Letter to Answer DTE Tag Concerning “No Access”

(your name)
(your street address)
(your city, state, zip)

(date you will send letter)

Advanced Metering Team
DTE Energy Company
One Energy Plaza,
Detroit, MI  48226

This letter is in response to the service tag or door hanger tag your company recently left us stating that you were here to “upgrade our meter” and were unable to gain access to the meter because of a locked gate, locked meter housing, dog in yard or other impediment.

Please understand that we are always ready to provide access to the meter so that your employees or contract people can read it, inspect it, repair it or replace it with another meter of like kind and quality should you deem that necessary. But we view your meter “upgrade” program as an illegal assault upon our health, privacy and safety. You have made it clear you intend to install either a smart meter with radio on or a smart meter with radio off. Neither of these choices is a lawful “meter” as that term is defined in the statute or the long established regulation of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).

The MPSC has approved an opt-out program that merely establishes your right to charge opt-out fees for a “non-transmitting meter”. This was only a rate decision. The MPSC has not changed the legal definition of “meter” nor made smart meters a condition of service under its rule making procedures. Instead the MPSC has declared that it has no jurisdiction to specify the type of meter to be installed. Subsequently the Michigan Court of Appeals has declined to reverse the MPSC decision concerning your “non-transmitting” meter, on the basis of its agreement with MPSC that it lacked jurisdiction to specify meter types.

Please be advised we do not accept the standard smart meter nor do we choose to enroll in the opt-out program you have established because it does not provide a true opt-out as was demanded by over 400 customers and 35 city governments.

We believe your company does not have the right to force installation of any “advanced meter” which will cause customers health problems or invade their privacy.  Your tariff, MPSC regulations and state law all give you the right to install a “meter” as that term is defined in the law.  The definition of meter does not encompass a surveillance device or a device that may be injurious to health.  We insist on the right to have our electricity usage monitored by the traditional analog or electro-mechanical meter, at least until such time as another acceptable alternative can be made available.

We will refuse installation of any “advanced meter”.  To that end we have posted a sign next to the meter denying such installation, and may take further steps such as the placing of a lock on the meter housing or maintaining a locked gate to deny entry to your installers.

Any retaliatory action by your company, including termination of electrical service, will result in our bringing or joining a lawsuit in defense of our rights as utility customers.

 (your signature(s) )

 (your printed name(s) )

5 thoughts on “Letter to Answer DTE Tag Concerning “No Access”

  1. I would like to know the on time per month of the smart meter to read the meter reading. If it’s say a maximum of 1 minute per month, I would not object to having a smart meter installation. Also, I estimate that it costs around $2 per meter reading as it is being done now. If that be the case, why are we not seeing a reduction of our future rate of an amount equivalent to the labor savings by reading the meter usage once a month by smart meter?

    • Ivan, If we are talking about electric meters and you live in DTE’s service area, there is no ONE TIME PER MONTH. These meters are transmitting, on average, about once every 15 seconds 24/7/365, or thousands of times each day. As to your second point, any savings from meter reading are more than offset by the costs of installing millions of smart meters. Smart meters were supposed to save customers money, but that was a fraud from the start.

  2. The language in installation and response letters you provide do not state dates and some facts appropriate for Consumers Power customers, who are also “required” to install a “upgraded meter” or pay one time and monthly service fees. Geographically speaking, Consumers Power has a much larger service area in Michigan than DTE. Please draft letters for Consumers Power with information specific to their correspondence and responses. Thank you.

    • Teresa, The letter you are commenting on was designed for residents of Michigan and is written with Michigan laws and regulations in mind. You are going to need information about what the laws and regulations are in Georgia. There is a group (or website at least) of Georgia people resisting smart meters at this link:
      Perhaps they can help.

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