Thursday, August 4, 2016

New MPSC Commissioner

From Crain's:

LANSING — Rachael Eubanks, director of public finance for Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. in Michigan, has been appointed to the Michigan Public Service Commission, Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday.
Eubanks fills a partial term vacated by the former commission chairman, John Quackenbush, Snyder's office said. Her term will end in July 2017.
Quackenbush left his six-year term early in March to return to the private sector. At that time, commissioner Sally Talberg was appointed chairwoman of the state's energy regulatory agency.
Eubanks, of East Lansing, has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Michigan, Snyder's office said.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20160706/NEWS/160709916/snyder-appoints-rachael-eubanks-to-michigan-public-service-commission

Interview with Smart Meter Education Network Director Linda Kurtz

Listen to this great radio interview with Linda Kurtz, director of the Smart Meter Education Network as we discuss health issues, privacy, and much more. Linda also talks about her first--horrific--encounter with smart meters and how they have affected her health.

https://youtu.be/I1SjDjkyKBk

Monday, August 1, 2016

The DTE and Consumers PACs have given to all but four of the state's 145 lawmakers

The DTE and Consumers PACs have given to all but four of the state's 145 lawmakers. 
Since 2011, DTE has been the top donor to House Energy Chair Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), and CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary Consumers Energy have been Nesbitt’s third largest donor. 

In addition to the PAC giving, it's believed the utilities helped fund a nonprofit organization, Citizens for Michigan's Energy Future, that ran likely more than $2 million in ads about Michigan's looming energy shortfall in 2014 and 2015. The projected upcoming capacity shortfall that's discussed in the ads is a main reason lawmakers are trying to take action this year. 


DTE Energy and Consumers Energy combined have 42 individuals or firms that are registered as lobbyists.

Read the full story at Michigan Campaign Finance Network  website.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Consumers Energy Uses 4G Cell Tower Network to Transmit Readings

Just like DTE smart meters, Consumers Energy smart meters transmit radiofrequency radiation 24/7. This is because the meters "chatter" with each other. You can read more about that on our Smart Meters 101 page. Unlike DTE, Consumers Energy ultimately collects the data via cell phone towers. The signal is sent to the towers once a day. The data sent currently is of hourly meter reads. That can be changed via software updates.

Note that one of the reasons the utility companies have instituted smart meters is so that they can charge time-of-use rates, meaning you will pay more for electricity at certain times of the day. Consumers freely admits this.

4G is a very intense radiofrequency signal that is quite deleterious to health.

Consumers was originally using meters made by GE and by SmartSynch.  Itron acquired SmartSynch, so it is now Itron that provides the meters. The utility's deal with Itron includes a 20-year maintenance agreement-though much of that maintenance will be in the form of automatic, over-the-air firmware updates similar to those that cellphones receive, said Moore.

With regard to other providers, Energybiz says: "California's Pacific Gas and Electric, for example, has deployed more than 9 million smart meters that collect daily gas readings and electricity readings every 15 minutes, sending them to the utility through the company's own wireless communication network. And Tennessee's Memphis Light, Gas and Water is in the midst of a project to install smart meters to track all three services, which the utility says also have the potential to quickly detect outages, leaks and other problems. "

Itron brochure.

http://www.nighthawkcontrol.com/industry-solutions/smart-meters/

http://www.nighthawkcontrol.com/products/cellular-ami-smart-meter-itron-form-2/



https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/smartsynch-continues-to-make-the-case-for-cellular
__

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

EMFs Likely Contribute to Obesity

PACKING ON THE POUNDS? There's more to it than diet and exercise. "Growing scientific evidence indicates that the imbalance of caloric consumption and exercise does not fully explain the obesity epidemic. Nor can DNA... since there are now numerous animal and epidemiological studies indicating that environmental pollutants [including radiation from wireless technologies] could contribute to the global obesity epidemic, there is an urgent need to reduce the burden of environmental contaminants so that obesity does not become the normal outlook in the future."
SEMINAR - Obesity, Electrosensitivity, Mycotoxicosis and the Clinical Practice of Environmental Medicine, with Magda Havas
National Institute of Environmental Health Science, North Carolina
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-11115/
FLYER: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1697093557175050&set=a.1536471643237243.1073741827.100006232656807&type=3&theater
SLIDESHOW: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/…/may_9_2016_obesity_electrosensit…

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Court Sides with Consumers Energy--What a Surprise!

No surprise, given the corruption of our state government, and of the MPSC in particular. Did you know that one of the chairs of the Michigan Public Service Commission is a former Consumers Energy lobbyist?

From the Associated Press:
"The Michigan appeals court has upheld a 2013 decision by state regulators to allow Consumers Energy to roll out high-tech meters. The attorney general's office had challenged the utility's ability to recover the costs of the so-called smart meters. But in a 2-1 decision this week, the appeals court says state regulators relied on sufficient evidence supplied by the company.

"Judge Peter O'Connell wasn't swayed. In dissent, he says the Public Service Commission didn't do enough work, and the appeals court as a result can't conduct a 'meaningful review.' O'Connell says fellow judges Michael Gadola and Karen Fort Hood didn't follow the orders of the Michigan Supreme Court in taking a solid look at the case."

In a 2015 unpublished opinion, Judge O'Connell made cogent points regarding the program:

"How can smart meters save money when Consumers seeks to add millions of dollars to the base rate to fund the AMI program?"

"A cost-benefit analysis [of smart meters] should include health, safety, and privacy issues.”

I am concerned that under the opt-out program, those who opt-out must pay either a penalty, tax, or a fee for the privilege of retaining their non-smart meters. This Court, in its prior opinion, approved the PSC's order allowing costs to fund the AMI smart meter program to be added to the utility's base rate. At first glance, it appears the opt-outers are required to pay twice for the privilege of retaining their non-smart meter. The first payment is in the form of a penalty, tax, or fee to avoid having a smart meter installed on their home,5 and the second payment is of continued costs associated with the AMI smart meter program that eventually will be added to the base rate.”

“Why both charges? On remand, the PSC should answer that question. In the case of the opt-outers, they receive no benefit from the AMI smart meter program and must actually pay to be excluded from it, but then the opt-outer must also share in the costs of the program because of the increase to the base rate.”

“From this lower court record I am unable to discern the genesis, the reasons, or the rational for such an unprecedented double tariff.”


“I am also greatly concerned that the opt-out costs are actually a penalty imposed to force the opt-outers to comply with the AMI program. . .  . The PSC's implied finding that it is a fee/tariff rather than a penalty or a tax is not supported by even a scintilla of evidence in this lower court record. Just because the PSC says it is so on appeal does not make it so.”

“It appears, as the Attorney General argues and as in other states, that the smart meter program actually increases rates.”
Unpublished opinion, July 22, 2015 (Docket Nos 317434 and 317456)


See news articles on 2016 decision (all the articles are the same) at: 
http://www.oanow.com/appeals-court-won-t-stop-consumers-energy-smart-meters/article_4e1f50ce-aaf3-5f49-8354-7baf03e83b84.html

http://www.michigansthumb.com/news/article_119bc3b6-444d-11e6-b9c4-174dfef46bfa.html

Saturday, June 18, 2016

DTE Audited by IRS

Did you know DTE was audited by the IRS? Did you see that in the news? Their own corporate statement says: "In 2015, DTE Energy settled a federal tax audit for the 2013 tax year. DTE Energy's federal income tax returns for 2014 and subsequent years remain subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service."
DTE Energy paid 4% in taxes in 2013, (the latest date I could find information for). How much did you pay in taxes? Why is a Fortune 500 company getting away with paying next to nothing and harming the citizens of this state with its smart meters?
DTE Energy in 2008-2011
U.S. Profits: $2,551,000,000
Taxes Paid: ‐$17,000,000
Michigan is projected to give corporations a net refund on their taxes this year.
This year, Michigan will give $99 million more in corporate tax credits than it collects in taxes on corporations.
Also see:
DTE Annual Report: https://www2.dteenergy.com/…/24…/DTEGasAnnualReport2015.pdf…
2008-2011 Taxes: http://www.infowars.com/abolish-the-income-tax-you-wont-be…/

Redford Residents: Smart Meters Are Making Us Ill

Lois Dennison has experienced swelling in various parts of her body to splitting headaches to hair loss and constant drainage from smart meters. She believes the meters are a threat to the general public, too.
“I want to see these stupid meters gone from our lives,” Dennison said. “They’re hurting us. The radiation coming from these meters will hurt you, your family, your pets and the environment. Period.”

DTE, of course, issued a statement saying: "DTE Energy believes there is absolutely no merit to the concerns raised by some individuals about smart meters, and we remain confident in the safety, security and benefits provided by the meters,” Berris said. "The relatively weak strength of radio frequency signals generated by smart meters means that any impact of RF exposure is minimal – similar to the levels of exposure from TVs and radios. In fact, smart meters produce significantly less RF exposure than other common electric devices, such as cell phones, baby monitors, wireless routers, laptop computers and microwave ovens." I guess DTE hasn't read the Daniel Hirsch study yet! And, of course, has had their ears plugged when hundreds of people have called complaining of terrible health problems from the meters.


http://www.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/redford/2016/06/08/meters-raise-health-privacy-concerns/85598924/

Scientific American: How Wireless Signals Cause Cancer?

"An expert answers questions about what could happen at the cellular level after a report links radio-frequency signals to tumors in rats."

Scientific American, long a naysayer of the effects of wireless radiation, is beginning to reconsider after the National Toxicology Program study on wireless and cancer.

"What happens to living cells when they are exposed to RF radiation? The signal couples with those cells, although nobody really knows what the nature of that coupling is. Some effects of that reaction can be things like movement of calcium across membranes, the production of free radicals or a change in the expression of genes in the cell. Suddenly important proteins are being expressed at times and places and in amounts that they shouldn’t be, and that has a dramatic effect on the function of the cells. And some of these changes are consistent with what’s seen when cells undergo conversion from normal to malignant. These effects vary depending on the nature of the signal, the length of the exposure and the specifics of the signal itself."

Hmm. Suddenly, they are beginning to discuss the work of Martin Pall and others.

 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-might-cell-phone-signals-cause-cancer1/

Public WiFi Hotspots in Neighborhoods Are Devastating Health

Wondering why even stepping out your door is too much? Comcast has installed WiFi hotspots to blanket neighbhorhoods with dense RF radiation. My home is within hundreds of feet of three hotspots. The moment I open my door, my body and brain rattle. Even worse than when it was just the smart meters. Here's an article from the Detroit Free Press. When you go to the hotspot link, you can zoom in and in until you find the exact location of a hotspot by clicking on it. There are hundreds just in Ann Arbor.


And this comes out just as the National Toxicology Program finds that RF radiation causes CANCER. Yes, a US government agency finally says it.

Here is a picture of the WiFi hotspot routers. They are usually off-white in color. They are hung from the cable lines (which are attached to the phone poles). They will say BelAir or Ericsson on them.

Call Comcast. Demand their removal. They are destroying you and your family! Here is where to find the hotspots. If you hover over the little balloon that indicates a hotspot, it will give you an address.

Your Neighbor with a Comcast Wireless Router Is Blasting You with 5G Radiation



Smart meters are not the only dangerous source of wireless radiation. Did you know that Comcast has deliberately turned your home router/modem into a wifi hotspot that broadcasts for 600 feet? That is a long ways down the street! You can turn it off. Users complain the routers continuously and mysteriously reset this preference each time the hardware receives a firmware update.

Did you know you can demand that Comcast give you a modem that does not have a wifi chip in it? The best way to do this is to go down to the Comcast center near you and pick one up (Arris modem). I requested a wifi-free modem, and four times  I was shipped a Wireless Gateway modem. They finally had a tech bring me one.

Turning off your wifi is not enough. Supposedly off wifi modems, just like supposedly off cell phones, still broadcast a signal.

Very good information about the strength of the network and the harm this Xfinity system causes is at Protect Your Family from EMFs. The 5.0 GHz transmission from this new antenna is likely particularly harmful to human biology. Basically, a 5.0 GHz frequency has twice as many waves per unit time as the 2.4 GHz channel. 
 
The 5 GHz network provides a WiFi signal that does not reach as far as the 2.4 GHz network but is able to pass through materials better which can help provide better WiFi coverage in those scenarios. Read more at Comcast.

Monday, June 13, 2016

MSU Prof: Utilities Can Sell Your Information

Michigan State University Professor Adam Candeub, in an interview with WLIX--Channel 10, says that Michigan utilities have no legal restrictions on what they can do with information they gather about your electrical usage. "It can sell this information. It can use this information like Google does to provide advertisers for markets. This can be viewed as an invasion of people's privacy." There is currently a voluntary code of conduct amongst utilities. "Very sensitive information can be revealed about homes, and homes are the most sacred privacy environment," said Nancy King, an Oregon State University business law and ethics academic who’s studying smart meter deployments (quoted in a 2015 Politico story on smart-meter data-mining). These include inferences about the number of people in a home and when they are there, daily routines, degree of religious observance and what religion the person follows, what televisions shows are being watched when, what time the inhabitants go to bed, and much more. 

Utilities are unlikely to share individual data. What they are interested in is aggregated data--what is going on a specific street, a neighborhood, a zip code. That data, says Politico, could be a "gold mine" for "retailers deciding where to open their next store, marketers profiling neighborhoods with an even finer tooth comb, or in ways we have yet to even think up. etailers deciding where to open their next store, marketers profiling neighborhoods with an even finer tooth comb, or in ways we have yet to even think up."

"When you become a company whose most valuable asset is not the kilowatt-hours but the data, that fundamentally changes what kind of company you are,” says a director at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners quoted in Politico.

Consumers Energy claims that it does not share your information with outside parties. That may be true now, but we know that part of the reason the utilities are in favor of smart meters is to make money off the data they can sell to third parties.

Some utility executives maintain that they legally cannot share even anonymized data. In response to that, Oregon professor King says in the Politico article: “It would be fair to probably assume that many, many consumers would give unfettered access to their data through a smart meter to providers who would give them free energy.”

Most utility execs seem to take the point of view that the data can and should be sold. Says a Centerpoint Energy executive, “We do 221,000,000 meter reads a day …We can do nothing with that data, or we can mine that data and use what we find from mining that data …That is very exciting to me today.”See SmartGridAwareness.




 

Friday, May 20, 2016

$10,700 Consumers Energy Bill for 7 Months

From comments on Fox News 17 website regarding excessive bills by Consumers Energy:
Tanya Hilliker
$5000 bill here by the time I moved, in just 7 months. Landlord said it was a Consumer Energy’s meter problem, CE said it was the landlords problem. I still got no answers, and they didn’t shut me off when I asked. My bill shot to over $7000. I gave them my disconnect verification number and told them to take me to court. I wasn’t paying a penny of that bill. Since I had already payed 3250, that put my bill at over $10,250 for 7 months!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Smart Meter Talk May 22

Upcoming Talks on Smart Meters
What Is DTE Not Telling You?
Learn All You Need to Know
Network with Others
  Linda Kurtz, head of the Smart Meter Education Network, will give two talks on smart meters. These talks have been very well-received in the past. They provide you with an opportunity to learn more, ask questions, and network with others in the movement. Please attend. We have space for 120 people at each talk.
 
May 22 Talk

When: Sunday, May 22 from 2–5 p.m.
Where: Hadley Township Hall, 4293 Pratt Rd, Hadley, Lapeer County, MI  48440
 
June 12 Talk
When: Sunday, June 12 from 2–5 p.m.
Where: Hadley Old Town Hall, 3551 Hadley Rd, Hadley, Lapeer County, MI 48440
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please leave your cell phone and any other wireless devices (including iPads, Apple watches, FitBits, etc) in your car. Some attendees, as well as the speaker, are extremely electrosensitive and cannot tolerate wireless frequencies of any kind. Thank you for your consideration.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Please try not wear perfumes, essential oils, or strongly scented fabric softeners to the talk, as some people, including the speaker, are also chemically sensitive. Many people with EMF sensitivities become chemically sensitive.

 

PASS OUT FLYERS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND CITY
 
Here is the flyer announcing the two talks.  Here is a link to our revised Ticking Time Bomb flyer, which gives people lots of information about smart meters. Pass the two out together. It really makes a difference! View all our flyers and choose the ones that suits you. The new Ticking Time Bomb flyer is not on the website yet.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Church Accommodates EMF-Senstive Woman

A church council in Finland has spent $4,500 to protect 45-year-old organist Christina Funch Mellgren against electromagnetic radiation from wireless technologies. Christina stated, "When I sat in church, I had blurred vision, so I could not read the notes. No one could figure out what was wrong... I got a sore head, and my hands shook..." She also suffered extreme fatigue and heart rhythm disturbances. Christina's employer, Parish Council Chairman Alice Top-Rasmussen stated, "We try to help our organist. I am of the opinion that you should not just fire people who are sick."

Publicity of this has garnered the typical irreverent remarks, but only from the ignorant and malevolent. Luckily, the EHS Association helped. The walls of her home were painted with a specialty paint [likely Y-Shield] which protects against wireless radiation, and all electrical devices were wired so as to not produce further radiation. It also means the congregation must turn off their mobile phones or put them on airplane mode while in church. Predictably, some church-goes have left this congregation.
 
See the story at www.bt.dk/fraas-i-kirken/organists-soelvpapirshat-forargede-danskerne-nu-taler-el-overfoelsomme-chri.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lapeer County Supports Analog Meter Choice

The Lapeer County Board of Commissioners has come out for analog meter choice and Michigan House Bill 4916. The Lapeer County Press did a great story on the resolution. 

Please write your commissioners expressing your thanks. I’d suggest asking them to amend the resolution so that it states that people should be able to have an analog meter on their home. The current resolution discusses only a non-transmitting meter (DTE’s current opt-out meter). DTE’s so-called opt-out meter is a non-transmitting meter.  The Commission is behind us. They forwarded the resolution to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s time-of-use rate comment section. Here is the contact info for the commissioners.

HEART-WRENCHING TESTIMONY

We strongly recommend that you listen to the heart-wrenching testimony Sheri White gave at the Lapeer County Commission meeting. Sheri is an electrosensitive woman whose life is being devastated. Her situation is very similar to mine.Her testimony starts at 8:17 and is about 2 minutes long. Also listen to the testimony of Elaine Gruska, who talks about how the smart meters have affected her elderly mother and her grandson, starting at 21:47. Everyone's testimony runs from 8:17 to 23:29.

Brown City Passes Resolution Regarding Smart Meters

Brown City in Lapeer County, Michigan, recently passed a resolution recommending that the Michigan Public Service Commission analyze the health risks around smart meters. Unfortunately, the MPSC already feels it has done that in U-17000. Brown City simply followed a now-outdated Shelby Township resolution.

The Brown City Banner published an excellent article on the smart meters on April 18, 2016.

Best Anti-Smart Meter Resolution to Date Passed by Marathon Township, Lapeer County



Marathon Township just passed one of the best resolutions against smart meters we have seen to date. It pulls no punches. Its language includes a statement that many customers “are concerned that emissions from smart meters may be attributed [sic] to serious health problems including but not limited to physiological, neurological, pulmonary, vascular, and sensory. It also states that township board members are concerned about privacy intrusions.  Marathon Township is in Lapeer County.

See SmartMeterEducationNetwork.com for more information on smart meters in Michigan.

Monday, May 9, 2016

$50K Consumers' Bill Is Why We Need Smart Meters, Says Customer

Chris Boden, president of the Geek Group, says Consumers Energy estimated his nonprofit's electricity
usage for 18 months, then hit the nonprofit with a $50,000 electric bill. Boden says this is why we need smart meters--no more estimated bills. ""Smart meters are a good thing," he said.  "It's scary because it's different, it's scary because it's change.  And they are look 'ooooo' they are going to know what we are doing.  No, they are going to know that they are using a little bit mroe electricity at 7 a.m. than you were at 6 o'clock."

Look at this rash of TV stories on Consumers overcharging customers because of estimated reads on analogs. Why were there no stories on this a year ago, 2 years ago, 5 years ago? Why has Consumers Energy only been failing to make manual meter reads over the last year to year-and-a-half? We can bet they planned it this way--partway into smart-meter installation across their territory, they now come out with a "great" reasons about why you should get a smart meter.

http://fox17online.com/2016/04/22/grand-rapids-non-profit-hit-with-50000-consumers-energy-bill/

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Michigan Case Involving Smart Meters Scheduled for May 11, 2016

May 11th, 2016: ATTENDANCE AND SUPPORT ARE NEEDED

Homeowners association attempts to force woman out of her home.

Georgetta's rash, from Mlive photo gallery.
Oak Valley Homeowners v Georgetta Livingstone, motion hearing Wednesday May 11, 2016 at Oakland County Court at 8:30 a.m. The motion hearing might start at 8:30 or it could start much later. Dockets usually set all cases for the same time, then cases are called up individually by the judge. So her case could start at 8:30 later in the day.

Georgetta Livingstone, a Ph.D. mechanical engineer now in her eighties, became extremely ill after DTE installed a smart meter on her home in 2011
, suffering tremendously with terrible, debilitating rashes, headaches, anxiety, depression, sharp pains in her body, and insomnia. You can see a picture of the rashes in this MLive story. When Georgetta told DTE what was happening, they were unresponsive. She then purchased an analog meter and had a professional install it on her home. DTE then cut off Georgetta’s power. Everything in Georgetta’s home requires electricity; it is needed even for flushing toilets and for water. An article in the Daily Tribune states: “After her power was cut, she was reduced to ‘primitive life,’ she said, having to use the restroom at a nearby Kroger and take showers at a neighbor’s home.”

She has spoken to the Michigan House Oversight Committee, to House Energy Committee Chair Aric Nesbitt (who told her he was more concerned about the privacy issues surrounding smart meters than any health concerns), and many others. She has been ignored.

Then, her neighbors complained about noise from the generator she was using and her use of solar power and wind turbines. Her homeowner’s association has issued large fines and has now taken her to court. They would ultimately like to take her home away. This is similar to a case regarding chemical sensitivities that was litigated last year in Ann Arbor. Those who cannot tolerate the mass of pollution we now are living in are treated as pariahs! Please come to the court hearing. A strong showing will show the judge and the press (if they are there) that people with environmental sensitivities need to be accommodated, just as we accommodate those with physical and mental disabilities.

Please note that wind power, generators, and solar power are not safe and generate dirty electricity. It would seem that for Georgetta, she is most sensitive to the smart meter frequencies that ran through her home wiring and that she may also have had the RF from the meters riding on her wiring.

Here is the link to the court filings in this case, Oak Valley Homeowners v Georgetta Livingstone.

Links to Georgetta’s story:

·        Georgetta’s statement to the Michigan House (English is not her first language)
·        Photos of Georgetta’s rash, printed in MLive and Ann Arbor News
·        Mlive article
·        Lansing State Journal
Daily Tribune

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ACT NOW! Prelude to Mandatory Smart Meters Happening Now

Imperative that you write in. You can make comments until the docket is closed.


The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), with the complicity of the electric companies, is trying to shove mandatory time-of-use rates down our throats. This will likely mean MANDATORY SMART METERS in our near future!

Time-of-use (peak pricing) programs can't take place without smart meters. So, if you don't want smart meters, you need to take action, or they will become mandatory! Peak pricing means you pay more for electricity a the times of day people use it most.

DTE’s own website shows they will charge 300% more for peak power than off-peak. If you don't want astronomical bills for using power when you need--i.e., at normal times of the day--then you have got to submit a comment!

Submit your comment to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). Public comments matter. Public comments can be used in court cases. They can show the legislators where public sentiment really is.

If you don’t comment, you are complicit in allowing smart meters to overtake our lives. Commenting will take 5 minutes of your time. I need to know that I did not waste my time by preparing this information for you all (it took me 4 1/2  hours to prepare this information). Please send comments in.

First, I give you some background below. Following that are sample comments you can send in, or you can write your own comments. At a minimum, write the MPSC and say  you don’t want the demand-response program.

  Write Now!
What the MPSC Is Trying to Force Down Our Throats

Turning off your appliances at will

Forcing you to use electricity at certain hours or
pay up to 10 times as much as normal

Force customers without a smart meter to pay up to 300% more than customers with a smart meter

Everyone will be charged more for using electricity, unless you use it in the wee hours of the night. Time-of-use programs are also known as peak pricing and demand-response programs. Time-of-use means you will be charged more for using electricity at thee times of day you need it most (unless you are someone who does all your food preparation, laundry, TV-watching, and computer work in the middle of of the night).

Voluntary--for a while. Time-of-use programs start off as voluntary. It's the old "slippery slope" phenomenon.  In the beginning, discounts are given to those who voluntarily participate in the program. We all know where the smart meter agenda is leading--to extensive and coercive control over what you use and when you use it. What was once voluntary--giving candy to the child--becomes coerced.

Automatic appliance shut-off. When you participate in the program, you allow the utility to turn-off appliances or throttle-down your usage at peak times (times when demand for electricity is greatest, such as in the morning and in the evening)

 
Mandatory  Smart Meters
Without a smart meter that can tell when you are using electricity and controls your smart-chipped appliances and , peak pricing and demand-response won't work.

“The reason we’re putting these [smart] meters in is to be able to bill the time-of-use rates that are going to be mandatory.” Cleveland Utilities.

 
Mandatory Higher Bills

“The reason we’re putting these [smart] meters in is to be able to bill
the time-of-use rates that
are going to be mandatory.” Cleveland Utilities.  

If you don’t participate in time-of-use rates, you will be forced to pay more for electricity. If you look at our Costs page, you will see lots of information on how time-of-use rates and smart meters astronomically raise electric bills.  If you don't participate, allowing them to shut off appliances, etc. then your daily rates will be the peak rate all day long--because they can't tell when you are using electricity. Peak power rates, according to DTE's website, are worth 300% more than normal rates.

Wherever mandatory time-of-day pricing is implemented, rates go way up. Apolitical About.com has a chilling article on what is to come. This article is well worth reading. Here’s an excerpt: “For those who cannot function in the wee hours of the morning or late at night, consider dividing your wash into loads and run your washer and dryer for one load every evening, as soon as the off-peak time slot begins. If the cycle is too long and you're an early-to-bed type of person, use a shorter cycle and consider hanging the wash to dry.”

Here are a just a few examples of time-of-use rates:
  • On-peak rates 3 times off-peak rates (22 cents/kWh vs 7 cents/kWh) (parts of Texas)
  • Peak rates up to 10 times off-peak rates (parts of Texas)
  • Electric rates 15% higher between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. (Washington)
  • Electric rates doubled between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. (Ontario)

Discriminatory Impact
  • Home businesses
  • Elderly and retired
  • Chronically ill
  • Families with small children who are not in day care

This pricing scheme is discriminatory against anyone who must be at home utilizing electricity at peak demand times, including people with home businesses, the elderly, and the chronically ill.
Who to Write to

Email: mpscedockets@michigan.gov

In the subject line of your email you must put:    U-17936, U-18013
(these numbers let the MPSC know what case you are commenting on)

Let us know you wrote or will write. Click here to let us know.





Sample Statements

Note: It is best if you alter the wording of the samples so that the MPSC sees individuals thinking about this and writing in. I suggest that you take an item or two from the info above and work it into your statement. But, better to simply copy and paste then to write nothing at all. Pick any or all of the following points.

I oppose the implementation of demand-response electricity programs in Michigan.

Time-of-use programs discriminate against people who must be at home during peak hours. This includes the elderly and the chronically ill. It also includes people with home businesses, of which there are an increasing number in Michigan.

Time-of-use programs will discriminate agains people with electro-hypersensitivity. These people cannot use smart-chipped appliances.

The demand-response programs will discriminate against people with low incomes. They cannot afford to buy appliances that they can set to run at any time of the day or night.

The demand-response programs put additional load on the servers used to run the computer networks of the utilities. “Most data centers . . . consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner . . . . Online companies typically run their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock, whatever the demand. As a result, data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid.” Here is the place to start on reducing consumption. There are many others out there.” From a New York Times article.

If you want people to save energy, educate them on using less.

I am [elderly / chronically ill /must go to bed early] and will be forced to run my appliances mainly at peak times. I can’t afford this. Even if I could, it’s not fair.

Since when is it the utility’s business to turn off my appliances when they want to?

See what others have written at this link: http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile/viewcase.php?casenum=17936&submit.x=5&submit.y=10

Additional Info on the Peak Pricing Program

This info is taken from the MPSC.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reported that Michigan showed the highest potential of any state in the U.S. for reducing electricity demands at peak usage hours.

Demand-response technology is being proposed so utilities won't have to build new power plants to meet peak demand.

The MPSC recently directed Michigan’s largest utilities to engage in enhanced planning and marketing of demand response efforts.  This is part of why you see DTE sending you bill inserts touting the use of the SmartApp that will tell you how much energy you are using. DTE is already instituting time-of-use rates. Right now they are voluntary. At some point, they won’t be. Peak rates in Oklahoma are 10 times normal rates.

Consumers describes the Peak Power Savers (PPS) and Dynamic Peak Pricing (DPP) programs, which the utility plans to make available to residential customers with advanced metering infrastructure (SMART) meters. These programs are based on results from pilots conducted in 2010. Consumers reports that PPS will be made available to customers sometime in 2016 and DPP in January 2017.

The MPSC will likely conduct a study on the potential to reduce electric consumption and peak demand through the implementation of demand-response (DR), a.k.a., time-of-use rate, technologies and practices. The MPSC Staff shall coordinate with the Michigan Agency for Energy, regulated utilities, and other stakeholders to examine funding options, cost estimates, timing, and scope, and shall report back to the Commission no later than September 29, 2016.


See this link for the MPSC’s description of the cases: http://www.michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-47796-380744--,00.html

See this link for the case itself: http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/orders/electric/2016/u-