PG&E’s spying may cost them

Wiliam “Ralph” Devereaux, was the Senior Director of the PG&E Smart Meter program from October 2009 to November 2010.  Devereaux was the public face for the PG&E Smart Meter program and he appeared at many community meetings throughout PG&E’s service territory. Devereaux resigned from PG&E in November 2010 after he was caught trying to infiltrate an EMF Safety Network online discussion list.  Prior to being caught he had infiltrated other anti smart meter groups, including Stop Smart Meters and posted comments to discredit their views, using the fake name, “Ralph.”

PG&E tried to characterize Devereaux as a rogue employee who acted alone.  But the lengthy investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Consumer Protection and Safety Division revealed that Devereaux forwarded emails that he collected using the false identity to his boss and other senior managers at PG&E, including a member of the legal department.  The EMF Safety Network was involved in a legal proceeding at the CPUC against PG&E at the time of PG&E’s spying.

Today the CPUC ordered an investigation into PG&E’s activities to determine if PG&E engaged in deceitful conduct towards consumer groups. The Consumer Protection and Safety Division of the CPUC concluded that:

1. PG&E violated PU Code Section 451 by failing to furnish just and reasonable service when Mr. Devereaux lied about his identity to infiltrate online smart meter discussion groups in order to spy on their activities and discredit their views; and

2. PG&E senior management knew of Mr. Devereaux’s deceit before it was reported in the press and failed to prevent and stop his inappropriate behavior.

The CPUC states, “Mr. Devereaux’s actions are considered the actions of PG&E.” and “PG&E lost the public’s trust when Mr. Devereaux was caught using a false identity to join the EMF Safety Network.”  PG&E is now notified that fines may be imposed in this matter and hearings will be held at the CPUC.

Here’s the email exchange between William Devereaux and Sandi Maurer, who received a notice from Google that, wanted to join the CA EMF Safety Coalition, an online anti smart meter discussion list. This is the string of emails where the computer outed the real identity of <>:

On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 10:08 AM, EMF Safety Network <> wrote:


Please let me know more about your interest in joining the CA EMF Coalition. This discussion group has been set up for county leaders focused on EMF, specifically RF Smart meters.

Please include where you live, what aspect of smart meter issue you are working on and how you came to be involved in this issue. There may be a better group that I can help connect you to, or you may be our next county lead. Please let me know.



Sandi Maurer

EMF Safety Network

On Nov 4, 2010, at 3:23 PM, William Devereaux wrote:

Hi Sandi,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I’ve been travelling a lot.

I live in Oakland where Smart meters have been sweeping across town and wanted to learn more about them and join the conversation to see what I can do to help out here.



From: EMF Safety Network <>

Date: November 4, 2010 7:10:36 PM PDT

To: William Devereaux <>

Cc: california-emf-safety-coalition <>

Subject: Re: Your interest in joining the California EMF Coalition?


Aren’t you the head of the Smart Meter program at PG&E? We’d love your help!

Can you help us obtain a Smart Meter moratorium ASAP? People who are asking for meters not to be installed are being bullied, signs on meters are being disregarded and the CPUC has received 2000 Smart Meter complaints from Aug 15-Oct 15. We need a moratorium ASAP and the opportunity to be heard at the CPUC.

Your help would be invaluable. Thanks for contacting us.


Dear Ms. Burt

Ms. Helen Burt
Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
PO Box 997315
Sacramento, California 95899-9900

Second address: PO Box 770000   Mail Code B27L
San Francisco, California  94177

April 29, 2012

Dear Ms. Burt:

We received your unsigned certified letter about your SmartMeter Program. This letter is to inform you that, despite your coercive attempts to force ratepayers into your program, we refuse to have SmartMeters installed at our house. The so-called “choices” you offer are no choices at all. Since we have never had Smart Meters, we find it outrageous that you should now try to charge us initial plus monthly fees for a service that we have paid for and you have delivered trouble free (and at minimal costs) for decades!

To be clear, we never opted into your SmartMeter Program. One cannot be said to “opt in” where coercion and pressure is used. And because we have never opted into it, we cannot opt out. Therefore, your proposed “choices” and associated fees do not apply to us.

Indeed, the choice whether to enroll in the program is properly left to the customer, per the Energy Policy Act of 2005, under Title Xll, Subtitle E, Section 1252, (a), (14), (C). It states:  “Each electric utility subject to subparagraph (A) shall provide each customer requesting a time-based rate with a time-based meter capable of enabling the utility and customer to offer and receive such rate, respectively.”

We hold our position because, among many other compelling reasons including data corruption, cybernetic insecurity, privacy violations, unreliability, lack of billing transparency and discrepancies, fire danger, and negative health impacts, your rollout of Smart Meters is patently illegal for several reasons:

1. The operative FCC Grant of Equipment authorization for SmartMeter installations OWS-NIC507 expressly stipulates that these meters be professionally installed. The personnel hired by your subcontractors to perform meter installations are temporary workers with minimal training, not California licensed electrical contractors.

2. The same FCC stipulations also require that the antenna(s) used for the transmitter must have a minimum “separation distance of 20 centimeters from all persons and must not be colocated . . .”

3. Moreover, “End-users and installers must be provided with antenna installation and transmitter operating conditions for satisfying RF exposure compliance.” Without barriers or written warnings/notices posted near your SmartMeters, PG&E is out of compliance with these FCC requirements.

Yes, we operate life support and other sensitive medical equipment in our home. The growing consensus supported by truly independent studies as well as World Health Organization findings is that Smart Meters operating in conjunction with a Smart Grid pose a serious and unwarranted public health hazard.

Heretofore there has never been a surcharge for having an analog meter. Our meters are the same reliable ones that have been in service here all along, unchanged. If you now insist on extorting us for our refusal to opt into your program,  you will be in further violation of California Public Utilities Code Section 453(b) which states:  “No public utility shall prejudice, disadvantage, or require different rates or deposit amounts from a person because of ancestry, medical condition, marital status or change in marital status, occupation, or any characteristic listed or defined in Section 11135 of the Government Code. A person who has exhausted all administrative remedies with the commission may institute a suit for injunctive relief and reasonable attorney’s fees in cases of an alleged violation of this subdivision. If successful in litigation, the prevailing party shall be awarded attorney’s fees.”

We do not consent to PG&E usage of existing on-premises gas and electric  meters as the basis for a claim of entitlement to install digital mesh network antennae and transceivers for third-party data at current meter locations. If PG&E wants to build out a digital wireless mesh network infrastructure for for-profit use by third parties, it can do so in the same way that every competing digital wireless data network operator has done:  by purchasing or leasing property for this purpose, and/or by negotiating and obtaining permission to place equipment on non-PG&E property.

To reiterate, we refuse to opt into your Smart Meter Program and we furthermore refuse to pay extortion fees to retain the reliable analog meters. If you ignore our refusal by proceeding with installation of Smart Meters without our consent, we shall initiate litigation  for recovery of damages. Said damages will occur when your company effectively takes valuable radio transceiver and antenna siting rights on our property without compensation, which we would otherwise be entitled to reserve, to exercise for ourselves, or to sell or rent to parties and on terms of our choosing.

Furthermore, we have not seen or received a copy of your mandatory letter to the CPUC’s Executive director requesting authority to install a SmartMeter at the affected customer’s location. Nor have we seen any written authorization from the CPUC Executive Director approving such installation at any affected customer’s location. We have learned not to trust PG&E’s word without proof. We have seen no such proof to date.

A complaint has been filed with the CPUC over this issue and the promised response has not yet been forthcoming. Until the response is made, we do not consider this issue settled.

When we consider that you long ago had rates approved by the CPUC to cover the costs to read and maintain the standard analog meters, we can only conclude that you wish to increase your profit margins with this program. Besides driving up unemployment in a severe recession, we, having no choice regarding what utility provider we wish to use, find it contrary to the concept and intent of a regulated utility to impose health and security risks on us, your clients, without our agreement.

Since you “fully support individual choice when it comes to the meter at your home,” we’re confident that you will wholeheartedly approve of our choice to send you this notice in lieu of your form, and to continue the service agreement we have had for over 30 years with the analog meters.

Notwithstanding your published schedule of meter readings, your company and any of its subcontractors will be held liable as trespassers for any violations of your written promise, “We’ll call you prior to any required work at your home.”



Account Number


PG&E supports analog meter option

In Reply Comments sent to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today PG&E declared its support of an analog meter option.  “PG&E supports approval of an analog meter option, in addition to the non-communicating radio-off option, in response to customers’ and parties’ continued requests for an analog meter alternative in Opening Comments, as well as in customers’ direct communications to PG&E and the Commission.

“PG&E has received the very clear message that some customers will only be satisfied with an analog meter option.”

This is a major concession from PG&E.  However, we still need the CPUC to hear loud and clear that we need:

  • a no cost analog opt-out, no initial or monthly fees
  • meters co-located in banks banned and restored to analogs
  • immediate restoration of analog meters for people suffering  health impacts
  • evidentiary hearings and investigation into RF health impacts
  • Community wide opt-outs and safe zones

It will be up to the Commission to decide what they do with PG&E’s concession and whether or not they will include an analog option, and whether or not that will apply to utilities statewide.

Listen to a short radio interview with Sandi Maurer from KSRO news.

PG&E backs down

PG&E restores power to customers refusing smart meter

Today PG&E restored power to customers who removed the smart meter and restored the analog meter on their homes.  They removed the meters because they or their children were suffering health problems since the new meters were installed.

Earlier today Diane from Calaveras County said PG&E contacted her and said they will “jump” her meter to deliver her electricity (till they can find an analog).  She said they’d estimate her bills and they will do the same for others.

Diane confirmed PG&E has now restored her electricity.  News from Santa Cruz County also confirms PG&E has backed down:  “Santa Cruz Smart Meter Rebels 1, PG&E 0”

They did not install the analog meter, instead they used this device (see photo below) which does not measure electricity.   SF Chronicle reports: “Moving to end an embarrassing standoff, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on Friday said it would restore power to a small group of customers… and  that PG&E spokesman Greg Snapper said, “This is a temporary solution for a very unique circumstance”.


PG&E cuts power for Smart Meter refusal

This week PG&E has cut power to at least four homes for customers who removed Smart Meters and restored the analog utility meter. Bianca in Santa Cruz county told KSBW news that she restored the analog because her children, who’s bedroom is near the utility meter, were suffering from headaches and bloody noses since the Smart Meter was installed.

Accusing Diane of Calaveras County of tampering, PG&E workers turned off this grandmothers electricity on Monday shortly after noon. Diane removed the Smart Meter and restored the analog meter because she was having sleeping problems, heart palpitations and tinnitus. When PG&E arrived she called the sheriff who told her PG&E was supposed to show her the work orders and PG&E refused to show her any work orders.

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) President Michael Peevey told a PG&E customer that he could have an analog meter back at the Commission business meeting on September 22, 2011.  EMF Safety Network lawyer Rose Zoia sent the following letter to PG&E in response.

Santa Cruz Supervisors recently grilled PG&E representative Wendy Sarsfield about PG&E’s actions calling them unbelievable and unacceptable. (see video)

PG&E Rep. “As soon as we can replace with a Smart Meter, the power will be restored.”

Supervisor: ” So you’re holding them hostage in order to make the point.”

PG&E Rep. ” This situation is because of the public safety issue that’s involved.”

Supervisor:” Its just a couple of weeks before the holidays. I would seriously hope that PG&E would take another look at their policy.

Supervisor:'”This can’t be right that we can have a public utility refusing utility service to somebody who wants service, who will pay for service, who’s wiling to have an analog meter. I am having trouble believing that that is actually a legal position for PG&E to take.”

With  the recent release of Jerry Days’ video Replacing a Smart Meter and the threat of more customers removing Smart Meters in California its likely this recent show of force by PG&E is an attempt to intimidate and quash the peoples movement to restore analog meters.  In a recent SF Chronicle article PG&E spokesperson Jeff Smith admitted, “If this dangerous practice is allowed to continue without some sort of consequence, other people could do the same thing, and that’s what we’re trying to deter.”


Opt-out OUTRAGE!

Today the President of the California the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Michael Peevey issued a Proposed Decision on what to do with the thousands of complaints against the (dumb, too smart, not smart, spy, murder, dirty, hazardous, merd, smeter)  microwave computer utility meters that companies are stealthily installing with support from government and environmentalists.

The CPUC, whose mission is to provide safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates, and regulate the utilities has once again rubber stamped PG&E’s demands. Peevey’s proposed decision says we must pay $90 upfront and $15 a month for a “radio off” meter. Analog meters are not included.  The fees are an obvious punishment, and likely illegal.

What can we do about this outrage in California?  Here’s an idea: We can REFUSE to pay. Deduct it from the utility bill in protest.

Here’s what others think about the concept of opt-out:

“We should not have to pay for NO CHANGE in electric service. We don’t pay for not getting cable. We don’t pay for not getting satellite. We don’t pay for gas if we don’t use gas appliances. What the heck is going on when we have to pay MORE for something we don’t want, don’t need, won’t use and can’t get out of. When the vacuum salesman comes to the door, and I don’t want to buy a vacuum, I don’t buy it and he doesn’t get into my wallet.” Anonymous survey comment

Just removing the meter from our home I don’t think will restore the peace and freedom from harm. As you know with all the homes having the meters on them, the amount of radiation is substantial. I don’t think I am overstating this. I am beginning to think they are trying to do a slow kill, so we don’t wake up to it. It is interesting that some of us have a super sensitivity to the radiation while others no less being slowly harmed by it are clueless because they don’t sense anything. CMC, Riverside County CA

“These folks are way better organized than the power industry, they are creating converts every day and they’re not going to stop with a puny opt-out option.” Phil Carson, Editor-in-chief, Intelligent Utility Daily

PG&E’s Big Confession

In April of 2010 the EMF Safety Network filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) asking for hearings on health impacts, including “Smart” Meter radio frequency (RF) emissions data. We wrote:

“PG&E’s paltry, inconsistent and contradictory information on RF emissions from Smart Meters is unbelievable and at odds with other RF expert findings.  Several PG&E bulletins and spokespersons make varying claims on how often the Smart Meter electric meters transmit RF, anywhere from every hour to every 4 to 6 hours to 2% or 4% of the time.

We just wanted the facts, but the CPUC rubber stamped PG&E’s claims of RF safety and dismissed our application stating:

” All radio devices in PG&E’s Smart Meters are licensed or certified by the FCC and comply with all FCC requirements.”

“Smart Meters produce RF emissions far below the levels of many commonly used devices.”

PG&E provides information from Richard Tell Associates on their website titled, “Supplemental Report on An Analysis of Radiofrequency Fields Associated with Operation of the PG&E SmartMeter Program Upgrade System”  This report states Smart Meters transmit at 1 watt with 0 antennae gain. It claims:

The 1 watt transmitter is configured to transmit data approximately once every four hours back to the company so its duty cycle is very small (the actual data transmission duration during any four hour period will vary, however, depending on how often a particular meter transmitter acts as a repeater for other nearby meters).

From PG&E’s Smart Meter FAQ: SmartMeters™ utilize a low power (1 watt) wireless radio to send customer energy-usage information wirelessly to PG&E for data collection.….Do electric SmartMeters™ constantly emit RF? PG&E answers:

No. SmartMeters™ communicate intermittently, with each RF-signal typically lasting from 2 to 20 milliseconds. These intermittent signals total, on average, 45 seconds per day. For the other 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day, the meter is not transmitting any RF.

In a letter to Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the FCC writes, “the devices [Smart Meters] normally transmit for less than one second a few times a day and consumers are normally tens of feet or more from the meter face…”

All right, enough with the false claims! Just give us some real facts!  Recently CPUC administrative law judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa ordered all investor owned utilities (IOU’s ) to answer Smart Meter radio frequency (RF) questions. PG&E’s answers are an astounding confession!  Question 2: How many times in total (average and maximum) is a smart meter scheduled to transmit during a 24-hour period?

PG&E says the average number of RF pulses for the electric meter would be about 10,000, per meter, per day and the maximum number over 190,000.

90% of these pulses are for the mesh network maintenance (signals bouncing from homes) and only 6 pulses are for reading the meter data. This doesn’t include Home Area Network transmissions.

How about peak power figures?  The PG&E electric meter transmits at 900MHz with 1 watt of transmit power. It has an antennae gain 4.0 dBi for a peak level power of 2.5 watts.  That’s two and a half times more than their safety data stated.

The wireless gas meters transmit between 4 and 5 times a day at 132-794 mW.

Answers provided by San Diego Gas and Electric and So Cal Gas were similar, although PG&E electric meters appear to be five times stronger, just like Sage Associates found in their study.

People vs. PG$E

Today a Wellington installers truck was effectively blocked and rendered incapable of deploying PG&E Smart Meters for several hours by a local Anchor Bay woman, Annie M.

Annie has been instrumental in educating her area about the hazards of the new PG&E wireless utility meters.  She is in recovery from severe EMF sensitivity, and moved to Mendocino County this year to take refuge in a lower EMF environment.  Talking about the incident she said,  “I don’t want anyone else to feel like I did. While I am still feeling good, I want to do what I can to help people. I didn’t know what else to do.”

Mendocino County has banned Smart Meters by ordinance, however PG&E is disrespecting the law and deploying meters throughout the county.

The homeowner, who’s driveway the truck was blocked into called on the Sheriff to report the illegal meter installations and they were told to file a written complaint online. However, later the Sheriff warned Annie M. that blocking the truck was considered entrapment, although PG$E and Wellington declined to press charges.

The CPUC could prevent these confrontations by ordering a moratorium on the installation of the unpopular meters.  45 cities and counties in California have called for a moratorium and a dozen have banned them.  At what point will the CPUC honor their mission to ensure safe utility service and regulate the utilities?  For now, it’s the people vs. PG$E.  This is a shameful situation.