What’s Wrong with “Smart”meters?

What’s all the fuss about PG&E’s “Smart”meters for our electricity and gas?

San Bruno Fireball (AP)

San Bruno Fireball (AP)

Aren’t they supposed to show us our power usage “live” so we can cut back on excessive power use and save money? That was the idea – before PG&E hijacked it. Now they have turned it all upside down, backwards and awful. PG&E’s actions are called “Bait and Switch.”

PG&E (the Corporation who brought you the 2010 San Bruno neighborhood fireball explosion killing 14 people (including 6 people still missing) and destroying 37 homes) “forgot” to tell us that these “Smart”meters —

1. Create a Fire Danger Threat: Introduce a new Fire-Danger to your home by adding a high power electric On-Off switch which could cause arcing, and is accused of starting fires and giving electric shocks to customers,

2. Make Cyber-warfare against the U.S. Easy ! — Hackers could shut off power your home, your city and all of California, New York or Washington DC.

3. Interfere with your medical equipment (like heart pacemakers and infant apnea-monitors),

4. are Intended to cost us more in power bills,

5. Violate your privacy – by broadcasting your personal power usage which is not encrypted (coded) – making our personal power usage public knowledge for burglars (and worse, could let an amateur hacker black-out an entire town),

6. Don’t give you live (“right-now”) use information as widely believed,

7. Can interfere with phone calls and your computer WiFi,

8. Could put out enough radio wave energy to reasonably cause health concerns – especially when installed near someone’s bed or desk,

9. may be uncertified for California,

10. Avoided all Environmental Impact Analysis

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and the California Public Utilities Commission have received thousands upon thousands of complaints since they started installing “Smart”meters.

Smartmeters Causing Fires? : Click here to read article: “Are Illegal Smartmeters causing Fires in California?”

Smartmeters are More Expensive:

In Winter 2010, KION TV of Salinas did a 13 week study of an installation where they directly compared a new smart meter against an existing calibrated electric meter. The existing meters won hands down – costing consumers dramatically less than Smartmeters. (and guess which side of the meter box pays to power the meter? – yours ! Not PGE’s side.)

Smartmeters Interfering with Medical Equipment?: Click here to read article: “Smartmeter Radiowaves can Interfere with Medical Life Support Devices”

Vital Privacy Loss:

See article “Vital Privacy Violations: Can Smartmeters Tell Burglars When You are Away? We need Smart-ER meters”

It details how Smartmeters Broadcast Your Private Information, how Smartmeters are Easily Hacked, and asks “Who Else Can Turn Your Power On and Off?”

It also introduces the idea of “Smart-ER meters” that protect your private personal information because they don’t broadcast it (RF or WiFi) or transmit it in any way (optical cable or power line data) to the power company.

At the February 2011 Monterey City Council meeting, Councilman Jeff Haferman asked PG&E “If the customer’s power can be remotely turned off by the meter, could a hacker turn off an entire neighborhood [- or a whole town]?” PG&E claimed they couldn’t answer that. They said they’d get back to him. He’s still waiting.

Smart”Meter Radiowaves are Not Harmless:

While it is well known that X-rays and Ultraviolet can easily harm humans, it is less well known that radio waves can also harm human tissue in two different ways. Most people are familiar with Microwave ovens that heat food purely using radio waves. Remember one early microwave oven was called the “Radar Range?” That’s called “thermal” effects. Well, there’s a huge body (more than 200 scientific papers) of evidence of non-thermal harm from radio waves.

Now the evidence is mounting that the relatively small amount of radio energy from cell-phones (~ maximum of 1.5 watts) can cause head cancers.

Good Will – or Just Greed

Hmmm . . . is PG&E acting neighborly? or even reasonable?

Or is it just another greedy corporation playing hardball, deliberately acting criminally – taking advantage of the trusting nature of our communities and the good will of Americans ?

Well, when you recall that a PG&E executive was caught spying on a group concerned about smartmeters, what else do you really need to know . . .

Counties of Santa Cruz, Marin, Mendocino, and Cities of Seaside, Watsonville, Fairfax, and Rio Dell have criminalized smart meter installations. A total of 33 local governments in California have demanded an immediate moratorium, many have adopted law prohibiting the meters.

PG&E deliberately violated Watsonville’s new law, installed one on an important building, and the city promptly cited them. PG&E arrogantly says it will never pay the fine !

What you can do :

Immediate Action (today):
Put a sign out covering your meter saying

“Do not Install a Smartmeter for this building. You will be personally liable for any harm, including loss of private data, and responsible for the costs of removing it.”

Then take a photo of your sign so you can have evidence in case they ignore your sign and install it anyway.

Some people have installed a wire cage over their existing meter(s) so the current meter cannot be removed.

Short Term Action (weeks):
http://stopsmartmeters.org
And here is a model ordinance that your town can adopt ASAP.

Longer Term Action:
Call your State Assemblyman (Bill Monning for Monterey (649-2832) and Santa Cruz) and the Governor (Jerry Brown) to tell them you want Smartmeters stopped until we can get all the problems truly fixed. Here is an article listing the topics a Smartmeter law needs to cover: http://1hope.org/hopeblog/?p=612

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You are invited to make comments to improve this article.

Notes:
Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Phones by Environmental Working Group

IEEE report “Radiofrequency Interference With Medical Devices”

Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

200+ papers and books on harm to human and mammal tissue from radio waves. Some 225 are science articles or books; some are from political bodies such as FDA and the FCC. (Remember that quantity of evidence is irrelevant, only the quality counts. “Don’t judge evidence by its weight.”)

Vital Privacy Loss: Can Smartmeters Tell Burglars When You are Away? We need Smart-ER meters

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11 Responses to What’s Wrong with “Smart”meters?

  1. Pingback: Pine Cone’s Paul Miller – Wrong Again: Apparently Cell Phones Can Cause Head Tumors | Environment & Democracy Politics by David Dilworth

  2. Lance says:

    Bravo David. An excellent article. I think the smart meter testing and approval issue is very significant and should be closely scrutinized. As usual, thanks for the great work.

    Lance

  3. Vince says:

    This is what we need to know, thanks.

  4. Jan Mitchell says:

    I had no idea, David. I enjoyed this very much. I wish you would submit a Guest Commentary to the Herald. Perhaps Royal Calkins would print it. He refused mine, since I am not an “expert” on this issue.

  5. Vince says:

    Higher Utility Bills with Smart Meters
    The Canadian Press Date: Monday Mar. 7, 2011

    TORONTO — There’s no doubt the Ontario government’s $1-billion smart meter program for electricity is costing consumers more instead of saving them money.

    Read full article: http://swo.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110307/smart-meters-cost-110307/20110307/?hub=SWOHome

  6. Pingback: Smartmeter Articles on HOPE’s Blog | HOPE: News and Community

  7. genebuddymaxwell says:

    The San Bruno fire was caused by a natural gas pipeline explosion, it has nothing to do with smart meters. Geez what a cheap shot: you state your case subject, then bring up a different subject entirely as your argument! That is a sign of poor logic and I find your entire article as very dubious.

    Oh by the way: burglers use easier methods in figuring out when to break in to your home and they have been doing it since the beginning of time. They are not going to waste their time trying to look at your smart meter from a computer – they are going to case your house by actually being there! Believe me, I know. I have had my house broken into 3 times – and I had the old analog meter!

    • David says:

      Thank you for your thoughts Gene.

      Actually it is a reasonable argument that ‘smart’meters sparked the San Bruno fire.

      1. The San Bruno fireball was ignited by some kind of a spark. Natural gas does not ignite on its own.

      2. s’mart’meters are known to cause sparks

  8. Pingback: 27 Smartmeter Original Articles on HOPE’s Website | HOPE: News and Community

  9. Pingback: Carmel Pine Cone’s Paul Miller – Wrong Again: Apparently Cell Phones Can Cause Head Tumors | Deep Politics: Environment, Democracy, Health, Privacy — and a Bit of Fun

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