Consumer Organizations’ Grave Concerns on Smart Meters Ignored

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Introduction

In June 2011, a resolution regarding smart meters was issued by the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD).  The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) is a forum of US and EU consumer organizations which develops and agrees on joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and European Union to promote the consumer interest in EU and US policy making.

Due to “grave concerns” with smart meters, here is the formal guidance that was provided to the US government and utility operators as part of the TACD resolution:  “Forbid utilities from installing smart meters without consumers’ informed consent.”

Why was this crucial guidance ignored?  Was it a matter of willful ignorance (or blindness) or willful negligence?

TACD Logo with Added SM

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Smart Grid Vision Haunted by Challenges

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Lightning Strike of Grid.with SMKey Article Points

“Complete deployment of the current smart grid vision might transform the twilight into complete dark.”

“The smart grid vision has some realizable potentials, but the price of these benefits seems more than the value of the eventual good.”

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Fort Collins, Colorado Provides Consumer Choice on Smart Meter Privacy Invasions

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Invasion of Privacy with SMUtility smart meters invade consumer privacy.  The degree of privacy invasion is directly proportional to the granularity and nature of the data collected by the meters.

Most utilities in the United States and Canada appear to be oblivious to these privacy invasions or intentionally deceive the consumers by telling them just the opposite, i.e., that smart meters do not affect personal privacy.  However, during the development of its smart meter program, one major municipal utility did recognize the possible privacy implications of collecting granular energy usage data.

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We Have a “Totally Vulnerable” Electric Grid Infrastructure

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Cyber Security Clipart with Smarrt MeterCybersecurity.  Critical, critical issue.  Totally unfunded.  Totally vulnerable grid infrastructure.  Somebody’s going to bring it down.  And then it will get funded.”

Those were the words yesterday of Thomas Siebel at the Energy Thought Summit (ETS) held in Austin, Texas.  Mr. Siebel is the CEO for C3 Energy, a smart grid analytics software company and the founder of Siebel Systems, which was acquired by Oracle in January 2006.

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Smart Meters Spiral Out of Control and “Livin’ on a Prayer”

by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions 

Smart Meters Out of ControlThis past week has been one of the worst ever for “smart meters” in terms of critical news reporting and negative revelations about these devices.  Clearly, things are quickly spiraling out of control worldwide in terms of anybody believing that the smart meters are anything more than a giant and costly albatross hanging around the necks of consumers.

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RF Fields Promote Tumors Below Human Exposure Limits

The results are “worrying,” say the authors of a newly published study (in press article) [1] dealing with the exposure of mice to radiofrequency (RF) radiation fields.

According to Professor Alexander Lerchl, who conducted the new investigative study together with his colleagues from Jacobs University and also the University of Wuppertal in Germany, Our results show that electromagnetic fields obviously enhance the growth of tumors.”

Graphical Abstract for RF Article

Article/ Study Highlights (as summarized by the authors)

  • Tumor-promoting effects of RF-EMF exposed mice have been [previously] reported in 2010.
  • We have replicated the study with higher numbers of mice per group.
  • We could fully confirm the previous results, thus the effects are reproducible.
  • Apparently, no clear dose-response relationship is evident.
  • We hypothesize that metabolic changes are responsible for the effects observed.

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Ontario Smart Meter Fiasco Wins Government “Waste Award”

Govt Waste Awards.AIntroduction

On March 4, 2015, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its 17th annual Teddy Waste Awards ceremony, celebrating the best of the worst in government waste. CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick served as host, joined by the CTF’s pig mascot Porky the Waster Hater.

The Teddy, the pig-shaped award given annually by the CTF to government’s worst waste offenders, is named for Ted Weatherill, a former federal appointee who racked up almost $150,000 in miscellaneous expenses – including a $700 lunch for two people – and was fired in the late 1990s.

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How Smart Water Meters Invade Privacy

Most of the focus in the media has been on smart electric meters and the many risks that these devices pose for customers and their families.  Another risk relates to privacy invasions associated with smart water meters.  A growing number of utilities are installing these devices.

Smart Water Meter System.RF1

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Cyber Hackers Can Now “Harm Human Life” Through Smart Meters

Cyber Attack Threat..AUtilities 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.” [1]

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

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Smart Meter Rollout a Waste of Money Says New Study

Waste of MoneySmart 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.

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‘Smart’ Meters Have Failed and Were a Dumb Investment

Failed Smart Meter ProgamHaving 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.

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Published Article: Symptom Development from Exposure to Wireless Smart Meters

Smart Meter Graphic AAn 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.

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Illinois Commerce Commission Mistreats Consumers Refusing Smart Meters

Introduction

Unfair ICCThe 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.

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“Why Privacy Matters” by Glenn Greenwald

Greenwald PhotoJournalist 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.

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Ralph Nader’s Viewpoint on Smart Meters: A “Step Toward Technological Despotism”

Nader PhotoWith 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.

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“Microwaves, Science and Lies” Documentary Reveals a Product Defense Strategy

Introduction to the Documentary Film

Waves DVD Jacket. Front“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.

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Nine Reasons Why Today’s Smart Meter Systems Are a Mistake

[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

INTRODUCTION

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.

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U.S. Department of Interior Declares FCC Exposure Standards “Out of Date and Inapplicable”

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.”

Cell Tower ClipartAfter 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.

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The Smart Meter Canard

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:

Getting SmarterThe 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.”

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Dr. Karl Maret Discusses Smart Meter Potential Health Effects

Sources of RF RadiationOn 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.

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Major U.S. Utility Says “No Rational Basis” for Mandating Smart Meters

NU Position on Smart MetersNortheast 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.

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Radiofrequency (RF) Fields: Possibly, Probably, or Definitely Carcinogenic — The Evidence Mounts Toward the Latter.

BrainThe 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.

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Smart Meter Reports That Naperville Home May Be Vulnerable to Weekend Burglary

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 Resident Power Usage July 26 2013

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Smart Meter Refusal Fee Rescinded in Arizona

Arizona with SMLast December the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) set a $5/mo “opt-out fee” for analog meters as well as a $50 initial fee for those customers who wisely do not want invasive smart meter technology attached to their homes.

The ACC decision was disputed by interveners and following “legal advice,” on Monday April 13, 2015, the ACC, in an unprecedented fashion, completely “abrogated and rescinded” the December 2014 decision.

Bottom line, Arizona Public Service (APS) customers may not be assessed any fee for refusing a smart meter until the issue is completely revisited “afresh.”  If the APS wants to charge customers a fee for refusing smart meters, it will have to apply for such relief in a new rate case.

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Why Installing Smart Meters May Not Be So Smart

Source:  Grassroots Environmental Education

Analog Meter Working Just FineIn driveways and backyards across the country, utility workers are busy replacing mechanical analog meters with new wireless meters that communicate directly with utility companies, informing them of your use of gas, electricity or water.  Various reasons are given for the installation of the new so-called “smart” meters: the development of a nationwide “smart grid,” the ability for the utilities to quickly identify outages and other service problems, and even the opportunity for them to implement time-based pricing structures.

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Concerns in Arizona over Smart Meter Hacking

SourceCBS 5,  KPHO Broadcasting Corporation, Phoenix, AZ

Smart Meter HackingIn the cyberworld we live in, we are constantly vulnerable.  Our bank accounts and computers can easily be hacked into, but what about our electricity meters?

Many utility companies are replacing aging meters with new digital ones, saying it helps customers see how much energy they’re consuming day to day.  But one Phoenix resident said he wants his old analog meter back from APS because he’s worried a bored hacker or even terrorist group could cut off his power.

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LA County Firefighters Local 1014 Fighting Cell Towers

Cell TowerUpdate, March 24, 2015:  LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Construction on giant cell towers needed to make Los Angeles County’s emergency communication system work has been halted until radiation concerns can be addressed.  Dozens of firefighters came to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to let them know they do not want cell towers where they work.

The Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) is spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to install hundreds of new microwave radiation-producing cell towers throughout the County, including at County-owned and leased fire stations and lifeguard facilities.

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The Rise of the Technocrats and Can They Be Stopped

Technocracy Rising CoverIntroduction

Many people question the wisdom of having a risky “smart grid” being imposed upon them and then ask, “Why?  Why would people in authority ignore the tremendous risks associated with this technology?”  To fully answer this question, it first helps to gain a better awareness of how the “smart grid” fits into the larger picture of a troublesome transformation that is occurring within our society.  Although the signs of this transformation are evident, its careful orchestration is being carried out “under the radar” by people who should properly be characterized as “Technocrats.”

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