Warren Wants to Drop ‘Smart’ Meters

October 11th, 2011 – The Warren City Council voted unanimously on this day to petition the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to go slow on ‘smart’ meter deployment.  Warren is the latest public body to adopt a resolution “asking the Michigan Public Service Commission to investigate whether the meters are dangerous to the public’s health and invade privacy.”

The company plans to begin installations in the city in 2013.  “City Council wants to be assured that the installation of smart meters will not adversely affect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Warren,” the resolution states.

Opposition to smart meters by residents has centered on the possible health effects caused by the radio transmissions of the new meters, and also on the assault by the new meters on resident’s Fourth Amendment rights to privacy.  The new meters measure electrical consumption in great detail and report usage every few minutes.  The new meters are also equipped to listen to individual appliances within the home that are equipped with the new smart chips, and ultimately to be able to control those appliances.

This resolution is non binding.  Some Council members expressed a desire to take stronger action up to or including an outright ban on the new meters, or a requirement that DTE obtain a license from the city prior to installing these meters.

Here are links to the resolution itself, and to a story which appeared in the Macomb Daily concerning this action:

Warren City Council Resolution

Warren Wants to Drop Smart Meters

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2 thoughts on “Warren Wants to Drop ‘Smart’ Meters

  1. After having my first e-mail to my city councilman ignored regarding the water meters which are being forced on Warren residents, I received this reply to my follow-up e-mail regarding shut-off threatened for May 1:

    “Thank you for the email.
    The water meters are not ‘Smart Meters’
    Thank you
    Patrick Green
    Sent from my iPhone”

    So how are these remote controlled RF devices not so-called “smart meters”?

    • Kurt,

      When Warren approved a resolution against “smart meters” they had in mind “smart” electric meters such as DTE is installing. They did not intend their resolution to ban their own new water meters. The definition of what is a “smart meter” is somewhat elastic. I think it would be fair to call Warren’s new water meters smart meters because they intrude on privacy by reporting your water usage in detail on an hour by hour basis. Also because they frequently broadcast high energy radio pulses that will make some people sick. These meters are a lot “smarter” than the older style AMR water meters still in use in many localities – which only report total water usage for a month and only to a drive by vehicle. However some people would only characterize a meter as “smart” if it also supports two way communication – so that the utility can remotely disconnect service to a home or turn off particular applicances within the home. The Warren official who told you these were not “smart meters” was probably relying on that defintion.

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