Berkeley Electric Cooperative is planning on making a fundamental change to our electric system that will have serious implications for all of us. They are planning on making these changes this August and they do not intend for us as member owners of our own cooperative to have any say or choice in the matter. The changes will effect the Johns Island District which includes Kiawah, Seabrook, Wadmalaw and Johns Island.
Berkeley Electric is planning on converting our benign, mechanical-analog system into a digital “Smart Grid” system. Without our consent they are planning to remove or modify the analog meters on our homes (the round dials with little wheels or numbers that slowly move as power is used) and replace them with digital meters and/or digital implants. These digital meters will send out pulsed signals of our homes electrical data usage along the power lines and back to Berkeley Electric. This is known as Power Line Communication or PLC. Berkeley Electric is planning on installing a TWACS version of this system manufactured by a company called Aclara. TWACS stands for Two Way Automated Communication System. These meters are dangerous.
They threaten our property, our privacy, our security and our health.
The digital meters they are planning on installing are surveillance devices. The data Berkeley Electric will gather will show what kind of appliances you use, when you wake up in the morning, when you leave for work, when you get home, go to bed and much more. These devices are a complete abrogation of our 4th Amendment rights to privacy. Utility companies in other states have already been mining this usage data and selling it to data analysts and 3rd party marketers for a profit. Who is to say the highest bidder will not be organized crime. Your personal usage data can also be given to government agencies who request it. You may recall David Patraeus, former CIA Director saying “We’ll spy on you through your dishwasher”.
In the state of Georgia it is illegal for a utility company to put a surveillance device on your house without your consent and Georgians have been able to refuse installation of “smart” meters. Shouldn’t we South Carolinians have the same rights?
These devices are easily hackable and pose a major security risk. A University of South Carolina Professor in the College of Engineering and Computing conducted an experiment and with grad students and was easily able to hack into the usage data at a Columbia, SC apartment complex. They were able to tell which units were vacant and the precise activities within each household. Property owners on Kiawah and Seabrook as well as Wadmalaw and Johns Island will not be thrilled to know this.
These digital meters pose enormous safety risks. Hundreds of homes in the United States and Canada have caught on fire when new digital meters were installed.
And lastly, these devices pose extreme threats to human health. Although the TWACS system is not an “RF” or Radio Frequency system and does not intentionally use radio frequencies to send the data, the system generates radio frequency radiation that will radiate out from all the power lines and the internal wiring of our homes, flooding our entire environment with radiation. The system turns electrical wires into antennas which emit microwave radio frequency radiation.
The World Health Organization in 2011 classified Radio Frequency emissions as a Class 2B carcinogen, that is the same category as asbestos and lead. These devices have never been tested for human safety. There are over 2000 published peer reviewed studies that show evidence of harm to humans and animals from Electromagnetic Fields, both ELF and RF.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s 2012 position paper on Electromagnetic and Radiofrequency Fields Effect on Human Health states, “The fact that RF exposure causes neurological damage has been documented repeatedly. Increased blood-brain barrier permeability and oxidative damage, which are associated with brain cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, have been found. Changes associated with degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) have been reported. Other neurological and cognitive disorders such as headaches, dizziness, tremors, decreased memory and attention, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, decreased reaction times, sleep disturbances and visual disruption have been reported to be statistically significant in multiple epidemiological studies.”
Immune dysfunction, kidney damage and electromagnetic sensitivity have also been found.
Who is most vulnerable to the damaging effects of RF exposure? The elderly, people with immune system disorders, including MS and Lupus, people with pacemakers and certain genetic disorders. Pregnant women, babies in utero, infants and young children are extremely vulnerable. Thousands of people in the United States have become functionally impaired by Smart Meter/Smart Grid Technology like TWACS already. Aclara TWACS systems were installed 2 years ago in Idaho. Residents there became ill after the system was installed. Read their testimonies about how they, along with their pets, became functionally impaired after the TWACS installation at the EI Wellspring.org website.
Berkeley Electric maintains that the TWACS system is safe. Berkeley Electric was asked to provide copies of all scientific studies that they are using to support their claim of safety in June of 2013. To date they have not provided any evidence of safety.
Our electrical power distribution system was not designed to carry communication data. One of the largest utilities in New England, Northeast Utilities stated in January 2014 that there is no rational basis for mandating installation of smart meters and smart grid technology. They noted the systems are extremely expensive and offer no benefit to the customer and significantly increase cyber-security risk and may well become obsolete in a matter of years. In addition many customers are concerned about the safety and security of the systems.
There is one thing in all of this to understand: mechanical analog meters are safe and digital meters are not.
Watch the documentary film Take Back Your Power at www.TakeBackYourPower.net. Berkeley Electric must be stopped from implementing this dangerous system. Our privacy, safety, security and health are at risk. We must act now!
Carly Moore -South Carolina Alliance to Stop Smart Meters and Power Line Communication
Letter To The Editor: Stop Berkeley Electric Cooperative From Implementing TWACS/PLC