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ONLY ON 3: Disabled veteran confused by power company requiring deposit

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington veteran feels cheated by his power company.

Duke Energy's website says they charge $17 to move service from one house to the next, but Michael Love does not understand why the company wants to charge him $217.

Love, a disabled Army veteran, says he had paid his Duke Energy Progress bills on time for more than two years. That is why he was surprised when he got a shut-off notice.

While trying to help a friend out with their bills, Love accidentally sent his own payment to the wrong account number. He quickly got on the phone with the power company and his bank and fixed the problem.

"You know, I screwed up," Love said. "It's my fault. I acknowledged that."

But now after being two weeks late last month with his bill while recovering from surgery, Love says Duke wants to charge him a $200 deposit before he can move his service to a new apartment.

"I can understand if I'm not paying my bills," he said. "I pay my bills."

We reached out to Duke Energy to find out what their policy is. A spokesperson responded with a statement.

"Utilities are allowed to secure deposits from new customers who are not in good credit standing and established customers," the statement read in part. "All deposits are returned with interest once satisfactory credit is established - which is no more than two late payments in a 12-month period."

But even if they count the misdirected payment in June as late, Love meets the requirement.

In the end, he says it is not about the money.

"It's principle," Love said. "If you're whacking me, how many other people are you out there doing, that are afraid?"

Duke Energy says deposits are designed to avoid some customers carrying the cost of others' unpaid bills.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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come on man!

Duke power reported to you that they check credit ratings that means overall credit not just whether or not you pay your power bill on time.

How Can WWAY3 Make a statement that this guy qualifies for no deposit
do you write Duke Powers financial requirements?

"But even if they count the misdirected payment in June, Love meets the requirements"
Come on man this should not even be a story as you and Mr.Love are either confused to the policy or you do not vet your own articles.

If you want to do some investigative journalism look into smart electric meter technology making people sick. There is a large movement in the country trying to give people a choice between analog and the new smart meters, you can check Pinellas county Florida and Marin County California for starters

No different than any other RF emitting device

*** BTW WWAY: If you have any questions about the info below being valid, just ask your engineer. You'll probably get an answer somewhere along the lines of yeah ***

The thing I don't get about the "smart meters cause sickness" is how does anyone know to blame the meters if in fact there is some correlation between RF exposure and some biological effects. There are many sources of RF that everyone is exposed to daily. The most consistent high level device is the cell phones that everyone carries on them continuously. In fact, if you tried to measure - those that are familiar with RF technology might say "look at" (with a spectrum anylyzer) - the signals from a smart meter - electric, gas, and water - in a house that it was attached to with a cell phone in your vicinity, you would have a hard time seeing the signals from it because the cell phone would overwhelm the equipment.

Smart meters transmit very short pulses of signal spaced between one and a few seconds with a very low power transmitter.

Your cell phone transmits hundreds of pulses a second when in use, and several pulses a second when it's sitting there waiting for that next call, email or text message. RF power level from the cell phone is similar to the meter, but it's closer to you, and the average level is much higher. Frequencies are similar. Smart meters are at about 915 mhz, and your cell is at around 830 mhz or 1.8 ghz, depending... Yes, your cell phone is exposing you to microwaves. In addition to the cell radio in your phone, it has other frequencies it's transmitting with. 2.4 ghz for the Bluetooth and WiFi, and 5.8 ghz for Wifi if it's newer. Then there's the NFC transmitter on it at 13.8 mhz.

In addition to your cell phone, you are getting radiated by all sorts of RF radiation sources on a daily basis. Your WiFi router is transmitting pulses continuously. Your microwave oven is a 1000 watt 2.4 ghz transmitter, and leaks enough RF to make the cell phone, WiFi, and most anything else look like nothing in comparison. When you go to store, those shoplift detectors at the door radiate your entire body with high levels of RF looking for the little tags. The "tag deativator" at places like Target and CVS transmit with enough RF power to literally "burn out" the tag. Cashiers hands get nuked by that all day. When you initially get to the store, in many cases there is an actual microwave radar transceiver over the door to radiate you and detect you walking in. Then there's baby monitors - the transmitter of many are on exactly the same frequency as the smart meters with a order of magnitude of transmit power density due to them transmitting continuously. And, where is that device located? As close as you can get to the monitored baby's head who gets exposed to it for the entire time they are in their room for the first 3 years or so. Your car and car key both likely have transmitters that expose you to varing levels of RF radiation. Compact fluorscent lamps radiate plenty. The bulb is actually an antenna for the little 40-500 khz transmitter in the base.

RF radiation is everywhere. It seems wierd the someone would pick one source and say it's doing something when it is barely visible in the noise floor from everything else out there. I've worked with RF equipment for a long time. I have no issue with the exposure levels of all the items I mentioned.

Below is a doc with measurements comparing the meters like Duke installs with other RF sources.

http://smartgridcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/000000000001021126.pdf