A Detroit family that removed their home’s “Smart Meter” has been forced to rely on a generator after a local power company shut off their electricity.
The incident began last June when Andrea McNich and her husband asked to have their Smart Meter removed after Andrea began experiencing health issues.
“I started to not feel well again,” Andrea told WXYZ News. “I suffer from migraines and they started to come back and I couldn’t figure out what it was. And then other people in the community, and I have clients all over the globe, and other people started having these weird symptoms.”
In an attempt to remedy her painful headaches, Andrea says she asked her power company, DTE Energy, to replace her meter with an earlier analog version.
DTE refused Andrea’s request and instead claimed that they would allow her to “opt-out” by disabling her Smart Meter’s ability to emit powerful radio signals.
“We have a choice, that is our opt-out program,” said Bob Sitkauskas, General Manager, Advanced Metering Infrastructure at DTE. “That is the AMI meter with the radio shut off. So that meter is not transmitting whatsoever. We have to go there and physically read that meter.”
According to Andrea, the option provides little reassurance given power companies’ constant lies regarding Smart Meters.
“It’s a false opt-out program, in that I’m not allowed the choice to have an analog meter,” she said.
Taking matters into her own hands, Andrea removed the Smart Meter and replaced it with an analog model last October, a move reportedly against state law.
Aside from legal issues, DTE claimed the unapproved instillation posed a safety risk, despite countless Smart Meters bursting into flames across the country.
Although the Michigan Public Service Commission was set to rule on the matter last December, DTE chose to disable Andrea’s power before the commission made its decision.
After being told that she did not have the right to choose what was installed on her home, Andrea and her husband took the matter to court.
A judge in the Oakland County Circuit Court ruled similarly, arguing that DTE had no obligation to restore power to Andrea’s home, thus forcing her to continue using a generator.
The McNich family is only one of many currently raising concerns over the safety of Smart Meters.
According to physician and epidemiologist Sam Milham, Smart Meters, which are linked to an array of health issues, emit as much as 100 times the amount of radiation as a cell phone.
Daniel Hirsch, a senior lecturer on nuclear policy at UCSC, says the federal government purposely misleads the public by conducting biased safety studies at the behest of power companies.
A Washington DC power company stirred controversy in 2013 after they were caught lying to the public about how often their smart meters emitted radiation. Despite claims that the meters only emitted radiation once every 4 to 6 hours, an investigation by WUSA9 News revealed the frequency to be closer to 4 to 6 times every minute.
Health issues aside, the main purpose of Smart Meters lie in their ability to harvest vast amounts of personal information.
An electrical engineer in Washington state filed suit in 2013 after his power company demanded he pay a fee in order to opt-out of the Smart Meter program.
“The issue that we have with the smart meter technology is that it really is an invasion of privacy to the homeowner,” the engineer said. “I don’t want to be told when I can run my dishwasher and when I can run my refrigerator.”
German researchers analyzing several Smart Meters in 2012 discovered that the meters transmitted incredibly specific data, down to what movie was being watched on TV.
In reality, Smart Meters are only one part of the larger “Smart Grid,” a system which will enable federal authorities to control everything from your dishwasher to thermostat.
As former CIA Director CIA Director David Petraeus stated in 2012, homes connected into the smart grid will be easily surveilled by intelligence agencies.
“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said.