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. The 2.4 GHz wireless technology frequencies pulse at 2.4 billion cycles per second. We evolved in the earth’s natural low magnetic field resonance of 7.83 Hz (7.83 cycles per second).
Dr. De-Kun Li provided testimony to the FCC on Smart Meter harm.
Dr. De-Kun Li Testimonial Letter to FCC regarding electromagnetic radiation. https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7022311506.pdf
Dr. De-Kun Li Testimony FCC– Docket2011-00262 https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7520940945.pdf
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. Some people have to leave there homes due to immediate severe adverse symptoms. 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.
Smart Meters: A National Crisis?
In this article in Health Impact News Smart Meters are discussed in detail and an engineer directly measures the difference between Smart Meters and Cell Towers.
Smart Meters: Countdown to a National Crisis of Illness and Death. April 15, 2018.Smart Meters- A National Crisis
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.
Privacy, Hacking and Fire Concerns
Hacking of smart meters has been reported for many years. In 2009 a series of hacking incidents was reported in Puerto Rico where smart meters were altered and settings changed to reduce electricity bills. The FBI got involved at that time. Hackers with not much sophistication according to experts can take control of your electricity as well as any IoT devices that are connected. Hackers RF device fools the “Smart Meter” into thinking it is a cell tower. IoT devices have unique signature loads and this information can be linked to personal information useful to police but also to others for surveillance purposes. Legitimate hacking concerns surround identity theft, burglary and vandalism.
Invasive surveillance makes consumers and the ACLU uncomfortable. A recent May 2018 article in the North Jersey USA Today states “Electric cars take the surveillance potential one step further, according to Kate Connizzo of the ACLU in Vermont, one of six states with more than 80 percent residential smart-meter penetration. “Determining how much electricity was required to recharge an electric car, and extrapolating from that how far it had traveled, would seem to be a pretty simple matter,” said Connizzo. “Put all this together with such devices as automated license plate readers, surveillance cameras, facial recognition technology, and you construct a detailed record of a person’s movements and activities.”
Fires and explosions have also been reported with smart meters that overload. This is another potential risk. EMF Safety Network has complied a list of smart meter fires. Installing smart meters takes expertise and time. According to an interview with a former Wellington Energy employee who installed smart meters, there was improper training. If the smart meter is placed too close to a gas line there could be arcing with resultant explosion.
Privacy of utility billing and usage has been a consumer priority. Third party regulations lag behind in many states, however, some have put in place laws that afford some protection of information. The California Public Utilities Commission was the first to establish rules to protect the privacy and security of customer smart meter usage data to third parties. Unfortunately, when electricity data is transferred to a third party, utilities can no longer reasonably protect that information.
San Diego Lawsuits Over Smart Meters: For Electricity, Then Water and Now for Everything
As Smart Meter systems are being installed in cities, there has been no premarket testing of these devices and no consideration for privacy or cybersecurity. All are significant threats to the health and wellbeing of the communities where these have been and are soon to be installed.
Electric Monitoring: In 2012 A San Diego Woman filed a lawsuit after her Smart Meter was installed and she became ill with symptoms typical of electrosensitivity. Smart Meter Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court by San Diegan
Water Monitoring Smart Meters: This 2018 lawsuit challenges where they money for these meters is coming from and rate increases. Environment Report: Lawsuit Targets Smart Water Meters
Population Monitoring: Jan 2018. New “Smart” monitoring equipment has been placed on streetlights in San Diego to monitor the sounds and sights of those in the city, as well as temperature, humidity and air pollution which will be uploaded to AT&T cloud. They claim it will save energy. San Diego Installs Smart Streetlights to Monitor the Metropolis
Testimony Smart Meters
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.
Power Cut off in 4 North Carolina Homes as They Refuse Smart Meters.
On June 28, 2018, four Asheville North Carolina homes had their power cut off for refusing Smart meters. No advanced notice was given according to the residents. They state they had signed a notarized document requesting removal of smart meters and replacement with analogue meters.
Smart Meters, Dirty Electricity and Disease
Dr. Sam Milham, physician, epidemiologist and author of the book Dirty Electricity, is featured here, explaining smart meter devices, dirty electricity and adverse health effects. Informative. Research papers he highlights can be found on his website Sam Milham Research Papers.