Wednesday, August 26, 2015

SEMCO Gas Threatening Customers

SEMCO Gas is trying to force customers to put gas smart meters on their home. SEMCO says that in order to ensure that customers are receiving accurate bills, it periodically needs to change the meter! You don't need to change a meter unless it is inaccurate. This is a ploy to get smart meters on people's homes.  The letter then goes on to say: "If we don't hear from you, it may become necessary to change the gas meter when you are not at home."

In one area, they have been leaving hang tags with the word "FREE" written on it, as if that would encourage someone to allow this health-destroying device on their home.

SEMCO has no information whatsoever about smart meters on their website. Interesting, isn't it?  You can see pictures of the SEMCO meters on our our Do You Have a Smart Meter? page.

SEMCO's contact information is 800-624-2019.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Michigan rooftop solar producers will not be able to use their own energy under Senate proposal.

Michigan rooftop solar producers will not be able to use their own energy under Senate proposal.

Proposed Senate Bill 438 would forbid homeowners and businesses from using their own solar, require them to sell it back to DTE at wholesale rates, then buy electricity from DTE at retail rates. The Alliance for Solar Choice opposes this bill. We need to network with them. We support  them, they support us on smart meters.  The Alliance sees this  as a property rights and customer choice issue, so we have a lot of common ground with them.

This is corporate fascism.

DTE tries to claim that homeowner solar production costs DTE money.

The Solar Choice alliance says utilities are backing the net metering changes because they're looking for more control.

"Utilities want to own it, control it and charge you for it," Heart said.

Here's one comment on the MLive site (please comment and mention smart meters and choice). 

Help me understand this! I own an apple orchard and sell at wholesale to the local grocery stores. I take some fruit from my own orchard for my table for the cost that I paid to build my orchards. The government might have helped me build my orchard through lower taxes or subsidies because they want Michigan fruit in stores. That is now in the solar energy game -right?

Now I have to sell all of my fruit at wholesale to the grocery and have to go and buy it back at retail for my own table? Is this a good analogy.

Are they going to tax my well water next?

Read more of the story at MLive.

DTE Supports Electric Choice--But Only Where It Benefits DTE

DTE supports electric choice in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where it sells electricity wholesale, but not in Michigan, where it is a retail supplier.


Friday, August 7, 2015

State Rep Tim Kelly Supports No-Fee Analog Opt-Out

After hearing the opinion of Michigan Appeals Court Judge Peter O'Connell,  State Rep. Tim Kelly
says that customers should have a no-fee analog opt-out. "To require a customer to pay for a new meter, even when their analog meter is in working condition, shows blatant disrespect for the struggling families in Michigan," Kelly said.

Read more at MLive.

Please share widely.

Learn more at the SmartMeterEducationNetwork
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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Michigan Smart Water Meter Case--Another Cautionary Tale

 Court of Appeals States That a Properly Presented Case
Could Prove That City Does Not Have the Authority
to Install Smart Meters Against the Will of the Residents

But plaintiff in this case did not provide
adequate evidence or legal arguments

The Michigan Court of Appeals has made a decision in a smart water meter case that some

of you have been following. Plaintiff rightly refused to let the City of Warren install a smart water meter on his home, and the city shut off his water. Plaintiff filed suit against the city. Like with another smart meter case, the plaintiff’s motives and reasons were good, but his legal arguments were lacking. This case should in no way be taken as a verdict on the legality or morality of smart water meter installation. The court itself said that if the plaintiff had properly presented the argument (the argument being that the city does not have the authority to install smart meters against the will of the residents), “it would be a question of law subject to de novo review” [p 2 of decision]. In other words, if you put your case together properly, you could win.

There are several reasons why the court ruled against the plaintiff.

  1. He didn't raise the issues correctly and he didn't properly preserve them for appeal.  
  2. He made assertions, but didn’t back them up with the necessary legal arguments or factual evidence.
  3. Many of the arguments were nearly indecipherable.
The court made a very important point. Quoting two previous cases (brought on different issues), the court said: “It is not enough for an appellant in his brief simply to . . . assert an error and then leave it up to this Court to . . . unravel and elaborate for him his arguments, and then search for authority either to sustain or reject his position” [p 2 of decision]. In other words, just like with a paper in high school or college, you’ve got to make the arguments yourself, not expect the teacher/court to make them for you. And you’ve got to back your assertions up with evidence and appropriate legal citations. Or, for another analogy: Unless you’re trained, you probably wouldn’t try to repair your car yourself. All this stuff looks so easy and obvious—especially because we know we are right—but once you get into the mix, you find out it’s really complicated.

What About Norton v Shelby County? As David Sheldon and myself have long contended, the U.S. Supreme Court case Norton v Shelby County is not applicable to the smart meter situation. While full of resonant language that can stir the heart of any American, Norton is not applicable because, among other things, the political divisions of and political offices in the State of Michigan have been created legally. The court of appeals agreed, saying:  The plaintiff “cites to Norton v Shelby Co, 118 US 425 (1886), but he does not explain how Norton, a case determining whether a law purporting to create a board of commissioners violated the Tennessee Constitution . . . applies or supports his argument.” [Emphases added; citations omitted.] In simple terms: You have to back your arguments up, and you have to do so with good evidence and legal reasoning. See David Sheldon’s article on Norton v Shelby County.
Read the court's decision here.

All of the individuals who have had the fortitude and courage to go to court over the smart meter issue are to be commended. How do you support them? Reading this blog is not enough! You have to get the word out—to the residents of your city and other cities, to your legislators and city councils, to your friends. If you haven’t locked your meter, lock it up! If you have a smart meter on your home, let us know you want to remove it. Read our How You Can Help page for more information.

There will soon be legislation introduced in the House to provide for an analog opt-out. Unless the word gets out more than it has been, this bill is not going to go through. YOU have to act. Flyering is the NUMBER ONE way we have to get the word out, and it is effective. DO IT! .For the Stenmans, for Leslie, for me, and for the countless other people whose lives are being devastated by these meters!  And for yourself--the long-term damage from smart meters will be terrible for EVERYONE. We must stop it! Act now! 

Next time, we will bring you news on the successes Michigan residents  are having fighting the smart water meters.