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.