Glasser: PG&E crossing the line on SmartMeters

Glasser: PG&E crossing the line on SmartMeters
Written by Howard Glasser
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
I’d be interested to know where a public utility company or state regulatory agency could be found guilty of breaching public trust, committing fraud, violating consumer rights and inappropriate and unethical conduct that falls short of the business standards most agencies and businesses are otherwise held to when it has deliberately manipulated and misled the print and broadcast media resulting in a misinformed general public.

No matter how sheltered the California Public Utilities Commission may be, does this excuse it from abiding by the law where its actions would otherwise be judged as criminal?

Here of some examples of Pacific Gas & Electric’s inexcusable transgressions where they have violated the public’s sacred trust:

1. Pointing media to the PG&E Web site which had stated that 39,000 SmartMeters had been installed in Lake County when at that point in time, only 2,500 meters had actually been installed.

2. Declaring a “delay installation” list that customers can be placed on through the PG&E SmartMeter phone line and then ignoring the list and not enforcing it when it comes to SmartMeter installations.

3. Leading the public to believe that an opt-out position would be considered or provided down the line for those customers who choose to opt-out while concurrently beefing up installations of SmartMeters so that by the time this provision was there, it would be moot since the entire deployment would be considered “mission accomplished.” That’s a shell game.

Regardless of the code that the CPUC cites as its operating guidelines, it’s clear that the CPUC is using its mandate as a shield to defend the commission against allegations that could hold water in court.

In matters where it can be shown that the public trust, health and welfare are disregarded and a state regulatory agency yields to industry’s demands while ignoring the people that it is chartered with protecting, I would think that the law provides recourse against such abuses of power.

No matter what the circumstances, the CPUC cannot hold itself above the law and where ethical and legal lines have been crossed, they should be held accountable to the people of California.

Howard Glasser lives in Kelseyville, Calif.
First printed in the Lake County News: Wed April 13 http://lakeconews.com/content/view/19220/927/

3 PG&E Smart Meters Explode at Santa Rosa Mall

According to the incident report from the Santa Rosa Fire Department on April 7, firefighters found the electrical room at the Santa Rosa Mall “charged with smoke” and “upon investigation found 3 PG&E meters that had blown off the electrical panel causing damage to the interior wiring of the electrical panel. A fire was still smoldering..”

The cause of the fire is listed as equipment failure and arcing coming from the switchgear area, and transformer vault.

According to a Press Democrat article, Santa Rosa Battalion Chief Jack Piccinini described the scene as a “meltdown”.

EMF Safety Network has been informed that the electrical room was filled with Smart Meters, which have been reported to explode and catch fire in other areas, including Bakersfield, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oregon, Virginia, Texas, Canada and New Zealand. Inspectors in Maine and Australia found thousands of homes were at risk for electrical hazards from Smart Meter installations.

PG&E has admitted Smart Meters have interfered with GFCI and AFCI’s, which are electrical devices designed to protect against fires and shocks.

“Smart Meters are dangerous and PG&E and the CPUC should act now to stop the installation” states Sandi Maurer, EMF Safety Network.

More info: Smart Meter Fires and Explosions

Fire forces Evacuation of downtown Santa Rosa Plaza

incident report 2011-0005703-000


Sandi Maurer
EMF Safety Network
www.emfsafetynetwork.org

INVESTORS AND UTILITIES WARNED, SMART GRID MAY FAIL

International News details consumer health and privacy pushback

Recent news articles warn both the utility industry and investors over the consumer pushback against Smart Meters.

Posted Today in the “National”, an English-language news journal from the middle east-located in Abu Dhabi is a report titled, “ Health risks could switch off home energy meters

Excerpts from the article include: “Investors in this new sector should be aware that, despite its green-energy saving credentials, the smart-metering industry could become the focus of international concern regarding the levels of radiation generated by the new digital devices.”

The report suggests that the announced sale of Landis & Gyr, who make PG&E Smart Meters, coincided with the US Smart Meter protests where women opposing the meters over radiation concerns were arrested.

The article warns, “Should the US health and privacy fears continue to spread internationally, there could be global consequences.”
Another Smart Grid article posted on Smartmeter.com warns the industry, “A new study by Ovum warns that most ongoing efforts by utilities to gain early customer acceptance of smart meters have been inadequate. The report concludes that unless utilities do better jobs educating consumers about the long-term benefits of smart meters, it’s likely they will fall back on old power consumption habits and entire grid projects could ultimately fail.”

FCC’s Inadequate Response to Smart Meter Complaint

On November 4, 2010, I filed a complaint with the FCC, and yesterday received the following response.

You are receiving this email in response to your inquiry to the FCC.

Dear Ms. Maurer,

Thank you for contacting the Federal Communications Commission.

This letter is in response to your complaint, 10-C00258888, filed with the FCC.

PG&E’s SmartMeter program is part of a statewide effort driven by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to upgrade California’s energy infrastructure with automated metering technology. This technology will enable new programs that help California energy customers use less energy and save money.

The SmartMeter system uses programmable solid-state meter technology that provides two-way communication between the meter at your home or business and the utility, using secure wireless network technology records hourly meter reads and periodically transmits the reads via a dedicated radio frequency (RF) network back to PG&E.

Please reference PG&E’s web site concerning questions about potential health effects related to radio frequency (RF) emissions from the meters,http://www.pge.com/myhome/edusafety/systemworks/rf/.

The California Council on Science and Technology released a preliminary study entitled “Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters”. You may view this study at: http://www.ccst.us/publications/2011/2011smartA.pdf.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) limits for radio transmitters of all types, including SmartMeters. The FCC standard provides a currently accepted factor of safety against known thermally induced health impacts of smart meters and other electronic devices in the same range of RF emissions. Exposure levels from smart meters are well below the thresholds for such effects.

There is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters.

For questions concerning this study, you may wish to contact the California Council on Science and Technology, 1130 K Street, Suite 280, Sacramento, California 95814. Phone: (916) 492 0996. E-mail: ccst@ccst.us

Thank you for your inquiry.

Brenda Althoff

Consumer Advocate and Mediation Specialist

Federal Communications Commission

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau

Representative Number : TSR22

Complaint Sent:

“PG&E is deploying radio frequency radiation (RF) smart

meters throughout its service territory in California. PG&E

claims there are no health impacts and states they are safe

because they comply with FCC Safety Standards. PG&E has

not provided realistic RF specifications like the peak RF power

at one foot. We need accurate RF emissions information for

their Smart Meters.

“People are reporting health impacts from RF smart meters,

including sleep problems, headaches, anxiety, tinnitus, ear pain

and more. There are people who are EHS and immune

compromised and this is a huge threat to their homes and

health. See stories here:

http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=2292

“Since the FCC is the jurisdictional body that regulates RF

emissions we call on you to impose an immediate moratorium

on PG&E Smart Meters.”

Restore the Analog Meters!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your County

Your Message:

California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, California 94102

This letter is to inform you that as a California utility customer, I demand the removal of wireless utility meters, and wireless Smart Grid infrastructure and an immediate restoration of analog utility meters.

The World Health Organization has classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields (wireless) a possible carcinogen. It is a violation of our rights to force the installation of wireless devices upon utility customers without fair process of public or environmental review, or proof of safety.

I demand an investigation and evidentiary hearings into the safety impacts of wireless meters, including over billing, interference, burned out appliances, fires and explosions, and health complaints. The people of California deserve an opportunity to be heard.

Paying to opt-out is an inadequate responses to the problems consumers are experiencing. A pay to opt-out option is only available to the wealthy. This option is not equitable and therefore may be illegal. In addition, paying to opt out of a safety hazard is wrong.

We are already paying more for the Smart Meter that we don't want. We want the same reliable service of an analog meter with a meter reader, and at no additional cost.

Impose an immediate moratorium on wireless utility meters and provide immediate relief by restoring the analog meters!

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter!

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