Privacy Fears Spur Smart-Meter Opt-Out

Privacy Fears Spur Smart-Meter Opt-Out

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

smart meters

Several states are moving to give consumers the choice to opt out of installing smart meters at home due to concerns raised by privacy activists.

“According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 15 states allow customers to opt out of smart meter installation, although many — among them Florida, where [customers are charged] a $13-1-month fee — permit utility companies to impose a fee on customers who don’t want the meters,” FlaglerLive reported.

“This year, lawmakers in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas are expected to consider bills that would allow consumers to keep their existing analog meters; require customers to opt in to smart meter programs; or allow them to refuse the devices, sometimes at no cost,” the report said.

Smart grid advocates say that concerns about smart meters are misplaced. Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative is among these proponents.

Patty Durand, the group’s director, “said utility companies have had no data breaches, and though she expects they will eventually, she says consumers are at very little risk because the meters aren’t transmitting personal financial information such as credit card numbers,” according to the report.

Experts have a clear-cut perspective on smart meters: “To be blunt, many of the concerns and fears over smart meters are downright farcical,” Wall Street Daily reported, proceeding to debunk some far-fetched and inaccurate perceptions about smart meters.

One inaccurate perception among some smart meter opponents is that they make people sick.

“It’s entirely baseless. However, it’s not uncommon for such fears to accompany new technologies. Remember when cellphones were supposed to give you brain cancer? They didn’t — and they don’t,” Daily explained.

A second misconception is that smart meters could pose a threat to wildlife, according to the article. “Another claim that’s devoid of evidence,” the report said.

A final myth debunked: Some smart meter opponents believe the devices infringe on their civil liberties, but in fact, the opposite is true.

“Smart meters can actually increase your privacy. Under the old system, whenever a utility employee walks onto your property to take a reading, you can’t stop him. How’s that for an invasion of privacy? With smart meters, human readers become unnecessary and utilities won’t be on your property unless there’s a malfunction,” the report said.

For more of the latest news on automated metering, visit Water Online’s AMR, AMI And Metering Solutions Center.

http://www.wateronline.com/doc/privacy-fears-spur-smart-meter-opt-out-0001

Ontario Pulls Plug on 36,000 Rural ‘Smart’ Meters: Is Big Energy Imploding?

Ontario Pulls Plug on 36,000 Rural ‘Smart’ Meters: Is Big Energy Imploding?

Image via Collective Evolution
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Last night I watched The Big Short — maybe the most important Hollywood film in years. This true story is a powerful and eloquent invitation to wake up to the sheer depravity at the core of the system of commerce.

The fact that the film got nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Picture is a huge sign that there are way more people waking up than we ever thought. The wrongs may not be getting righted as quickly as we’d like, but it is happening.

The reality of this shift is clearly evidenced by this news last week from Ontario. After years of obvious problems, Hydro One finally admitted that rural ‘smart’ meters do not work, and has decided to pull the plug on 36,000 of them — to startWe will see more utilities begin to do likewise. [UPDATE: BC Hydro just announced plans to remove 88,000 meters suspected of failure.]

Costing ratepayers billions, smart meters are actually designed to unlawfully harvest detailed data of the in-home activities of occupants without their knowledge or consent.

As reported by the National Post:

“Astonishing,” was the reaction from Lanark-area MPP Randy Hillier, who has been deluged with complaints about Hydro One billing and smart-meter suspicions.

“I’ve been banging my head against the wall for the last five years, saying we’ve got problems with smart meters in rural Ontario.” Since first being elected in 2007, no single issue has attracted as much attention in his riding, he said.

For the purpose of clarification: at this time Hydro One is not planning to uninstall smart meters and replace with analogs — but rather to manually read rural customers’ meters quarterly, and estimate the months in between, because the wireless reporting is simply not working.

More than 10,000 billing complaints have been filed with the Ontario Ombudsman, and the Auditor General of Ontario released a scathing report, calling out the smart metering program as a total flop.

Hydro One was the first major utility in Canada to deploy so-called ‘smart’ meters upon an unsuspecting customer base. The price tag for rollout, paid for by the people of Ontario, was $2 billion — which was $900M over budget.

Go Green, or Go Greed?

For those new to this topic, here’s the skinny. Smart utility meters are being deployed worldwide under the banner of climate action. But they typically increase energy usage, and a high-level industry executive has admitted that the data collected by the surreptitious devices will be worth “a lot more” than the electricity itself.

Portland State University recently published a brilliant report on the morally-bankrupt surveillance agenda behind smart meters. The industry-gutting report is titled “The Neoliberal Politics of ‘Smart’: Electricity Consumption, Household Monitoring, and the Enterprise Form,” and excerpts can be read at Smart Grid Awareness here.

Customers are not being informed how their constitutional rights are being violated for the purposes of a for-profit home surveillance network. Nor how this technology has caused thousands of fires which have resulted in several deaths. Nor how our bodies are being affected by pulsed microwave radiation exponentially stronger than cell phones, as shown in Take Back Your Power.

If there wasn’t an avalanche of facts to back all of this up, it might sound too unbelievable to be true. But we live in strange times.

We Can Handle The Truth

http://www.reddirtreport.com/around-world/ontario-pulls-plug-36000-rural-%E2%80%98smart%E2%80%99-meters-big-energy-imploding

EMF RF microwave radiation test results from our WiFi and smart meter

EMF RF microwave radiation test results from our WiFi and smart meter

EMF RF microwave radiation test results from our WiFi and smart meter

Onteroa BOE ignore Dr. David O Carpenter on WiFi Dangers to Children

Onteroa BOE ignore Dr. David O Carpenter on WiFi Dangers to Children  

Published on Jan 23, 2016

As it was reported in last weeks edition of The Woodstock Times, The Onteora Board of Education has decided to disband it ‘s Wifi Task force and push ahead with increasing WiFi in it’s schools.
On the 17 January 2016 , Dr David O Carpenter sent me directly a copy of this letter where he is pleading with Bobbi Schnell, President of The Onteora Board of Education to abandon any plans for wireless communication within schools but instead focus on wired connections where the children will not be exposed to excessive electromagnetic fields. Below is Dr O Carpenter’s reasons:
17th Jan 2016
Bobbi Schnell, President
Onteora Board of Education
Boiceville, NY 12312

Dear Ms. Schnell:

I am a public health physician who served as the Co-Editor of the Bioinitiative Report, published in 2007 as a comprehensive review of the adverse health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. I am a public health physician who previously worked for the New York State Department of Health and in that capacity was the Executive Secretary of the New York State Powerline Project, focused on the question of whether there were adverse health effects from high voltage powerlines. That study showed that elevated electromagnetic fields were associated with elevated risk of childhood leukemia. While that particular study did not investigate radiofrequency fields such as those from WiFi, many of the risks are similar.
There is strong and consistent evidence that excessive exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields has adverse human health effects. Of particular concern is the clear evidence that children are more vulnerable than adults. The best documented adverse effects are an increase in risk of cancer, but cancers do not appear immediately upon exposure but rather come years later. Within a school setting there is increasing evidence that excessive exposures reduce learning ability, which is the last thing one wants in a school. Some children will also develop a syndrome of electrohypersensitivity, where they get headaches and reduced ability to pay attention and learn. While these effects are not nearly as well documented as those relating to cancer, they are particularly important within a school. This is especially the case in a wireless computer classroom, where exposure can be very high. However there will be essentially no exposure in a wired computer classroom.

The exposure levels of the Federal Communications Commission are totally outdated and do not protect the health of the public, especially of children. I urge you to abandon any plans for wireless communication within schools. It is of course critical that all children have access to the internet, but when this is done through wired connections they will not be exposed to excessive electromagnetic fields. Yours sincerely, David O. Carpenter, M.D. Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University at Albany

Onteroa BOE ignore Dr. David O Carpenter on WiFi Dangers to Children

Published on Jan 23, 2016

As it was reported in last weeks edition of The Woodstock Times, The Onteora Board of Education has decided to disband it ‘s Wifi Task force and push ahead with increasing WiFi in it’s schools.
On the 17 January 2016 , Dr David O Carpenter sent me directly a copy of this letter where he is pleading with Bobbi Schnell, President of The Onteora Board of Education to abandon any plans for wireless communication within schools but instead focus on wired connections where the children will not be exposed to excessive electromagnetic fields. Below is Dr O Carpenter’s reasons:
17th Jan 2016
Bobbi Schnell, President
Onteora Board of Education
Boiceville, NY 12312

Dear Ms. Schnell:

I am a public health physician who served as the Co-Editor of the Bioinitiative Report, published in 2007 as a comprehensive review of the adverse health effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. I am a public health physician who previously worked for the New York State Department of Health and in that capacity was the Executive Secretary of the New York State Powerline Project, focused on the question of whether there were adverse health effects from high voltage powerlines. That study showed that elevated electromagnetic fields were associated with elevated risk of childhood leukemia. While that particular study did not investigate radiofrequency fields such as those from WiFi, many of the risks are similar.
There is strong and consistent evidence that excessive exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields has adverse human health effects. Of particular concern is the clear evidence that children are more vulnerable than adults. The best documented adverse effects are an increase in risk of cancer, but cancers do not appear immediately upon exposure but rather come years later. Within a school setting there is increasing evidence that excessive exposures reduce learning ability, which is the last thing one wants in a school. Some children will also develop a syndrome of electrohypersensitivity, where they get headaches and reduced ability to pay attention and learn. While these effects are not nearly as well documented as those relating to cancer, they are particularly important within a school. This is especially the case in a wireless computer classroom, where exposure can be very high. However there will be essentially no exposure in a wired computer classroom.

The exposure levels of the Federal Communications Commission are totally outdated and do not protect the health of the public, especially of children. I urge you to abandon any plans for wireless communication within schools. It is of course critical that all children have access to the internet, but when this is done through wired connections they will not be exposed to excessive electromagnetic fields. Yours sincerely, David O. Carpenter, M.D. Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University at Albany

EMF RF microwave radiation test results from our WiFi and smart meter

 

EMF RF microwave radiation test results from our WiFi and smart meter

Transcript

Published on Jan 8, 2016

We tested our WiFi router, our electric company’s smart meter, a Samsung Galaxy smart phone, a microwave oven, and our laptop with an Extech 480386 EMF meter and compared our results with commonly accepted safe or healthy levels of radiation found at http://www.bioinitiative.org, and here’s what we found.

Telecommunications services cannot exist without EMF. Wifi wireless routers, microwave ovens, commercial heating, manufacturing, diagnostic medical services, some medical techniques, and radar are also uses of RF energy. There’s also natural RF produced by earth and space. We are surrounded by radiation.

Some sort of EMF Radiation is emitted by all technical equipment or devices that produce Electromagnetic Fields – that’s basically anything that gets plugged in or runs on a battery. Power lines, radar systems, communication towers, cell phones, cordless phones, WiFi routers, ipads, TVs, computers, gaming consoles, all produce EMF radiation.

Here’s where it gets interesting — all EMF Radiation has an effect on the human body. The question is whether it’s a negligible or a negative effect, and to what degree.

MUST HEAR, & CIRCULATE: THE DANGEROUS TRUTH RE: CELL PHONES, CELL TOWERS, WIFI, SMART METERS

 

MUST HEAR, & CIRCULATE: THE DANGEROUS TRUTH RE: CELL PHONES, CELL TOWERS, WIFI, SMART METERS

More on Science Media Centre spin on the Catalyst program-this time from the UK branch

More on Science Media Centre spin on the Catalyst program-this time from the UK branch

Powerwatch in the UK has just posted an excellent piece covering the recent Catalyst program by Maryanne Demasi. It seems the Science Media Centre in the UK is spinning as well. To briefly quote from Powerwatch:

“On Monday 15th February 2016, the UK Guardian newspaper posted an article by Maryanne. Then on Wednesday 17th they published an opposing piece by a Dr Grimes”

Dr David Robert Grimes is a young physicist and cancer researcher at Oxford University. In 2014 he jointly won the John Maddox Prize present by the Sense about Science Charity. They, along with the Science Media Centre, claim to present scientific truths to the public. In reality they always seem to support the ‘Establishment view’ and do their utmost to prevent any safety questions being raised about man-made chemicals, radiation, EMFs, vaccines, etc. The Science Media Centre even specialises in ‘lock-in journalist briefings’ where organisations can Press Release their work to a hand-picked list of journalists along with a panel of hand-picked supportive scientists to answer questions. Experts with differing views wanting to ask legitimate challenging questions are completely excluded from these events. The briefings are usually timed so that they finish late morning and there is no time for the journalists to make other investigations before filing their stories for the mid-day news. This is an extreme form of professional spin that distorts rather than helps humanity understand scientific and technological developments. Science Media Centres now exist in various countries. See Sourcewatch for some more background information about the SMC network.

http://www.emfacts.com/2016/02/more-on-science-media-centre-spin-on-the-catalyst-program-this-time-from-the-uk-branch/

Smart meters can cause health problems

Joe Vielbig: Smart meters can cause health problems 

Paula Orloff’s recent Other Voices on Smart Meters prompted me to tell our story and ask the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and Nevada City and Grass Valley city councils to ban Smart Meters in Nevada County.

PG&E claim: “Independent and leading international health experts have tested and determined this technology is safe.”

However: “A group of 40 international experts rebutted claims of no increase of cancer from exposure to low intensity EMFs.” In fact, “only a few studies reported no elevations of cancer and most were funded by the wireless industry.” A professor of nuclear policy at the University of California at Santa Cruz stated that these intense millisecond bursts can produce severe biological effects. Also a letter issued by the Board of the Academy of Environmental Medicine referred to an Australian Scientific Study of 92 case series that “clearly demonstrates adverse health effects in the human population from Smart Meter emissions.”

Now on to my story which reflects the professor’s statement — “can produce severe biological effects.” A Smart Meter was installed at our home on June 10, 2010. My wife has, for years, experienced occasional migraines, about one a month. After the installation of the Smart Meter she started experiencing more frequent and intense migraines. Finally, in 2013 I started keeping accurate track of her migraines – 55 in 2013 (up to nine in one month), 47 in 2014 (up to six in one month) and 13 in the first four months of 2015 (up to six in one month). We had the Smart Meter removed on May 6, 2015. Since then she experiences about one migraine a month — back to her experience before the Smart Meter was installed in 2010.

Before, during and after the Smart Meter experience we had no changes in our lifestyle nor were there any appliance or electronic devices changes or additions.

My PG&E contacts have been quite courteous and polite, but I have seen no follow up or actions taken. Months ago a PG&E supervisor said he would try to get some type of adjustment/relief to offset our $10 per month meter reading charge — never heard another word. Recently I tried to call the Opt Out Smart Phone 800 number to ask about the new monthly charge policy. I was on hold over 10 minutes in each of my four calls. I went to the local PG&E office and was given the phone number of an Opt Out Supervisor. I called regarding my question about the change in monthly charge policy (charging $10 per month even though the meter was only going to be read every other month) and if there could be a forgiveness on the charge since my wife has a health issue with the Smart Meter. He said he would get back to me about the first issue and he would contact another supervisor regarding the second forgiveness issue. It has been about two weeks and I have not heard from either person.

I close by requesting the government entities mentioned at the beginning to ban Smart Meters in Nevada County and have no increases in charges/billings by PG&E because of the ban.

Joe Vielbig lives in Grass Valley.

http://www.theunion.com/opinion/columns/20555209-113/joe-vielbig-smart-meters-can-cause-health-problems