Utilities in all states have been replacing decades old but still perfectly functioning analogue meters with so-called Smart Meters on peoples homes for the purpose of wirelessly reading electricity use by sending radio frequency signals to neighboring houses which then are sent to local nodes and then to the local utility. This creates a continuous “Smart Grid” blanket of electromagnetic radiation in neighborhoods for the purpose of efficient wireless transfer of household data on energy use to the main utility carrier for billing and data analysis. The human meter readers are no longer needed to read the meters directly. Although convenient for utilities there have been a host of problems reported from privacy and security to serious health effects and fires. Many resident have organized nationwide to educate others about the risks and pass legislation to be able to Opt Out of Smart Meters.
Convenience or Hazard?
Smart Meter placement seems to be a wonderful convenience, however, these meters use 2.4 GHz microwave radiation for communications which is what our microwave ovens, Wi-Fi routers and other wireless devices use. The Smart Meters are also on 24/7. Although consultants average the electromagnetic radiation emitted, they do not take into account research showing that pulsed radio frequency radiation is harmful even at lower power. It is the spikes of pulsed energy and not the average power density that causes the harm to cellular structures. Smart Meters can pulse up to 190,000 times a day.
Health Effects Reported with Smart Meters
Once these Smart Meters began to be installed in different states, reports of adverse health effects similar to electrosensitivity surfaced. These symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, poor concentration and heart palpitations. These are especially noted when Smart Meters are installed near where peoples heads are in the bedroom. When the Smart Meters were removed many people reported their symptoms resolved. Because of the widespread health effects that were observed, in addition to reports of inaccurate inflated billing and privacy issues, at least 24 states have a Smart Meter Opt Out Law of one degree or another . Smart Meter Opt Out Laws in 24 States Massachusetts is one of the most recent states to consider a similar Bill- S1684 Smart Meter Opt Out Massachusetts.
Opt Out Option in 24 States
Many citizens and community groups have organized in the United States and abroad to oppose and stop Smart Meter installations for several reasons, including health effects. As noted above 24 states now have an opt out option. Reports of harassment and power being shut off has raised concern and awareness about this issue. Michigan is now in the middle of assessing their utility, DTE Energy Corporation, with testimony being entered into the record for 2018 (see below). Massachusetts is the latest to propose legislation allowing opt outs for smart meters Massachusetts Bill S 1864 , S 1864-An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers’ rights.
In Northern California you can call Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Opt Out Program. People who do not wish to keep their Smart Meters in the 24 states that allow this can call their local utility as well to return back to an analogue meter with a human meter reader.
How Smart Meters Work
Experienced engineer and lecturer Rob States describes below how Smart Meters and the mesh network is created in neighborhoods. He discusses how Smart Meters can increase exposure to potentially harmful microwave radiation. In addition, he looks at how Italy uses somewhat different “smart meters” that do not emit microwave radiation.
The “Dark Side ” of Smart Meters . Robert States describes the many dilemmas with Smart Meters including health, privacy and home security.
Michigan House Energy Policy Committee Hearing 1/16/18 Smart Meters
Michigan residents testify about harassment by DTE Energy Corporation, with many testifying to poor customer service, lack of communication, un-consented removal of analogue meters with placement of Smart Meter as well as people having their power abruptly shut off.
At time 43:49 A 90 year old woman and her caretaker discuss how her power was shut off for 2 weeks in November 2014.
At time 1:00:00 A woman discusses the lack of communication with the DTE when she requested keeping her Smart Meter due to health issues with ultimate shutting off of her power.
At time 1:17:15 A doctor discusses her electrosensitivity and the lack of knowledge and respect for her condition from DTE when her power was shut off because of her refusal to have a Smart Meter.
Michigan Senator Patrick J. Colbeck Speaks on concerns about Smart Meters as a Part of Smart Grid and support for HR 4220 to allow Opt Out, March 9, 2017
Michigan Senator Patrick J. Colbeck discusses security threats and consumer protections regarding Smart Meters and a Smart Grid. He highlights a study done in California on failure mode and effects analysis showing that the power to our homes, offices and businesses is put at risk by using Smart Meters. Analogue meters do not carry this risk. He puts Smart Meter risks in three broad categories- National Security, Business Liability and Family Security. He quotes former CIA Director James Woolsley, ” A so called “Smart Grid” that is as vulnerable as what we’ve got is not smart at all. It’s a really stupid grid.” Business risks to their operation include “threats of terrorism” and “Cyber attacks”. These are listed in the Michigan DTE 10K filing. “Technology systems are vulnerable to disability or failures, due to hacking, viruses, acts of war…” Regarding Family risks there are No surge protectors thus risking fires, no conducted emissions filter leading to early appliance failure, Cyber security back-door access for hackers, no circuit breaker between the meter and the power source.
Michigan Senator Patrick J. Colbeck Speaks in Support of Smart Meter Choice for Opt Out, Nov 10, 2016
Senator Patrick Colbeck speaks in support of property rights to allow property owners the choice of having a Smart Meter during the November 10, 2016 session. He notes that there are many reasons citizens wish to have an analogue meter rather than a Smart Meter. These concerns include privacy, health, accurate pricing and data hacking on usage profiles. He states this comes down to property rights and the ability of people to refuse a device that causes substantial harm. Senator Colbeck notes there is no substantial harm in letting people have a choice.
Dr. Martin Pall Testimony in Massachusetts on Smart Meters
Dr. Martin Pall, Professor Emeritus at Washington State University and author of many papers on EMR on cellular structures, testifies June 20, 2017 in Massachusetts on Smart Meter bill SB1864.