SMUD sued for negligence, public nuisance, and unfair business practices over utility smart meters

Books:gavelA lawsuit against Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has been filed in Superior Court of California.  The plaintiff, John Echols, alleges three causes: negligence, public nuisance, and unfair business practices related to the forced installation of utility smart meters.

Mr. Echols refused to allow the smart meter on his residence and refused to join the opt out program due to SMUD’s discriminatory fees.  He declined having a smart meter because of the dangers of pulsed radiation that smart meters emit, and the health risks to his family.

SMUD charged Echols the opt-out fees despite his argument that he never opted out, and he never opted in.  SMUD eventually forced a smart meter onto his home, followed by cutting off his power completely, during a Sacramento heat wave last summer (2013). His power was eventually restored, but without a meter and his bills were estimated.

The situation continued with legal complaints made by Echols which went unresolved at SMUD.  In December Echols filed the law suit against SMUD.  The court filing can be found here: http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1114179096387-71/Echols+v+SMUD+Complaint.pdf

In 2012 SMUD board members mocked customers who did not want smart meters on their home, and laughed about how much they’d have to pay to opt-out. A SMUD director said, “The $166 upfront will convince them they can really afford a lot of tin foil hats” [laughter]…Another director says, “But they are already wearing them!” http://emfsafetynetwork.org/smud-smart-meter-shenanigans/

While the SMUD board was laughing all the way to the bank with federal stimulus funding for smart meters, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for a halt to wireless smart meters to protect public health. http://emfsafetynetwork.org/american-academy-of-environmental-medicine-calls-for-a-halt-to-wireless-smart-meters/

Stick it to the Man: Smart Meter and Wireless Warning Stickers—Order Yours Today!

From Stop Smart Meters!

Picture-1Due to popular demand, Stop Smart Meters! has created warning stickers to spread awareness about the hazards of ‘smart’ meters and other wireless technology.  Much appreciation goes out to Zavier Cabarga for the design work.

 

WK-StickerWhat you don’t know CAN hurt you!  By raising awareness with these visible and bold stickers, we hope to encourage people to take action to make their families and communities safer, and stand up for their rights.

The stickers are printed on high quality vinyl.  They are easy to peel, scratch-proof, weather-proof, sun-proof, and last outdoors for 3-5 years.

Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to ensure that you affix these stickers in a legal and safe manner.  Stop Smart Meters! is not liable for any misuse of these stickers. 

For sizes, cost, and ordering information go to: http://stopsmartmeters.org/2013/10/09/stick-it-to-the-man-stop-smart-meters-launches-smart-meter-and-wireless-warning-stickers-order-yours-today/

Smart Meter Film- Take Back Your Power- Watch NOW!

Take Back Your Power, Josh Del Sol’s full length documentary film on Smart Meters is now available to watch online (72 hr. rental) or purchase.

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Take Back Your Power

Utility companies are replacing electricity, gas and water meters worldwide with new generation “smart” meters at an unprecedented rate. Take Back Your Power investigates the benefits and risks of this ubiquitous “smart” grid program, with insight from insiders, expert researchers, politicians, doctors, and concerned communities. Transparency advocate Josh del Sol takes us on a journey of revelation and discovery, as he questions corporations’ right to tap our private information and erode our rights in the name of “green”. What you discover will surprise you, unsettle you, and inspire you to challenge the status quo.

“Smart” Meters & Surveillance: What Are Your Rights Worth?

Take Back Your Power film is now available to watch online!
Click here to Watch Take Back Your Power

Here’s their latest trailer on surveillance.

Sedona Arizona- A Smart Meter Free Zone?

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 8.34.09 AMOn Wednesday, June 19, the Sedona City Council held a special workshop regarding Arizona Public Service (APS) plans to deploy utility smart meters in Sedona.

Sedona Smart Meter Awareness (SSMA) is raising awareness about the cost, privacy, health and safety hazards of utility smart meters.  APS and SSMA presented information about smart meters. Both sides were given equal time.  Only ten public speakers were allowed due to time constraints, however all spoke in opposition to Smart Meter deployment.  The meeting was standing room only.  The entire discussion, including the presentations and council discussion is available by video here, see part 3A,.

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 8.30.23 AMNancy Baer, SSMA representative said, “APS representatives seemed to be in over their heads when Councilors began asking questions.  Sedona Smart Meter Awareness created a solid, fact-filled PowerPoint presentation delivered by Warren Woodward. All concerns were thoroughly covered: health, safety, privacy, and cost.”

In response to the question of federal requirement to install smart meters, APS confirmed, “There’s been no federal mandate for us to move in this direction.”

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 8.15.59 AMAPS currently has a proposal on file with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to charge opt out consumers $75 upfront and $30 more added to their monthly bill.  Every councilor objected to that proposed fee.

At the conclusion of the workshop, Councilor Barbara Litrell introduced and Councilor Dan McIlroy seconded the motion to:

“..direct the staff to prepare a statement for the Arizona Corporation Commission that expresses concerns, on behalf of our Sedona citizens, that Smart Meters have not been proven safe and until such time as definitive proof exists the Arizona Corporation Commission should allow the Sedona community to opt out without penalties.”

On a 4-3 vote, the City agreed to file a letter requesting community opt-out without penalties with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Warren Woodward said, “In addition to violating health, rights, trespass and wiretap laws, APS will be violating the City’s nuisance ordinance if they install ‘smart’ meters in Sedona.  APS should not be immune from law just because they are supposedly regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission. We asked the City to enforce the law.  Their motion is a first step.” 

Sedona currently has no smart meters deployed there.

Osoyoos Indians ban smart meters from their land

chieflouieOn behalf of the Osoyoos Indian Band, Chief Clarence Louie announced today that he and all Band Council members have signed a governing document prohibiting Fortis BC, the local utility company, from installing Smart Meters on the approximately 703 homes and businesses on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve.

“Having been presented with science-based evidence, the Band Council and I are convinced that Fortis’ proposed wireless smart meters in meshed-grid networks have potential to harm our children and our environment. No scientist on the planet has been able to verify the safety of these extremely dangerous devices that emit microwave radiation 24/7 in perpetuity and which cannot be turned off.”

“As Chief of the Osoyoos Indian band, my first duty is to protect my people, our future generations and our lands. For that reason, the Band Council and I believe we need to err on the side of caution and respect the world’s leading independent scientists who say – and have evidence to prove – that electromagnetic radiation, especially pulsed radio and microwave frequency radiation is harmful to all living things.”

“I am proud of our Council for standing up and voting to prohibit the installation of smart meters on our lands in order to protect not only our own people, but all the peoples who reside and work on the Osoyoos Indian Band lands.”

Where the public gets burned and corporations get rate increases

Earlier this month California state legislators grilled the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on it’s lax safety oversight and financial problems. President Michael Peevey was caught by a TV investigative reporter at a winery conference, instead of answering questions at a senate hearing in Sacramento: Peeveys Priority: Senate Hearing or Napa Winery?  Legislators voted to wipe out the CPUC’s $1.4 billion budget to “force the regulatory agency to justify how it spends its money.”

On Thursday May 23, PG&E customers continue to demand safe utility oversight from the CPUC. President Peevey started off the CPUC business meeting by saying since everyone had been there before he’d skip the safety instructions for the building.

Garril Page, of Marin County was one of a group of PG&E customers who spoke at their business meeting during public comments.  She said this:

“Lax oversight and failure to regulate too-cozy utilities… How often does this require restatement before there is corrective action? 

It is not Jack Hagan’s military mind we need, but a surgical strike at the head of the CPUC,  to stop unsafe, unreliable conditions, abuse of funds and fiscal improprieties.  

The public is threatened by deferred maintenance of utility infrastructure,  improperly regulated,  radiation-spewing devices,  overburdened power poles loaded with snooping, profit-producing,  data collectors that topple and burn. 

The CPUC used bureaucratic box-checking to conceal the number of exploding underground vaults. How will the truth about power pole fires be hidden?

The truth about Smart Meters is being revealed despite the CPUC’s apparent indifference to scientific research and aversion to public testimony. 

No amount of a carcinogen is safe, radiation effects are cumulative, the damage is irreversible, and for the privilege of toxic exposure we are charged opt-out  fees.

The California Public Utilities Commission: where the public gets burned and corporations get rate increases.”

Bravo Garril! There were many other terrific speakers too. See the video for May 23rd.  Public comments are at the very beginning: http://www.californiaadmin.com/cpuc.shtml

BC HYDRO Cuts Power for Refusing a Smart Meter: CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT ANNOUNCED

Press release from our Canadian friends at CST:

BC Hydro has taken the draconian step of cutting off power to a customer who refused to accept a wireless smart meter.

Last May, a Hydro customer had a wireless smart meter installed on her home despite her refusal. This person suffers from electro-sensitivity and, as a consequence of the radiofrequency radiation emitted by the wireless smart meter, her health began to deteriorate.

Despite pleading for months with Hydro to remove the wireless meter and to re-install the analog meter; they refused. Finally, with her health in jeopardy, she ordered a non- radiating analog meter from a company in the US that provides calibrated, tested meters to utility companies. With the supervision of a certified electrician the analog was installed, and the wireless smart meter was returned to Hydro.

When Hydro advised that the analog was not approved by Canadian agencies, the customer located a Canadian analog meter that met all the requirements and then asked Hydro to install it. Hydro refused, ignored her health condition and insisted that she must accept a wireless smart meter or they would cut her power.

On April 17, 2013, Hydro followed through with its threats and cut off its supply of power to her home.

Hydro’s conduct constitutes a violation of our autonomy and our right to determine what potentially harmful emissions do or do not occur from within our own domestic environment; our right to be free from physical intrusion by the state.

Due to Hydro’s actions over the last 2 years, culminating with its cessation of service to a customer for refusing to allow the installation of a wireless smart meter, the Citizens for Safe Technology Society and the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters are filing a class action lawsuit.

We invite participation in the action, subject to Court approval. Further information on the class action and criteria to join can be found at:
www.citizensforsafetechnology.org and www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca