Not all on board as county switches to 'Smart Meters' - WNEM TV 5

Not all on board as county switches to 'Smart Meters'

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Local gas companies are making the switch to so-called 'Smart Meters' but not everyone likes the plan.

Some are raising concerns about health and privacy related to the wireless meters and now they're showing people how they can avoid having them in their home.

Representatives for Consumers Energy say they will begin installing the smart meters in Genesee County next summer.

Customers who don't want one need to let them know beforehand.

Genesee County resident Val Blanchett is electro-sensitive. Her body is impacted by certain wireless frequencies. She can have a reaction and not even know why.

"I was having really bizarre symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, around certain wireless devices," says Blanchett. "Once I started becoming aware of the smart meters, I started making the connection and realized, there's something to that."

Opponents of smart meters say they emit dangerous levels of radiation through the radio frequencies.

Utilities companies, like Consumers Energy are transitioning to the new devices prompting Blanchett to organize a meeting to get the word out.

David Sheldon, the president of Michigan Stop Smart Meters spoke about his serious concerns about the devices invading resident's privacy.

"It will show how much time you spend on the treadmill. How much time you spend on the computer and this information will likely be marketed," says Sheldon.

Dennis McKee of Consumers Energy says the meters are safe and do not transmit personal information.

"The meters have no capability to identify how an individual is using electricity inside the home. Like our current meters, they just measure how much electricity flows to the home," says McKee.

If you choose to keep your old meter, there will be a small fee because a worker will still have to come to your home to read it.

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