According to PG&E over 16,000 people have signed up to opt out of Smart Meters. Thousands more have posted signs, built cages or locked up their analog meters. Then there are thousands of people stuck with a Smart Meter who want it removed, and neither the utilities nor the utility regulators will help them. In some situations customers have had to make extreme, but empowering choices because they have been abandoned by the system.
After two months of heart attack symptoms and trips to the hospital, a utility customer took matters into his own hands. He bought an analog meter from a supply store, hired an electrician and replaced the Smart Meter with the analog. After all, neither PG&E nor the CPUC was listening, and this was a matter of life or death.
Another woman could no longer live in her home after a Smart Meter was installed. She experienced headaches, sleep and neurological problems. Unlike others, in similar situations who were forced to moved, she also purchased an analog, hired an electrician, and replaced the Smart Meter with the analog. She writes, ” I bought the “AC Killowatt-Hour Meter” from Real Goods (707) 472-2407. My electrician was hesitant, so I used a former Wellington employee who once installed Smart Meters. Then I locked up my new analog meter as shown on the picture. The chain goes around the meter, and around the pipe above and below the meter.”
Update October 9, 2011.
Earlier I wrote “Tampering with a utility meter is a crime , but isn’t it also criminal that serious Smart Meter health complaints are continuing to be ignored and people are suffering from these meters which are not only a health threat, but for some a daily nightmare.”
My mistake. Tampering is a crime, but we needed to define tampering. The EMF Safety Network has retained a lawyer and learned more about tampering laws. Please see Tampering defined.
In addition Christoper Myers, PG&E representative has asked us to include safety information about swapping meters, including that PG&E personnel are trained, and follow specific safety procedures when removing meters. They wear hard hats, goggles and fire retardant clothing. If you have any questions about the safety of meter removal PG&E asks you to contact them directly at 1-800-743-5000.
6 thoughts on “Empowering choices”
After 16 months of enduring the effects of my SmartMeter, I sent PG&E a Notice and Demand letter giving them 30 days to replace it with an analog. Of course, they refused to do that, so 4 days ago I had a licensed electrician install my newly purchased analog. This afternoon I received a call from Mark Torres in San Francisco, telling me that I could not keep my new meter because it is not PG&E approved. He suggested I agree to let them replace it with a PG&E analog, but (not trusting them and having already invested in my own) I refused. He then declared that they would shut off my power. My next move is to write or call him to remind him of his company’s liability for failing to remove the violating SmartMeter. Furthermore, should he make good on his threat to disconnect my power he will be held personally liable for all negative consequences of that power outage.
PLEASE SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING !
Tampering with a utility owned billing meter may be a crime, but if all one does is replace it with their own meter, and save the utility meter and not tamper with it, then no crime has been committed.
As long as a customer reports the honest meter reads to the utility company either by phone , on a card on the front gate, or allows the meter reader access to read the meter, then there should be no problem. I have customers that bought their own analog meters years ago and PG&E knows about them and has never complained or said anything. As long as a customer is providing accurate reads and agrees to allow PG&E access twice per year to verify the customer reads, it’s fine.
I have one customer who’s meter is down inside in the basement of her home, so she has been putting out the card for decades for the meter reader. She told me that the meter reader has not read her meter for 9 years. It’s all about trust and being honest.
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