Since 2011 the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA) group has been attempting to get injunctive relief from the mandatory installation of digital “smart” electric meters that collect granular energy usage data substantially in excess of that required for customer billing purposes. As of January 2015, the Federal smart meter lawsuit is still active, and the most recent court document filings are focusing on the invasion of privacy aspects of forced smart meter installations.
On January 23, 2013, Kim Bendis, at that time President of the NSMA, was arrested by Naperville police officers for both resisting an arrest dealing with the video and audio recording a police officer in the course of his duties (enforcing smart meter installations) and on a charge of “eavesdropping.” The statute for which the police based this arrest had already been declared unconstitutional by state courts at the time of the arrest. On October 1, 2014, Kim Bendis was acquitted of the charge of resisting arrest by a jury trial.
Kim Bendis is now seeking damages from the City of Naperville and penalties for the officers involved in her 2013 arrest. Continue reading
Attorney Jimmy Gonzalez gave testimony to the Florida Pembroke Pines Commission in October 2012 to petition the City to issue a Resolution raising awareness of the health risks of cell phone radiation.
Based upon the presentation shown below, Pembroke Pines in Florida joined a handful of other cities in adopting a resolution that warns the public about the potential health effects of cell phone radiation and precautionary safety measures that should be taken.
Mr. Gonzalez died in November, 2014 at the age of 42. His passionate presentation from October 2012, however, lives on. May it help save lives.
Utilities and the smart grid industry tout only the hypothetical benefits of smart meters, never seriously discussing the tremendous risks and costs to our society. On the subject of cyber security, they hardly discuss it at all. For example, the industry group, so-called “Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative,” addresses the cyber security issue with basic uninformative “happy talk” as follows:
“The performance of security measures are tested and reviewed regularly to guard against unauthorized access to systems. Moreover, utility companies are working with federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to strengthen privacy and security standards to provide even more safeguards for consumer protection.” 
The above propaganda type language reveals nothing of the catastrophic risks involved with the deployment of smart meters and smart grid systems. Although you won’t receive meaningful cyber threat risk-related information from the smart grid industry, it is not hard to find elsewhere. Continue reading
Smart meters have been advertised as a means to “empower” consumers with information that will somehow save customers money despite the fact that the deployment of the meters themselves cost billions and billions of dollars.
Having reached the end of 2014, there is no doubt it has been a devastating year for utility smart meters and smart grid advocates. Whether all utility executives yet realize it or not, smart meters have failed. They have failed miserably to the deliver the promised benefits. We are left with nothing but the increased costs and risks associated with boondoggle projects reminiscent of pork barrel spending bills approved in the middle of the night by a Congress wanting to get home for the Christmas holidays.
Posted in Smart Grid, Smart Meters, and RF Emissions
Tagged Costs, Cyber Threat, Failure, fires, Health Effects, Privacy, Safety Concerns, Smart Grid, Smart Meters
An article was just published in the November/ December 2014 issue of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, entitled:
“Self-Reporting of Symptom Development from Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields of Wireless Smart Meters in Victoria, Australia: A Case Series,” by Dr. Federica Lamech, MBBS.
No health impact studies were ever performed prior to the deployment of wireless smart meters. This new article showing a correlation between the introduction of smart meters and the onset of adverse health outcomes strengthens the need for independent research on the potential health impacts of this technology on the population.
As reported on October 21, 2014 in the Daily Herald, according to ComEd officials on the topic of smart meters:
“Although the meters transmit six times a day, the radio frequency is on for less than 5 minutes a day.”
The above statement is common misinformation disseminated by the smart grid industry.
The vehement and persistent opposition to utility “smart” meters has given rise to programs across the nation where customers are allowed to refuse installation of those meters and typically keep their traditional analog meters. In most cases, a fee is required to be paid by the customer for this “service.” This service is sometimes called an “opt-out” program.
The primary purpose of this article is to highlight how the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has perpetrated unequal, unfair, and unjust treatment of citizens in the state of Illinois who choose to refuse installation of smart meters.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald has broken many stories on the global surveillance being conducted by the NSA and GCHQ. As one of the first reporters to see Edward Snowden’s files, he faced personal repercussions for his professional work — yet continues to speak publicly about mass surveillance. In this searing talk, viewable below, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”
The presentation by Glenn Greenwald is particularly important to remind us on “why privacy matters” in a world threatened by more and more intrusive monitoring of our activities, whether it be from recording of telephone calls, tracking of Internet activity, surveillance drones, or utility smart meters.
The utility companies say it can’t be done, but …
Key Article Phrase: “Launching attacks that extract occupancy [patterns] from smart meter data is surprisingly easy.”
Utility Myth: “The utility cannot detect the presence of people in their homes.” 
Utility Myth: “[Smart meters] are not surveillance devices.” 
Fact: “An important example of the sensitive information smart meters reveal is occupancy — whether or not someone is home and when. … Occupancy is surprisingly easy to detect, since it highly correlates with simple statistical metrics, such as power’s mean, variance, and range.”  Utilities claim smart meters are not surveillance devices, yet the repeated data gathering by smart meters beyond that required for billing purposes can reasonably be considered to represent unwanted surveillance and stalking.
As explained in an October 1st article at DarkReading.com, European researchers will reveal later this month major security weaknesses in smart meters that could allow an attacker to order a power blackout. A widely deployed smart meter device can be programmed to cause a power blackout or commit power usage fraud.
Researchers Javier Vazquez Vidal and Alberto Garcia Illera will reveal this month at Black Hat Europe in Amsterdam how they reverse engineered smart meters and found blatant security weaknesses that allowed them to commandeer the devices to shut down power or perform electricity usage fraud over the power line communications network. The researchers aren’t disclosing the specific smart meter manufacturer at this time — they haven’t yet disclosed anything to the vendor in question, either. They have hinted heavily that it’s a brand installed broadly in Spain.
With a career as a strong consumer advocate, Ralph Nader’s views on selected issues can many times bridge the gaps between the major political parties. Such is the case on so-called “smart” meters.
This article highlights a portion of a recent program on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. The program aired on Saturday, September 27, 2014, on KPFK in California. About 15 minutes were devoted to the issue of “smart” meters, focusing primarily on the aspect of invasion of privacy.
What follows are selected quotes from Ralph Nader on the topic of utility smart meters, complete with two (2) audio files. One 4-minute audio focuses primarily on the statements by Ralph Nader himself as a part of the radio program. The second audio provides the entire 15-minute smart meter segment broadcast on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.
Introduction to the Documentary Film
“When business leads research, can we still trust science?”
For the past ten years worldwide, questioning on the safety of mobile phone antennas has been increasing. Numerous scientific studies have revealed the adverse effects of electro- magnetic waves on health. Yet, most health agencies, industry representatives, and a portion the scientific community claim that current health standards adequately protect the public.
Earlier this year journalist Nancy Meritens and film director Jean Hèches completed their documentary Ondes, Science et Manigances [or Microwaves, Science and Lies], that demonstrates how the telecommunications industry creates doubt about harmful radiofrequency waves through the manipulation of science.
This past March, SkyVision Solutions released a report entitled, “A Perspective on How Smart Meters Invade Individual Privacy.”
The report has now been updated with new information regarding investor owned utilities (IOUs) as well as addressing a White House report concerning “big data” issued in May 2014.
Fire after fire after fire. … How much risk is finally too much when the results of failure can be catastrophic?
The Saskatchewan Smart Meter Fiasco
The recent events in Saskatchewan, Canada have refocused attention on one of the many risks associated with “smart” utility meters, i.e., the increased risk of fires.
The following guest editorial about smart meters was written by John Ranns, the longtime Mayor of the District of Metchosin located on the southern coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
Mayor Ranns initially wrote the guest editorial in November 2013 hoping to have it published in the Victoria Times-Colonist and subsequently in other major newspapers in British Columbia. None of the major papers published the piece.
In communications with SkyVision Solutions, Mayor Ranns indicated that he wanted to make an appeal to the conscience of legislators. Ranns says that, “As a long time elected representative I remain dismayed at the lack of political under-standing regarding the relationship between our governance and fundamental freedom.”
What follows is a guest editorial printed with permission of Mayor Ranns that major media outlets have yet failed to publish, in one instance citing that the article was not “topical.”
[Editor Note: This blog article consists of a document authored by Richard H. Conrad, Ph.D., intended as a letter addressed to a utility company considering the installation of smart meters.]
NINE REASONS WHY TODAY’S SMART METER SYSTEMS ARE A MISTAKE
by Richard H. Conrad, Ph.D. biochemist
Smart electric meters and smart grid systems track and record details of customers’ energy usage, and transmit the information to utilities wirelessly at microwave frequencies. Authorities are attempting to make smart meters mandatory. They are usually installed without permission and sometimes against the wishes of homeowners. Smart meters fill homes with pulsed microwave radiation 24/7 without consent, and infringe on the privacy, security, safety and health of residents.
The U. S. Department of Interior (DOI) has declared that exposure standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are “out of date and inapplicable today.”
After reading the information provided in this blog article, maybe we can start a campaign to have some personnel transferred from the Department of Interior to the FCC. The people at the DOI seem to have a better grasp on the hazards of radiofrequency (RF) radiation and might be more inclined to take measures to protect humans as well as fauna and flora.
What follows are excerpts from a letter dated February 7, 2014, from the United States Department of the Interior and addressed to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the United States Department of Commerce. This letter highlights the Interior Department’s concern that cell tower RF radiation emissions have had negative impacts on the health of migratory birds, their offspring, and other wildlife species.
… The Promise of the Smart Grid vs. the Smart Meter Canard …
As stated by Timothy Schoechle, Ph.D. in a document released in late 2012:
“The smart meter is a canard – story or a hoax based on specious and grandiose claims about energy benefits ostensibly derived from the promise of ‘two-way’ communication with the customer. … These energy benefits have not been delivered, or have been only minimally delivered by the meter networks.”
“The meter has come to symbolize a ‘bait-and-switch’ situation, mainly to the benefit the utility industry and its vendors as well as to politicians and bureaucrats. In their present form, smart meters offer few or no benefits to consumers, but pose significant risks and costs to them and to society.”
On January 28, 2014, Dr. Karl Maret gave a presentation at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, California on the potential biological and adverse health effects from the radiofrequency radiation emitted by “smart meters” and other wireless devices.
Northeast Utilities (NU) operates New England’s largest utility system serving more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
In a written submittal filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Northeast Utilities was highly critical of a proposed state plan that would require utilization of “advanced metering” or smart meters within the state of Massachusetts as part of an electrical grid modernization plan. In fact, the comments are quite remarkable in that they appear to reflect reality without undue political spin or bias. Let us hope that other utilities, public utility commissions, and politicians everywhere can soon come to similar unbiased conclusions that are based upon economic realities and reflect consumers’ and societal best interests.
This article details how experts have expressed concerns pertaining to radiofrequency (RF) emissions from “baby monitors” and then how Commonwealth Edison Company attempts to minimize concerns over smart meters because they are just like baby monitors.
Experts Express Concern on the Use of Baby Monitors and other Wireless Devices
According to Dr. Devra Davis, “We need to protect children from wireless routers, baby monitors, and numerous other sources of microwave radiation that can affect the brains and bodies of infants and toddlers.” [Reference 1]
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) generally categorizes agents (e.g., substances or radiation) into four (4) categories in terms of cancer causing ability:
- Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans.
- Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans.
- Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans.
- Group 3: Not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans.
This article will demonstrate in a step by step fashion that evidence is mounting for RF radiation being considered definitely carcinogenic. In the paragraphs that follow, information is presented showing how research data has accumulated over the past couple of years showing a progression from Group 2B to Group 2A, and finally to Group 1. In addition, evidence continues to mount regarding other types of adverse biological effects caused by RF radiation emissions, some of which are summarized in the final section of this article.
NAPERVILLE, IL — As a follow-up to another blog posting, “Naperville Smart Meters Keep Track of Household Activities,” a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was made by members of a Naperville household to obtain information related to smart meter readings for their account.
NAPERVILLE, IL — Over the past year, the City of Naperville and its municipally owned utility have installed smart meters for nearly all residents. In an attempt to resolve some concerns related to the City no longer documenting “current” and “previous” electrical usage meter readings on monthly bills, one resident sent the City of Naperville a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in an attempt to obtain this information for her account. What she received back was a month’s worth of 15-minute interval usage amounts in kWh, literally thousands of numbers with no associated meter readings. The resident sent the information to me to determine what sense I could make of the numbers and to show me that the actual meter readings were not included with the 67-page document that she had received from the City.
In November 2011, market analysis and consulting provider Pike Research released a report examining the current state of utility cyber security.
The report was entitled Utility Cyber Security – Seven Key Smart Grid Security Trends to Watch in 2012 and Beyond and concluded that although a great deal of attention has shifted to protecting systems that govern infrastructure, utilities have a long way to go in protecting critical networks. The primary headline from the report was:
“Utility cyber security is in a state of near chaos. [emphasis added] After years of vendors selling point solutions, utilities investing in compliance minimums rather than full security, and attackers having nearly free rein, the attackers clearly have the upper hand. Many attacks simply cannot be defended.”
“The smart grid is increasingly understood as an over-engineered, ill-advised, financial boondoggle at taxpayer expense, capable of endangering the security of the entire national grid, violating constitutional privacy protections, and endangering public health. In addition, the smart grid/metering has not been found to save energy when all the new variables in the system are factored in. Plus, time-of-use pricing is largely punitive to those who can least afford it. Time-of-use pricing is fundamentally a Wall Street model designed to maintain shareholder profits as we transition to more energy efficient models that will reduce demand.”
“The problems with smart grid/metering are so legion and potentially catastrophic that it boggles the mind.”
Silver Spring Networks boasts that it provides the communication module that is key to turning utility smart meters into intelligent smart network devices.
SkyVision Solutions noted that in one of Silver Spring Network’s marketing videos the company claims that it has “created the next big thing, the SilverLink Sensor Network.” As a part of this video, the narrator says, “Houston, we have a connection.”
The Maryland Smart Meter Awareness (MSMA) group has published an eye-catching poster intended to highlight the Orwellian nature of how smart meters have been deployed and declared “safe.”
CPS Energy has options for homeowners in San Antonio, Texas who wish to opt out of the new “smart” meter program, but those options don’t apply to businesses or multifamily complexes. This appears to be a clear case of discrimination.
“We have some residents here who have some serious health issues and it came to light that there were a lot of questions about the health issues regarding smart meters,” said townhome manager Nancy Woodard.
In order to prevent CPS Energy from installing smart meters on the three master meters, the townhome management changed the locks, which are CPS Energy’s property.
The Arizona Department of Health, Office of Environmental Health released a report in November 2014 entitled, “Public Health Evaluation of Radio Frequency Exposure from Electronic Meters.” For purposes of this article, the issued document will be referred to as the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) report, or simply the “ADHS report.”
This article presents a critical review of the ADHS report analyzing the conclusions and whether evidence presented in the report supports the stated goals.
As reported at this website last month, an independent review in Canada revealed that smart meters are experiencing catastrophic failures when rain water (and/or condensation along with other contaminants) gets into the smart meters themselves, causing arcing across electronic components with eventual failure of the meter.
Well, last night it rained in Regina, Saskatch-ewan, and there was another smart meter fire.
SaskPower confirmed crews were called to replace yet another failed smart meter on a resident’s home on Regina’s east side early Friday morning.
According to the Warrenville Environmental Advisory Commission (WEAC):
“Smart Meters … are coming to Warrenville …
There has been controversy over the non-ionizing RF-EMF radiation they give off. Some concern may be warranted, though the risk is likely less than that of a cell phone.
People should be aware of the risk and not, for instance, station a baby crib directly near where the meter is operating.