Smart Meters emit wireless radio frequency/microwave radiation.
The FCC radio frequency (RF) safety standards are based on short-term heating, not long term chronic exposures. The Bioinitiative Report, which is recognized by the European Parliament, The European Environment agency and the Breast Cancer Fund, scientifically documents evidence of health effects far below the FCC safety standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Toxicology Program are currently studying RF. The intention of the 13 country, 30 million dollar WHO Interphone Study was to determine whether or not RF was a carcinogen. The updated results of this study found significantly increased risk of a glioma, a deadly brain tumor. Brain cancer is now the leading cancer death in children in the US.
1. What is PGE doing to inform the public of the involuntary RF exposures Smart Meters emit?
2. What’s PG&E position on the Bioinitiative Report?
3. What’s PGE’s position on Pathophysiology Journal Supplement 16 (November 2009) that peer-review publishes many of the Bioinitiative Report chapters in an updated form, including those on cancer and neurological disease?
The entire concept of the Smart Grid rests on the unfettered use of RF throughout our homes and businesses. All appliances will be retrofitted with antennas or consumers will need to purchase new “smart” appliances, plus an interior meter to monitor usage. The federal government has given 3.4 billion dollars in stimulus funds for building out the Smart Grid.
PG&E states that the Smart Grid is environmentally sustainable and its goal is to help consumers reduce their carbon foot print.
4. Have any empirical studies confirmed that this plan actually works – not in theory but in actual practice, can it be shown that the technology performs significantly better than other strategies such as consumer education?
5. Who pays for the interior meter and appliance retrofitting?
6. How much additional energy will it take to power all these new RF transmissions?
7. Isn’t it smarter to leave appliances unplugged?
8. Who pays for the new Smart Meter signal transmissions?
Consumers may decide not to allow power transmitters inside their homes. Neither the federal government nor the states can force families to do so.
9. What if consumers reject this system?
10. Is it then true that this Smart Grid system will fail in it’s purpose?
11. Why then would the federal government subsidize a ‘failed program’?
PG&E states they commissioned an independent evaluation of possible health impacts that confirmed there should be no adverse health impact from the RF Smart Meters emit. The EMF Safety Network requested a copy of this study and we were told it was not published. After months of waiting, PG&E posted this report online one day prior to the Sebastopol City Council meeting.
12. Was this study peer reveiwed?
13. Considering the weight of controversy over the health impacts of RF shouldn’t PG&E have provided the public and with this study when they claimed it assured safety?
14. What is not an adverse health impact?
A July 2009 PG&E bulletin states that the electric meter transmits radio signals to the network only once every four hours. In another PG&E bulletin it states that the meters will transmit signals every hour. A professional EMF electrician has measured a Smart Meter and found they emit RF every 45 seconds. Another professional expert has measured one or more a minte, on a random basis. If this is true, in Sebastopol alone this would amount to over 6 million new signals a day, not including signals from the repeater system. These wireless signals penetrate walls and buildings and are re-radiated throughout homes and businesses by electrical wiring, metal plumbing, gas lines, metal fences, etc.
15. What is the frequency and signal strength utilized in both house meter and repeater system?
16. What is the range and signal direction of both house meter and repeater?
17. Are these one or two way signals?
18. Will house meters also be used as repeaters?
19. Will the Smart Meters also use the existing cell antennas/ towers or will new ones be deployed?
20. Can PG&E provide a detailed map of all new antennae repeater locations in Sonoma County ?
21. How many power transmitters would be present in an average home under the plans that the Smart Grid assumes for normal operation?
22. How often will the meters, repeaters and smart appliances emit RF signals and for what duration?
23. What is the signal strength at the device, at six inches, one foot, 3 ,5, 10, 20, 50 feet?
24. If these are short bursts of RF, what is the peak power for each burst?
25. What levels of RF will these new signals add to the environment?
26. Has special consideration been given to people who live in homes with multiple meters attached to their homes – next to where a child might sleep?
Electrosensitivity (ES) is a growing global concern. The European Parliament advised countries to recognize ES like Sweden does. Those with ES reduce their EMF and wireless exposures to maintain their health and well being. A professor with Parkinsons has a deep brain stimulator, that relies on RF to keep him alive. If wireless signals should interfere with this life saving device he has 4 seconds to reset it, or else he will die. He has to avoid ambient wireless to survive. There are millions of people with medical implants who also depend on similar life saving devices.
27. Where will people with ES or medical implants live when the new Smart Grid creates an increase in ubiquitous RF signals right on our homes and neighborhoods?
28. What is PG&E doing to mitigate these effects?
The local newspaper reported that Smart Meters would provide “improved pricing methods” called tiered pricing.
29. What is tiered pricing and how is it different from the current pricing method?
30. Will it cost more to do laundry at 8 am, 2 pm, or 10 pm?
31. Will customers be advised of this new pricing method and if so when?
There have been considerable problems with Smart Meters in the Bakersfield/Fresno area including meter malfunctions, billing disputes, and meters catching on fire. In addition, a class action lawsuit has been filed against PG&E and State Senator Florez is calling for a moratorium on the Smart Meters.
32. What is the current status of these complaints and what has PG&E done to resolve these problems?
A computer programmer writes, “wireless encryption is so ineffective, any data transferred wirelessly should be considered viewable to the public”. What are the viable alternatives to wireless metering ?
33. What personal information will be transmitted via the new meters?
34. Isn’t the threat to privacy inherent to this wireless technology?
35. How many meter readers will be on State unemployment once these new meters are deployed?
There are many accounts of interference complaints with the new wireless meters.
36. How many complaints has PG&E received about Smart Meters causing interference in their homes?
37. Isn’t this also a threat to this wireless technology?
38. Since alternative technologies exist for creation of the Smart Grid, why aren’t consumers being offered those alternatives?