If you live in Michigan and have been holding out getting a smart meter, you may soon have your power shut off.
DTE has consistently maintained that no one should be worried about the radio frequencies the meters emit (others argue they are harmful to human health and are especially distressing for people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity) and reminds customers that they “can opt-out of the smart-meter program for a fee and receive new digital meters that don’t wirelessly transmit usage data” should they choose to.1 However, many argue the digital “opt-out meters” are just as bad and that people should be allowed to use their analog meters since they don’t generate “dirty electricity.”
Because of this, many Michigan residents are still holding out hope that the Michigan Legislature will pass House Bill 4220, allowing utility customers the choice to keep their traditional analog meter. (Those who choose the opt-out program will pay a one time fee of $67.20 plus $9.80 a month and a meter reader will stop by monthly to manually read the digital meter.) Ultimately, DTE doesn’t care. They say there is zero merit to the problems that have been associated with smart meter use and they aren’t budging.
Randi Berri, a DTE spokeswoman said they are close to completing the conversion to digital meters and expects to have the project, which began in 2008, completed by the end of 2017. For their part, DTE prefers the smart-meter technology because it allows them to read a meter without entering a customer’s yard, home or business. Readings can then be sent via mobile communication technology and used to produce bills that are more accurate than estimated bills. This ensures customers only pay for the energy they use. The new meters also provide customers with real-time info so they can better track and manage their energy consumption and gives the company more reliable outage detection and restoration.
But, people don’t like being forced to use something they don’t want and don’t feel safe around. And I don’t blame them.
What would you do if you were forced to use a smart meter? Does your home already have one? Have you noticed any problems with it?