While California is pushing back the not so smart wireless technology, places like northern Virginia are going full steam ahead with the installation. Dominion Power has completed placing 100,000 smart meters in a pilot phase in three counties. Meanwhile, fires, explosions and burned out appliances follow smart meter deployment across the globe.
UPDATE, Nov. 3, 2011: Glendale CA resident also has ‘smart’ meter replaced with analog meter by utility GWP. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_jT3-36KRg
Just as PG&E enters the final phase of its deployment of wireless “smart” meters in California, the largest of the state’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) has reversed course, quietly beginning to replace the ‘smart’ meters of those reporting health impacts with the old trusty analog version. Consumer rights and health groups immediately seized on the news, demanding that millions of Californians unhappy with their new wireless meters get their analogs returned immediately at no cost.
‘Smart’ meters are new wireless utility meters being installed as part of the “smart” grid initiative, spearheaded by technology firms and backed by the Obama administration and the Department of Energy. Promises ranging from lower utility bills to enhanced renewable generation capacity have failed to materialize, with widespread reports of higher bills, privacy violations, fires and explosions, and commonly reported health impacts such as headaches, nausea, tinnitus, and heart problems associated with powerful wireless transmissions. Widely disparate political groups- from members of the Green Party to the Tea Party and Occupy protesters have attacked the program, and dozens of grassroots organizations have sprouted up over the past several months to fight what they call an undemocratic, unconstitutional and dangerous assault on people in their own homes and neighborhoods. Dozens of people have been detained or arrested for peaceful civil disobedience and even simply speaking out against deployments.
In California, more than 47 cities and counties have demanded a halt to installation, and a dozen local governments have passed laws prohibiting the controversial technology.  The ‘smart’ meter issue has further angered a public already seething at the utilities over repeated gas explosions, safety breaches at nuclear reactors, and an increasingly extortionate rate structure. Word of California’s ‘smart’ meter nightmare has spread across the country and around the world, prompting some utilities to place smart meter plans on hold, and recently Nevada’s PUC to call for investigations into the health effects and other smart meter problems.
Now in a dramatic turnaround that could signal the beginning of a widespread recall of wireless ‘smart’ meters, on October 28th PG&E re-installed a classic spinning disc analog meter on the home of Santa Cruz, CA resident Caitlin Phillips, who had been suffering headaches and other symptoms from her ‘smart’ meter. The move comes in response to verbal directives from the California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, who recently told members of the public that the utility “will provide for you to go back to the analog meter if that’s your choice.” The CPUC has been slow to respond to thousands of ordinary citizens reporting health effects from the new meters.
When a Wellington Energy installer (contracted with PG&E) came to install a smart meter at her home, Caitlin asked the installer to get off her property and not install, because of what a neighbor had told her about possible health damage and privacy violations. “When I returned home later, I discovered a smart meter on my house. That night I awoke to severe anxiety, headache, and buzzing in my teeth, and realized the new smart meter was on the other side of the wall from my bed.” Caitlin reported her experience to PG&E and the CPUC, who both declined to rectify the situation. When the symptoms persisted, Caitlin sought the assistance of the Scotts Valley based group Stop Smart Meters! who provided an analog meter and referred her to a professional who could help her remove her ‘smart’ meter. As soon as the analog was installed, Caitlin’s symptoms disappeared.
Frustrated and outraged about her treatment by the utility and the PUC, Caitlin travelled to San Francisco to speak at a commission meeting on Oct. 20th. About a week later, PG&E crews were at her house replacing her temporary analog meter with a brand new official PG&E analog meter. This is believed to be the first time PG&E have willingly replaced an analog meter on the home of someone suffering from health effects.
An “opt-out” proceeding overseen by an Administrative Law Judge is underway at the CA Public Utilities Commission, yet those suffering (in some cases severe) health impacts have been stuck in limbo as utilities refuse to remove the harmful meters upon request- until now.
“There are hundreds of thousands- if not millions- of people suffering in their homes from forced ‘smart’ meter radiation,” said Joshua Hart, Director of the grassroots organization Stop Smart Meters! “The utilities and PUC’s must respond promptly to all requests that analogs be returned. The alternative is that people will increasingly turn to independent professionals to remove unwanted ‘smart’ meters from their homes, a reasonable action we assert is within our legal rights. Protecting your family’s health is not tampering.”
PG&E and other utilities have also been responding to health complaints by replacing wireless ‘smart’ meters with digital meters that are “wireless-ready.” These digital meters have been associated with health problems from “dirty electricity” frequencies that pass into a home via the electrical wiring. These “trojan horse” meters have been roundly rejected by those who report continuing health impacts after installation. Susan Brinchman, Director of San Diego based Center for Electrosmog Prevention. said “At this point, the burden of responsibility is on the utilities to demonstrate that any new meter they want to install on our homes is safe. Communities have the right to retain analog meters at no extra charge. Period.”
Video Interview of Caitlin on KION News: [Warning: this news site crashes some browsers]: http://www.kionrightnow.com/story/15936211/santa-cruz-woman-fights-smartmeter-wins
Smart Meter Removal Has Begun
By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
Canada Free Press
California’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) has quietly begun replacing Smart Meters with analog meters for citizens reporting adverse health effects. Consumer rights and other groups demanded immediately that their wireless devices be removed from their homes.
Joshua Hart of stopsmartmeters.org reported the good news just as PG&E deploys the last phase of its smart meters in California. The Department of Energy’s promise that the smart grid and smart meters will lower electricity costs has proven incorrect; on the contrary, the utility costs have skyrocketed.
Millions of customers were unhappy with their Smart Meters. They are surveillance devices in homes, without a search warrant, which is a violation of privacy. Fires, explosions, and health issues ranging from nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, tinnitus, insomnia, and radiation exposure associated with powerful wireless devices that transmit information 6-8 per minute constantly, have plagued the stealthy and deceptive installation.
California’s counties and cities have demanded a stop to smart meter installation and some local governments passed laws prohibiting wireless meters. Nevada’s Pacific Utilities Company (PUC) called for investigation into the adverse health effects and other smart meter issues.
Recently, the California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey assured customers that the utility “will provide for you to go back to the analog meter if that’s your choice.” The problem is that most Americans have no idea how damaging these smart meters are and an even larger group of Americans have never heard of it or see it as a contribution to “save” the planet because that is how these meters were sold to the public.
The tired rhetoric said that the smart grid and smart meters save the planet from doom and gloom, reduce waste by cutting your electricity at peak usage, eliminates the reader who must go to each home to calculate their monthly consumption, reduces your carbon footprint, and it will make the planet “green.” The reality is very far from the disingenuous promises.
Californians’ electric bills have almost tripled and lawsuits ensued. Marylanders swelter without electricity six hours at the peak of summer and almost freeze six hours in the dead of winter. An analog meter user who insisted on keeping it has to pay $35 each month to have his meter read by the power company. Thousands of customers across the country are having severe health issues from radiation that are not being addressed.
Millions are having issues with the power company selling wireless data collected from their homes via smart meters to third parties. Anybody with a handheld device can capture information from your home and sell it to a third party. The utility company knows if you are home, if you are away, if you are on vacation, which lights are turned on, which appliances, which computers, TVs, and other devices in your home.
Caitlin Phillips of Santa Cruz, Ca, who had suffered severe headaches and other symptoms from her smart meter, became the first person for whom PG&E re-installed on October 28, 2011 the classic analog meter. Caitlin Phillips had told the Wellington Energy installer, a subcontractor of PG&E, that she did not want a smart meter. “When I returned home later, I discovered a smart meter on my house. That night I awoke to severe anxiety, headache, and buzzing in my teeth, and realized the new smart meter was on the other side of the wall from my bed.”
Caitlin received help from “Stop Smart Meters” group who referred her to sources to obtain an analog meter and a person to install it. Her symptoms disappeared immediately after the analog meter was installed.
Caitlin spoke to a commission meeting in San Francisco about her ordeal and, a week later PG&E crews replaced her temporary analog meter with an official PG&E analog meter. Her frustration, pain, and suffering were finally over.
An “opt-out” proceeding is currently overseen by an Administrative Law Judge at the California Public Utilities Commission. “There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people suffering in their homes from forced ‘smart’ meter radiation,” said Joshua Hart, Director of the grassroots organization Stop Smart Meters!
PG&E and other utilities have responded to health complaints by replacing wireless ‘smart’ meters with digital meters that are “wireless-ready.” These digital meters have been associated with health problems from “dirty electricity” frequencies that pass into a home via the electrical wiring. Digital meters have been rejected by customers who still report health issues after installation. (Joshua Hart)
Susan Brinchman, Director of the San Diego based Center for Electrosmog Prevention, said, “At this point, the burden of responsibility is on the utilities to demonstrate that any new meter they want to install on our homes is safe. Communities have the right to retain analog meters at no extra charge.”
While California is pushing back the not so smart wireless technology, places like northern Virginia are going full steam ahead with the installation. Dominion Power has completed placing 100,000 smart meters in a pilot phase in three counties.
“There are hundreds of thousands- if not millions- of people suffering in their homes from forced ‘smart’ meter radiation,” said Joshua Hart, Director of the grassroots organization Stop Smart Meters! “The utilities must respond promptly to all requests that analogs be returned. The alternative is that people will increasingly turn to independent professionals to remove unwanted ‘smart’ meters from their homes, a reasonable action we assert is within our legal rights. Protecting your family’s health is not tampering.”
NV Energy’s smart meters to be investigated
By Cy Ryan
Las Vegas Sun
After hearing several complaints about possible health hazards and invasion of privacy, the state Public Utilities Commission has opened an investigation into smart meters installed in more than 500,000 homes in Las Vegas.
Commissioner Rebecca Wagner said there was misinformation or a lack of information when the commission approved NV Energy’s application to begin the project.
She said she wants to look into allowing customers to refuse the installation of the meters and the implications. And she says the investigation should address the health issues and the privacy and security fears.
This should be started now, she said, before “it unravels further.”
Although the vote was unanimous, Commissioner David Noble said many of the concerns were addressed in a prior hearing and he did not want to duplicate what had been covered. He said he did not “want to open up a free-for-all” on this case.
Angel De Fazio, founder of NV Energy Stop Smart Meters, said the units transmit electromagnetic radiation and are harmful to people with physical impairments.
De Fazio told the PUC it had a duty “to protect the disabled.” This is not a federal mandate, she said and homeowners should have the right to “opt out” in having a meter.
She also said the meters are a health hazard to dogs.
Mike Hazard told the commission a lot of people don’t like the smart meters. A federal grant of $138 million helped finance the installation of the meters and he suggested that money could have been used to build a new power plant in Southern Nevada.
NV Energy and its sister Sierra Pacific Power Company hope to have all the customers hooked up by December 2012. Installation should start in December in Northern Nevada.
The units will allow the customer to view next-day energy use information and the time of day the power is used. NV Energy maintains studies show the smart meters are safe.
The radio frequency exposure signal goes out 48 times a day and is within the guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission. “By comparison, cellphones transmit constantly and at very close range,” the utility said.
The only one at the Tuesday hearing who spoke in favor of the unit was a man named Todd who said, “I love it.” He said he has been able to lower his power use during the day hours. “My problem is with (NV Energy) bringing truckloads of armed guards to read the meter,” said the individual who did not sign in at the meeting in Las Vegas.
But several speakers opposed the meters and some said they would be willing to pay more if they could return to the prior system.
Anne Haley complained this should be a “freedom of choice” and NV Energy has been able to keep complaints from being publicized.
Florida’s Smart Meters catch two homes on fire; FPL refuses to compensate
By Help Me Howard
Nearly two million Floridians have new smartmeters installed by Florida Power and Light. They are supposed to be much better than the old meters, but now we have two recent customers who suspect the meters caught on fire and ruined their homes. So is FPL responsible?
The federal government gave FPL 200 million dollars to install smartmeters in Florida. They are considered to be more efficient, allowing a customer can go online and see how much electricity they are using at any hour of the day, but smartmeters are also controversial provoking protests in some states where they have caught fire and destroyed appliances.
When is the power company responsible if your smartmeter catches fire and destroys everything? Not very often because the Florida legislature has given FPL special protection by declaring that they do not have to pay for damage caused by their negligent mistakes. Only gross negligence and this is done to keep FPL’s costs down so they can keep everyone’s power bills from going up.
Smart Meter Fires and Explosions
At this link is a compilation of reports from the US, Australia and Canada about fires, explosions or burned out appliances due to Smart Meter installations. http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=1280
In addition to StopSmartMeters, also see EMF Safety Network, which has an abundance of material.
For more videos, see Ecological Options Network Smart Meter videos