DTE Will Let Customers Say No to Smart Meters

The energy company will develop a program that will let residents in Rochester and Rochester Hills opt out of the new meter installation.

In a report filed Friday with the Michigan Public Service Commission, DTE Energy said it would allow an "opt-out" option on the controversial smart meters that are being installed in Rochester and Rochester Hills.

A customer would pay an additional cost for opting out, the report stated.

The report was in response to the MPSC's investigation into the meters that DTE and other regulated electric utilities are installing across the state.

DTE is installing 600,000 smart meters, also known as AMI meters, in southeast Michigan as part of an $83.8 million grant. Smart meters measure and record electricity usage with digital technology instead of the traditional gears and dials. The technology involves the use of radio frequency waves to transmit data to DTE.

In Rochester and Rochester Hills, to approve resolutions urging the MPSC to investigate their concerns about safety and privacy of the meters. In turn, the MPSC asked the utilities to provide them with information on safety and privacy issues related to the smart meters; the MPSC also asked about the feasibility of an opt-out option.

DTE's report to the MPSC is 98 pages; it can be read here in a file attached to this story.

"The overwhelming majority of our customers fully support AMI," the report states. "However, given the small group of concerned customers, Edison is developing an opt-out program."

Details about the opt-out program have not been fully developed, according to DTE. The report hinted that there would be costs for opting out and that those customers who choose not to have a smart meter would not benefit from the online monitoring of energy consumption and other programs that smart meter customer would benefit from.

The report reads as follows:

"Edison’s major tenets of an opt-out program must consider: monthly meter reading costs, special field visit costs (which AMI could have eliminated), distribution management voltage detection, outage operations, customer billing options where an interval meter read is required, customer service billing system modifications to delineate the opt out customer from all AMI related benefits.

"The Company should be made whole for all incremental costs, the electing customers should bear the costs, and the opt out charges should be based on costs consistent with the provisions of PA 286, M.C.L. 460.6.

"The opt-out program shall not operate in a manner that contradicts or unreasonably interferes with the AMI benefits enjoyed by all other customers or negatively affect the reliability or operation of the electric system.

"Opt-out decisions must be initiated and made by individual customers and not by broader interest groups or municipalities on their behalf. Opting out will eliminate several individual customer benefits and conveniences and will subject the customer to additional charges, so permitting third party's to make this selection is inappropriate."

The report was clear in declaring that a customer choosing to opt out of the smart meter program "will be responsible for all costs associated with that choice and will not be absorbed by other customers accepting AMI smart meters."

RobertWilliams March 20, 2012 at 09:30 PM
DTE ILLEGALLY FORCES SMART METERS 1. The Federal government allowed utility companies to only OFFER smart meters to customers. 2. DTE ILLEGALLY FORCES /MANDATES smart meters onto homes. 3. Some Customers, professors and scientists research smart meters and find smart meter cost-benefit is a net loser for customers / winner for utility companies. There are also privacy violations, increased utility bills after smart meter installation, valid potential health problems and thousands of health problem reports already occurring in areas where smart meters have been installed. And none of the advertised benefits are occurring anywhere in the U.S. 4. PUC Regulators PRETEND a compromise and PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY DTE to get rid of the smart meters that they didn’t want and were ILLEGAL in the first place. 5. And now DTE acts like they are doing us a favor making us pay to avoid something that is detrimental that they imposed on us. How does DTE Executive Management, PR people and attorneys sleep at night?
RobertWilliams March 20, 2012 at 09:34 PM
SMART METER PRIVACY VIOLATIONS Must-See 4-minute youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8JNFr_j6kdI CUSTOMER UTILITY BILLS AFTER SMART METERS INSTALLED. Skyrocketing Utility Bills after installation – United States TV News Video (3 minutes) http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/63581287.html?tab=video Skyrocketing Utility Bills after installation – Canada TV News Video (2 minutes) http://wifismartmeters.com/2012/03/bc-hydro-smartmeters-costs-are-skyrocketing-whats-new/ Systemic Smart Meter Billing Errors Over 200% Uncovered – Australia TV News Video (7 minutes) http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/money/article/-/10241945/power-scandal-exposed/ - video NATIONAL SECURITY RISKS DUE TO SMART METERS. CIA DIRECTOR JAMES WOOLSEY CALLS SMART GRID “STUPID” Due To National Security Problems Caused By So-Called Smart Meters. News Video (1 minute) http://www.energynow.com/video/2011/08/10/preview-mix-james-woolsey
RobertWilliams March 20, 2012 at 09:37 PM
SMART METER RADIATION ALERT PG$E, Northern California's Utility Monopoly, recently admitted (Forced By A Judge) that each electric smart meter transmits radiation 10's of thousands of times, up to 190,000 times each day. This corrects previous false statements repeated often by utility companies across the country. PG$E Radiation document can be seen at - Page-5, Table 2-1 http://emfsafetynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/PGERFDataOpt-outalternatives_11-1-11-3pm.pdf
RobertWilliams March 20, 2012 at 09:42 PM
 Video Interview: Nuclear Scientist, Daniel Hirsch, (5 minutes) http://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/04/20/daniel-hirsch-on-ccsts-fuzzy-math/
Video Interview: Dr. Carpenter, New York Public Health Department, Dean of Public Health, (2 minutes) 
http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=39461 3. The NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE Calls for Halt To Smart Meters in Homes and Schools. http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/halt-smart-meters/ 4. The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION May 31 2011 placed the Non-ionizing radiation coming from Smart Meters (& some other wireless devices) on the Class 2-B CARCINOGEN LIST. http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf 5. The NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH Feb 2011 found biological changes in the brain after only minutes of exposure to non-ionizing radiation. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/8/808.abstract 6. THE KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE IN STOCKHOLM (the University that gives the Nobel Prizes) ISSUES GLOBAL HEALTH WARNING AGAINST SMART METERS.
 2-page Press Release 
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48148346/Karolinska-Institute-Press-Release 7. INSURANCE COMPANIES won’t insure smart meter liability due to biological damage seen by scientists they hired. 
 TV Video (3 minutes) http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=382
Patricia March 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM
We had a "locked gate", had a note on the meter- do not remove and do not replace with a smart meter-we also notified DTE in advance, faxed over in writing, and guess what? Came home from work the week between Christmas and New Years and the meter was installed--they even had to remove a landscape fence around the meter area. DTE calls you several times if you have a dog when they are going to read the meters, but no call for an installation on your property. The representatives that were in Rochester supplied their phone numbers including cell, and all you ever get is a message---it's rather disgusting and upsetting. On top of it, our bills with less usage and with the smart meter still increased---because DTE increased. The working man can't win-- We would gladly pay more for our health, safety and our security of not being monitored in our home and having this broadcast. DTE will not address the computer interference problems, the long term exposure problems, especially with babies and pregnant women, nor will they talk about how they will protect your information- in addition, they won't discuss how this effects exposure to anyone with metal, or titanium implants in the head/neck area. We have lost faith in DTE -but we have no choice as they have a lock on the market.
Patricia March 21, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Basically what DTE said is "your screwed"--they will find a way with everything available to them to make the "opt out" fee or cost so high, you can't afford to do it. Even the State is not standing up to these bullies. DTE will never pay for future adverse health effects to the babies, children and all those who are home more and can't get away from this 24/7 broadcast of electrical usage. Nor will they pay out when security is breached or hacked and you are targeted because of it, and forget the interference in certain items, including computers, clocks, etc. DTE will walk away from that as well. DTE should at least only transmit from your home once a day--not all day- It is not necessary and it really is an invasion of privacy to be monitored 24/7. Big Brother, I mean DTE is watching. For those that want to be on computer all day monitoring every light they turn on and off-good for them-we would rather spend our time living a life that is healthier by our choice not DTE, and not watched by some utility company that we pay for. DTE forgot who pays the bills and took away our rights and freedom to make a decision on our property that can effect our health and our safety.
Marty Rosalik March 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Patricia, please do not be ofended but I'm going to ask some questions and make a general statement. Do you own and use any cell phones? Blue Tooth? Do you own and use any microwave ovens? Do you have OnStar or other satellite communication device in your car? Do you own and use a cordless phone less than 20 years old? Are you posting here using any wireless device? Do you, your children, or grandchildren have any I-pod, I-pad, Kindle, etc devices? If yes to any of the above are you afraid of them? If not WHY?
Marty Rosalik March 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM
They transmit several times a day for short bursts. My "smart meter" has been on the wall for 4 months and it is still NOT alive. Edison is still comming to read it. You could install a natural gas powered whole house generator and cut the wires to Edison. With the cost of gas down, I have priced it.
Patricia March 21, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Your answer Marty, I have a lap top that thanks to DTE has had problems since the Smart Meter installation-and it is only 1.5 years old. I have a cell phone that is kept in my purse and off- and used only for emergencies. Some moths, there is no usage-We have none of the other items you mentioned. So, I think the very limited use of the cell phone and the fact I do not use my laptop often is due to MY CHOICE. DTE didn't allow for a choice and its 24/7---huge huge difference. DTE removed the "choice" for the very people who keep it in business. Ask the big guys in the main office if the Smart meter is installed about 2 feet from where they sit inside their house? Ask them if they would put it 2 or 3 feet away from their baby's crib? You don't have to worry DTE won't answer any questions from the consumers. They will however send you their marketing material in a huge packet with a letter addressed to you, but nothing more-and no way for you to make a meaningful contact because they don't care....simple as that.
Marty Rosalik March 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Thanks for the straightforward answer.
Marty Rosalik March 21, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Oops hit button too soon. I agree you did not get a choice. That was wrong. My meter is on the first floor and it would have been and is about 12 feet from my daughters room. That said, try to get that 24/7 cell phone away from her. I just left dial-up for wireless. Now I will know when and if my wireless gets jammed by the meter. If they ever turn it on. I'm a hybrid and electric vehicle engineer and I have the equipment to actually measure the fields. When the cell tower was first installed in Goodison, it jammed our baby monitor and my radio controlled toy car. Later it went spread specrtum digital. The car works now. It was fun with analog cell phones. We would get partial conversations from passing cell phones on the baby monitor. My point is there are many many more sources than the meter. That said, I don't blame you for wanting to limit your exposure. Marty
Kristin Bull (Editor) March 21, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Pat - what's going on with your laptop? Just curious ... does anyone else out there have problems with computer/electronic equipment since having a smart meter installed?
Patricia March 21, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Marty, thanks for a good response & kind communication. In this case & because there are no long term studies, I think it was poor on DTE's part not to allow for a reasonable fee for opt out, or a choice. I worry because my husband does have titanium mesh, plates and screws in his skull due to a tumor that was both extensive and destructive. So this is a concern, especially when it is our house & property. My husband doesn't have a cell phone. His health is a primary concern for me. I have an Apple-Speck- two years old in August- never had any problems until lately & only at home-not the office or elsewhere, including at the Apple Store, Somerset. My equipment has been checked as well. It's slow to start, delayed loading, airports are popping up.It operates slower than before and at times almost freezes. So I am closing & re-opening Safari. We upgraded at home when I got it well before DTE was in our area & we never had any problems. My computer checked out & is in great shape-no problems. It is fast & fine when I take it to work to use at lunch & when I have taken it on travel. I can't really say what's causing this. It's frustrating because all that changed in our area is DTE. Our houses are close and we are surrounded. The new meter is connected directly on the other side of the wall where all my computer equipment is. I don't want to pay to move my equipment and cable but we may have to re- locate it on the other side of the house-who knows. DTE won't talk about it.
Patricia March 21, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Another point, DTE would not tell a customer if your house was the "collector" house that gathers all the information from the neighbors and transmits it. At the Rochester City Council they said they would not tell or disclose that information to the household or notify people where it was located in there neighborhoods. In some communities there was die off of birds and small rodents in the area of these transmissions. I was told that our house transmits to a central collector that is pole located and "supposedly" it is about one block to the south west of us--but we can't be certain--- But I was insistent for at least that information. I have no way to confirm it-they told that to me on the phone. I do have the employees name who represent AMI and he called because I filed a complaint through the DTE web page-but nothing changed for us-they just sent the marketing package. Quota met-
RobertWilliams March 21, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Patricia - They can't 'Do it to you," unless you let them. It's NOT easy for you or fair, but if you do NOT accept it, you will ultimately win. They count on people "Giving up." If you were Benjamin Franklin, you would not give up, and YOU are that good. Patricia and Marty - 1. The radiation from a smart meter is greater than all the other devices Marty listed because microwave ovens have radiation seals; because all the other devices are only on sometimes and you have control to turn them off; because the utility company industry measures cell phone (and other devices) as point-on-your-body radiation, but the smart meter is measured in FULL BODY RADIATION EXPOSURE. If you compare FULL BODY RADIATION EXPOSURE of a cell phone to a smart meter, the radiation from the smart meter is approximately 50-450 times that of a cell phone at various distances in the room on which the smart meter is mounted on the wall outside wall. Please watch a few of the videos I placed in comments above. Then read some of the peer reviewed articles and share it with others. Science doesn't yet know WHY the non-ionizing radiation (the radiation type emitted by smart meters and some other wireless devices) harms the biology of a body, but they KNOW that it does, which is enough to stop smart meters for rational people. But Utility companies want MORE $$$ and MORE control and less risk of competition in the future, so rather than better service, they tighten the noose.
Marty Rosalik March 22, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Robert, "science" has some information regarding this radiation. Radiation has such a negative connotation. Non Ionizing radiation includes sunlight. The UV spectra within has well know affects. The frequencies we are discussing here are included below from OSHA web site. "Microwave radiation (MW) is absorbed near the skin, while Radiofrequency (RF) radiation may be absorbed throughout the body. At high enough intensities both will damage tissue through heating. Sources of RF and MW radiation include radio emitters and cell phones." and the meter. Heating = cooking. More information at OSHA link. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html I trust OSHA for actual facts based on real data from real industrial sources over decades. Sorry but alarmists and parlor tricks don't impress me. As an Electrical Engineer and a TIG (high frequency high power) welder owner/operator, I pay attention to the existing science,feild strength, frequency, and risks. I also have documented NRC ionizing ratiation training and experience. Different things. Just FYI. Now I will partially agree that long term exposure that does NOT cook you needs study. But how long is long? We have had 30+ years of cell tower workers, 100 years or so welders, plus TV tower, radio tower, 70 plus years of defense radar workers, and millions of people with cell phones and other wireless devices right next to or imbedded into their heads to observe. Where is the pandemic?
Marty Rosalik March 22, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Followup. The OSHA link down near the bottom has a section on Training. In the numerous PPT presentations are regulations, suggestions, and math on how non ionizing MW and RF affect living tissue and exposure limits for various types. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html Robert, if you can demonstrate the claims you make above, then you can (and should) file a MIOSHA or federal OSHA complaint.
Daryl Patrishkoff March 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Marty, Great job on getting the facts out in front with trusted sources! As an engineer (not electrical) also, we see the facts getting twisted by groups to meet their agenda, not the real world. When people site sources of information you can find something to support any view point with a link, which does not make it factual. Using the trusted sources that are not tied to any particular view point is always the best way to go if it can be found. I vote with you, OSHA is such a source and can be trusted. Facts are a tricky thing; they are straight forward and cannot be twisted if fully understood. Incomplete understandings of the facts (people who do not read the details) are a tool for others to push an agenda.
Patricia March 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM
DTE said openly this was mandated by the State. Lie. DTE said in front of City Council and on cable, you can "opt out", when questioned, you could only opt out of tracking your usage. Lie. When DTE knew that due to many unanswered questions and DTE not responding to consumer inquiries, that resolutions would be passed to either allow for an "opt out" of installing the Smart Meter or delaying installation until consumers could get more information, DTE inceased installation and did so without notifiction to the property/home owners. DTE has no long term studies and in the "marketing material" they have sent out it clearly states the radiation is safer than having your face two inches from your microwave when it is on. Who in the heck puts there face two inches from an operating micro wave? No comparison or even common sense. That certainly raises even more questions. OSHA standards are set higher than what I would want in my house or property and like all government entities is fraught with buracracy. DTE has done little to nothing to respond to residents. You can't even reach them. But if two great cities Rochester and Rochester Hills elected officials thought enought to pass resolutions then you know all is not right with DTE and the AMI meters. But still most important, DTE took away property rights and individual rights where health is concerned. No utility company has that right.
Scot Beaton March 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Marty, Thanks for all the info... again in the middle of a learning curve with this issue... I was at a Rochester Hills city council meeting when a very organized group approached the city council... and did not support 'smart meters' and convinced the council to pass a resolution to make it an option. Since then DTE did come to my house and ask if they could install a 'smart meter' I said no, they said cool did not try to sell me on one and walk away... they did not even ask me why. Marty this is the catch 22... if they can install 'smart meters' they will need less meter readers, lay people off and save money...? right...?, so this begs a question are those with 'smart meters' going to be billed less for service? note: I heard that 'smart meters' are made in the USA, and this was a federal 'green jobs' program to create jobs in the private sector, and DTE is getting the 'smart meters' for free through some kind of grant. Anyone know... true or false. Patch thanks for the post.
Patricia March 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM
DTE did get grant money-and of course we know where grant money comes from that big circle of taxation--- How come you said "no" and they didn't install and in our neighborhood, locked gates and signs didn't stop them....of course the installer(s) here through DTE came in the middle of the work day--and no notification.. I think they designed it that way so homeowners would not be around and they could not be barred from the property or delayed with their quota. I have heard they are not completely made in the USA, parts are from overseas and on the west coast with similar meters there were and are problems. The gentleman from AMI that sent the material, because you can't talk to DTE, said they were made here-but he could not tell me if that meant parts or assembled (made) here. At the Rochester City Council, Mike P. from DTE did said this installation would reduce the DTE workforce-meter readers and such...said some people in MI could maybe move into other areas of DTE, or move out of State and others will just not have a job.
Ken Carlson March 26, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I found this to be true. I checked to box with a gieger counter and found the box emitted pluses every few seconds. Ken Carlson


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