What really happened at Peevey’s last CPUC meeting
Before noon on Dec.18, a Bay City News reporter published a rare media account of Peevey’s last meeting at the CPUC titled “San Bruno blast: PUC’s Peevey presides over final meeting, receiving scorn and praise”. During untimed public comments 30 speakers droned on with accolades for his twelve years at the CPUC, one calling him the “greenest Commissioner”. After a couple hours the scorn began. 21 speakers had signed up to speak, most on smart meters. Robert Ernst read the names and smart meter complaints told to the CPUC judge at public hearings. (see video below)
Within hours the news article covering the scorn was censored, and almost all mention of smart meter opposition inside the CPUC meeting was removed. Here’s what was taken out:
“Armed police guarded the meeting, which at one point was interrupted by shouts when it appeared that Peevey intended to adjourn the meeting before all members of the public had a chance to speak.
“Be quiet,” Peevey told those who were shouting. Eventually, Peevey decided to continue the meeting through lunch and speakers continued to offer comments.
Numerous people offered opposition to the controversial PG&E smart meter program.
Robert Ernst of San Rafael offered Peevey “a dark rose for dark times” that he claimed smart meters pose for California. People held up signs that read “Listen to the Smart Meter injured.
“The PUC is clearly a captured agency, working on behalf of, and in collusion with, the utility it is supposed to be regulating,” said Sandi Maurer.”
Prior to the meeting we met on the steps of the CPUC in protest. The grim reaper held a wireless kills sign, black roses were handed out and a smart meter victims coffin was raised.
The alternate smart meter decision is APPROVED
After a lunch break, the CPUC approved Peevey’s alternate decision, which charges opt out fees of $75 initial fee and $10 a month ($10 and $5 for low income) for no more than three years. The decision excluded health and safety and disallowed community and business opt out. The Commissioners did not discuss it, only offered gratuities to those involved.
Thanks to everyone who coordinated the actions and participated, and to Steve Zeltzer for the following video:
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has delayed the smart meter opt out proceeding (A-11-03-014) for a fifth time- until Oct 4, 2014.
According to their own rules they were supposed to complete the proceeding in December 2013. They say the reason for the delay is “The issues in this proceeding are complex and require additional time to resolve.”
Margie Rothwell was having serious problems with the electricity in her home. The power turned on and off for no apparent reason. The house fire alarm kept going off and the noises were scaring her dog.
She called her brother, who was a master electrician, to help her. He found electrical lines not working and the smart meter digital readout was unreadable. He recommended she call the utility SMUD right away, which she did. (SMUD stands for Sacramento Municipal Utility District.)
A couple hours later, the SMUD technician came and when he got closer to the smart meter he said he smelled “burn”.
Margie recalled, “He had a very horrified look on his face when he looked at the burnt smart meter and meter socket.” The technician removed the smart meter and quickly put it in his truck, concealing the evidence.
The technician installed a temporary adapter which left her home with only 110 volts and limited power in parts of her house.
She was left with no dryer, no air conditioner, no electricity in the master bedroom, or anything that required 220 volts.
She asked the SMUD technician for a business card. He said he didn’t have one. She asked him for his name and he would not give her his full name.
The SMUD technician told Margie that she was responsible for replacing the damaged meter base, which included hiring a professional electrical contractor and getting a city permit. Margie asked him if SMUD would fix it. He said no.
She called several electrical professionals to get estimates which ranged from $1,500-$3500.
She then searched the internet for “smart meter problems” and she found out that this is a common problem with smart meters. In California, fire captain Ross had similar electric problems, as did another fire captain Matt Beckett. A fire erupted shortly after a PG&E smart meter was installed in Vacaville, California which killed a man.
She contacted the EMF Safety Network director, Sandi Maurer, who connected her to Eric Windheim, EMF Safety consultant, and director of Sacramento Smart Meter Awareness. Together they helped her write a declaration about the burnt meter and panel, the limited electricity, and her experience with the technician.
Margie sent the declaration and a demand letter to SMUD via certified mail with returned receipt. The following week Eric supported Margie at two SMUD board meetings, where she demanded they pay for the repairs as soon as possible. She reads her declaration in this audio file, at the 6:25 mark. Listen to more of her comments in this video below.
Margie asked the board, “If SMUD’s smart meter is so smart why didn’t it send SMUD a warning message that there was a very dangerous electrical failure going on at my house? Was SMUD going to wait for the fire department to send you a report in the mail?”
Following the board meetings, Margie:
- Kept all communication with SMUD in writing
- Refused to risk having another smart meter on her home
- Demanded the analog meter as the only replacement
- Never agreed or consented to the opt-out extortion fee
The smart meter could have burned down her house, with Margie in it. Since it caused similar hazards for other customers, she was not going to take that chance ever again.
Nine days after she went to the first board meeting SMUD repaired the burnt panel and restored an analog meter. SMUD paid for all the repairs, and they returned analog meter without Margie’s agreement to pay their opt-out fees of $127 plus $14 a month.
SMUD denied the smart meter was to blame for the electrical problems. The SMUD representative wrote to Margie, “What I can assure you of, is that the damage to your panel was not caused by the Smart Meter. The origin of the damage was in the meter socket assembly.”
Eric Windheim says, “A Maxim of Law is: “Where damages are given, the losing party should pay the costs of the victor” which is exactly what happened here. Since SMUD is paying for all of this they have admitted causation. If Margie’s wiring was really at fault SMUD would have charged her for all repair costs.”
Hawaii state Representative Kaniela Ing has introduced a bill HR 146 “Expressing support for an immediate moratorium on the installation and promotion of smart meters until they are proven safe to public health and the environment, economy, and security of the state.”
Please support this effort by signing the Petition to Stop the “Smart Grid” in Hawaii until the safety of the technology involved can be proven: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-smart-grid-electro?source=c.fwd&r_by=3159788
And submit testimony in support of this bill here: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HR&billnumber=146&year=2014
From SkyVision Solutions:
Northeast Utilities (NU) operates New England’s largest utility system serving more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
In a written submittal filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Northeast Utilities was highly critical of a proposed state plan that would require utilization of “advanced metering” or smart meters within the state of Massachusetts as part of an electrical grid modernization plan. In fact, the comments are quite remarkable in that they appear to reflect reality without undue political spin or bias. Let us hope that other utilities, public utility commissions, and politicians everywhere can soon come to similar unbiased conclusions that are based upon economic realities and reflect consumers’ and societal best interests.