(1) POPOVIC CASE:
From: sasha popovic [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 10:29 PM
Case No. U-17000
C/o Sagano Motel, 44784 Woodward Ave, Pontiac, MI 48341
(248) 334-2592 (586) 731-3366
(In this story, from Sasha Popovic, a motel operator, there is an extended correspondence, back and forth, between herself and DTE representatives, concerning her electric bills since meter was installed. DTE points out that her bills for two months were lower than the same two months a year earlier. Her complaint, apparently, is not that the electric bills were higher than the same months a year earlier, but rather that they were sharply increased from the month before the new meter was installed and should have been a lot lower because of the mild winter. Also at the end of this correspondence there is quite a list of web links to various news stories touching on the sharp cost increases people are seeing everywhere these meters have been installed.)
Michigan Public Service Commission
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing, Michigan 48909
RE: Smart Meters
December 2011, DTE Energy had installed a smart meter at
our business. The installer just told us that they were switching
out the meter. That was it. We had no idea why? Or anything.
Come January 2012, we get our bill and it was almost $1,300. I
figured the meter reader made a mistake and would correct the
problem at next months reading. Come February 2012, we get
our bill and it is almost $1,800. I called DTE and they told me
that it was correct. I explained that we have had a mild winter
and we only used the heat in extreme cold so our pipes would
not freeze and there were only about 2 weeks in the last two
months where temperatures were very low. Our heating
systems are PTAC, which looks like an air conditioner, and
provides heat through electricity. DTE continued to say the
readings were accurate, and told me that the smart meter was
very sensitive and it would pick up any small usage, i.e. cell
phone charging, TV’s that were not turned on and so forth. I
was thinking that my 22 TV’s just sitting there turned off cost
$1,800 for the month? That is unreal. My bill jumped up about
40% just by adding a new meter and keeping the same usage
we have done for about 30 years. The meters are not accurate.
I filled a complaint with DTE Energy, as well as the Michigan
Public Service Commission, which I am waiting to hear from.
Below is the email I have had with DTE dealing with my
DTE Energy E-Care Team
—–sasha popovic wrote: —–
To: MYDTEENERGY Account
From: sasha popovic
Date: 02/09/2012 01:08PM
Subject: Re: File a Complaint
Thank you for your response. What I am trying to tell you is we are
not using the amount the smart meter is saying. The smart meter is
over charging. The weather is not much different from November or
December of 2011. Since your company put in this meter, the meter
has been over charging us on usage. Was the meter properly
calibrated? By whom? Does the person that calibrated it know how to
do it? Respectfully, I am telling you the meter is not working
correctly. Unless DTE is over charging people on purpose. Our usage
has not changed, but according to the meter it has. The meter is
From: MYDTEENERGY Account
Sent: Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: File a Complaint
Dear Sasha Popovic,
Thank you for your email concerning your bill. We will be happy to assist you.
When looking at your usage for the same 30 day period last your usage was 20080 khw or 669.33 khw per day with the old meter.
This year with the new smart meter your usage was 13160 or 438.67 khw per day which is what would be expected given the milder winter.
We encourage you to click on the “Save Energy” link located on http://www.dteenergy.com for ways to save energy. MyEnergy Analyzer will help provide you with more specifics when identifying the major causes for higher energy usage. Upon completion of MyEnergy Analyzer you will receive a free energy kit.
Within MyEnergy Analyzer, you can review the energy usage recorded by your AMI meters by navigating to the “My Bill” tab and clicking on “Energy Use Analysis”. There are a variety of options you can choose to review the energy usage. Data is available beginning on 08-01-2011.
You can export the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Thank you for using http://www.dteenergy.com and the opportunity to be your energy provider. We appreciate your business.
DTE Energy eCare Team
Date: 02/08/2012 11:49PM
Subject: File a Complaint
Back in December 2011, your company had
installed a smart meter, and since then, our bill had gone up considerably. We have done nothing differently, and yet, your meter says we have. Our heating system is electric heat, and since we have had a mild winter, I don’t see how the meter can jump up like that. I am aware of several class action law suits in Texas and California relating to smart meter over charging its customers. DTE customers service insists we are using more power, when in fact we are not, and that the meters are working properly, which I don’t believe they are. last month we used electric heat for about a week because of the cold night, and that bill came to about $1,800. Something is very wrong here. I hope to hear from you so we can resolve this matter.
Submitted: Wed Feb 8 23:49:29 2012
Remote Machine: 192.168.18.36
The matter, as of this writing still remains unresolved.I am very much against these smart meters for the simple fact that DTE Energy can charge whatever they want, do whatever they want and have no one to answer to. As I have done more digging on the internet, I found other states having the same problem. California and Texas for example have filled a class action suit against their utilities provider. I will include the links below. There are also health factors, privacy issues and over billing that DTE seems to be ignoring. I hope this commission has the forthsite to see the legalities
and concerns that this smart meter will bring. Once DTE Energy installs these smart meters in your homes, you will be writing a letter much like this one.
Links – read the comments from people.