Electric Meter Guard

ARE YOU AT RISK FOR A METER LOSS?  INCIDENTS OF TAMPERING & THEFT OF ELECTRIC METERS ARE ON THE RISE.  PROTECT YOURS!

For an explanation of why it is legal to guard your existing analog meter see our post at: https://michiganstopsmartmeters.com/2014/06/23/smart-meters-to-guard-or-not-to-guard/

A meter can only be tampered with or removed if the meter box cover can be opened. There are two alternative devices we can recommend to prevent opening of the meter box cover by unauthorized persons.

(1) The “Tatar Guard”
(2) Custom cage by A/C Stolen Company

Each device has its advantages and disadvantages.

(1) The Tatar Guard: An ingenious device (shown below) made from two pieces of 3/16″ thick angle iron steel will make it very difficult and time consuming for anyone to remove your meter!

Tatar smart guard in open position with notes-90 leftThe bars are locked together with a shackle padlock (shown below) that is included in the price of the guard.  The pivot is made of hard stainless steel and cannot be unscrewed. When locked there is no room to apply a bolt cutter to the lock.  When the two 3/16″ thick angle bars are locked together the bolts that hold the device to side of house become inaccessible!

shackle lockTo get yours we ask that you participate in our survey. Just email us at fdshel@gmx.com or phone us at (248) 604-7545. Let us know your address, how many meters you want to guard, and if they are the original utility installed analog meters or analog meters you installed. We will put you in touch with the inventor of the guard pictured above so that you can arrange for installation. You will need to give him the dimensions of your meter box, your name and address and contact information.  Meter box must be clear of projections, cables or conduits on one of the side edges (left or right).

(2) Custom cage by A/C Stolen Company (Florida):   Custom designs built to your specifications, 10-12 gauge steel frames. Easy to service.

Timer box cages

Each cage is 100% welded, heavy duty 12 gauge steel. Hinges made from heavy duty rolled steel.

To get a quote on a custom cage contact Chuck Barlowe:

(239) 823-3066

Chuckbarlowe@comcast.net

To see their full line of meter cages go here: http://acstolen.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=62

Pros and Cons of Each Device:  (1) The “Tatar Guard” is by far the lower cost option, and the price includes installation. Over 500 of these have been installed in southeastern Michigan and, so far at least, only a few have been defeated. However we are aware of certain vulnerabilities in the design and in the installation method. See our previously published discussion of these issues: https://michiganstopsmartmeters.com/tatar-guards-still-a-good-investment/

(2) The A/C Stolen custom built cages would be harder for anyone to defeat. However the price of one of these custom built cages is more than double the cost of the Tatar Guard, and installation services would have to be obtained locally at your own expense.

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “Electric Meter Guard

  1. I have had a tartar guard since 2015. It has served its purpose. We were told by a DTE representative that they will install all Smart meters by the end of 2016. Anyone who does not conform will have their power cut at the pole. I know that this sounds like a threat, but in the middle of winter, that would be a travesty. We are going with the opt-out program at this point. I did ask how we can be assured that this radio transmission is not operating? He said they would have it turned off. My husband’s going to bring home a meter after this new non transmitting smart meter is installed. If it is emitting Radioactive waves, I will be on the phone. I have health situations and can not afford to be without electricity, whether their threats are reliable or not.The hardest part is that this is America not some communist country. DTE is a monopoly. We have no choice in our power company. I know some people who have packed up and left Michigan because of this issue. It’s not right comma but until our power grids are destroyed by other means, we do rely upon electricity. I am going to monitor this new meter like a hound after a bird.

    • Is it working? Do you have any issues with the opt-out version? I too have many health problems including neurological symptoms & are already exposed since neighbors on either side (< 40' apart) and the whole neighborhood already have theirs &I feel it! PLUS I've been using my new C-pap machine since 2015 for a almost a yr. before I realized that IT too is WiFi capable and emits non-ionizing radiation…I even put IT in airplane mode, but I don't believe that works either. I even went so far as to have C-spine surgery in March because of my neuro. issues of losing my balance, falling down , etc. (but wouldn't help with memory issues, brain fog.) BUT guess what that spine surgery did not help my balance or falling issues = one conclusion left….. its the Smart meters in my neighborhood + the cpap (which I have now gone back to my 1998 model.. heaven forbid if it ever breaks down.)
      * I'm under threat of disconnection of power as of TODAY 10-18-17
      My letter said: DTE: "WE are exercising our right to dc your electric service."
      What gives THEM the RIGHT??? My bills are paid up to date – That should be the ONLY reason allowed for disconnect!!!

      It sure is a Monopoly that needs to be brought down to size.

  2. Robert L. Shearer–When I called Consumers Energy today I was informed that if I waited to opt out after the Smart Meter was installed it would cost me an additional $70.00 to uninstall the Smart Meter. Why would they tell me this if they were going to install the Smart Meter no matter what? I will call Consumers tomorrow to verify what I have been initially told.

    • Robert, The “opt-out” tariff Consumers submitted to the Public Service Commission specified that opt-out customers would receive a smart meter with radio transmitter turned off. The Public Service Commission approved that plan – which means Consumers has no duty to supply anything but a smart meter to any of its customers. However we have heard some reports that Consumers has a “digital meter” they are installing for at least some opt-out customers – at least for the time being. We do not know if this is accurate. We have not been able to get any specs on this “digital meter” and do not know to what extent it differs from a smart meter. The simple fact that it is digital and electronic in nature suggests it will have to contain a switched mode power supply, and that is the thing that causes dirty electricity to circulate through home wiring. Consumers may be calling it a “digital meter” rather than a “smart meter” simply because it will not support two way communications. A more telling issue would be whether it is capable of recording granular usage data – minute by minute – which a meter reader can download once/month to his handheld device.

      • meter readers dont download squat from your meter, they look at it and type in the number on the kwh screen

    • Just received this email tonight. Tatar Meter Guards Are Not Working John Tatar’s meter guards are being defeated by DTE. The long and the short of it is, John misrepresented his meter guards to us. Fortunately, there is a solution, though it’s not cheap–but at least it works! Get a meter cage from ACstolen.com. Chuck […] 239-823-3066 http://www.acstolen.com

      • Chuck, We have no reason to think that John misrepresented his meter guards. No locking device is foolproof – not his, not yours. John has installed over 500 guards and only a handful have been defeated. His guards have proved to be a major impediment to our utility at a price most smart meter resisters can afford.

  3. Why do you not just opt out if this option is available. Just opted out will cost me a one time fee of $70.00/mo. Then approx. $10.00/mo. after that.

    • Robert, There is no opt-out from smart meters in Michigan. There is only the option to have a smart meter with one of its two radios turned off. Most people who have looked into this issue find this plan unacceptable.

    • Just received this email tonight.

      Tatar Meter Guards Are Not Working

      John Tatar’s meter guards are being defeated by DTE. The long and the short of it is, John misrepresented his meter guards to us. Fortunately, there is a solution, though it’s not cheap–but at least it works! Get a meter cage from ACstolen.com. Chuck Barlow, the owner, has been making cages for years to prevent electrical theft, and builds theft-prevention devices for casinos and other commercial customers.

      If you have the guard (like I do), do not despair. Continue to resist DTE. Tell John to fix the guard so it works! If you can afford to get the meter cage, get it. The sooner the better if you live in an area DTE is currently installing.

      I spoke with Chuck Barlow in 2013, and was all set to buy his meter cage, but was convinced by John and another smart meter fighter that John’s device was superior, in part because it was cheaper, but also because it was supposedly more difficult to cut through. The first time I spoke with John, he told me that the angle iron he used could not be cut except with, in his words, “high-tech” tools. He told me DTE would have to hook a generator up to A/C power to cut the guard off, because they would need so much power to cut it off. In a later conversation, he amended that, after I told him my hardware guy told me he could get the guard off in 2 minutes with a battery-operated grinder. He then said the main point of the guard was that they would have to destroy your property, and they wouldn’t do that.

      John told us that he had designed his guard to make the shackle lock inaccessible to DTE’s tools. In fact, DTE has begun cutting off the shackle locks (with ever-increasing frequency) because John did not make the locks inaccessible. John told us that DTE would not pry the guards off because doing so would damage your home. DTE has in some cases used crowbars to pry the guards off just enough to be able to slip the analog meter off and put a smart meter on. In other cases, they have managed to not even touch the guard because it has not been installed tightly enough, and they have slipped the meter out.

      John has known about these defects for quite some time, and both David Sheldon and myself repeatedly asked him to correct the defects. He has done nothing but put us off. Both David and I have Tatar Guards. With my EMF sensitivities, this is a matter of life or death (literally) for me. John installed my guard such that it does not even close properly; others have had similar problems.

      We are so very sorry that we recommended this guard so highly. We were taken in just as much as the rest of you, and I am not happy that I spent $125 that was not easy to come by for a guard that does not do what John said it would do. I spent huge amounts of time and effort advertising John’s guard in the belief that it would help all of us. It definitely has bought us time. Myself, I would rather have bought a guard/cage that worked the first time around!

      So, what do we do now? We get the meter cage that I was originally set to get from ACstolen (I ordered mine today). Meter cages have been widely sold throughout the United States for many years to prevent the theft of electricity and copper wire. These cages completely cover the meter, unlike the meter guard. To get a meter cage off, DTE would in fact have to damage your home, because they could not just pry up one end and slip the meter out. To get at your meter, they would either have to destroy the cage (and you could take them to court for that) or damage your siding.

      Some of our members—long before DTE started installing smart meters—had their meters caged because theft was rampant in their neighborhood. These cages were made by ACstolen. Go to their website and get your cage. You can also read David Sheldon’s article about the Tatar Guards. However, note that the hockey puck, or hidden shackle, lock he recommends will not work on most meters.

      End

      Frankly am fed up with all who are making $$$ off our fears. The hockey puck lock to me looks impressive, I know one thing it can’t be cut. Look them up. They are in different sizes, find one that is deeper so all the loop will be covered and latch isn’t too big to fit through hole.

      • In the words of a TOXIC TORT ATTORNEY : LOCK YOUR PROPERTY, NOT YOUR ANALOGS, THE LOCKS ARE GIVING AMMUNITION TO UTILITIES TO CUT SERVICE AT POLE. LOCK AND CHAIN ON GATE CLEARLY SAYS NO TRESPASSING, THAT MEANS EVERYONE INCLUDING METER READER WHO MUST KNOCK ON DOOR FOR PERMISSION TO ENTER YOUR PROPERTY TO READ METER, THE READER CAN BE ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING JUST LIKE ANY OTHER PERSON. RIGHT NOW, DTE HAS GONE IN FULL GEAR TO DISCONNECT, COLD WEATHER IS CLOSE, THEY WILL HIT AS MANY ANALOGS WITH LOCKS AS POSSIBLE. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE AMI METERS, PLACE A SIGN OF AMI SMART METERS NOT WANTED OR ALLOWED ON YOUR PROPERTY. IF YOU SEND CERTIFIED LETTER TO UTILITIES, DO NOT USE OPT-OUT IN YOUR DEMAND OF NO SMART METERS. CLEARLY STATED NO SMART METERS ALLOWED OR WANTED ON YOUR PROPERTY, READERS MUST KNOCK FOR PERMISSION TO ENTER PROPERTY TO READ METER. ANY COMMUNICATION MUST BE IN CERTIFIED LETTER.

      • lacycat, Your solution is not workable. Half the people reading your post don’t have a fenced in back yard so they cannot “lock their property”. The ones who do have a fence should know that utility workers think nothing of jumping over fences and think nothing of ignoring signs forbidding installation of a smart meter. I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to who thought they could prevent a smart meter installation with a sign or a locked gate. The truth is there is only one thing that prevents an installation and that is a heavy duty guard on the meter housing. Yes, the utility may retaliate, but each customer must decide if they are serious about preventing an installation or not. Be prepared to deal with the consequences as they occur.

      • Trespassing notification posted, legally posted by you, anyone, including UTILITIES EMPLOYEES can be arrested, with or without a gate a no trespassing sign on your property gives you legal right to have them arrested for exactly that.

  4. I have a digital meter..not analog but not the smart meter yet. I know the digital isnt good but I absolutely do not want a smart meter installed. Can a tatar guard still help me? Please I am so concerned.

    • Gina,

      A Tatar guard can still help you if it is installed well. Tell the installer you want the guard modified to accept a hidden shackle lock and that you want it installed on a steel plate or with through the wall bolts.

  5. I lve in a condominium complex with three main meters only accessible to the utility company, and one meter per apartment ion the sides of each building. There are 19 buildings 2-stories, which sit on six acres. There are a total of 105 units or apartments, some one bedroom, others two bedrooms or three, but a meter for each. which ones need a lock to avoid the smart meter installations, all of them?

  6. DTE has sent a man out on two SUNDAY MORNINGS in a small pick up truck with a DTE magnet on the side. to try and install a smart meter. We met them at the drive and told them we are keeping our analog meter. He said “ok but they will just keep trying”. Wow they are sneaky! Really, on a SUNDAY?!

  7. I have a question … is the metal box around the whole meter part of this guard? Or is that an original part of this meter in the picture? My meter is just the round part (the glass part) – only. I can’t even figure out how to padlock mine let alone any other way to put a guard on it.

    • Kris, The box around the meter is the meter enclosure. It is not part of the meter and not part of the meter guard. Is your meter outdoors on a single family house? Or is it part of a bank of meters in a utility room? All meters plug into a meter socket. The socket would have to be in some kind of enclosure to protect the wiring. If your meter is part of a bank of meters it could be that there is one very large enclosure that contains many flush mounted meter sockets. In this situation you probably can’t guard your meter. If it is a single meter on a single family home then you may have a very old enclosure that may be round and no larger than the meter itself.Or the meter socket may be recessed inside the outside wall so that only the meter is visible. If you look closely you should be able to see where the back end of the meter is and where the socket begins. Before you could use the meter guard we are describing you would need to have an electrician install a new surface mounted meter enclosure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s