SmartMeter Briefing


Democratic Rights:
This most basic right is abrogated by the unelected utility corporation’s refusal to allow citizens to opt out of having a wireless device installed on one’s home or business. This violates basic property rights and rights to health. The addition of the wireless function materially changes the meter from what PG&E’s legal rights are relative to their meters.
PG&E has a consistently dismal record of poor corporate citizenship and opposition to the public will stretching back a century. You can check their scandal-ridden rap sheet here – from trying to destroy publicly owned utilities in the 1920s to its recent attempt to kill community choice energy projects in Marin County and San Francisco and enshrine its monopoly in the state constitution with its $47 million Prop 16 campaign. Meanwhile, PG&E failed to maintain its aging gas pipelines which caused the September disaster in San Bruno, CA, killing 4-7 people, injuring many and destroying over 50 homes. Why trust a corporation with a record like this with issues of public health and safety?

Privacy:
The capacity of smart meters to collect data that effectively provides a personal diary of the home’s occupants and then for PG&E to sell that data to third parties or to give it to government agencies is a deep concern related to the foundation of democracy. There are no privacy protection laws covering this at the moment. They will be useless unless enacted now.

Security:
Cybersecurity experts are concerned, as well as ratepayers, at the increased vulnerability to the grid that wireless technologies pose. Many countries are developing or have developed weapons against the grids of perceived enemies. EON EMF Digest 9-12-10 – Cyber Security Issues
EON EMF Digest 9-23-2010 SmartMeter Security


Safety:
Interference from the meters with other electronics make vital medical equipment, which many depend on, including pacemakers, vulnerable to malfunctioning, as well as many other common household devices: Readers: SmartMeters interfere with baby monitors, other household gadgets

Arc-fault circuit interrupters, which are responsible for preventing fires, have also been observed by some as sensitive to interference by SmartMeters. This Wireless Smart Meters and Potential for Electrical Fires of meters that have caused fires already. (More below)

A petition has been filed by CARES, alleging that the San Bruno fire could have been ignited by an electrical current from smart meters in the area.
Though it may never be proven, the fact that it is a technical possibility must be taken seriously. This is the CARE Petition A0605028 for Modification of Decision 06-07-027 CPUC on alleging connection between Smart Meters and an electric current which might have ignited the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion.


Health:

We believe adding a device that emits near constant RF frequency radiation into and outside of one’s home or business should not be “grandfathered’ into PG&E’s right to replace its meters without a CEQA review. PG&E received a waiver from CEQA requirements that we believe should be challenged.
Independently funded science finds consistently more adverse health effects from EMF/RF (81%) than industry funded science (19%) – according to a study of 252 studies by Dr. Henry Lai of Univ. of Washington. This is the same pattern of science suppression that we’ve seen before in asbestos, tobacco, lead, etc.

Cartoon by Brian Narelle

Effects from electromagnetic pollution are cumulative and the added layer of both RF radiation and high frequencies on electrical powerlines from wireless smart meters would be an exponential additional layer that would pulse continuously 24/7. People are already reporting adverse health effects from smart meters.

FCC standards are only set to protect against tissue heating in an average adult male from a single short exposure (30 min.) Currently there are no standards for long-term exposure from many sources of low levels of EMF/RF radiation. There are, however, thousands of studies showing serious health effects from long term exposure to low levels of EMF/RF radiation.

More on Fires:
SmartMeter Blows Up At Business – Employees Question Safety, Mark Christian, ABC23, 11-12-09
Vacuum shop fire raises SmartMeter questions, John Cox, Californian, 7-14-10
Fire Department report of SmartMeter fire at Berkeley Restaurant 5-19-10
Remodeler finds SmartMeter interference with circuit breakers, David Zittin, San Jose, 9-12-10

SmartMeter Bans:
Fairfax Ordinance 752 Urgency Ord banning Smart Meters
Watsonville ORDINANCE 8-24-10
SantaCruzCoSMOrdRotated

Short PowerPoint Presentation on Smart Meters – download in PDF format and share Not in OUR Homes and Backyards!