Judge: Power Company Can Refuse Electricity to Family that Removed Smart Meter

Judge: Power Company Can Refuse Electricity to Family that Removed Smart Meter

Power company forces Detroit family to rely on generator

by Mikael Thalen | Infowars.com |January 30, 2015

A Detroit family that removed their home’s “Smart Meter” has been forced to rely on a generator after a local power company shut off their electricity.

The incident began last June when Andrea McNich and her husband asked to have their Smart Meter removed after Andrea began experiencing health issues.

I started to not feel well again,” Andrea told WXYZ News. “I suffer from migraines and they started to come back and I couldn’t figure out what it was. And then other people in the community, and I have clients all over the globe, and other people started having these weird symptoms.”

In an attempt to remedy her painful headaches, Andrea says she asked her power company, DTE Energy, to replace her meter with an earlier analog version.

DTE refused Andrea’s request and instead claimed that they would allow her to “opt-out” by disabling her Smart Meter’s ability to emit powerful radio signals.

“We have a choice, that is our opt-out program,” said Bob Sitkauskas, General Manager, Advanced Metering Infrastructure at DTE. “That is the AMI meter with the radio shut off. So that meter is not transmitting whatsoever. We have to go there and physically read that meter.”

According to Andrea, the option provides little reassurance given power companies’ constant lies regarding Smart Meters.

“It’s a false opt-out program, in that I’m not allowed the choice to have an analog meter,” she said.

Taking matters into her own hands, Andrea removed the Smart Meter and replaced it with an analog model last October, a move reportedly against state law.

Aside from legal issues, DTE claimed the unapproved instillation posed a safety risk, despite countless Smart Meters bursting into flames across the country.

Although the Michigan Public Service Commission was set to rule on the matter last December, DTE chose to disable Andrea’s power before the commission made its decision.

After being told that she did not have the right to choose what was installed on her home, Andrea and her husband took the matter to court.

A judge in the Oakland County Circuit Court ruled similarly, arguing that DTE had no obligation to restore power to Andrea’s home, thus forcing her to continue using a generator.

The McNich family is only one of many currently raising concerns over the safety of Smart Meters.

According to physician and epidemiologist Sam Milham, Smart Meters, which are linked to an array of health issues, emit as much as 100 times the amount of radiation as a cell phone.

Daniel Hirsch, a senior lecturer on nuclear policy at UCSC, says the federal government purposely misleads the public by conducting biased safety studies at the behest of power companies.

A Washington DC power company stirred controversy in 2013 after they were caught lying to the public about how often their smart meters emitted radiation. Despite claims that the meters only emitted radiation once every 4 to 6 hours, an investigation by WUSA9 News revealed the frequency to be closer to 4 to 6 times every minute.

Health issues aside, the main purpose of Smart Meters lie in their ability to harvest vast amounts of personal information.

An electrical engineer in Washington state filed suit in 2013 after his power company demanded he pay a fee in order to opt-out of the Smart Meter program.

“The issue that we have with the smart meter technology is that it really is an invasion of privacy to the homeowner,” the engineer said. “I don’t want to be told when I can run my dishwasher and when I can run my refrigerator.”

German researchers analyzing several Smart Meters in 2012 discovered that the meters transmitted incredibly specific data, down to what movie was being watched on TV.

In reality, Smart Meters are only one part of the larger “Smart Grid,” a system which will enable federal authorities to control everything from your dishwasher to thermostat.

As former CIA Director CIA Director David Petraeus stated in 2012, homes connected into the smart grid will be easily surveilled by intelligence agencies.

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said.

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Agents search Michael Peevey’s home in PG&E judge-shopping case

Agents search Michael Peevey’s home in PG&E judge-shopping case

Updated 9:45 pm, Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Investigators with the attorney general’s office executed a search warrant Tuesday at the home Peevey and his wife, Democratic state Sen. Carol Liu, share in La Cañada Flintridge (Los Angeles County), court documents show. The agents seized computers, smartphones and a thumb drive, a small data-storage device, according to the records.

State investigators also seized a computer and other items Tuesday from the Orinda home of former PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry, court documents show. He and two other PG&E executives were fired in September when the utility released e-mails showing that Cherry had negotiated with utilities commission officials, including Peevey’s chief of staff, to name a judge the utility preferred to oversee a $1.3 billion rate-setting case.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris and the U.S. attorney’s office opened separate investigations into the judge-shopping case to determine whether any laws were broken. The investigations are also looking into e-mails that PG&E later released in which Cherry said Peevey had solicited contributions from the company for a political cause in 2010 and hinted that, in return, the utilities commission would rule in PG&E’s favor in a separate rate case.

The search warrant covering Peevey’s and Cherry’s homes said investigators were looking for evidence of improper “ex parte communications, judge-shopping, bribery, obstruction of justice or due administration of laws, favors or preferential treatment” related to matters coming before the utilities commission from December 2009 on.

Offices searched

Peevey, a former Southern California Edison president who joined the commission in 2002 and became its president later that year, opted not to seek a new six-year term from Gov. Jerry Brown in December.

Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful. Cherry has previously declined to comment.

The search warrant was at least the second that state investigators have executed in the probe. In November, agents went through offices at the utilities commission’s headquarters on Van Ness Avenue, including the one belonging to the agency’s then-executive director, Paul Clanon.

Agents were seen leaving the building with cases of material. Clanon has since retired from the agency to study music.

Willing to cut deals

The e-mails released by PG&E, most sent either by or to Cherry, depict a utilities commission willing to cut deals with the company in return for rulings in rate cases that would result in customers paying more money, critics say.

Several concern Cherry’s effort to have a particular judge assigned to the $1.3 billion rate case, which will determine how much customers should pay for gas-pipeline improvements PG&E undertook after the San Bruno explosion in 2010 that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

Peevey’s then-chief of staff, Carol Brown, tried to help Cherry, the e-mails showed. Brown resigned when the e-mails were released.

In an e-mail to Brown in January 2014, Cherry dangled PG&E’s backing for Peevey’s pet project — a $4 billion coal-gasification plant planned in Kern County — as a possible reward for the company getting its preferred judge. The commission eventually assigned a judge Cherry wanted to hear the rate case, but the matter was given to another judge after the e-mails became public. It has not been resolved.

‘Step up big and early’

In another e-mail, this one from 2010, Cherry told his then-boss, Senior Vice President Tom Bottorff, that Peevey appeared to be leaning on PG&E to “step up big and early” with at least $1 million to fight a ballot measure that would have put a hold on a California law limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

“I jokingly suggested that if he gave us $26 million” in compensation for PG&E’s energy conservation efforts, “we could come up with $3 million or so” to oppose the ballot measure, Cherry wrote. “He said that is a deal he could live with.”

PG&E eventually spent $650,000 against the measure, which state voters defeated in November 2010. Two weeks after the election, Peevey got the commission to vote to override a judge’s ruling and give $29 million to PG&E for energy conservation.

In another 2010 communication with his superior at PG&E that the company released last year, Cherry said Peevey had sought PG&E’s $100,000 contribution to a fundraising dinner marking the commission’s 100-year anniversary and suggested PG&E would be rewarded in a pending rate-setting case.

‘I got the message’

Cherry wrote that Peevey was “aware that we are looking for a good” decision in the case. “He said to expect a decision in January — around the time of the PUC’s 100th anniversary celebration. I told him I got the message.”

PG&E eventually bought a table at the celebration for $20,000.

The rate case was ultimately settled without a commission hearing, but Peevey helped PG&E on another matter that was related to the case, involving how much money the utility would get for swapping out old electric meters for smart meters.

Peevey proposed paying PG&E $6 million for the decommissioned meters, which consumer advocates said amounted to a gift to the company. Unable to gain support for that sum, Peevey compromised and the commission approved $3.24 million for PG&E.

Taking issue

Peevey has never directly commented on Cherry’s e-mails. In a statement last year, the utilities commission said they were “based on an interpretation of events from the perspective of a PG&E employee, and President Peevey disagrees with the characterizations.”

In the search warrant executed Tuesday, state agents said they were looking for evidence related to the $1.3 billion rate case, the coal-gasification plant, the 100th anniversary dinner and unspecified “other matters.”

State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, a frequent critic of the utilities commission, said he was pleased that Harris “is properly investigating what appears to illegal activity. I’m looking forward to the results of her investigation.”

Jaxon Van Derbeken is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com


LETTER: Out-smarting the Smart Meter Fraud

LETTER: Out-smarting the Smart Meter Fraud

 Congratulations to Angie Anderson and the Durango Smart Meter Opt-Out group for packing the house at their showing of Josh Del Sol’s second edition of “Take Back Your Power.” You can You-tube the film for a couple of bucks if you missed it… I wouldn’t miss it. The public is coming unglued as the industry coverup regarding wireless radiation and Smart Meters unravels… and many of them sicken and quit sleeping quickly after the little square digital devices replace those cross-eyed 5 clock dials no one could ever read on their user friendly analog ones… the ones they grew up with.

If your power bill has taken an unexplained hike in the past one to three years, find out the date of the Not-So-Smart Meter’s installation and start shoveling. You can watch the meter explosions and fires for yourself on the film… Josh is getting damned good with that camera, and has lots of help.

Fire from the smart meter melted part of a window screen (at right). Firefighters told the homeowner that her house would have been more damaged if the meter had been installed on a wood wall instead of one made from brick. Image courtesy of Shirley Bayliff.

La Plata Electric Association may very well be headed toward national fame and profile… probably this year. Also making his public debut at the filming was Private Investigator Wayne Alexander… hired by the Pagosa Springs Opt Out Group (Pagosa got their “Smart Frying” meters only last summer) to investigate the pile of mysterious government funding paper trails, collapsed corporations and the like, that LPEA launched to receive government Stimulus Funds. Unanswered questions, mis-answered questions, refusals, denials and abuses surrounding their meter rollout… despite the truckloads of information (medical as well as irritated) warning them not to… which, of course, they also refused to read.

We are rapidly entering (many insist we’re there) the time where management/ownership which refuses to access, credence and respect professional documentation of the toxicology and morbidity stemming from Wireless Radiation create a career terminating situation for themself. When their construence removes the rights of any employee or customer or neighbor to make their own determinations for health and safety (whether or not they happen to agree with those concerns) … this is indeed a classic, prosecutable and despicable criminal offense. Now we proceed to enforce those rights… certainly not to pay for their abuse as a condition of the monthly power bill.

If you have hard evidence and fact regarding LPEA abuses, denials, false claims of safety and discrepancies… email Wayne: smartmeterinfo@hushmail.com. My hunch, having fought several long and bloody power company wars before… this one is going to be an epic. I like epics… we always win.

What was heartening was the public turnout and outrage around the film…thirst for accurate information. As we all realize, there isn’t (and never has been) a safe level of wireless radiation. Having a meter with not just one, but two cell phones in it sizzling 24/7 on your baby’s crib room outside wall is a no brainer. Gone fixes that one.

I’ve written so many medical documentation/ resource guide letters to Durango/ Pagosa media in the last two years… I won’t bore you with another list you can never get to. You can email and I’ll fill you up if you missed them. Keep you out of the bars (sorry bar owners). But things got easier, and deeper, with the recent publication of Electronic Silent Spring by Katie Singer (Electrosensitive/ Santa Fe). Everything I’d send you is in this book… and tons more. Have it by your bed… not the iPhone. Unbelievable anyone could get this panorama between two covers…despite the impairment. She did it… we need to get her here at Maria’s or the Library this spring… and of course, she hits the Smart Meter fiasco and what’s behind it hard. Regionally, similar Smart Meter removal mandates are forming in Aspen, Carbondale, Redstone, Paonia, Gunnison, Rico, Ridgway, Ouray, Moab, Dolores… email and I’ll connect you.

In a lifestyle that leaves you non-voluntarily swimming in it (Wireless Radiation) anything you do to dump any of it is a help. By now you all know not to buy into the industry debunking and coverup. That filming was hardly a room full of psychosomatic whackos… not hardly. Del Sol’s pictures of the power company employees in bullet proof vests and flack helmets going over single mother’s locked back fence gates and breaking through the back door to instalL a meter over protests are pretty damned hard evidence to refute. The film clip of Obama saying… rather stuttering…”under my plan, electrical power prices will skyrocket” pretty much says it all.

I live off grid on recaptured (not Smart Grid and not Renewable) power. Your world… go for it… while you can.

PS… You own your power company in La Plata and Archuleta Counties. it’s an REA. You vote, their heads rolL… things change… could be for the better. That depends on what you do… right now.

Gary Duncan
Moab, Utah


Why 50 million smart meters still haven’t fixed America’s energy habits nor its environmental pollution

Why 50 million smart meters still haven’t fixed America’s energy habits

January 29 at 1:45 PM

This is the second article in a three-part series titled “Your Brain on Energy” for our new Energy and Environment coverage. The first article, titled “The next energy revolution won’t be in wind or solar. It will be in our brains,” appeared last week.

Five years ago came the promise: A great new way of saving money on your energy bills was on its way. An impressive new device called a “smart meter” —  a key component of the much touted “smart grid” —  would let consumers actually see how much power they’re using in their homes, thus empowering them to change their habits and slash their bills.

President Obama heralded the innovation: “Smart meters will allow you to actually monitor how much energy your family is using by the month, by the week, by the day, or even by the hour,” he said in 2009, as the federal government unleashed a $3.4 billion Smart Grid investment. “So coupled with other technologies, this is going to help you manage your electricity use and your budget at the same time.”

Lofty words —  but when it comes to changing people’s energy behavior, the smart meter revolution so far hasn’t been very revolutionary.

True, the meters are everywhere — utilities have installed 50 million at homes across the U.S., reaching 43 percent of homes overall, according to the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Innovation. But that doesn’t mean consumers are easily accessing the available data or using it to change their energy use.

“Initially I had pretty high hopes,” says Carrie Armel, a research associate at the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University and a leader of a new wave of behavioral research on energy use. “I think the technology has a lot of potential. In retrospect, in that nobody has really leveraged the technology along with efficient behavioral techniques, I find it’s not surprising that we didn’t find rate savings.”

Smart meters are a nifty new technology that can record your electricity usage on at least an hourly basis (and sometimes much more frequently). But behavioral research suggests that technologies alone don’t necessarily change what we do, how we act, the habits we form. In the case of smart meters, what still seems missing in most cases are user interfaces that relay information from the meter in real time, and translate it into dollars and cents. Consumers also need much more access to an innovation called “smart pricing” — in other words, electricity prices that vary based on supply and demand — a key change the Smart Grid was designed to enable, and one that might make it a lot more worthwhile to pay attention to your energy behavior.

The upshot: Right now, smart meters aren’t waking Americans up and making them conscious of their energy use — because they aren’t being paired with what behavioral research shows us is needed for that to happen.

This is the story of why the smart meter revolution has, thus far, fallen short — and how we can better use one of the most pivotal innovations in the electricity sphere to save energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions and save a lot of money.

The problem of “rational inattentiveness”

To see why we’re not getting all we could out of smart meters, let’s first consider a major oddity — namely, that few of us have a clue how much electricity we’re using in our homes or what it costs (that is, until the bill arrives).

You know the drill: You use lots of appliances and devices in your home, from your flatscreen TV to your thermostat. You don’t really know how much electricity that consumes, or what your resulting bill is going to look like. But you probably know that a meter somewhere is tallying it all up in some alien unit called a kilowatt-hour or kWh.

The situation couldn’t be more different from another energy transaction we’re all familiar with —  going to the gas station. Here, as you pump, you see gallons bought and cost incurred in real time. This transparency is precisely why everybody has been so focused on plunging gas prices lately. We expect them to prompt a big consumer response, as the evidence suggests Americans are quite price sensitive when it comes to gasoline.

Information about electricity costs might have a similar effect, if we received it in a convenient way. If consumers saw their meter running up and what it was costing in real time, they might be inclined to unplug a few appliances, adjust the thermostat, and so on (actions that, if widely adopted, could substantially reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions).

“There’s no doubt in my mind that having knowledge and information about how much you’re paying is a big factor in deciding how much to use,” says Ahmad Faruqui, a smart grid analyst and principal with the Brattle Group in San Francisco. “If you get a bill a month later, it doesn’t help.”

For now, though, consumers largely remain “rationally inattentive” to how much electricity they’re using at home, explains David Rapson, an economist at the University of California at Davis. The information is just too obscure and difficult to obtain — and there are a lot of other ways to spend your day, as well as seemingly easier ways to save money.

Show me the money

Smart meters —  50 million of them now, more to come —  have the potential to help fix this problem, by generating actionable information about people’s electricity use. So what’s missing? In short: Behaviorally savvy ways of connecting people with their smart meter data and making them more attentive to the cost of electricity.

Today, utilities typically provide consumers with a Web portal where they can see their smart meter data. Take California’s PG&E: It has deployed 9 million smart meters (both gas and electric) to 6.2 million individual customers, says spokeswoman Libby O’Connell. Of those, 43 percent have signed up for the company’s online portal —  and 38 percent have gone online to look at the data at least once in the last year, says O’Connell.

That’s a big accomplishment —  but web portals may not be enough. First, not every utility is faring so well with them. Many have had “difficulties attracting customers to access and use their Web portals, and the ultimate value of these tools is still an open question,” reports the Department of Energy. Indeed, a 2013 survey by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative found that only 8 percent of people were already using “online analysis of your specific energy usage” provided by their energy or utility company.

It takes time and effort to visit a Web site (like we all need another password to remember). And as we know from behavioral research, habits — like rational inattentiveness — are very hard to change, and default behaviors tend to persist. It doesn’t help that, as with PG&E’s portal, the data displayed may come with a delay of half a day or more —  so you can learn how much electricity running the dishwasher at 3 p.m. yesterday used, but not how much you’re using now. 

So are Web sites enough to break through the problem of “rational inattentiveness”? It doesn’t look like it.

Enter behavioral science

So what do consumers need?

A variety of studies in the growing field of behavioral studies of energy use hint at the answer.  They suggest you must not only provide people with real time information about their electricity use in the home, but also show how that translates into dollars and cents.

One key strain of evidence about how to make consumers pay attention to their energy use comes from a radically different way of purchasing electricity. It’s so rare that, unless you live in certain areas such as Phoenix or Texas, you probably never have heard of it: So-called “prepay” systems.

In prepay, buying electricity is much like recharging a phone calling card. You simply open an electricity account, pay in advance for a certain amount of power, and sign up for regular messages — by text, e-mail, or phone — about your account status. The cost of your power use is subtracted from your balance daily, and you receive regular updates about usage and how much money is left in your account.

It may sound like a hassle, but it definitely leads to rational attentiveness: Fail to replenish your account and you can have your power shut off. Prepay also saves energy and money. It is prevalent in Texas’s deregulated electricity market, and according to Nat Treadway of Distributed Energy Financial Group, which studies prepay arrangements, consumers typically use around 10 percent less electricity in these programs — because they have to regularly monitor their power use.

The Salt River Project, a large utility serving the Phoenix region, is the godfather of prepay. Its program, called M-Power, dates to 1993. It’s managed through in-home devices like the one below, which show people how much money they have left and how much power that translates into. Customers swipe pay cards to buy more electricity and refill those cards at ATM-like pay centers.

2010 study on M-Power found not only that consumers loved it, but that it saved them 12 percent on energy bills, on average. “M-Power turns conventional electric service on its head,” it noted. “Instead of paying an invoice issued by the utility for recorded energy usage, the customer is responsible for making sure that there is sufficient credit. … M-Power requires that consumers pay attention to when and how they use electricity.”

The next step: Smart pricing and in-home displays

But of course, few of us have access to prepay. So what else works?

Many studies suggest that providing real-time feedback about an individual’s energy use can change their behavior. One of the most compelling in this respect, by Katrina Jessoe and David Rapson at the University of California at Davis, came out last year in the journal American Economic Review. It examined 437 Connecticut households, which had been randomly assigned to one of three groups. All of the households received smart meters that transmitted electricity use information every 15 minutes —  and for the control group, that’s all they received.

The other two groups, however, received advanced notifications about so-called “dynamic pricing” events — summer days when their utility was forecasting high electricity demand, and would accordingly charge significantly more per kilowatt hour. So if the study subjects cut back their use during these blocks of time, they’d save a lot of money. Finally, one group received both dynamic pricing information but also in-home displays (see below for an example), so they could see their energy use in real time, and its cost.

The result was sharp: The alerts about dynamic pricing events led to less energy consumption, but the real savings came when you combined alerts with the in-home display. The houses that had both cut energy usage by 11 to 14 percent.

“When they had the in-home displays, they were three times as responsive to the price changes as when they didn’t,” says Rapson. He thinks that’s because the displays let consumers experiment and see how much changing various energy behaviors at home led to savings.

Suddenly, it became worth their time to pay attention to how they use power.

The missing pieces

The key upshot is that significant energy savings, empowered by smart meters, might come from combining real-time information with dynamic pricing. But right now, it appears that most Americans don’t have either of these things —  even if they do have a smart meter.

Deployment of in-home displays under the federal Smart Grid initiative is vastly lower than deployment of smart meters. Only 9,800 have been deployed thus far —  versus 15.4 million government-installed smart meters.

“The widespread deployment of smart meters is an important step in giving consumers access to an unprecedented amount of information and increased control over their energy consumption,” said Energy Department spokesman Lindsey Geisler. “With increased interest and demand from consumers for more access to their own energy information, we anticipate industry and developers will respond with increased availability on more platforms —  like smartphones and tablets.”

The private sector doesn’t seem much better: The 2013 survey by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative found that only 1 percent of Americans had “a device in your home that lets you monitor your home’s electricity usage using data from your smart meter.” One problem is cost —  it’s not clear who should pay for these devices, the utilities or the consumer.

Something similar goes for dynamic or “smart” pricing —  one of the great promises of the smart grid, and an idea that makes vast economic sense.

Smart pricing is based on the observation that consumers generally pay a fixed amount per hour for electricity, even as wholesale prices swing all over the place as demand waxes and wanes. If electricity prices reflected the actual cost of power, overall bills would go down because utilities could reduce their generating costs —  but people would also pay more in situations of extreme demand, much like with surge pricing on the Uber app.

“We economists have been saying for decades and decades, a flat tariff for electricity and water doesn’t make sense,” says Sebastien Houde, an energy economist at the University of Maryland. “What we really need is something that reflects the cost of producing electricity at the moment you consume it.”

But if prices are going to become variable, the consumer has to have a way of knowing that. At present, only around 8 million Americans are able to participate in a “smart pricing” program that lets them save money by reducing their energy usage at certain peak times, according to the Edison Foundation’s Institute  for Electric Innovation.

And still more radical savings may be possible, even beyond smart pricing. According to one group of behavioral researchers, the “holy grail” of getting people to think about (and subsequently use less) energy is so-called disaggregation — not only providing information about how much total power they’re using in real time, but actually having that information broken down for every home appliance.

We’re pretty far from that world, though.

Waking America up on energy

In fairness, we’re in the first stage of a technological revolution. You could argue that installing the smart meter hardware, first, was necessary to enable the consumer gains that might then follow. “It is the direction we’re heading, as more utilities express interest in data presentment and time-of-use pricing,” says Patty Durand of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative.

Furthermore, the smart grid has many other benefits —  fewer power outages, for instance. And because smart meters provide utilities constant information about your energy use, they no longer have to pay a human being to read your meter. When utilities save money, they can pass on the savings to consumers.

“Utilities are working to develop and introduce new applications, technology and programs to enable customers to make informed decisions with the information provided by smart meters,” said  Adam Cooper, senior manager of research at the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Innovation, a think tank affiliated with the Edison Electric Institute, the utility industry trade group. He continues: “More than 50 million smart meters have been deployed, and as that number grows continued innovation and investment in digital technologies will allow customers to communicate with their electric company in new ways.”

Indeed, there are some successful programs out there. Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, for instance, created a program combining smart thermostats with dynamic pricing and found that customers saved $191 annually on average.

Still, the American consumer may not be faring as well in this transition as those in some other countries. For instance, energy suppliers are rolling out 53 million smart gas and electricity meters across Britain from 2015 through 2020, with 1 million already installed. And according to the British Department of Energy and Climate Change, every single customer will be offered an in-home display.

It’s not clear anybody should be blamed for the state of the smart meter revolution in the United States —  turning a vast ship takes time. But it’s equally clear that, had it been better informed by behavioral science, consumers might be benefiting a lot more right now. That’s stage two of the smart meter revolution —  and let’s hope it begins pretty soon.

This is the second article in a three-part series titled “Your Brain on Energy” for our new Energy and Environment coverage. The first article, titled “The next energy revolution won’t be in wind or solar. It will be in our brains,” appeared last week.

    Chris, you did not address the environmental pollution and harm the Smart meters are imposing on the population exposed to this, not so smart technology…..Sandaura

Chris Mooney reports on science and the environment.

Former Enemalta technician jailed over smart meter rigging

Former Enemalta technician jailed over smart meter rigging

Roderick Gauci sentenced to two and a half years in prison and fined €10,000 after pleading guilty to accepting bribes to tamper electricity meters.

Matthew Agius
29 January 2015, 3:19pm

A former Enemalta technician undergoing proceedings in connection with last year’s smart meter tampering scandal has been jailed for two-and-a-half years and fined €10,000 after he admitted to accepting bribes to tamper electricity meters.

48-year old Richard Gauci, from Rabat, had been due to appear in court today for the ongoing compilation of evidence against him. However, once in court, Gauci instead pleaded guilty to the charges.

Magistrate Carol Peralta heard Gauci admit to accusations of accepting bribes for the installation of meters. He is expected to have pocketed an average of €1,200 for each installation.

Peralta solemnly warned Gauci that pleading guilty would have grave consequences, but the man reiterated his plea.

Gauci was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and fined €10,000. A temporary freezing order over his assets was also put in place pending payment of the fine. Gauci was also placed under a perpetual general interdiction.

The case against other former Enemalta employees who are also charged with the same crime will continue.

Police Inspectors Daniel and Roderick Zammit prosecuted. Lawyer Joe Sammut defended Gauci.

Similar to Worcester, MA Pilot-Not a Savings to the Customer-NO REGARD TO SMART METER HEALTH ISSUES

San Francisco Bay Area Utility Announces Smart Meter Program

San Francisco Bay Area Utility Announces Smart Meter Program Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) has launched a smart meter pilot project to integrate advanced meters in Alameda’s 300 largest businesses. The pilot is designed to review business processes and technology and there will be no charge to customers having the new meters installed. A small residential pilot with 135 participating homes is also being developed

AMP’s general manager Glenn Steiger says, “Advanced meter technology is necessary to help modernize Alameda’s electric infrastructure to prepare for the future. It will also facilitate the widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and integration of solar photovoltaics, as well as potential new variable pricing options for electricity. Ultimately, this technology will allow our customers to have many new choices for energy applications and interaction with AMP.”

The estimated cost of setting up the meters is between $10 and $12 million. AMP reports that a complete conversion is 24 months to 30 months away.

AMP spokesperson Rebecca Irwin told The Alamedan, “Advanced meters will help us monitor the Island’s entire load more closely, but they will also help customers see their usage in real-time along with the current price being charged for that power – which could be an incentive to turn off some lights or appliances.”

The project is part of an initiative to upgrade Alameda’s electric grid to improve the reliability, efficiency and security of electric services provided to customers. The City of Alameda is located east of San Francisco. AMP services approximately 34,000 customers.


Introducing Itron’s Newest and Improved “Death Trap”

This is what National Grid attached to our home in September of 2006.  The ID numbers are identical.  The only difference would be to assume the 4G network was not in place in 2006.  The broader coverage they speak of is high radiation levels; just more of it!! The 3G made us sick.  They just won’t stop will they?….Sandaura

Itron Introduced New Smart Meter Solution

Itron Introduced New Smart Meter Solution Itron has launched a new smart metering solution that features the OpenWay CENTRON 4G LTE meter, which provides broad territory coverage, low latency, and network longevity. The OpenWay smart grid solution enables utilities to deploy any combination of cellular and RF mesh communications, including 4G LTE, all under the same network management system.

According to Itron, “4G LTE communication is particularly useful for hard-to-reach locations or territories or for opt-in scenarios. Due to the low latency of the 4G LTE network, the new solution is also a good option for DA/SCADA applications or utilizing smart meters as grid sensors to monitor distribution system conditions.”

Jeff Carkhuff, Itron vice president of global solutions marketing for electricity explains, “Itron is pleased to announce its first 4G LTE smart metering solution. With this new solution, we answer our customers’ needs for fast, reliable and flexible communications. In addition, with the support of Sierra Wireless and Verizon, we are able to deliver a 4G LTE solution that is cost-effective and provides longer term investment protection by utilizing the latest wireless technology platform. With the industry’s broadest portfolio of software, communications and measurement technology, Itron has the ability to adapt our solutions to utilities’ unique needs. All with the goal of enabling our customers to operate more efficiently and create a more resourceful world.”

Verizon Enterprise Solutions managing director, energy and utilities practice Michael Brander adds: “By enabling Itron’s OpenWay CENTRON 4G LTE smart meter to run on Verizon’s 4G LTE and intelligent IP networks, we are helping to make the electric grid the smart grid of tomorrow. Collaborating with companies like Itron to enable the possibilities of the smart grid is yet another step in how the industry is moving the Internet of Things (IoT) forward.”

Thttp://www.smartmeters.com/itron-introduced-new-smart-meter-solution/he solution will be commercially available by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Smart meter foe files federal lawsuit against Naperville cops

Smart meter foe files federal lawsuit against Naperville cops

American Cancer Society in its attempt to appease the public

Posted on the American Cancer Society


Smart Meters

What are smart meters?

To use (and be billed for) utilities such as electricity, natural gas, or water, the amount you use must be measured. This is generally done with a meter. In the past, the data from the meters had to be read by a person. More recently, meters that automatically send usage information back to the product supplier have been used. These are called smart meters.   Sounds so innocent, but it is not.  The hook the utilities used to the consumer was “This is going to save the consumer money” This has been proven to be not true.  This is making a very small percentage of our global population, billions of blood money dollars…Sandaura

Smart meters have been used for a number of years in some developed countries, especially in parts of Europe. In recent years, they have been installed in some areas of the United States as well. We are not simply talking about smart meters here.  We are talking about an antenna array that is now global.  The power grid is one central nervous system broadcasting an illegal pure tone(s) signals and radiation, ubiquitously into our air and every private and public building in its path. There is no defense against this hazard.  It is now a weapon of mass destruction directed at all living things….Sandaura

Concerns have been raised about the safety of smart meters, mainly because they give off the same kinds of radiofrequency (RF) waves as cell phones and Wi-Fi devices.  The word concern is minimizing the activism across our country and world-wide, enraged by the mandates for smart meters and Wi-Fi in our kids’ schools.  There is nothing polite about what is being forced on the public.  We are being ignored and again, there is no discussion going on.  There is a media blackout as well in regards to this topic.

How do smart meters work?

Smart meters record the amount of the product (electricity, water, etc.) consumed over time. They differ from traditional utility meters in that they are electronic and can talk to a central computer system. Yes, they differ, alright!!  These meters are “Peeping Toms” and collect personal information that knows your living habits in your home.  This is a violation of your civil and human rights. They know when you are sleeping; they know when you’re awake, so be good for goodness sake……Sandaura

Smart meters talk to their central systems using RF transmissions, based on a cell phone, pager, satellite, radio, power line (PLC), Wi-Fi or Internet (TCP/IP) communication method. Internet and cell phone applications have become the preferred options because of their flexibility and ease of deployment. The devices to manage the communication layer of the smart grid never turns off.  It is radiating 24 hours a day 365 days a year and functions on back up batteries when the grid goes down. There is no escaping or shielding from this health hazard…..Sandaura

How are people exposed?

Smart meters are typically installed outside the home, either in place of or as part of existing meters. How much RF energy that people are exposed to from the smart meter depends on how far they are from the smart meter antenna and how the smart meter sends its signal. The frequency and power of the RF waves given off by a smart meter are similar to that of a typical cell phone, cordless phone, or residential Wi-Fi router. Smart meters typically send and receive short messages about 1% of the time.  Here is another lie.  It is documented that the smart meters communicate up to 190,000 times a day.

Because the smart meter antenna usually is located outside the home, people are much farther away from the source of RF waves than some other possible sources of exposure to RF radiation, such as personal cell phones and cordless phones. In addition, walls between the person and the smart meter’s antenna further reduce the amount of RF energy exposure. This means that the amount of RF radiation that someone would be exposed to from a smart meter is probably much lower than the amount that they would be exposed to from other sources.  Don’t you love the scientific efficacy of the words to describe their formal statement, here? Maybe, somehow, probably, might, well if you have cancer, maybe you should not expose yourself to the radiation?  Fact, the smart meter is a mini cell tower and has been measured to be higher in radiation levels than when standing in front of a cell base station tower!!!….This is such a blatant insult to the intelligence of the general public…..Sandaura

Can smart meters cause cancer?

Smart meters give off RF radiation. RF radiation is low-energy radiation. RF radiation doesn’t have enough energy to remove charged particles such as electrons (ionize), and so is called non-ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation has enough energy to move atoms in a molecule around or cause them to vibrate, which can lead to heat but it can’t damage DNA directly.  A Tobacco Scientist, hired gun. Peter Valburg, aided the Tobacco Industry bamboozle the public for decades into believing cigarettes are benign; is now the hired gun for the Smart Grid Industry.  He has compared the smart meters to a low voltage flash light and microwave ovens!  This hack is getting paid to lie, once again to the public. The argument here and the truth is we are dealing with non-ionizing pulsed RF radiation, which is bio-active in all living things.  No one is exempt or safe from this exposure.  The risks are higher of becoming sick and even higher with those individuals, whose bodies are already comprised.  Microwave ovens do not use Pulsed RF to function; Smart Meters do!  Again, an opinion from Valburg is worthless and simply not someone you can trust and this is the best representation the utilities could find? We deserve better…Sandaura

RF radiation is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This is based on the finding of a possible link in at least one study between cell phone use and a specific type of brain tumor. Because RF radiation is a possible carcinogen, and smart meters give off RF radiation, it is possible that smart meters could increase cancer risk. Still, it isn’t clear what risk, if any there might be from living in a home with a smart meter. Once again, another red flag, ACS. Connect the dots for God’s sake! There is a petition circulating to IARC, WHO: Move Radio Frequency Radiation from Class 2b to Class 1. Your conclusions here; are not scientific.  We deserve better than this convoluted mumble, jumble of nonsense…..Sandaura

It would be nearly impossible to conduct a study to prove or disprove a link between living in a house with smart meters and cancer because people have so many sources of exposure to RF and the level of exposure from this source is so small. Because, the amount of RF radiation you could be exposed to from a smart meter is much less than what you could be exposed to from a cell phone, it is very unlikely that living in a house with a smart meter increases risk of cancer. The World Health Organization has promised to conduct a formal assessment of the risks from RF exposure but this report is not yet available.  It is not impossible to conduct a study. The global population is now one big petri dish of guinea pigs; being exposed to smart meter radiation.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduct that an individual who wasn’t living with a smart meter was not as biologically stressed as when the mechanical meter was replaced with a two way RF transmitting meter….Sandaura

Our documents, Microwaves, Radio Waves, and Other Types of Radiofrequency Radiation and Cellular Phones have more information about the link between RF radiation and cancer risk.

Do smart meters cause any other health problems?

Smart meters have not been studied to see if they cause health problems. Studies have looked at RF radiation from other sources. Exposure to large amounts of RF radiation, as from accidents involving radar, has resulted in severe burns. No other serious health problems have been reported. Another red flag, game over. None of what the ACA should be taken seriously. What are they basing their science on? We deserve better…..Sandaura

One concern expressed is that the RF waves produced by smart meters might interfere with electronic medical devices such as a heart pacemaker. A study that examined the effect of smart meters on pacemakers and implantable defibrillators found that the smart meters did not interfere with these devices.  This is a contradiction because ACS has stated no studies have been done on the human effect of smart meters, so it is irresponsible and not founded to draw these assumptions.  Why are you ignoring the thousands of individuals who have filed complaints about the harm the smart meters are doing to them?  There is no two way discussion about this problem…Sandaura

Could smart meters cause health problems in cancer survivors?

While RF exposure might not cause cancer directly, concern has been voiced that cells in the body that have been damaged by exposure to some other substance might somehow be more likely to become cancerous when exposed to RF waves. In theory, this might be a concern for cancer patients being treated with ionizing radiation and/or medicines that might cause cancer themselves. Animal studies have not shown evidence of this and this effect has not been studied in people.  Why is the precautionary principle valid and practiced by utility industry when workers come in contact with RF exposure? There are very stringent guidelines in place to protect workers from the hazards of RF radiation….Sandaura

How can I reduce my exposure to RF radiation from smart meters?

There isn’t much you can do to lower your exposure to RF radiation from smart meters. In some places where smart meters are being installed, people have the choice to opt in or opt out of having them, but this isn’t an option everywhere. Thanks for the heads up that we are doomed and letting us know there is not much we can do? Is this for real?  I can’t believe they have written this garbage and think we are going swallow it!!!!!  There is a lot they can do.  They can stop it!!!!  Put technology in place that we can use, which is safe and not deadly.  Opting out does not solve the root of the evil.  The Global network is still on and sending even higher levels of dirty electricity on their wires and through every outlet in your home. They are assessing that only a very small percentage of consumers will opt out.  This is because the majority of population is misinformed or not informed at all.  I would venture a guess that the majority is not aware of what the Global Smart Grid network is. Talk to your neighbors and you will realize this is probably true….Sandaura

It may be possible to lower exposure from cell phones and other sources of RF radiation. This is discussed in more detail in our documents, Microwaves, Radio Waves, and Other Types of Radiofrequency Radiation and Cellular Phones.

Because the low levels of energy from RF radiation have not been clearly shown to cause problems even at close range, it isn’t clear that lowering exposure to RF radiation has health benefits. NO radiation is good radiation.  There is no health benefits what so ever.  What a strange way to phrase something that kills and in no way heals……Sandaura

Additional resources

More information from your American Cancer Society

The following related information may also be helpful to you. These materials may be read on our web site or ordered from our toll-free number, at 1-800-227-2345.

Cellular Phones    Here is a better list, italicized, for those searching for the truth…www.centerforsaferwireless.us

Does This Cause Cancer?  Bioinitiative Report   http://www.bioinitiative.org

Known and Probable Human Carcinogens    http://www.emrpolicy.org

In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s smart meter acquisition is descending into chaos amid forced resignations and corruption allegations.

Smart meters Africa: Zimbabwe’s tender in question due to corruption allegations

Posted by: Metering International

December 19, 2014

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Zimbabwe smart-meter tenderIn Southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s smart meter acquisition is descending into chaos amid forced resignations and corruption allegations.

Following the announcement earlier this month that state-owned Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) had started selling tender papers to interested suppliers for the supply of smart metering equipment, rumours of kick backs are emerging from the process.

More than 227 companies have already bought documents for the tender, which closes next month.

Local media report that some bidding companies had paid kickbacks to energy and power development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and his deputy Engineer Munacho Mutezo, who were last week fired from government for mismanagement.

Mr Mayhaire announced in July this year a plan to switch from prepaid meters to smart units in a bid to cut state utility and holding company Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s (ZESA) revenue losses.

Mayhaire is now being implicated in a corruption scandal.

More smart meters than needed

He allegedly pushed ZESA to tender for 300,000 smart meters when there are only 80,000 potential sites in the country where a smart meter could be installed suggesting he and Mr Mutezo were hoping to benefit financially from the deal.

Management at ZESA are now considering reducing the volume of units or cancelling the US$120 million tender all together.

Julian Chinembiri, company managing director at ZETDC, yesterday said the 300 000 smart meters did not tally with the points on the ground.

Mr Chinembiri said: “There are no such points in the country and we were only targeting about 57,000 smart meter installations. The rest would be pre-paid meters.

He said ZETDC, a subsidiary of ZESA, would prefer to install smart meters at points where it would make business case to install such gadgets.

“These are points with significant load around 1 000kWh/month, with potential to shift load without affecting basic life of consumers (load management) and customers with excess renewable energy generation capacity. You derive more benefits in industries not households.”

Chinembiri said ZETDC was were having a “re-look” at the project.

The power utility would consult with the newly appointed Minister Samuel Undenge to see if it was still viable to continue with the tender.

Pilot project squashed

The ZETDC board had approved that the power utility first have a pilot project for 10 000 smart meters but the resolution was quashed by the two former ministers, who claimed the it was a “waste of resources”, local media report.

ZESA had already installed more than 420,000 prepaid meters supplied by Solahart, Finmark and Nyamazela of South Africa.

Ousted minister Mayhaire had said the national utility was continuing to lose more than ZWD$10 million (US$28,000) monthly due to power theft. He said: “We simply need a system that reports back to the centre any shortfall or meter bypassing taking place.”

Local media had reported that it was administrative bungling at Zesa and its subsidiaries such as ZETDC, which caused the prepayment rollout to fail.


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