Details on Some Jacked Up Bills

From: sasha popovic []
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 10:29 PM
Case No. U-17000
Sasha Popovic
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.)

Executive Secretary
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: —–
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
Sasha Popovic

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 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 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.
Thank you
Sasha Popovic

Submitted: Wed Feb 8 23:49:29 2012
Remote Machine:
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.
Thank you
Sasha Popovic

Links – read the comments from people.

5 thoughts on “Details on Some Jacked Up Bills

  1. Ok, the guy from DTE came here today. He switch off and on my shelter and proved me it was my meter. He was not listening at all, repeating something like a parrot over and over again that I was wrong. He was very anal. I also asked him when did they changed my meter because I don’t remember if I received any notice about that. First he said they changed 3 years ago and they don’t have to send notice about that. Than he said we sent notice by mail and it was on news also.
    But when I asked DTE over the phone couple weeks ago, they said they changed the meters in 2011 which is 6 years ago. So, they are lying.
    I just want to know who is with me to sign a petition?


  2. I own my 2 bedroom ,1200sqft condo since 2003 and lived here with my daughter until 2013 before rented out my condo and went to my country to take care of my mom. Never paid over $20.00 electricity bill during winter even we were 2. Finally, moved back into my condo in August 2016 by myself. I work 4 days 9am-6pm, 1 day 2pm-9pm. for $10.25 an hour and watch my spending very carefully. Because of that, I don’t even keep the light on when I watch TV very short time.

    Since I moved back in, my electricity bill had never been lower than $40.00-$50.00.
    Last month, December I got a bill $73.86. I got a panic attack. Called DTE numerous times, all same story. Weather was cold, maybe you took longer shower which I have gas water heather and furnace and we had a mild winter.

    Finally, they sent someone but he didn’t even find anything wrong. Changed couple light bulbs which I do not turn on. I dropped down my heat from 69 to 65, instead of turning light on, I used flash light to see what will happen. My new bill came up $95.29. I live in dark and that was the highest bill ever. This is ridiculous!

    I called them again and asked them to send someone to make sure my meter is my meter. They will come on January 31. I thought, maybe I am paying one of my neighbours bill and they can fix it. But after reading all the horror stories about DTE, I lost my hope.

    I will post here after they come. If they don’t solve this problem, I want to sue them.

    Best regard,
    Yasmine Inan

    • Yasmine, What they did to you they have done to many others. They almost never admit any error caused by a meter. What you can do is make a formal complaint to Michigan Public Service Commission. Or go off grid – which I suspect is going to become necessary for more and more of us as time goes on.

  3. Heres an idea, Lets find as many people as we can regarding DTE’s fradulent activity and charges, lets gather a group and work towards a class action lawsuit, the only way we will ever get these criminal bullies to stop their false charges and customer bullying is to force them to. contact me and ill reach out and find as many people as i can so we can bring a case against them.

    • Thank you both for the helpful replies. They will come to check on Tuesday. Lets see what will I get probably they will say everything is fine and leave. I am so ready to sue them. I dont know where are you, I am in Michigan. Stay keep in touch. I started to post about this on my Facebook to wake people up since I woke up couple days ago.,
      Thanks again, I will keep you posted about the result after atuesday.

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