its domain."
The new policy will include:
· Customers who own dogs with no previous aggressive behavior must now restrain or contain their dog before the meter can be read.
· Accounts identified as premises with dogs known to be aggressive must have the dog restrained or the meter will not be read. This includes walking or driving routes. Meter readers on walking routes will attempt to contact these customers prior to entering the premise to make sure dogs are restrained. For driving routes the meter reader will honk the horn and not exit the vehicle until verification is made that the dog is secure. In either situation if contact with the customer cannot be made, the meter will not be read.
· Customers with dogs that have exhibited aggressive behavior and who have bitten or otherwise injured an employee will only have their meter read with a police escort.
Montgomery says safety is a concern: "We continue to see an increase in the number of dog bites to meter readers, even by dogs that have in the past exhibited no aggressive behavior. This required a change in our policy to help protect our employees.'
As an alternative, customers are reminded that they could read their own meters. You could also check on the Consumers Energy website to find out when the meter will be read at your home. Go to the website, and find "My History" then "Energy Use", and finally the meter reading schedule. Just go to: www.consumersenergy.com . Or, call 1-800-477-5050.
Despite, what you may have heard, Consumers Energy wants you to know that it will continue to come to your home to read your meter and not read it via the new Smart Meter Technology.