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smart meters

DTE

DTE Energy is disconnecting customers who refuse to have their old analog electric meters replaced with smart meters.  The smart meters use a radio frequency transmission to report real-time electricity use by the customer.

Bob Sitkauskas is in charge of DTE's advanced metering program. He says customers can still opt out of the advanced metering program, but keeping the old meter is out of the question.

"We're still going to replace the meter with one of our advanced meters," says Sitkauskas. "But we will shut the radio off for that (opt-out) customer."

Most of us don't think about how much electricity costs at different times of the day. But the state's two largest utilities are planning to change that.

When it's really, really hot and humid out, what do lots of people do when they get home? They turn on, or turn up, the air conditioning.

There are big spikes in electricity demand on the hottest summer days, between 2:00 in the afternoon to 7:00 in the evening.

jasonwoodhead23 / Flickr

Consumers Energy expects to have 1.8 million new meters installed across Michigan's Lower Peninsula by the end of the year.

The Jackson-based utility says the work will mark the completion of a five-year project that will allow electric customers to track their energy usage more closely online. It also is expected to help them identify ways to save energy and money.

The service began installing smart meters in 2012. More than 1.3 million electric meters and 350,000 gas communication modules have previously been installed. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

UPDATED 5/11/15

DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan appeals court has rejected challenges from people who don't want a new digital meter from DTE Energy.

The court says state regulators did nothing illegal or unreasonable in approving an opt-out program. It allows DTE to charge customers about $10 a month to send someone to a house to record electricity usage by hand. Customers who opt-out will get new meters but the radio transmitter will be turned off.

Lawsuit over DTE Smart Meters

Dec 17, 2012

A lawsuit over Smart Meters is creating a David and Goliath Situation with two Oakland County homeowners.  Smart Meters are relatively new technologies that use a wireless signal to transmit power use information to the utility.  

The state's biggest electricity provider says customers who don't want a smart meter will have to pay extra for the privilege.

Smart meters use radio signals to allow two-way communication between a customer's residence and the utility.

The meters let utilities know immediately who has lost power, among other things.  The company will also be able to remotely shut off power and turn it back on.