Smart Meter Fires Spread to Nevada: “Be Very Aware, Very Vigilant” Says Fire Chief

Reno Smart Meter Fire DamageAfter recently reporting on smart meter-related fires in Australia, Canada, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Florida, the latest reports are coming out of Nevada.  This appears to be a continuation of the “Domino Effect” described at this website in late August.

As reported by the Reno-Gazette-Journal on September 13th:

“The Reno and Sparks fire chiefs are asking the Public Utilities Commission (PUC)  to investigate the safety of smart meters installed by NV Energy on homes throughout the state in the wake of a troubling spate of blazes they believe are associated with the meters, including one recent fire that killed a 61-year-old woman.”

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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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Domino Effect: More Smart Meters Being Replaced Due to Fires

Lakeland Fire“A Major Consumer Alert”

It is almost impossible to keep track of all of the smart meter fires and related safety issues.  We jump from country to country and from state to state.  The latest issue is in Florida where Lakeland Electric  will soon begin replacing over 10,000 residential smart meters on concerns they might overheat, General Manager Joel Ivy said Tuesday, August 26th.

Are we seeing a domino effect within the industry? 

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Updated Report on How Smart Meters Invade Privacy

Invasion of Privacy with Smart MeterThis 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.

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Are Cell Tower RF Emissions Something to Worry About?

Cell Tower on School PropertyUpdate:  On September 3, 2014, it was announced that the vendor responsible the cell tower project withdrew its proposal to the Naperville school district.  It is thought the growing public opposition to the towers may have played a role in this action.  Possibly the information on this webpage will be of use to others where cell towers are proposed in the future on school grounds.

This article was prompted by an opinion piece in the Naperville Sun on July 30, 2014, entitled, “We should worry about things that are truly dangerous.”  The writer of that piece is certainly entitled to his opinion, but in this article we would like to clarify some of the “facts” as well as highlight the somewhat snobbish nature of the Naperville Sun editorial.

Naperville Sun CowsThe general theme of the opinion piece was that parents should not worry about such things as radiofrequency (RF) emissions from cell towers being proposed for placement on school properties, but instead they “should worry about [other] things that are truly dangerous,” such as use of antibiotics in livestock and chemicals used in the plastic lining of food and beverage cans.

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Smart Meters Increase the Risk of Fires!

Smart Meter RecallFire 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.

As previously reported on July 30, the Saskatchewan government has ordered SaskPower to remove all 105,000 smart meters that have been installed across the province following several fires linked to the devices.

On Friday, August 1, the news coverage continued in Saskatchewan regarding the smart meter fires.  An article in the Leader-Post made reference to a “Smart Meter Fiasco” and gave credit to the provincial government for:

“insisting that eight meters out of 105,000 catching fire (a 99.992-per-cent success rate, according to SaskPower) was simply unacceptableSetting aside the moral issue of endangering human lives, the liability costs of house fires could be massive.  It would have been far more cynical to have just kept installing smart meters in the hope that nothing would happen.”

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Questions to Ask about Wireless Smart Meters

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Electric Power Company about Wireless Smart Meters

Introducing a new paper by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. …

Ask QuestionsWireless “Smart” Meters are being installed on homes, buildings, and businesses by many electric power companies throughout the USA (and in many other countries), frequently on a mandatory basis.  These new meters raise concerns about health, privacy, personal and cyber security, fire safety, and the cost of electricity, among other issues.  Individuals, communities, and local and state governments are becoming increasingly aware of these concerns.  The linked document written by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. suggests a starting place for questions you may want to ask your electric power company about Wireless Smart Meters.

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When Will the Smart Meter Insanity End?

Bus Off Cliff.Rev 2There have been a number of articles appearing in the national media over the past few weeks outlining the dangers and risks of so-called “smart” utility meters.  The smart grid mouthpiece website SmartGridNews.com even ran an article called, “Smart meters trapped between benefits and dangers, claims Forbes.”   In quoting the Forbes article, SmartGridNews.com stated:

“Despite the promise of empowering people through enhanced consumption data… some people are scared and resist the idea of smart metering, citing concerns about meter accuracy, data security, and health,” wrote Forbes contributor Federico Guerrini.  “Privacy is probably the most sensitive issue:  similarly to what happens with phone calls metadata, information about the energy consumption of a family or of an individual, can reveal a lot of details about the life of the persons monitored.”

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When Smart Meters Get Hacked: The Nightmare Scenario

Nightmare ScenarioNick Hunn [1]  is a wireless technology expert who is quite skeptical of the purported benefits of smart meters and the current level of smart grid system security.  He recently  wrote an article entitled, “When Smart Meters Get Hacked” (June 8, 2014).  What follows are some selected quotations from his article dealing primarily with the smart meter “feature” of remote disconnect:

“There‘s a lot of talk about grid security and data privacy in the energy industry, but very little about the consequences of what happens if smart meters go wrong.  By going wrong, I don‘t just mean people attempting to hack their meters to reduce their bills.  That will probably happen.  I‘m more interested in the nightmare scenario when several million electricity meters suddenly disconnect. [emphasis added]

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Smart Meter Privacy Invasion ALERT

The headline at SmartGridNews.com on May 15, 2014, was “Now utilities can tell customers how much energy each appliance uses (just from the smart meter data).” [emphasis added]

Smart Meter Privacy AlertThe above admission on what utilities can do with smart meter data is nothing new to those citizens who have opposed smart meters from the beginning.  In March, for example, SkyVision Solutions wrote a blog article and issued a detailed report entitled, “New and Definitive Report: Smart Meters Do Invade Privacy” which exposed the propaganda of the smart grid industry for what it is.

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Mayor Makes Appeal to the Conscience of Legislators on Smart Meters

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 John Ranns of MetchosinMayor 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.”

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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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Smart Meter “Malfunction” Causes Pennsylvania Apartment Building Fire

Original Story:

PA Updated Smart Meter Fire Photo AA fast-moving apartment building fire occurred on Thursday, February 6, 2014, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania when at least one smart meter exploded and caught fire.  Thirty (30) residents were displaced by the ensuing blaze at Bensalem’s Thunder Hollow apartments.  Sixteen (16) apartments were affected.  One firefighter was injured.  According to the Bucks County Courier Times, the Bensalem Battalion Chief Robert Sponheimer said the fire started in a utility meter in an outside shed that housed electrical meters.  He also said “residents reported hearing a loud bang, then losing power Thursday evening.  Within minutes they saw smoke pouring out of the shed.  The fire then spread to the building and its roof.”

Dramatic camera footage exists taken soon after the fire started, during the fire fighting activities, and during the recovery efforts, making you feel as if you are “on-the-scene” as it happens.  In the first video where you see the dramatic flames about 25 to 30 seconds into the video, they are emanating from an outdoor shed containing smart meters.

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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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Utilities Conceal Electrical Grid Vulnerability from the Public

Power Lines GraphicShooters armed with assault rifles have prompted new worries regarding the vulnerability of the country’s vast electrical power grid.

On April 16, 2013, an attack on an electric substation near San Jose, California, nearly knocked out Silicon Valley’s power supply.  This attack was initially downplayed as vandalism by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the facility’s owner.

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ComEd Smart Meter Refusals/ Deferrals … $21.53 per month

Electric Meter PhotosCommonwealth Edison (ComEd) customers in Illinois have the availability of a temporary refusal or deferral program so that they can retain their current analog electrical usage meter.  Unfortunately, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has ordered ComEd to install new wireless smart meters for all customers as part of the “Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act” over a ten-year period.

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Examples of Smart Grid Misinformation and Propaganda from California

In 2012, the PBS Newshour did a piece entitled “California Activists Want Smart Meters Banned, Claim They’re Bad for Health.”  SkyVision Solutions reviewed the PBS video and found it to be a good example of smart grid misinformation, propaganda, spin, and dogma.

Below is an edited version of an excerpt from the PBS video with appropriate commentary provided through the use of captions.

[The above video is presented in the public's interest and contains material used pursuant to the Fair Use Doctrine under 17 U.S.C.]

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ComEd Compares Smart Meters to Baby Monitors

Experts Express Concern on the Use of Baby Monitors and other Wireless Devices

Baby MonitorAccording 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]

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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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The AAEM States “The Evidence is Irrefutable.” Smart Meters Correlate with Adverse Health Effects. … Call for Moratorium.

AAEM LogoIn early November 2013, an article was posted at this website quoting a doctor who indicated that Wireless Smart Meters Can Cause Illness.  This article made reference to a 92-case series documenting health effects believed to be caused by exposure to smart meter emissions.

A couple of days subsequent to the report on this website, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine released a new document entitled, “Wireless Smart Meter Case Studies,” which discloses the following information:

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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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Naperville Smart Meters Keep Track of Household Activities

Privacy Problem ClipartNAPERVILLE, 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.

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Smart Grid Cyber Security in a State of Chaos and Deteriorating

Cyber ChaosIn 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.”

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ComEd’s “Smart” Ice Cream Flavors Revealed

Adapted from a posting at StopSmartMeters.org

Ice Cream FlavorsLast week, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan recalled 105,000 smart meters after several homes caught fire, adding another major fire safety scandal to previous ones (including those in Portland, OR and Philadelphia, PA.)  Yet we are expected to believe that smart meters are safe and do not put you and your family at risk.

The heat is on the utility industry and the (not so) smart grid, but that doesn’t stop Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison from wooing people with free ice cream so they will presumably allow that friendly temp worker to swap out their analog meter.

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How to Attack a Smart Meter

Cyber HackersSmartGrid News.com published an article today entitled, “How to attack a smart meter (Utilities: better find out before the criminals do).”  I have generally considered the SmartGridNews site a propaganda mouthpiece for the smart grid industry, but lately, I am beginning to wonder.  Here are some excerpts from the new article:

“[W]hat could happen if a smart meter is compromised?  Similarly, what are the problems that could result if the connectivity of a smart meter is disrupted?  Let us see.

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Turning Off the Lights on Privacy and Health in a World with Few “Opt-Outs”

Indoor Location ServicesThe BBC reported a story on July 28, 2014, entitled, “What Price for Free Wi-Fi?”  The introduction to the story states:

“Smartphone users are always looking for free wi-fi but at what price does it come?  Businesses are looking at ways to make the free wi-fi they offer work for them too.  It can track our movements through our phones and reveal a great deal about us to those who have something to sell.”

The accompanying video for the story is astonishing in terms of how promoters of Wi-Fi view the technology:

“You can start to take that data and control lighting or parking.  …  If an area’s got no people, why are the lights on?”

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Fires Prompt Saskatchewan Government in Canada to Order Removal of 105,000 Smart Meters

SaskPower Smart Meter FireReferred to as “the smart meter debacle” by a CTV news anchor, the Saskatchewan government has ordered SaskPower to remove all 105,000 smart meters that have been installed across the province following several fires linked to the devices.

In a news conference on Wednesday, the Minister responsible for SaskPower, Bill Boyd announced that 105,000 smart meters in the province will be removed and replaced with the old meters.  At least eight smart meters in the province have caught fire.

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Opposition Building against Cell Towers at Naperville District 203 Schools

Cell Towers at School

Update:  On September 3, 2014, it was announced that the vendor responsible the cell tower project withdrew its proposal to the Naperville school district.  It is thought the growing public opposition to the towers may have played a role in this action.  Possibly the information on this webpage will be of use to others where cell towers are proposed in the future on school grounds.

As reported by the Naperville Sun:Opposition Building against Cell Towers at District 203 Schools.”

Last November, National Wireless and AT&T approached District 203 for permission to erect a 100-foot pole near the water tower behind Lincoln Junior High in Naperville, Illinois and a 75-foot pole at the front of Kennedy Junior High School in Lisle.

This website previously summarized the results of the Board of Education meeting from June 16, 2014, with an article entitled, “Naperville School District 203 Considers Leases for Cell Tower Installations.”

The latest Board of Education meeting was held on July 21st.  Naperville School District 203 officials reiterated that no recommendation on a cell tower proposal will come before the board until at least September.

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