By B.N. Frank
Opposition to “smart” meters (electric, gas, and water) has been worldwide for over a decade. Utility companies often force consumers to accept these dangerous devices (see 1, 2, 3, 4) in order to remotely control and/or ration energy use (see 1, 2), collect consumer usage data 24/7 to sell and/or share with 3rd parties (see 1, 2), as well as implement “time-of-day” or “time-of-use” programs which require consumers to pay higher rates during “peak hours”. While Michigan’s DTE consumers should thank their lucky stars that the state’s utility commission did not approve the utility’s request for a consumer-funded “prepay” program, DTE consumers will soon being subjected to “time-of-day” billing which may not work out well for all of them.
From Michigan Radio:
DTE Energy begins time-of-day pricing for electricity in March
DTE Energy will begin new “time of day” rates for its customers in March to encourage customers to use less electricity during times of peak demand.
DTE customers will pay a little less for electricity than they are now, in “off-peak” hours, which is most of the time.
But they’ll pay 35% more between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, from June through September. That’s when the utility has to fire up its expensive gas peaker plants to meet meet high demand from air conditioners and other household appliances.
From October to May, the peak hour rate will be about 8% higher than the off peak rate.
“It’s really designed to send pricing signals to the customers to demonstrate when electricity is most expensive,” said Trevor Lauer, President of DTE’s electric company. “And why it’s more expensive is because you’re using more expensive generating units to provide the electricity that’s needed.”
Lauer says customers who can reduce their electricity use during peak times can save money, and also help prevent grid brownouts.
Consumers Energy began a time-of-day rate structure in 2021. The utility charges a peak rate from June 1 through September 30 during the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The peak rate is about 1.5 times the regular off-peak rate.
For the rest of the year, Consumers charges its off-peak rate.
Editor’s note: DTE Energy is one of Michigan Radio’s corporate sponsors.
“Smart” meters have always been problematic. Additional issues associated with them include billing errors/higher bills, (see 1, 2), short lifespans, cybersecurity risks, installation mishaps, mechanical issues, harmful radiation emissions, as well as fires and explosions (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Complaints inspired a documentary film and led to Americans demanding “opt-out” programs as well as filing lawsuits (see 1, 2, 3).
While proponents continue to insist that “smart” meters are essential for “energy efficiency”, research and reports say otherwise (see 1, 2, 3).
Activist Post reports regularly about “smart” meters and other privacy invasive and unsafe technologies. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Stop Smart Meters.org
- Smart Meter Harm
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Smart Meter Education Network
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Take Back Your Power
- The People’s Initiative
- Environmental Health Trust
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- Wireless Information Network
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