by Vigilant Dave
We have been saying for more than a year now that utility customers in southeastern Michigan who still have their utility issued analog electric meters should guard those meters. Today it is easier than ever before to do that.
For anyone who understands the harm that is caused by either a smart meter or by the so called ‘opt-out’ meter, protecting your existing analog meter should be a top priority.
Some folks will say “What’s the point since I will have to take a smart meter eventually?” Actually we don’t think you will have to take it eventually. Experience has been that those who defend existing analog meters and stand their ground with DTE still have their analog meter – even years after the initial installation attempt!
The important points to keep in mind are that the utility has no lawful authority for the installation of smart meters in the first place. What they are doing is illegal on its face. There is no federal law, no state law, and no lawfully issued regulation of the Public Service Commission that specifically authorizes the devices known as ‘smart meters’ to be attached to anyone’s home or business. There is no law or regulation that makes acceptance of such a device a lawful condition for receiving electrical service.
The utility’s sole claim to legality is their reliance on state laws and regulations that define ‘meter’ in a way that in no way covers the ‘smart’ devices they are now attempting to install on non consenting customers.
In the absence of specific lawful authority to install a ‘smart’ device on your property, all rights reside in you if you are the owner of the home or business. You would have a legal action for trespass open to you as a property owner if the monopoly utility installs, after being forbidden by you, a device on your property not authorized by law. Many people have been deemed to have given their ‘implied consent’ to the ‘smart’ device because they did not object to such an installation, often because they were never informed by DTE that the devices were controversial or that they had a choice in the matter.
The law is not on the side of the utility. But DTE relies on bluff, bluster and bullying tactics to convince people otherwise. And all the while the Public Service Commission effectively “looks the other way” and does not carry out its responsibilities to reign in the monopoly and protect the public.
We are now recommending a product called the ‘Tatar Guard’, which effectively locks your meter enclosure and is designed to make it very hard indeed for an installer to just walk on your property when you are not home and install a smart meter. The Tatar Guard, or similar device, will protect your meter far better than just putting up a sign or putting a padlock through the loop.
Please see our page on installing a meter guard: https://michiganstopsmartmeters.com/electric-meter-guard/
Excellent information is also available at: http://smartmetereducationnetwork.com/how-to-keep-smart-meter-off-your-home.php
Our advice to people who have already installed a Tatar guard or similar device is to stand your ground. Do not be intimidated by bullying tactics.
The best response to any letter DTE may send you demanding you consent to a smart meter installation is this:
“I will not provide access to your company for the installation on my home of any device not authorized by law. I do not believe there is any federal or state law or MPSC regulation that requires me to do so. But if you believe my existing meter, which you supplied, is no longer measuring my electrical usage accurately, or is otherwise defective, I will surely be willing to setup an appointment with you at any reasonable time for one of your installers to come to my home or business and replace the existing meter with another utility issued meter of like kind and quality. For this purpose I will provide all necessary access.”
The value of such a response to DTE is that you are making it clear that you are not denying them access to carry out their legally authorized functions and you are not in breach of any responsibility you have under the law or duly issued regulations of the Public Service Commission.