Thank you to the Town of Fairfax CA who sent a letter to PG&E asking then to “cease the impending roll-out of SmartMeter installations in Fairfax.”
Fairfax writes, “By PG&E’s actions to proceed with the SmartMeter program in Fairfax, in essence, PG&E is effectively attempting to render the CPUC rehearing review process moot. Furthermore, by continuing forward on installations, PG&E will be in violation of the Town of Fairfax’s Ordinance and would therefore be potentially subject to Code Enforcement Violations.”
PG&E has threatened both Sebastopol and Fairfax with smart meter installations even though there are appeals pending at the California Public Utilities Commission, and both cities have laws banning smart meter installation. EMF Safety Network has been quoted in three newspapers recently.
We have asked the City of Sebastopol to enforce the ban on smart meters and they have not responded. However, Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass opened public comments at the last city council meeting with a statement referencing the Marin Independant Journal article,“that basically said that this council doesn’t care about smart meters anymore.” She affirmed Sebastopol still has an ordinance that is not repealed and she stated, “We are concerned with the health of our citizens.”
PG&E deployed over nine million utility “smart meters” on homes and businesses in California. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) supported the multi-billion dollar deployment despite lawsuits and complaints about overcharges, privacy and security risks, fires and explosions, and health problems from the electromagnetic radiation (RF) smart meters emit.
The CPUC is responsible for regulating the utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service. Instead, they partnered with PG&E and marketing companies on a smart meter propaganda campaign. CPUC President Michael Peevey intentionally delayed the legal process for years so PG&E could complete their deployment, despite knowing smart meters were overcharging and harming customers.
Thousands of emails between PG&E and the CPUC made public this year, illustrate their collusion and corruption. Together they concocted a punitive pay to opt out program, and ignored substantive complaints. The CPUC must address these issues by holding safety hearings, and restoring analog meters without coercive fees.
Thanks to Ronald Powell Ph,D for placing two reviews of smart meter health impacts side by side. He compares the EMF Safety Network Survey results (USA 2011 ) to an Australian peer reviewed study by Dr. Frederica Lamech (AUS 2014). The results are astoundingly similar, especially when you account for the different methods for gathering the raw data. Network’s survey was distributed online with boxes of symptoms to check off, and Dr. Lamech’s study tallied written responses.
Emails between utility giant PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) expose conflict of interest and cover up of skyrocketing smart meter bills. The consultant the CPUC hired in 2010 to investigate the complaints, Structure, had worked for PG&E for the previous five years, and was not “independent” (as claimed in CPUC and PG&E’s misrepresentations). CPUC President Peevey knew the results of Structure’s investigation long before it was complete, and shared that information with PG&E. CPUC’s Peevey was aware smart meters were overcharging through personal experience.
The coordinated propaganda campaign between the CPUC, PG&E and marketing firms that resulted in the smart meter deployment couldn’t tolerate news such as the fact that 500,000 smart meters were at risk for overcharging in hot weather. Peevey’s own bill doubled when a smart meter was installed on his vacation home, causing him to joke about making The Sea Ranch a smart meter free zone.
The CPUC and PG&E used the Structure report to cover up smart meter problems, and to defend the deployment at the customers’ expense. These emails suggest that returning to the tried and true analog meters is a viable remedy to avoid future skyrocketing utility costs, and that observant meter readers are a cost-effective way to ensure public and environmental safety.
On December 4, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) discussed the proposed decision and alternate proposed decision for the smart meter opt out proceedings. The first three minutes President Peevey describes the proposals and the new change which allows estimated billing and bi-monthly meter reading to reduce costs. [It seems the cost savings will only benefit the utilities, as the opt out fees are still $75/10].
Commissioner Florio suggested local communities should be able to vote on community opt out from smart meters, stating “the Commission can and should honor that [vote]”. He says, “If Fairfax and Sebastopol and a few other places want to be smart meter free zones I don’t think we should override that democratic will of the people in those communities.” He went on to say, “If there are a few small communities that choose to that would be a place where people who really have a problem with the smart meters could live and conduct their lives.”
President Peevey promptly rebukes Florio’s suggestions stating” Seems to me that doing that would only fester and foster and promote more debate and anguish over this issue.” Peevey goes on to decry the voting process, calling it “the height of lack of democracy” and “extremely undemocratic”.
Commissioner Picker, a former SMUD director claims only 50 people opted out in Sacramento, and many of those vocal against smart meters came up from Davis. He referred to community opt out as“bad public policy, bad public health, bad financial planning…unless they [communities] are just going to divorce themselves from the rest of the states’ grid and get rid of all their sources of fugitive EMF and they’re going to figure out how to compensate the rest of us for their additional contributions in terms of air quality impacts.”
Commissioner Sandoval was concerned about people who want a smart meter, and her greater concern is about all the smart meter emissions (she calls “last gasps”) that have nothing to do with energy usage, saying, “they are a source of RF emissions that have no value”. She’s wiling to move forward with approving the proposed decisions, but maybe come back to this if “certain issues arise“.
Peevey mocks the City of Sebastopol saying “[Sebastopol] is a nuclear free zone, and I guess that means that there’s not a single electron from Diablo Canyon that ever crosses the boundary into Sebastopol, it’s a wi-fi free zone downtown, and it would like to ban smart meters and on and on and on”.
Peevey states he’s received the brunt of the negative comments and claims to have been sympathetic in many ways to people. He says PG&E should have handled the issue in a different way, “They [PG&E] chose not to, THAT’S LIFE.”
Recently the City of San Bruno released emails showing the illegal relationship between The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).
The City of San Bruno demanded the immediate removal of CPUC President Michael Peevey and substantial penalties against PG&E after it was exposed that top CPUC and PG&E staff engaged in repeated and illegal private conversations in the ongoing CPUC penalty proceeding related to the deadly 2010 PG&E gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.
“Today’s disclosure demonstrates an ongoing, illicit and illegal relationship between the CPUC and PG&E,” said Mayor Jim Ruane, who released more than 7,000 pages of documents received after San Bruno filed a Public Records Act lawsuit against the CPUC.
Based on our experience with PG&E smart meters and our work at the CPUC, we know this unethical, illicit relationship first hand. The case against “Ralph Florea” aka Bill Devereaux, the head of PG&E’s smart meter department (who spied on us; circulated private emails to corporate PG&E, the CPUC and others; and sent a spy to photograph our protest) revealed the CPUC and PG&E were discussing our work via emails and held private meetings while our smart meter proceeding was still open.
Emails exchanged between PG&E’s EMF program manager and the CPUC illustrate collusion. PG&E did not file mandatory exparte legal paperwork. The attached document is redacted by PG&E but you can see the emails are between PG&E and the CPUC. They are discussing the EMF Safety Network, a conference call, and a letter from the FCC. See attached: 096SmartMeterInquiry
PG&E created a TAP (Technology Advisory Panel) on smart meters that included members of the CPUC Energy Division, CPUC Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and others, and held meetings at PG&E, but the public was not invited to attend. See one meeting example here: 093SmartMeterInquiry
PG&E trained the CPUC Consumers Affairs Branch (CAB) how to respond to smart meter complaints. When people called to complain to PG&E about smart meters, then called the CPUC they got the same answer which left customers feeling frustrated and intimidated. See page 281-282
PG&E “Increased frequency of meetings with CAB staff. In addition to regular monthly meetings, met more on as needed basis as Smart Meter concerns began to increase, so CAB staff could provide more accurate and timely responses to customers (2010)”. “PG&E upgraded their phone system to give CAB priority call queue, and provided CAB a Smart Meter Overview to educate and support CAB.”
The EMF Safety Network received many complaints about the CPUC’s response to complaints. We sent a freedom of information request and asked them “Who tells the Consumer Affairs Branch, and the public advisors office what to tell people who call with complaints about Smart Meters? Who, or what authority instructs these two divisions on how to respond to ratepayers?”
The CPUC attorney responded with: “Phil Enis, a Program Manager with the Commission’s Consumer Service and Information Division, advises the Consumer Affairs Branch regarding responses to customers with complaints about Smart Meters. Karen Miller, the Public Advisor, also of the Commission’s Consumer Service and Information Division, advises the Public Advisor’s Office staff regarding responses to customers with complaints about Smart Meters.”
No mention of PG&E’s intimate involvement instructing CAB how to respond to Smart Meter complaints.
Thousands of smart meter complaints and the CPUC has never investigated the health risks of pulsed radiation smart meters. Not once has the issue of smart meter safety been addressed in evidentiary hearings.
The CPUC rubber stamped PG&E’s safety claims, based on a declaration from one PG&E employee.
At the core of the debacle is President Michael Peevey who has been the Commissioner for all the major smart meter proceedings. Remember the reassurances the CPUC gave about how the opt-out proceeding would be completed over a year ago? Nothing has happened in the proceeding since January of 2013. The CPUC has filed five delays since last December.
The CPUC is promoting smart meters, they are not regulating the utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service.
This casual culture is also evidenced by CFEE meetings where CPUC Commissioners and utility representatives meet. At this meeting Commissioners Nancy Ryan, President Peevey and PG&E’s Bottorff are present. See CFEE participant list. It’s business as usual that former Commissioner Loretta Lynch says is illegal and should not be happening.
We support the demands by the City of San Bruno to establish a culture that prioritizes “safety first” at the CPUC.
We support the immediate removal of Michael Peevey.
We support immediate legislation requiring the removal of any and all CPUC employees who have previously been employed by utilities.
We condemn the CPUC for repeated delays in the current smart meter proceedings where fees for opting out are being challenged on the basis of safety and medical needs.
We demand the CPUC hold evidentiary hearings on smart meter safety.
A cultural change focused on safety first should be the CPUC’s highest priority. Join San Bruno residents and others and demand the removal of CPUC President Peevey, sign here: Gas Pipeline Safety
Despite evidence that smart meters cause fires and explosions, in the following Stop Smart Meters video, a PG&E spokesperson says, that of all the nine million smart meters deployed in California PG&E has no reports of smart meters causing fires.
KO says a smart meter exploded-with a pop-pop-pop, flames and a big KABOOM- on her house. She has pictures showing the fire damage.
In Bakersfield, media reports a smart-meter blows up at a business. The PG&E technician told the employee that he had replaced at least 15 meters around town due to the same problem.
Mr. Patrick Wrigley, a former PG&E meter reader told a Public Utilities Commission judge that he was fired because he was not wiling to be quiet about the smart meter problems he saw. He said, “These meters catch fire. They know it, and they are covering it up.”
The Berkeley fire department reported finding a smart meter “… hot to touch and smoking, with a orange glow inside the meter housing”.
Ms. Moskow, a PG&E customer stated, “I had terrible electric problems in my house once the smart meter was installed, fire coming out one of the outlets, many outlets not working.”
Two California fire department captains contacted the EMF Safety Network to report fire hazards associated with smart meters. We also know that PG&E settled out of court in a wrongful death suit where Larry Nikkel lost his life in a smart meter fire.
In January of 2010 PG&E admitted smart meters interfered with GFI’s and AFCI’s which are devices designed to protect from shock and fire. More smart meter fire stories here: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=1280
Fires related to smart meters are reported in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania, Texas, Australia, and Canada.