Technicians will install these meters at customers’ locations in Muskegon, Michigan. By next spring, residents with digital meters will be able to track and compare their hourly energy usage.

The utility can now access how much energy customers are using in real time as its new technology meters record a home’s energy use every hour and send wireless signal to the firm.

Consumers Energy senior public information director Roger Morgenstern was quoted by Fox17 as saying that currently the firm could not identify the home where power goes out, unless it receives a call from the customer.

"This [smart meter] will send a signal saying the power is out … and we’ll quickly know the scope of the outage so we can get servicemen and women out and get the power back on," Morgenstern added.

By the end of 2012, the company intends to install 50,000 meters across Muskegon and portions of southern Oceana and northern Ottawa counties.