by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions
With little advance notice of what is really happening, Nicor Gas in northern Illinois is quietly attaching wireless transmitters to existing natural gas meters located at customer homes and businesses.
Nicor Gas customers have begun receiving postcards that say:
“In the near future, a small two-way communication device will be installed on the existing natural gas meter at your home or business. The device will collect natural gas usage information and securely send it to Nicor Gas.”
In addition, at a Nicor Gas webpage dealing with frequently asked questions (FAQs) on meter modernization , it says:
Does Nicor Gas offer any opt-out or deferral options?
Nicor Gas does not offer an “opt-out” or deferral option.
You may be aware of other utilities in the area charging a fee to opt out. However, their opt out is only for a brief period and all customers will need to comply.
I consider the last statement above as false. For example, in Naperville, Illinois, I am currently opting-out of a wireless electric smart meter (and have been for 5 years), and there has never been a warning that this opt out is “for a brief period” of time.
At the end of the Nicor Gas FAQ webpage , it states:
Health and Safety
This device complies with all FCC health and safety standards.
That’s it on the topic of “Health and Safety”? If you have read other articles at this website, you can surmise that I am not impressed with such a simple and misleading statement as above. The fact that the “device complies” with FCC guidelines is irrelevant to safety as the FCC does not actually have a standard for safe levels of exposure to RF emissions .
To expand upon this point, let me quote respected scientist, David L. McCormick, Ph.D., who was a member of the Working Group for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and who voted to declare RF radiation as a possible carcinogen in 2011:
“FCC regulations were driven by thermal effects, by tissue heating. We know that any long-term effects of [radiofrequency electro] magnetic fields are going to result from effects that occur at non-thermal temperatures where there is not obvious tissue heating.
So the fact you are below a thermal level says nothing about whether or not there is any risk associated with that exposure.” 
As you saw above, Nicor Gas is not currently offering an opt-out or deferral option for its smart gas meter upgrade program. But then it didn’t ask any customers how they felt about having a wireless transmitter installed upon their property or if they have any health or other concerns.
If you are disturbed by what you have read in this article and are a Nicor Gas customer, I suggest you call 888.Nicor4U (642.6748) regarding your opposition and demand an opt-out program be implemented. If they get enough calls, maybe they will respond favorably.
References and Notes
 Nicor Gas Meter Modernization webpage on Frequently Asked Questions, at https://nicorgas.com/residential/meter-reading/advanced-metering-infrastructure
 “Wireless Devices and Health Concerns, FCC Consumer Facts, at https://skyvisionsolutions.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/fcc-consumer-safety-info.pdf; simply put, per the FCC, “there is no federally developed national standard for safe levels of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy.”
 A Critical Review of the ComEd Radiofrequency ‘Fact Sheet’, SkyVision Solutions Blog Article, June 2015, at https://smartgridawareness.org/2015/06/11/review-of-comed-radiofrequency-fact-sheet/; the above article includes the following relevant video:
 Additional Information: Per the link below, Nicor Gas chose a Sensus FlexNet® communication network and radio modules for its so-called gas meter modernization program.
The Nicor Gas meter upgrades are properly characterized as “smart” meters since the new Sensus radio modules enable 2-way communication, and the “FlexNet” communication system allows collection and transmission of granular consumption data.
Nicor Gas Selects Sensus for Meter Modernization Program, March 8, 2018, at https://sensus.com/news-events/news-releases/nicor-gas-selects-sensus-meter-modernization-program/