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Posted in California, Cancer, Cell phones, Citizen rebellion, Democracy, FCC, Federal Government, health effects, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, radio-frequency radiation, Smart Grid, World Health Organization | Leave a comment

Debunking The Utility “Smart” Meter Safety Myth: SSM! NY Issues Report on the “Antenna Effect”

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 12.09.25 PMAnother nail has been driven in the coffin of the ludicrous notion of “smart meter safety.”  One of our many sister organizations, Stop Smart Meters! New York has issued a report detailing flaws in the review that many utilities cite in order to claim that their “smart” metering systems are “safe.”   FCC and industry analysis only examines smart meters in isolation, not as part of the grid as they operate in real life.

Why is this important?  Electric wiring- in addition to carrying current- can also act as an antenna- creating what are essentially “antenna cages” in homes.  Pulsed microwaves from the meters, as well as dirty electricity resulting from the conversion from AC to DC current can create hazardous conditions.  When you have dozens or hundreds of smart meters pulsing and emitting dirty power transients in the same wavelength, electrical pollution can be intensified.

Bottom line: Analyses of smart meter radiation that only analyze one smart meter in isolation have little bearing on the actual environmental conditions in which these devices are designed to operate- environments where real humans actually live.

To read the full report, check out the SSM! NY website.

Posted in Dirty Electricity, FCC, Federal Government, Health studies, New York City, radio-frequency radiation, Smart Grid | 1 Comment

Forced Off Grid for Speaking Out: 3 Months on, the Hart Family Finds Hardship- and Self-Reliance After PSREC Cuts the Wires

IMG_6368 By Josh Hart, Director of Stop Smart Meters!

It’s been three months since Plumas Sierra Rural Electric “Co-Operative” cut the electricity off to our home though we have paid every penny of electricity that we have used.  They say it’s because we refused to pay the “opt out” fees they added to our bill.  We say we never *opted in* and their disconnection is retribution for raising awareness in the community about the risks of their AMR smart meters.  You can read all the sordid details of PSREC’s actions against us here.


PSREC literally cut the wires to our all-electric home in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains on Feb. 19th and we have been living without electricity ever since

It has become clear that we are far from alone, as we have seen in Nevada, Wisconsin, Australia, New York, and many other places.  Utility disconnections of those who refuse “smart” meters are part of a disturbing international trend to hold residents’ essential services hostage in order to force an irrational and dangerous technology.  If the public really was for the “smart grid”, such dirty tactics wouldn’t be necessary.

We refuse to “just give in” and pay to defend our health, safety, and wallets- especially for something our neighbors get for free. (1)   Though it has been a challenge, and at times a painful struggle, we refuse to participate in an extortionate relationship with a utility industry that has injured people and lied about it, used microwave radiation and deprivation of utility service to coerce payment or compliance.

We will simply not go along with this.

So how has it been living for the last 3 months with no electricity?

The situation is challenging.   We live in a rental house that is fully electric- no gas or propane here at all.  Luckily there is a wood burning stove- otherwise we would have probably frozen to death long ago- to the delight of the utility.

On the plus side, we already have some of the necessary equipment to cope from when we rented an (intentionally) off the grid home in the Santa Cruz Mountains a couple of years ago.

Faced with months of cold mountain weather we had to change our lifestyles and adapt to new imposed circumstances.   It’s an odd feeling- you’re willing to pay your electric bill fair and square – but they won’t take your money.  They will go directly against the financial interest of the “cooperative,” your doctor’s orders, local and international public opinion, peer-reviewed science and common sense- following the marching orders of their increasingly crooked industry just to maintain the absurd “dogma” that wireless is safe, and that we should now have to pay a fee if we want to avoid it.  The situation is- of course- absurd and that’s the way we should treat it.

Still, they insist we have a “choice”- “choose” to pay the money or “choose” to have no electricity.   Since we’re not going to pay the fee, it seems that at least for the moment- while state, federal elected officials, joined by the illegitimate CA Public Utilities Commission, side with the utility and say they are now authorized to disconnect paying customers and until we can fund and mount a successful legal challenge, it seems we have to pay up or learn to live without what they’re selling.

Is it even possible to live without electricity in an all electric rental home, we wondered?

The best way to deal with a challenge is to figure out what the barriers are in the first place and then split them into smaller, more manageable parts.  So we looked at how we use energy in the home and how we could get along without an unreasonable and dangerous utility if we had to.  We’ve put together this brief guide to our lives living off the grid in the hope that it may help empower those of you in similar situations.  Feedback is very welcome.

Stop Smart Meters! Guide to Basic Living Off Grid


large pots of water on the stove can retain heat in the room and provide available water for washing dishes and bathing

A woodburning stove provides heat, cooking, and hot water for dishes and bathing- only wood req’d

A wood stove or fireplace is key to effective off grid heating and cooking.  Some local air quality regulations prohibit these in built up areas, but a propane stove can also be used with ventilation and caution.  Large pots of water on a wood stove (like the ones on the left) can retain heat in the room and provide available water for washing dishes and bathing.







A solar camping shower can be filled with water from the stove or left out on a sunny day to heat up

A solar camping shower can be filled with water from the stove or left out on a sunny day to heat up

This is a pain. Bob Marshall the hotheaded General Manager of PSREC no doubt gets a sadistic grin on his face thinking about forcing us to take cold showers in the winter (I tried it once and don’t recommend it- your skin actually does turn blue).   We have had to heat up large pots of hot water on the wood stove to wash the dishes or take a shower.  In summer, that won’t be possible and we’ll have to use the propane camp stove.  If this goes on much longer we may get a barrel and paint it black, stick it in the sun and run a hose to where it’s needed.   During the warm season, solar hot water really is that simple.  A shower without the extortion or dirty carbon footprint- I feel cleaner already!





This lantern on the left has a solar panel or AC port for charging. The one on the right can be wound up by hand or plugged in

People actually used to sleep when it was dark and wake up when it was light.  We use mostly rechargeable and solar or wind-up LED lights and sometimes beeswax candles at night.   Plus headlamps.  We find we are sleeping better without all that (dirty) electricity in the house.









A decent quality cooler will actually keep your food cold for a day or two. A lower quality one not so much.

We use a large cooler and change out the ice daily, provided by a friendly neighbor’s freezer.  We bought bottled water in a gallon size, then we freeze the whole thing and the resulting ice blocks last 1-3 days (depending on outside temperature), and don’t leave a watery mess in the cooler. If you can’t find a friend to freeze your water bottles for you, buy blocks of ice instead of ice cubes, they will last a lot longer.  It is a pain and if this goes on much longer we’ll be looking at buying a propane fridge with the money we’ll be saving on our electric bills.   Guess if PSREC doesn’t want our money…. the RV place down the road definitely does.



A camp stove can replace an electric range but make sure there is adequate ventilation

When it’s cold outside, a wood burning stove can double as a cooking and heating appliance and has for thousands of years.  When it’s warmer, a simple 2 burner camp stove works well for most things.   An oven can run off of propane gas or even the sun with good exposure and little wind.  Having an indoor space like a laundry room with adequate cross ventilation makes it possible to cook inside.    Otherwise depending on your climate, you may need to cook al fresco- at least for a little while.  Another option is the rocket stove. Rocket stoves are scalable and designed to heat up water quickly and efficiently using fuel as small as twigs.  Plus you can build your own.



This adapter plugs into a cigarette lighter and can charge your notebook computer from your car

The irony of the digital age is that most devices themselves require very little electricity to run.  New ones have batteries that- when charged-  can sometimes last all day.  We charge our notebook computers (that we use with a wired ethernet cable of course) in our car using a cigarette lighter DC adapter (above), and have several computer batteries we can charge to extend our work.  A small, inexpensive DC-based solar panel and battery system can power electronic devices, LED lights, radios and many other low voltage uses.  And it is possible to install such a system while minimizing EMF pollution.

All of the above is possible in a rental, without making any permanent change to plumbing or wiring, or even installing any solar panels.   If you own your home, there are of course more permanent (and pricey) systems you can put in place to make it easier and more reliable for the long term.

Even without these improvements, it has become clear that one can live manageably without grid electricity as people have done for thousands of years (more than 1.6 billion in the world apparently still do- including 180,000 households in the US).

The utility industry’s coercive practices depend on our reliance on them.  If a lot of people started going off grid, threatening profits in a big way, the coercion would fall apart.  It just takes a little work, bravery and creativity to break that reliance.  Of course, when people are forced off the grid, the real losers will ultimately be the utilities, whose coercion is backfiring into lost income, public resentment, and a “spiral unto death” of fewer customers and ever-higher prices.

The dying utility dinosaur won’t go quietly however.  Laws prohibiting breaking free from the utilities – like the one in Florida currently being challenged- will likely spread (and be resisted) as governments and law enforcement are brought in to bring the public back into line, to continue our dependency on a utility industry in the process of wrecking the planet and our health.

     Amount we (spent) annually on our Electric Bill: ~$1200

     Propane Fridge: $300-$1000

     Small DC Solar Panel/ Battery Set Up: $1-3000

     Becoming independent from the criminal utility mob: Priceless

We could all do without entitled, arrogant, profit-mad utility companies imposing their will on us. How about delivering utility service and actually listening to their customers?  If that’s not going to happen, there are other ways we can make this work- from the bottom up via decentralized microgrids (an idea that keeps utility executives up at night).   Three months in, we’re finding out more about those other ways every day, and turning utility bullying back against the bullies.

Yes we absolutely insist and demand that our electricity be switched back on – we have the right to a standard analog meter at no extra charge. But we are not desperate or grovelling like these outlaws are accustomed to.  Their petty and senseless decision to turn us off has only strengthened our resolve to resist the fees & the smart meter program as a whole.  The longer this goes on, the worse they look.  And we’re not going away.


If you can help with a donation to our legal fund, we would be most grateful- just indicate on your check or paypal donation that it is for legal expenses.  Thank you.

(1) Other PSREC customers who used analog meters at the time their ‘opt out’ policy was approved in August 2013 have not been forced to pay the fees- just the Harts.  PSREC allows remote homes to self-read their analogs at no extra charge due to the cost of sending meter readers out.  We are simply asking for equal treatment- a requirement of the California Public Utility Code (453a)

Posted in Australia, California, Citizen rebellion, CPUC, Democracy, Dirty Electricity, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, EMF Mitigation, Environmental Concerns, Installer Threats and Assaults, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, Nevada, PSREC, radio-frequency radiation, Smart Grid | 2 Comments

SSM! Australia Demonstration: Time for Change

Posted in Australia, Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, neighborhood organizing | 2 Comments

The Joy (and Importance) of Public Outreach


Kelly Pascucci of Columbia, Missouri talks to passersby about the risks of smart meter technology

As time goes on, grassroots efforts to educate the public on the truth about “smart” meters are gaining momentum.  The spring and summer are a great season for outdoor events.  Why not set up a table or bring some flyers to one near you?  It can be a lot of fun and make a huge difference.

Change depends on awareness.   The most effective way to spread awareness is face to face.   Using the internet alone is only part of the solution to stopping smart meters.  The web is great at disseminating lots of information quickly but it does not provide the opportunity for eye contact and answering people’s questions that is key to understanding and subsequent action.

Drew Lewis, a Stop Smart Meters! supporter who has been passing out our wireless warning cards (available in the SSM! store) near Silicon Valley wrote to us yesterday:

“I met two guys today when I was handing out your “Public Warning” cards who were in the TI work, One was a writer of Cell Phone Apps and the other was a Tech person who developed software for business systems. They were both open and interested in the cards I gave them and especially what I said about the cancers showing up where cell phones are pressed next to the body like brain tumors and breast cancer where the phones are put in women’s bras. I think as the word gets out more and more people are starting to take a second look at the data.”

Sacramento Smart Meter Awareness Reaching out at a recent environmental fair

Sacramento Smart Meter Awareness Reaching out at a recent environmental fair

Setting up a table at community events in a great way to do outreach to the public and recruit new volunteers.   A group from Columbia Missouri has been tabling at recent events to an enthusiastic response.   Likewise in Sacramento, CA and many other places.

Some reports from the field:

“We had a blast talking with the people and they were amazed about what they had let onto their houses.  If you have not tried this type of event booth exhibit you will be rewarded when you do.  It is fun and builds team spirit.  We add to our numbers each time we do.”

-Eric Windheim of Sac Smart Meter Awareness

“Take Back Your Power Como had a fantastic time yesterday at Earth Day. We did so much educating and even had our HF35C meter to measure people’s phones. Smart Meters potentially emit 100x more radiation than a cell phone. We had pages of our petition signed to take to City Council 5/19 to show we don’t want to be charged extortion fees for requesting our analogs back. This is not fair to those with fixed incomes, medical implants, disabilities (i.e., alzheimer’s, parkinson’s, cancer) or those who educated themselves and don’t want this radio frequency spiderweb in our homes.

Not effort is too small!”

-Kelly Pascucci of Take Back Your Power Como

Volunteers staff a SSM! table at the Green Festival in San Francisco

Volunteers staff a SSM! table at the Green Festival in San Francisco

As we have found out when tabling- anywhere from the Green Festival to Tea Party conferences, people are hungry for this type of information and are often very grateful for your presence and contribution.

If you have spent the time to acquaint yourself with the facts, we feel it’s your responsibility to share this info with others, not just to sit on it.  Edward Abbey said, “sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”

If you don’t have a local Stop Smart Meters! group near you, why not start one and start reaching out to your community today?  You just might find that there is more interest than you realized.  We can help support your outreach activities.

Contact us at info[at]stopsmartmeters[dot]org to get advice on organizing in your area.  It does make a difference and someone has to do it- it might as well be you!

Posted in California, Cancer, Cell phones, Citizen rebellion, Democracy, neighborhood organizing, Sacramento, Santa Cruz County, Take Back Your Power | 1 Comment