USA TODAY – Foes fight the tide of ‘smart’ water meters

Foes fight the tide of ‘smart’ water meters

Often when new meters are installed, bills go up even without a rate increase, because old meters can read lower levels of water than people are using.

Moves to modernize water utilities across the U.S. are coming under fire from opponents who say the costs will outpace the benefits of new technology.

At issue are smart meters, new devices that measure water usage digitally, then transmit the data wirelessly to the utility.

Industry officials tout their efficiency — utilities can save money by getting rid of manual meter readers, for one thing. They also say the new meters will help residents conserve water and monitor their usage online.

“If I call in right now and I say, ‘My water bill went up by $100, why is that?'” said Chris McNeil, senior account manager with energy giant Siemens, which packages water meters with billing software. “There’s no system in place to be able to answer that” in cities with older billing technology.

Opponents, though, dismiss these as talking points with little basis in reality.

“That’s really twisted — because really they’re going to raise our bills,” says Maria Powell, an environmental scientist from Madison, Wis. “The whole premise that people are going to go online and look at their water usage day to day, it’s baloney. Most people aren’t going to do that.”

The opposition mirrors that of fights against smart meters used by electric companies. Residents have bitterly opposed electric smart meters across the country, with some success., an advocacy group in California, reports that 13 city and county governments in the state have banned smart meter installations within their areas. The fight over meters in Texas has become so heated that the Public Utilities Commission keeps reports on smart meters prominently displayed on its homepage. Web visitors can read staff reports extolling the virtues of smart meters, alongside more than 600 collected filings on the subject, many of them petitions from opponents.

Pike Research, a firm specializing in clean technology research, cited the fights over electric smart meters in revising downward its own projections for the industry. But the firm still expects smart water meters to boom in coming years to an installed base of 29.9 million meters by 2017 from 10.3 million in 2011.

Delores Kester, also of Madison, complains that residents will bear high up-front costs, as utilities go about changing out thousands of functioning analog meters.

“It’s tough times for a lot of people,” said Kester, who organized a petition opposing the meters. “Atlanta had non-stop problems with huge water rate increases.”

Indeed, the opposition comes at a time when residents are spending larger and larger shares of their household budget on water. Costs are easily outpacing inflation, according to Fitch Ratings, a market research group. In the most extreme cases like Atlanta, residents are paying three times more for water today than they were 10 years ago, as utilities grapple with costly infrastructure needs.

Often when new meters are installed, bills go up even without a rate increase because old meters can read lower levels of water than people are using.

When new meters were installed in Greenville, Miss., some residents’ bills doubled, increasing by hundreds of dollars in some cases, according to reports from a local newspaper, the Delta Democrat Times. And in nearby Jackson, Miss., smart meters are projected to generate $60 million over 15 years, money that will be earmarked for work on the city’s crumbling water and sewer system, according to city documents.

Opponents also complain of privacy issues, and they say the wireless technology used in them — which is not unlike signals emitted by your cellphone — can cause health problems. Federal regulators insist the signals are safe, and health researchers haven’t found a consistent link between radio frequencies and cancer, as opponents suggest.

Still, Powell and Kester successfully lobbied their public utility to allow residents to opt out of the new meters if they wish — for a $7.78 monthly fee.

“We might have wanted more if it was Christmas,” Kester said. “But we worked together to develop the policy that we have.”

Eason also reports for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss.

CHICAGO – Plaintiff in Tinley Park water meter suit seeks class action

Plaintiff in Tinley Park water meter suit seeks class action

MICHIGAN – Forum to focus on smart meters

Harper Woods

Forum to focus on smart meters

 August 27, 2015

After residents voiced concerns during a recent City Council meeting about DTE’s smart meters, city officials decided to set up a public forum on the issue.

The forum will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 at Harper Woods City Hall, starting with the showing of the film “Take Back Your Power.” David Sheldon, of, is scheduled to speak, and a representative from DTE will be invited, according to planners. The city also is inviting county and state officials.

The forum will be open to residents of any community who are interested in learning more about the smart meters.

“At the City Council meeting residents brought it up and a forum was discussed, and I think that it was (Councilman) Hugh Marshall that said we should have a forum and asked if I would organize it because I had already spoken to the state rep. after receiving several inquiries from constituents,” Councilwoman Cheryl Costantino said.

“Other council members were interested as well,” she said.

Costantino said that the city manager recommended inviting DTE to the forum.

“We thought that was a good idea to hear both sides of the issue,” Costantino said.

The concerns include safety with the radio frequency radiation emitted from the meters, but also the cumulative effect of various types of technology including cellphones, microwaves, Wi-Fi and other devices in addition to the meters, as well as the use of multiple meters in a neighborhood.

Harper Woods resident Regina Steiger is one of the residents who is looking for answers about the meters.

“Our insurance agent told me yesterday that if a city is allowing DTE to install their advanced meters (smart meters) on the homes and businesses of their residents, the city must have documentation from DTE attesting to the safety of those meters,” Steiger said in an email.

She has a list of documentation she has recommended that the city request from DTE.

One of those items includes requesting any documentation the company has on cumulative risk of radiation emitted by various devices including smart meters.

“DTE has stated that smart meters emit radiation in pulses that last only minutes a day in any given 24-hour period,” she said. “Is it true that those minutes are actually broken up in seconds to milliseconds throughout the day, thereby extending the level of radiation to a continuous one emitted throughout the course of every 24-hour period?”

She said that the FCC has said that smart meter radiation is at a level that is within safety standards, though she has questions about the standard. She wants DTE to say if it has documentation that guarantees that there isn’t a risk in different types of circumstances.

There are also concerns about privacy issues.

DTE representative Scott Simons said that the advanced meters use technology that allows remote reading, which he said is beneficial to DTE and its customers. He said the benefits to customers include eliminating the reliance on estimated bills, reducing the length of power outages by allowing quicker recognition of electric system issues, faster and less-intrusive service, and reductions in operating costs to keep rate increases down in the future.

“Customers can choose to opt out of the program for a fee and receive new digital meters that do not wirelessly transmit usage information,” Simons said in an email. “A meter reader will stop by their homes once a month, as has been our previous practice.

“It should be noted that the Michigan Public Service Commission has approved DTE’s advanced meter program and its program to allow customers to opt out,” he said. “The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the MPSC’s orders that approved the opt-out program on all counts.”

Simons touched on the safety concerns. The meters have been monitored and tested to make sure they meet safety regulations, and the radio frequency exposure is significantly below levels permitted by the FCC and less than those emitted by other popular electronic devices, he said.

“While concerns have been raised about the potential impact of the radio frequency generated by advanced meters, numerous studies have shown that advanced meters using RF technology pose no health risk,” he said in the email. “Even an American Cancer Society report states, ‘There is no clear evidence at this time that RF waves from smart meters (or other devices) can cause harmful health effects. The low levels of energy from RF waves have not been clearly shown to cause problems even at close range, and the energy decreases the farther a person is from the transmission source.’”

As for the privacy issues, Simons said that the meters only collect information on energy usage.

“And they certainly don’t spy on activities in our customers’ homes,” he said. “We don’t want to know what our customers do in their homes, and we work hard, implementing the latest in technology, to keep personal information safe. We don’t sell usage information to third parties and have never done so. That business practice has continued with advanced meters.

“DTE Energy believes there is absolutely no merit to the concerns raised by some individuals about advanced meters, and we remain confident in the safety, security and benefits provided by the meters,” he said.

Customers blast PSO’s smart meter opt-out fees at Oklahoma Corporation Commission hearing

Customers blast PSO’s smart meter opt-out fees at Oklahoma Corporation Commission hearing

PSO is installing smart meters at the rate of about 7,500 customers per week and has installed 157,750.
by Paul Monies Published: August 28, 2015


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A group of customers who don’t want smart meters being installed by Public Service Co. of Oklahoma listed a litany of complaints during a two-hour hearing Thursday at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Public comments before Administrative Law Judge Ben Jackson ranged from health and safety concerns from radio frequency radiation given off by the meters to privacy issues and the high cost PSO wants to charge customers to opt-out.

PSO won approval from the commission in April to charge customers an extra $3.11 per month to install more than 520,000 smart meters throughout its service territory in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.

The utility now wants the commission to approve a one-time charge of $183 and monthly fees of $28 for customers who wish to opt out of the smart meter program. The one-time charge would rise to $261 when PSO finishes the rollout of its smart meters.

PSO said it’s installing smart meters at the rate of about 7,500 customers per week and has installed 157,750. The utility said 207 customers have declined or opted out so far.

A witness for Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose office represents consumers in utility cases, said PSO’s monthly opt-out costs were too high. He suggested a one-time charge of $38.84 and no monthly fees.

Among the customers speaking against the smart meters was Joe Esposito, an Owasso resident who intervened in PSO’s earlier case on smart meters.

Esposito said the commission should study related costs involved in smart meter installation, including health risks, fire dangers and data privacy. He asked the commission to impose a moratorium on their use and tell utilities to turn off all transmissions from the meters.

Jackson reminded Esposito that the Federal Communications Commission regulates the health issues from the radio spectrum and it was outside the jurisdiction of the Corporation Commission.

Smart meters typically emit much lower amounts of radio frequency radiation than microwaves, cellphones, baby monitors and walkie-talkies, according to FCC acceptable limits based on distance and exposure times.

Several customers wondered why PSO was replacing existing mechanical meters, which they said had worked well for decades. Another customer questioned PSO’s opt-out costs and suggested the utility could save money by contracting with a natural gas utility or a water company, which also have meter readers.

In testimony filed in the case, PSO’s Derek Lewellen said customers who opt out of the smart meter would be provided with a digital meter that has the communications module removed. He said analog meters are no longer manufactured in the U.S.

“Additionally, the digital, non-communicating meters should address the perceived health and privacy expressed by some customers as they do not utilize RF signals to transmit information wirelessly like PSO’s standard AMI meter,” said Lewellen, PSO’s manager of smart grid and meter revenue operations. “In fact, as its name implies, the digital non-communicating meter does not communicate wirelessly at all. As such, this also mitigates privacy concerns, as this meter does not wirelessly communicate any customer electric consumption data.”

Under its earlier smart meter case, PSO said it could guarantee customer savings of at least $11 million in the next four years from the elimination of meter readers and fewer trucks called out for disconnects and reconnects.

Lewellen said PSO needs to charge monthly opt-out fees to recover the costs for reading meters at least once per month, as well as other salary, labor and transportation costs.

The commission’s public utility division recommended the commission approve the opt-out costs, but it said customers should be given an option to spread the up-front, one-time charge over at least three billing cycles.

Once PSO’s smart meter installation is complete, Oklahoma will have among the highest penetration rates for smart meters in the country. Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. completed its smart meter installation in 2013 and has more than 818,000 smart meters in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The PSO hearing will resume at 10 a.m. Friday at the Corporation Commission in Oklahoma City.



W.E.E.P.  EMF News

The Canadian initiative to stop Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution

27 August 2015

Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression Pall ML. Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression. J Chem Neuroanat. 2015 Aug 20. pii: S0891-0618(15)00059-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2015.08.001. [Epub ahead of print] Highlights • Microwave EMFs activate voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) concentrated in the brain • Animal studies show such low level MWV EMFs have diverse high impacts in the brain • VGCC activity causes widespread neuropsychiatric effects in humans (genetic studies) • 26 studies have EMFs assoc. with neuropsychiatric effects; 5 criteria show causality • MWV EMFs cause at least 13 neuropsychiatric effects including depression in humansAbstract
Non-thermal microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. Calcium channel blockers block EMF effects and several types of additional evidence confirm this mechanism. Low intensity microwave EMFs have been proposed to produce neuropsychiatric effects, sometimes called microwave syndrome, and the focus of this review is whether these are indeed well documented and consistent with the known mechanism(s) of action of such EMFs.
VGCCs occur in very high densities throughout the nervous system and have near universal roles in release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Soviet and Western literature shows that much of the impact of non-thermal microwave exposures in experimental animals occurs in the brain and peripheral nervous system, such that nervous system histology and function show diverse and substantial changes. These may be generated through roles of VGCC activation, producing excessive neurotransmitter/neuroendocrine release as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress and other responses. Excessive VGCC activity has been shown from genetic polymorphism studies to have roles in producing neuropsychiatric changes in humans.
Two U.S. government reports from the 1970’s-80’s provide evidence for many neuropsychiatric effects of non-thermal microwave EMFs, based on occupational exposure studies. 18 more recent epidemiological studies, provide substantial evidence that microwave EMFs from cell/mobile phone base stations, excessive cell/mobile phone usage and from wireless smart meters can each produce similar patterns of neuropsychiatric effects, with several of these studies showing clear dose-response relationships. Lesser evidence from 6 additional studies suggests that short wave, radio station, occupational and digital TV antenna exposures may produce similar neuropsychiatric effects.
Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness,dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism and EEG changes.
In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects. Excerpts

Table 4. Commonly Reported Neuropsychiatric Symptoms following Microwave EMF Exposure

Symptom(s) Numbers of studies reporting
Sleep disturbance/insomnia 17
Headache 14
Fatigue/tiredness 11
Depression/depressive symptoms 10
Dysesthesia (vision/hearing/olfactory dysfunction) 10
Concentration/attention/cognitive dysfunction 10
Dizziness/vertigo 9
Memory changes 8
Restlessness/tension/anxiety/stress/agitation/feeling of discomfort 8
Irritablity 7
Loss of appetite/body weight 6
Skin tingling/burning/inflammation/dermographism 6
Nausea 5

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director Center for Family and Community Health School of Public Health University of California, Berkeley


Lawsuit Against School WiFi

In Massachusetts, a 12-year-old minor and parents are suing School and Board of Trustees.

The minor suffers due to electrosensitivity.  The school nurse reports similar symptoms in other children in the same classrooms.

Patricia / Barb

School WiFi Blamed for Child’s Symptoms


French woman gets (disability) grant for ‘gadget allergy’

Note the false information contained in the story – Scientific studies have found no evidence linking electromagnetic exposure to the symptoms – tingling, headaches, fatigue, nausea, or palpitations’.



Canadian Human Rights Commission – Environmental Sensitivities

Canadian Report
The policy was reaffirmed


Did Driver Fatalities Jump 14% due to Radiation from WiFi and Bluetooth being installed in new cars?

There were more than 18,600 motor-vehicle deaths from January through June this year, compared to 16,400 deaths in the first six months of 2014.



Dr. Neil Cherry Scientific Papers

We have hosted Neil’s scientific documents at

Paul Waddell Cert. EMF Testing New Zealand Living Safely with Technology


U.K. TV presenter Noel Edmonds talks microwaves on Irish radio

“The Wi-Fi and all of the systems that we are introducing into our lives are destroying our own natural electro-magnetic fields.

All you are is energy, remember that.”



Wifi à l’école – Le tour de la question (French)

You do not need to speak French to follow this video, put together by ARTAC (Belpomme’s group) and others in France. Towards the end there is a display of all the resolutions by concerned scientists to educate public officials and the public about EMF risks. This video is well done!



Why modern life is making dementia in your 40s more likely

Our first study, focusing on the changing pattern of neurological deaths from 1979 up to 1997, found that dementias were starting 10 years earlier – affecting more people in their 40s and 50s – and that there was a noticeable increase in neurological deaths in people up to the age of 74. In a follow-up study, taking us to 2010 and across 21 western countries, these increases were confirmed.

Deaths of men over 75 have nearly trebled in 20 years and deaths of women have increased more than five-fold. For the first time since records began, more US women over 75 are dying of brain disease than cancer.


‘Smart meter left me with no hot water and put my home at risk of fire’

He claims that problems resulting from the installation left him without hot water for six weeks and even put his home at risk of fire.


Why is the government rolling out smart meters that have been repeatedly exposed as expensive, poorly tested and potential threats to our privacy?


Interest in smart meters

During the meeting, a DVD called Take Back Your Power will be shown, a documentary about the possible environmental and health effects of smart meters and grids.

Rob Hutchins, of Oamaru, who founded the Electro-sensitivity Trust in New Zealand, will again chair the meeting.


Stop the £11 billion ‘smart meter’ ripoff!

“We have evidence from a whole variety of other sources of radio frequency exposure that demonstrates convincingly and consistently that exposure to radio-frequency radiation (RFR) at elevated levels for long periods of time increases the risk of cancer, damages the nervous system and adversely affects the reproductive organs.”


Rep. Kelly weighs in on ‘smart meter’ controversy


Michigan Court of Appeals – Smart Meter Case

On remand, I would direct the PSC to allow appellants to address their concerns over the privacy, health, safety, and cost benefits issues associated with the AMI program at the hearing.”

[Footnote:] “I would loathe to discover 20 years from now that these concerns are valid.  Historically, it is less burdensome to address these issues as they arise than to attempt to reform 20 years of illconceived policy decisions.”



Dear Comed (your smart meters are dangerous)


Cape Cod town – to be avoided

Of these, 123 fixtures will provide Wi-Fi hotspots in selected retail stretches of New Britain Avenue and East Main, West Main and Whiting streets.


Your Cellphone May Be Hazarous To Your Childs Mental Health


Teachers seek to take down cell tower at Deering High School

In late May, Deering biology teacher Polly Wilson reported that goldfish she kept in Room 305, right below the tower, kept dying.



Rogue Microwave Ovens Are the Culprits Behind Mysterious Radio Signals



Hackers take control of a Tesla Model S and turn it off at low speed

Cyber security researchers have found six significant flaws in Tesla’s Model S cars that could allow hackers to take control of the vehicles and have safety implications for drivers.



EMR Aware Newsletter


Cellphone ‘Right to Know Lawyer’ is Candidate for President

Lawrence Lessig is the lawyer who drafted the Berkeley Cell Phone Right to Know Act and is defending it, pro-bono, against the wireless industry’s (CTIA) legal challenge.  Is he the new Ralph Nader?  Does he oppose Smart Meters and electro-smog?

Please contact him and urge him to take a stand against Smart Meters and other electro-pollution.  Here is his email address and some sample text:

“We are pleased to support your bid for the presidency!  Would you please take a stand against Smart Meters and other electro-pollution?  Thanks.”


From Camilla Rees:

Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Harvard, has a plan to fix the rigged system where corporate interests dominate policy making in Washington. Please consider donating to his most unusual campaign. If he can raise $1mm by Labor Day he will make a run for President, offering America the chance to unshackle itself from a situation where corporations have more power than citizens, and where democracy has been lost. Put aside any cynicism and help give a chance to someone who has a solution and believes it is worth salvaging the American dream. Take a stand to restore integrity in government no matter what your politics. Corruption in government is not a partisan issue, but matters to us all. Donate something if you can. Thanks.

Judge suggests he may side with most of Berkeley’s cell phone law


Mobile phone mast targeted by arsonists – customers left ‘isolated’ for six days


Malaysian Mother Describes Her *Allergy* to Wireless Radiation


Will they rename it – Church of Harm ?

Orchard Park woman: ‘I’ll fight church phone masts tooth and nail’


Ex-WHO General Director Warns: “Wireless Technology has Health Effects There is no Doubt “



Get Your Smart Meter ‘Blackmail Money’ Back from SDG&E

Thanks to the brilliant legal work of Josh Hart and his team, we are all entitled to a refund of our smart meter opt out fees.  Attached is my letter to SDG&E.  Feel free to copy and use with your utility.  I will let you know SDG&E’s response.   Good news!  I have been living in my home in San Diego for almost two months.  With no Smart Meter or Wi-Fi, it is almost tolerable, although I still sleep outside.   Even better news!  My neighbor has agreed to remove his Smart Meter, the one that is 3 feet from my property pointing at me.   Celeste

“I am writing to request a refund of all Smart Meter Opt Out fees unlawfully charged to the above-referenced account. This request is based upon a recent court decision finding Opt Out fees to be a violation of California Public Utilities Code section 453. A regulated public utility is prohibited from discriminating against a ratepayer based upon a medical condition or disability. (See Hart v. PSREC, Superior Court of California, County of Plumas, Case No. SC-SC15-Q0003)

I believe that the total amount due is $190 which breaks down as follows:   $10 Initial Fee, plus 36 Monthly Fees of $5 totaling $180. Please confirm.

Please send a refund check at your earliest convenience. Thank you.”


Film Festival Quebec  “quiet zone”  + 2016



ES UK Newsletter

I do hope that you enjoy the latest copy of the ES-UK Newsletter.

It is attached



Digital Detox Holidays