Utility companies around the world are swapping out electric, gas and water analog utility meters and replacing them with pulsed radio frequency (RF) radiation Smart Meters, which are costing us money, privacy, and our health and safety.
Smart Meters, (or AMI, AMR) eliminate meter reader jobs and are part of the “Smart Grid”, which has been promoted as “green”. This is a very expensive RF computer system on every home and business that customers are forced to pay for. Media reviews and consumers report numerous complaints prior to or following installation of Smart Meters for a variety of reasons.
- Cost, billing overcharges, and reliability
- Health: Smart Meter Health Complaints , Dr. warns of smart meter cancer risk
- Interference, and other Smart Meter Complaints
- Privacy Spy Meters, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
- Security ‘Smart’ meters have security holes, Ex-CIA chief Slams Smart Grid
- Fire hazard Smart Meter Fires and Explosions
The electric meter has two antennas. One sends a signal into your home (or business), to connect with “smart” appliances. The other transmits and repeats neighbors data in a “mesh network”. This data is then sent to data collector, which could be located on a lamppost, telephone pole, building or another home. Some homes will have collector meters with three antennas. Collector meters and antennas will send and receive substantially more RF radiation. (See an industry demo on how it works.)
Smart Grid proponents are expecting consumers to install a Home Area Network, which includes an RF interior display unit and either retrofit or purchase new RF ‘smart’ appliances. Installing these interior devices will allow the utility company to further monitor your electric usage and control the grid, by turning off certain appliances during peak use time, if needed. Smart meters don’t save energy.
Smart Meters are a surveillance device. They collect detailed energy usage, for instance: when you cook, watch TV, whether you are home or not, when you turn on a light, if you have guests. This data is very valuable. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is already discussing how to make it available to third parties.
The World Health Organization recently classified RF as a 2B carcinogen, same as DDT and lead. Military studies here and here show pulsed RF can cause serious health problems, including tinnitus, memory loss and seizures. Thousands of studies link biological effects to RF exposure. International experts warn against RF hazards associated with the dumb meters.
The EMF Safety Network filed a CPUC Application in April of 2010 asking for a moratorium on the deployment, public health hearings and an RF emissions study. In December of 2010 the CPUC dismissed the application even though no hearings were held in case. An appeal was filed in January of 2011. The CPUC denied the appeal and on July 11, 2012 we filed a lawsuit against the CPUC.
The CPUC and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have rubber stamped utility safety claims that the meters transmit a few times a day at 1 watt. In October of 2011, PG&E finally admitted that the electric meters send an average of 14,000 RF pulses per meter per day, at a peak power of 2 1/2 watts and a maximum of 190,000 pulses, per day.
The FCC RF safety standards are for short term thermal effects (5 and 30 minutes), and are configured for a 6 ft 2″ 200 pound male. The meters are assessed for safety compliance in isolation, not in a mesh network, in which they are designed to operate, or in combination with multiple meters, or other sources of RF, such as wi-fi, DECT phones, cell phones, cell towers, baby monitor etc. Sage Associates study found the meters can violate FCC safety guidelines in the manner deployed and operated. In addition the meters can also violate FCC safety conditions.
In California, the CPUC finally ordered Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) to allow customers to opt out of Smart Meters. However they are charging customers fees, calling the opt-out program a service.
Reported health impacts include sleep problems, headaches, nausea, anxiety, heart palpitations, tinnitus and ear pain, concentration and memory problems, dizziness, immune, nervous and hormonal system impacts, behavior problems in children, and long term risk of cancers.
In January of 2012, the top public health official in Santa Cruz County California prepared this report, confirming Smart Meters do pose a health risk. Health Risks Associated With SmartMeters. Also in January 2012, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) sent this letter to the CPUC calling for a halt to wireless smart meters.
Vulnerable groups include people with EMF sensitivities, medical implants, compromised immune systems, children, pregnant women, seniors and the environment! If you have a pacemaker PG&E is now warning you to adhere to the SIX INCH RULE-for your safety stay 6 inches away from a Smart Meter.
Smart Meters don’t run backwards, and are therefore incompatible with solar panel installations. In 2010, PG&E reported over 43,000 Smart Meter problems of one kind or another. Thousands of complaints have been received by the CPUC for safety, RF impacts, EMF’s, opting out, moratorium, requests to remove, and for other numerous reasons.
The following is a partial list of California groups, lawmkers, counties and cities who have called for a moratorium, the right for consumers to opt out, adopted an ordinance banning meters, requested more research on health and safety impacts, or are opposing Smart Meters: The Utility Reform Network, CA State Senator Dean Florez, CA State Assembly members Jared Huffman and Bill Monning, the County Board of Superviors of Humboldt, Lake.Marin, Mendocino, Monterey , San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Tehama , Ventura, and the cities of Arcata, Belvedere, Berkeley, Blue Lake, Bolinas, Buelton, Calabasas, Camp Meeker, Capitola, Clearlake, Cotati, Fairfax, Fort Bragg, Goleta, Grover Beach, Lakeport, Marina, Mill Valley, Monte Sereno, Monterey, Morro Bay, Mt. Shasta, Novato, Ojai, Pacific Grove, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Richmond,Rio Dell, Ross, San Anselmo, San Luis Obispo ,San Rafael, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sausalito, Scotts Valley, Seaside, Sebastopol, Simi Valley, Solvang, Thousand Oaks, Watsonville, Willits, and the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Marin Association of Realtors, the Sonoma County Republican Central Committee, the SF Sierra Club, the Monterrey Green Party, the Alameda Greens, and the EMF Safety Network. In addition cities in the State of Maine and British Columbia Canada have passed resolutions calling for a moratorium on Smart Meters.
The campaign against smart meters for health reasons started in Sebastopol California. Here are three short videos with public comments. Are Smart Meters Smart?
Today there are action groups opposed to these throughout California, in many US states, Canada, Australia and Europe. Find one in your area.
This 173-page report “Analysis: Smart Meter and Smart Grid Problems – Legislative Proposal” by activist Nina Beety has extensive referenced information about many of the problems and risks of the Smart Meter program, with information from state, national, and international resources. Supplemental documents can be downloaded here.
WARNING: Apartment owners and managers: AOA Why “Smart Meters” Are Not Smart For You! by Ellen and Tobie Cecil
The Dark Side of “Smart” Meters by engineer Rob States
More Ecological Options Network: Smart Meter videos
Southern California Edison briefing by the co-editor of the Bioinitiative Report, RF expert Cindy Sage: Briefing Letter on Electric Utility Smart Meters
Commentary by Blake Levitt: award-winning journalist who has specialized in medical and science writing for nearly two decades. She has researched the biological effects of nonionizing radiation since the late 1970′s. A former New York Times writer, she has written widely on medical issues for both the lay and professional audience. This piece has been updated: The Problems with Smart Grids: Dumb and Dangerous by Levitt and Glendinning.
13 Fatal Flaws Sage Associates
“Smart” Meters Exposed: Monterey Green party meeting, video in four parts with Josh Hart and Nina Beety.
Commentary by Barri Boone: How Smart are the “Smart” Meters?
Commentary by Judy Vick: Legal Challenge to Smart Meters
Commentary by Joshua Hart How Smart Is Brain Cancer?
Commentary by David Wientjes Smart to Worry about Smart Meters
Smart Meters and Smart Regulation by Steven Weissman UC Berkeley Law
Public Policy and Those Pesky Smart Meters by Steven Weissman UC Berkeley Law
NO Thanks PG&E , Article by Sandi Maurer
Smart Meter Primer by Sierra Salin
SMART METER Moratorium KRCB Interview
Commentary by Dr. Jeffry Fawcet “When an Assurance is a Lie”
EMF Safety Network Smart Meter Questions
More Q and A with PG&E (this document includes PG&E’s responses regarding how often meters transmit RF, in 2-20 millisecond pulses, 45 seconds a day – (a second is 1000 milliseconds)