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SEPTEMBER 18TH, 2018 – TWO CAUSES THAT MERIT YOUR MOST URGENT SUPPORT!  Readers of this blog are aware of the harms that can be caused, both by smart meters and by the coming onslaught of 5G cell towers. We have meter choice legislation, Michigan House Bill 4220 before the House Energy Committee and must get the facts out to a much greater population if we are to finally get this passed in this legislative session. The most effective way to get the word out is with our 1 minute radio ad that is already playing on many Michigan radio stations. But funds are needed to continue this very effective program.  Click HERE to donate!

Meanwhile telecom companies are trying to get two bills passed, Senate Bill 637 and Senate Bill 894, which would fast track a massive installation of new 5th Generation cell towers and strip local governments and property owners of any say over the location of these towers. These bills have already passed the Michigan Senate and are to be heard before the House Energy Committee on October 4th. Many of us are working very hard to bring in experts who will back us up on the harm these new towers will cause. But money is needed to fly these experts in. Without funds we won’t be able to match the experts the telecom industry will produce.  Click HERE to donate!

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December 21st, 2017 – Senator Colbeck Calls for Electric Shut-Off Moratorium. Welcomes formal MPSC investigation.

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, said on Thursday that he welcomed the announcement of a formal investigation into the electric shut-off practices of DTE and called for a moratorium on such practices until the investigation was completed.

“In October our office began to see a big increase in the number of constituents contacting us and complaining about inappropriate shut-off notices and other problems that we reported to the MPSC,” Sen. Colbeck said. “As the months got colder those problems shockingly got worse instead of better. This formal investigation by the MPSC is going to clearly show that people were being threatened with shut-off notices they never should have received, resulting in turn with many of them then having their power inappropriately disconnected. In addition, getting power turned back on also took much longer than it is legally supposed to.

“This has gone beyond just minor billing snafus and has unacceptably created significant stress, hardship, and endangerment for hundreds of people whose simple wish is to pay their bills and receive electric service. Especially in Michigan where people can’t just change their utility provider when they’re treated like this, it is imperative that we hold both our utilities and our oversight 110 percent accountable.”

Now that the extent of the problem is being acknowledged, Sen. Colbeck also called for the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to put a moratorium on DTE’s ability to shut off power to their residential customers until the investigation over the shut-off and billing problems has been completed. Power was wrongly cut for many reasons, but as an example, the investigation notice highlighted that at least 288 customers had their service improperly disconnected because of simple computer-related billing errors over the past six months.

“This investigation is still necessary, but it is already a forgone conclusion that DTE’s computer problems are causing people to have power cut because of internal communication problems within DTE that incorrectly put people at risk for being flagged for shut-off,” said Colbeck. “I’ve had people contact me one week saying they got an inappropriate shut-off notice, were assured the next week that it wouldn’t happen, and then a few days later they would call my office back because DTE had returned to their home threatening shut-off again.

“Until the investigation shows the exact steps that need to be taken to fix all of this, it would be prudent for the MPSC to, at the very least, have to pre-approve all residential shut-offs while this investigation is ongoing. A moratorium would be an even better course of action if simple billing errors that could affect anyone would result in shut-offs that jeopardize ratepayer health and personal safety during our cold winter months.”

Sen. Colbeck said while the main concern is for seniors, especially those who live by themselves, that in today’s high tech world a lack of power impacts everyone.

“Older individuals would be calling from the library asking for help because their VOIP phones would not work with the power off and they had no way to recharge their cell phones,” Sen. Colbeck said. “When they would try to contact DTE they could often only leave a message, but had no working phone for DTE to even call them back on. Those who could not rely on the help of neighbors were significantly impacted.

“But even younger families faced hardships beyond the cold. People’s computers would not work, and their kids were missing school assignments. Burglar alarms were down. Birthday parties and Thanksgiving plans were disrupted. Even for people who received notices but didn’t get shut off, they went through several stressful weeks waiting for the other shoe to drop and were oftentimes afraid to leave their homes unattended for fear of finding their power cut when they returned.”

Sen. Colbeck also highlighted that because the MPSC only knows what it is told that it is critical that people call the MPSC to lodge complaints. If people don’t call, the extent of the investigation will be understated. People should call 1.800.292.9555 for any complaint they have, even if the incident occurred several months ago.

Sen. Colbeck’s previous press release on the matter also drew attention to the fact that the MPSC currently does not formally ask the utilities to report why people have their electric power involuntarily shut off. Sen. Colbeck said he felt that would be an issue that would hamper the investigation and shows the need for changes in reporting.

“State administrative rules need to be rewritten so that something like this can’t happen again,” Sen. Colbeck said. “I believe that the current law requires more detailed reporting than what the utilities are now submitting to the MPSC, but in any event it is clear that the MPSC has the legal ability to now retroactively ask for those details as they conduct this investigation. For example, it has been extremely frustrating for me to see people getting their power turned off because they simply want to keep their analog meter, to then be told that it is a rare occurrence, but then be unable to get the actual data on how frequently it is happening.

“For a start we need to change the rules that allow for such meter-choice related shut-offs, that encourage lax reporting, and that allow utilities to take too long restoring power without experiencing any real ramifications.  Waiting a week to get power restored in the cold is simply too long, especially when the person shouldn’t even be getting their power cut in the first place.”

Sen. Colbeck said that the type of behavior being exemplified by the shut-offs shows why both utility choice and meter-choice urgently need to be reexamined.

“Until people can vote with their feet we’ll continue to see these problems,” Sen. Colbeck said. “People deserve the right to flee poor service when it jeopardizes their health and well-being.”

Please also check out our Home page and
consider making a donation to support our
ongoing efforts to educate through this
site and through flyering in the districts of
House Energy Committee members who have
been holding up passage of House Bill 4220.

 

 

 

 

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DECEMBER 16TH – CALIFORNIA ISSUES CAUTION ON CELL PHONE USE – by Olga Naidenko Ph.D.

This week, California officially issued groundbreaking guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies and limit use when reception is weak. State officials caution that studies link radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer, lower sperm counts and other health problems, and note that children’s developing brains could be at greater risk.

The state Department of Public Health was forced to release the guidelines in March after a lawsuit by University of California, Berkeley, researcher Dr. Joel Moskowitz. At the time, the department said the guidelines were only a draft, but they now are the state’s official position. The DPH guidelines closely align with EWG’s Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use, published in 2016.  MORE

PLEASE SEE OUR HOME PAGE HERE AND CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO MICHIGAN STOP SMART METERS TO HELP US GET THE WORD OUT SO MORE PEOPLE WILL CONTACT THEIR STATE LEGISLATOR AND URGE PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILL 4220 THAT WILL GIVE PEOPLE A MEANINGFUL WAY TO OPT-OUT WITHOUT PAYING EXTORTIONATE FEES!!!

 

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DECEMBER 16TH, 2017 – WE STILL NEED HELP!!!  Two months ago we made an appeal for donations to cover our ongoing costs for flyering, educational efforts and possible newspaper ads. A few of you contributed generously and we appreciate that. But we need more of you to step up and help with this – by donation or by volunteering.

Again, how much we can do will depend on your generosity in donating to us at this time.

If you are angry at what DTE, Consumers Energy and their cronies in state offices are doing to Michigan utility customers, and you appreciate all that we are doing to fight these injustices, then PLEASE HELP US by donation or by volunteering your time!

click to Donate

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October 5th, 2017 – Warren Woodward Wins Smart Meter Battle at Arizona Court of AppealsUnanimous decision by COA opens the way for public disclosure of corruption by the Arizona utility commission (ACC) and the Arizona Dept of Public Health. The two state agencies had conspired together to publish a false report alleging no health problems with smart meters. Mr. Woodward used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents showing such conspiracy. Heavily redacted documents were provided to him by the two agencies. He took both agencies to court to force disclosure of the redacted material. A trial court judge gave him the unredacted documents but placed a gag order on his public disclosure of same. The Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the gag order was improper and that Woodward is now free to publicly disclose the unredacted documents. The case was remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the appeals court decision.

This case shows what can be accomplished by a determined and disciplined individual who persists and persists. The value to our smart meter resistance movement is that the Arizona public will now learn that no honest health study was ever done and that an attempt to fake such a study was made instead. This will undermine public confidence in the whole smart meter program.

Click here for account in the Arizona Capitol Times.

Click here for the Appeals Court opinion and decision.