The short answer is “YES, WE CAN SAY NO!” The longer answer is “how brave do you want to be, and how resourceful?”
Your home is your property and you do have the right to forbid the installation of a device on your own property which is not just a meter, but a surveillance device and a source of electromagnetic radiation which may harm the residents of the home. You have the moral right and, we believe, if and when this issue is finally tested in the courts, it will be determined that you have the legal right to refuse – and continue to receive electrical power from the regulated monopoly. There is no federal or state mandate that customers must accept these devices. The utilities ultimately have no legal position to backup their arbitrary policies.
But to say you have the right is one thing, to say all will go smoothly if you do is quite another. DTE and Consumers have both announced they will tolerate no opt-outs, that the ‘smart meters’ are an integral part of their service from now on, and that any customer refusing to accept one will sooner or later have power to his home shut off. In this they are following the same illegal bullying tactics that many other utilities across the nation are following.
We find ourselves being bullied in this way because the Michigan Public Services Commission (MPSC) has not done the job of protecting the public from the arbitrary actions of a (supposedly) regulated monopoly provider of electric power. See other page for discussion of MPSC stands on these matters.
The present policy of DTE is that if you refuse installation your house will be put on a “delay list”. What this means is that they are going to come around again (after they get all the easy installs done) and if you still refuse they will then shut off your power.
So we are left finally in the position of playing a game of brinksmanship. Who will blink first? How will it all play out?
Before you do, however, you may want to watch this rather revealing video of what happened to 6 homeowners in Santa Cruz County, CA:
Bottom Line: If you can afford to live without electrical power for perhaps many weeks, or can temporarily move in with someone else while you are fighting the utility in the courts, then, by all means stand your ground.