MONTANA-Are smart meters installed without consent?

Are smart meters installed without consent?

Dear Editor:

YVEC Installs Questionable AMI Smart Meters Without Informed Consent

Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC) has installed new AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) “smart” utility meters without our informed consent. AMI Smart Meters could be an invasion of privacy and also a cyber-security threat. They are associated with a host of health conditions, and catch on fire and explode more easily due to their design.

YVEC has operated under a veil of secrecy and deception concerning these meters. For example, the manager of YVEC adamantly claimed that they did not use any government funding to install these surveillance capable devices. However, legal discovery documents show that YVEC did take government funding to deploy the Smart Grid and Smart Meters.

Other false claims made by YVEC are that AMI Smart Meters radiate much lower than cell phones, thus making them “safe,” and that all utilities have smart meters, therefore, no big deal.

YVEC is the only utility in our area which has deployed two-way surveillance capable meters. The Montana Public Service Commission states that all other utilities, which come under their regulations, do NOT use Smart Meters. They use one-way meters which have lower risks and are not part of the Smart Grid.

Tests taken of AMI Smart meters show radiation readings 10-100 times HIGHER than readings from various cell phones. Numerous research studies have reported adverse health conditions at these and lower densities. In particular, the 10-year government $25 million National Toxicology Program’s studies found that this microwave radiation presents a cancer risk, with a significant correlation between radiation densities and the incidence of tumors in rats.

This situation could be similar to tobacco industry lies 50 years ago, claiming that smoking was also “safe.” Serious degenerative illnesses may take decades to manifest as a result of exposure to toxins.

Worse yet, YVEC has turned off the electricity to a Coop member who refused a Smart Meter, though she always paid for her utility usage. She felt it was unjust to be charged their unreasonable and extortionist opt-out fee of $75/month in order to monthly buy back her constitutional rights to privacy and a clean and healthful environment.

The ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, is opposed to Smart Meters based on privacy concerns and states that utility customers should not be charged extra for opting out, as this could lead to discrimination against poorer populations.

This dictatorial act on the part of YVEC, which has monopolistic powers, has resulted in the need for her to seek legal counsel in order to get her utility reconnected. Instead of helping its members, the YVEC Board is now fighting and intimidating those members who are trying to tell the truth, protect their community and protect themselves.

Why does the YVEC Board feel the need to ignore and hide the health, safety, and privacy risks associated with these meters? Why would they so abuse the rights of one lone person who understood what was happening and simply did not want to be subject to it?

We call on the YVEC Board to honor their moral and fiduciary responsibilities to protect their members and act in our best interests. There needs to be acknowledgement and honest solutions to the health, safety and privacy hazards they have created by installing these risky devices on our properties without our informed consent.


Mae Woo