Power Utility Smart Meters Causing Router Interference

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Power Utility Smart Meters Causing Router Interference
Maine Public Advocate Says Users Not Being Educated
by Karl Bode 02:03PM Monday Nov 21 2011 Tipped by FFH5 See Profile
Central Maine Power (CMP) has been deploying smart electric meters, allowing the company to detect problems remotely and bill users without home readings. Unfortunately, the 440,000 smart meters installed so far (with around 180,000 more planned) operate in the 2.4 Ghz frequency, and as a result are interfering with home electronics including home wireless routers. With many people lacking the technical expertise to even set a router password, not too surprisingly the sudden interference is causing some problems for local customers, according to the Portland Press Herald:


If some appliances, computers or communications equipment have been working oddly lately, the Maine Public Advocate’s office said your electric meter may be to blame. A spokesman for Central Maine Power says the company is aware of the problem with its smart meters, seen being installed last year in Portland, and has set up a special unit to handle complaints. The office put out a statement this week saying Central Maine Power Co.’s “smart meters” — which use low-power radio frequency transmissions to send meter readings to the company — are interfering with a wide range of household electronic devices, from garage door openers and WiFi devices to security systems.

The Office of the Public Advocate is complaining that the utility isn’t providing enough information to customers, though only about 250 customers have complained. The meter’s radio only actually only kicks on for a few minutes every so often, which means those suddenly having interference problems likely have a hard time tying it to the new meters. According to the Utility’s FAQ, the company recommends users move equipment or change their AP channel to either 1 or 11.

Bristish Columbia Victory!! Smart meter moratorium

Smart meter moratorium

Citing health and other concerns, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director, Tom Siddon, presented a petition and called for a moratorium on smart meter installation in Area D, at the last RDOS board meeting.

“This is being imposed on people without their consent, and I just think it’s wrong,” he said. “(Fortis) have a responsibility to operate in the public interest.”

According to Siddon, more than 60 municipalities, regional districts and First Nation governments in British Columbia, including the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen in 2012, have now called for a “moratorium” on the mandatory installation of smart meters in their communities until an opt-out option is made available.

Furthermore, he stated, these wireless electricity meters currently being installed throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys are being done without written consent of property owners and are not UL approved or CSA certified.

In addition, the Heritage Hills/Lakeshore Highlands Resident’s Association unanimously adopted a motion in December of 2014 requesting the RDOS pass a resolution opposing the installation in Area D, which includes Okanagan Falls, Kaleden and Apex areas.

More than 230 residents living in several communities of the South Okanagan and Similkameen have also signed a petition calling upon the RDOS to decline approval for any installation of the meters until human health risks have been clearly disproven by published science.

The motion went 12-5, with other directors showing strong support.

The RDOS  is now petitioning Premier Christy Clark, Minister of Health Terry Lake and the chief medical health officer of B.C. to “acknowledge the real and rapidly increasing dangers of wireless radiation in all forms.”

Secondly, said Siddon, the RDOS is requesting the B.C. Utilities Commission order an immediate halt of mandatory installation of the meters on all private residences in the RDOS jurisdiction and that all meters recently installed within Area D be removed immediately at full cost to Fortis.

This action follows on the heels of some Penticton Indian Band members expressing concerns about the meters being installed on the reserve.

Fortis could not be immediately reached for comment.