Michigan Smart Meter Resistance

Stand Your Ground Bravely, But Know the Cost
by David Sheldon

We are receiving many calls from folks who have received a warning letter from DTE Energy, advising that their electricity will be turned off on or after a date certain – unless they agree to take a smart meter and remove any locks or impediments. Such letters are going out to people who have notified the utility of health issues that would be greatly aggravated by a smart meter, with radio on or off. Such letters are going out to people who have made known their objections on grounds of Fourth Amendment violations. The utility’s shutoff notices are outrageous and unconscionable. The latest twist is that many are receiving an offer of $50 if they will call and agree to take a new meter before a certain date. Whether you choose to hold out to the end or take a meter under duress, we would hope, at least, that nobody will take the $50 “gift”. Such an acceptance would amount to tacit consent to install a smart meter. Such offers are only made to folks who have braved many prior notices and warning letters. Those folks should not trivialize their resistance by equating It to $50.

Smart Meter Education Network has been urging all of us who receive these shutoff  notices to stand our ground. In their recent newsletter it is very well explained how helpful it is to our movement when people continue to say “NO” right up to DTE’s deadline and beyond. People who passively acquiesce to a smart meter installation, even after years of resistance, do not get the attention of legislators or the media. People who actually have their electricity turned off, especially in winter, do get the attention of legislators and the media.

In most cases, where people called the next day requesting a turn-on and accepting a smart meter installation under duress, they had to wait about a week before power was restored. That is the cost of continued resistance. If you can bear that cost, we applaud you for your unflinching loyalty to the cause. That choice will help us, no doubt about that. Just be sure that you do have a plan, however, including somewhere you can go to stay warm, a way to keep the pipes from freezing, a way or a place to cook, a way to preserve food and medicines, and so forth. Your plan should include meeting the needs of all family members, including the elderly and children. And if you take this ultimate course, please send a letter or email to Senator Colbeck and to Rep Gary Glenn, as they can use your situation to persuade other legislators to pass HB 4220, our meter choice legislation.

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16 thoughts on “Michigan Smart Meter Resistance

  1. In my situation, I feel I have no choice, once again. I moved to a apartment DTE said I was required to get a smart meter after only being there for 2 weeks. I had to pay a outrageous fee and a monthly payment as well. While I’m disabled and on a fixed income, they didn’t care. Finally lease was up, had to stay a year. Moved to a different apartment , signed a year lease and DTE follows me there too. This time saying I don’t have to pay the fees. I again agreed with terms. Lease was up so I finally moved to a house to get peace and quiet and wouldn’t you know DTE has followed me again. They called me, e-mailed me endlessly and has even come to knock on the door, I shut the door in his face after asking me to see my bill . I said my bill is none of your business! They harassed me every day! Finally I made a complaint with a supervisor , I told him I felt harassed, stalked because they follow me , every time I move and to leave me alone! i will not be getting a smart meter again.at my request, they left me alone for approximately, 6months. here we are again 11-14-17 and received a letter from DTE , in the home Im still staying after a year and a half, stating someone will be contacting me about scheduling a appointment for a safety inspection at no cost to me and at this time they will install a meter.. HEY DTE leave me alone!! I don’t want your stupid meter! People have actually been staying in these places b4 me , so why the hell didn’t you bother them and already have them installed ? Give me my money back from the first place I stayed in. I mean considering YOU were paid millions of dollars to have them installed why the hell YOU taking my social security money.. screw off morons seriously.. guess I will be moving again.. quit trying to intimidate people with your foolish bs.. I’m very ill physically so leave me alone!

    • From what I’ve seen, DTE is worse than Consumers Energy, but they’re both evil. I live in an apartment. I pay the electric bill. I have Consumers. I informed them BEFORE they came around to install smart meters that I didn’t want one. I paid their extortion fees and (knock on wood), 2 years later, I still have my analog meter

  2. My 89 year old lovely mother wants me to get rid of the smart meter before she comes to visit (she has a pacemaker). She wants to be able to arrange furniture in the space that is currently off limits around the smart meter. My family has suffered immeasurably from the smart meter. Is there a phone number of someone I could talk to for guidance in accomplishing removing the meter as well as recouping some of our losses?

    • Maria, There is no immediate alternative (other than going off grid) to taking a smart or digital meter, both of which have serious health consequences for many people. The only longer term solution we can see is for our Michigan legislature to pass HB 4220, the analog meter choice bill, or if one of us can win a precedent setting victory with a court case.
      PLEASE PHONE YOUR REP IN THE LEGISLATURE AND ALL 19 MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE ENERGY COMMITTEE! You can find all the names and phone numbers here: michigan.house.gov. GO THERE, DO IT TODAY!!!

  3. DTE shut my mom’s power off today, Sunday 10/29. She received a shut off notice and decided it wasn’t worth it to fight them any longer. She scheduled an appointment with DTE for November 8 to install the opt-out meter. DTE came today when she was out and they turned off her power. It’s absolutely appalling that they can harass, threaten and intimidate their customers with no repercussions.

    • Amy, There is no immediate alternative (other than going off grid) to taking a smart or digital meter, both of which have serious health consequences for many people. The only longer term solution we can see is for our Michigan legislature to pass HB 4220, the analog meter choice bill, or if one of us can win a precedent setting victory with a court case.
      PLEASE PHONE YOUR REP IN THE LEGISLATURE AND ALL 19 MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE ENERGY COMMITTEE! You can find all the names and phone numbers here: michigan.house.gov. GO THERE, DO IT TODAY!!!

  4. Help
    Dte says I have to pay 67.20 fee plus a monthly fee, they have to change my meter do to h20 damage
    Can you opt out of the cazy fee to keep your old meter.Whats the lastest.
    Thanks

    • Vanessa, DTE will insist on meter replacement regardless if there was water damage or not. If the meter socket has been damaged by water they will require you to hire an electrician at your own expense to fix that. There is no escape from the new meters other than going off grid – unless or until we get our meter choice legislation, House Bill 4220, passed. Please call your Michigan state house rep and explain why he should support meter choice bill. Also call members of House Energy Committee.

    • Venessa, I have Consumers Energy. I called them BEFORE they came to my neighborhood and told them I want to keep my analog meter. I paid what I call their Extortion Fee, the one time charge of about $70 and continue to pay a $9.72 monthly fee for meter reading. This was 2 years ago and I still have my analog meter. I object to the fees, but at least I still have my analog meter.

  5. For shut-offs threatened last week, about 8 people were shut off. As of 4:40 p.m. on Monday. Oct. 23, we have received NO reports of shut-offs. DTE was scheduled to shut off perhaps 75 to 100 people on Oct. 23. The fact that no one was shut off today speaks volumes. Instead, what DTE has done is call people on the phone to try to get them to accept the death meter, or it has sent installers out to their homes, or it has completely left them alone.

    We expect that some people will be shut off this week–just so that DTE can keep its threat warm. But the fact is this: If people had not been resisiting real, live shut-off notices since March of 2015, everyone would have had a smart meter on their home by the end of 2015 (except those areas that hadn’t been installed yet). I am sure that DTE is utterly floored at the lack of response it has received. Of the scores of calls I have received over the last few days, only 1/4 of customers–at most–have called or are calling DTE to allow the installation of a smart meter. Neither the lure of a $50 gift certificate nor the THREAT of shut-off have caused most people to waver. In general, those who have called are either people on breathing machines or those who have a home business that is absolutely unable to run without constant electrical service.

    Grassroots resistance has and continues to make a huge difference to the smart meter outcome in Michigan. If you have received a shut-off notice from DTE, please contact us at smartmetereducationnetwork@gmail.com. We can give you more information. While some people have had to wait a week for electricity to be restored, others have had their service reconnected within 1-2 days.

    Anyone who wishes to resist and needs a generator can also contact us.

  6. David, I still have my “beacon of light,” my analog meter. If forced to accept a digital meter, I am fully prepared, with the help of friends, to “go dark.”

  7. The only way to get relief is though the courts. Bottom line.

    Sent me copies of the letters sent to the customers, and I’ll write up a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumers Protection Division.

    Send copies to: Theresa Sundquist
    7557 Lions Gate Pkwy
    Davison, MI 48443
    trsundquist@yahoo.com

    After I get the complaint filed with copies of the customer letters, I’ll send you a copy and you can post it on your website.

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