December 5th, 2012 – Today a temporary agreement was reached between Detroit Edison and a couple who had removed a ‘smart meter’ and replaced it with an analog (mechanical meter) they installed themselves. The couple had been referred to in our earlier stories as “the couple from Addison Township”. Because they replaced their own meter they had first been threatened with disconnection of power, then served with a lawsuit. The utility had, until now, refused to read the meter the couple installed for many months now, rendering estimated bills instead.
The utility had, months ago, sought a court order to force the couple to allow utility employees to re-enter the property and reinstall the smart meter. The judge had denied that request earlier and instead today mediated the dispute to freeze the lawsuit for at least the next 6 months, during which time the utility has agreed that the couple may keep the meter they installed, power will not be disconnected and that the utility will now read the couple’s meter each month instead of furnishing estimated bills.
The agreement was mediated by Oakland Circuit Court Judge Shalina Kumar, with the stated goal of deferring trial in the matter pending further developments in the MPSC or in the state legislature. The parties agreed that there was a possibility a more permanent settlement of the case might be reached when these state entities have done more to clarify the rights of the parties.