(your street address)
(your city,state, zip)
(date you will send letter)
Senator (name of Your state senator)
(street address of your senator)
Lansing, MI (your senator’s zip code)
Subject: Need for new law to protect utility customers
DTE has been sweeping through neighborhoods installing what they are pleased to call “advanced” or “smart” electric meters to replace the traditional (analog) electric meters we have all been familiar with for decades. These meters are known to the scientific community to cause harm. For some the harm is immediate and includes such symptoms as headaches, heart palpitations, difficulty concentrating and inability to sleep at night. For others the harm may come decades later, in the form of cancer or a neurological illness such as Parkinson’s disease.
(If you have personally experienced symptoms or a hardship of any kind, please insert a few sentences about that here)
DTE has been installing these new meters over the objections of your constituents, insisting they cannot cause harm, despite overwhelming agreement among medical people and scientists that the opposite is true. DTE and other utilities appear to have a strong financial interest in ramming this through since our state regulators are allowing them to pass all costs on to the customer.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has turned a deaf ear to many hundreds of complaints against DTE in this matter. They seem to be more interested in promoting a high tech toy than they are in effectively regulating the industry. On May 15th, 2013 they issued a ruling endorsing the proposals of the utilities that the utilities be allowed to impose an extra initial charge and ongoing monthly charges for customers requesting a “non-transmitting meter” (radio off). This ruling made no provision for any customer to receive a traditional meter instead of a smart meter.
But the radio being on or off is not the only problem. Even with the radio off, these new meters cause power quality problems by putting high frequencies and transient pulses, sometimes called “dirty electricity” on home wiring. Even with the radio off, the new meters also pose a severe incursion into the privacy of the home by gathering information about people’s daily routines, types of appliances and medical devices used. Judging by the experience in other states, it is only a matter of time before people’s private information will be sold to marketing companies, insurance companies and made freely available to police without a warrant, thereby gutting our Fourth Amendment rights.
The recent MPSC “opt-out” policy is no true opt-out at all and is not acceptable to the growing numbers of people protesting against this radical new technology. The decision has been appealed with the COA declining to intervene, in its decision of February 19th, 2015, agreeing with the MPSC that it has no jurisdiction to tell the utilities what kind of meters they can place on customer’s homes and businesses.
The real solution would be a new law that defines the rights of Michigan utility customers to refuse harmful new technology. Utility customers should have the right to retain the traditional electro-mechanical (analog) meter, at least until the industry develops a replacement for it that meets the objections of hundreds of utility customers and 35 local governments.
On December 2nd about 200 people came to protest against smart meters before the House Oversight Committee. Some 60 of them provided oral and written testimony before that committee, which may be viewed on House TV archives.
This March, a committee of volunteers, representing the interests of all the smart meter protesters, has drafted a proposed “Utility Meter Freedom of Choice Amendment”. The full text of the proposed law may be viewed here: https://michiganstopsmartmeters.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/utility-meter-freedom-of-choice-bill-senate.pdf
Please consider becoming a sponsor or co-sponsor of this proposal and using your influence to see that the proposal gets fair consideration to provide much needed relief for your constituents.
(your signature, if sent by snail mail)
(your name, printed)