Defend Your Analog Meter Part III

A dish drainer and brackets provide defense against analog meter theft

Here are a couple of photos that people have sent us, showing how to protect your analog meter from theft by the utilities or their agents.  PG&E has supposedly agreed to let analog meters remain in place if they receive a request, but they have given us absolutely no reason to trust them.  So- anyone in PG&E territory alarmed about smart meter radiation should call the following numbers and demand to retain your analog meter.



PG&E:   1 866 743 0263

Wellington:  1 866 671 1001

More ideas:  Page 1Page 2; Page 4; Page 5  

If you do not live in PG&E territory it is even more critical that you lock up your analog meter and contact your state legislators and utilities commission to demand a halt to wireless meter installation and- in the meantime- the right to retain your analog meter without penalty or harassment.  Note that there has not been a single case of service being switched off or an extra penny levied in fines for ‘smart’ meter refusal- despite the outrageous threats.

This strategy uses a plexiglass and wood construction, attached with L brackets to defend against reckless utility tampering. A hole in the bottom allows moisture to get out. Again, the strategy is to allow meter readers to continue to read your meter but not allow for easy removal.

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44 Responses to Defend Your Analog Meter Part III

  1. Robert says:

    BRILLIANT ideas. The dish-drainer is particularly easy to do. I’ve been looking for such ideas for months – now I have the solution. Thanks very much indeed.

  2. Mia Nony says:

    Help and or advice please? There seems to be nothing more important than the prevention approach of tamper proofing an existing analog meter. Has there been any follow up on the success or failure of fortressing the analog meter properly? Best methods? Any not recommended methods? Has the utility just ripped any of them out? Any word on how or if the utility has removed any of these analog enclosures? Any ideas on the very best way to secure one to prevent removal? I was thinking maybe a heavy duty metal box with bullet proof lexan window smaller than the meter, maybe long carriage bolts right through the wall secured on the interior side and maybe indestructible materials such as heavy metal and a small lexan view window. My main concern is the potential risk of electrocution form drilling into the wall and ending up hitting the wires leading to the circuit box. For the less handy, maybe there already exist such items for sale?

    • ray the electrician says:

      in response to your question regarding how to prevent pge from forcing the smart meter onto you, I am an electrician by trade who opted out of smart meter program. I barricaded the entrance to my back yard where my meter is located, AND locked my wooden enclosure with a padlock to prevent my meter from being changed but still could be read. PGE entered my neighbors back yard, hopped the fence into my yard and cut off my padlock (which was a small cheap lock) and replaced my meter with smart meter. When I got home that day I saw that my power had been shut off, so I checked my meter and found smart meter there. I tore it out of there and plugged in an old analog meter I had from another job I had done and PGE showed up a few days later, told me that I had to have the smart meter or my service would be shut off. I threatened them with gunfire if entering my property and they said that they have a right to access the easement (a phone pole in my yard) and would come with police to shut me off. Days later they came again when I was not home and shut me off. Since im an electrician, I opened up the service and removed the little caps they put under my contacts and put it all back together and restored my power. Again they showed up saying they will cut the service drop for my home off at the phone pole. I said “go ahead, I will run my own service drop and you cant take the phone pole out of my yard, now can you?” I have not had any more contact from them for a couple months now. I recommend a big dog in the yard, the installers surely will stay away as they are terrified by the dogs. Or I like your idea about a strong metal enclosure bolted to your house with carriage bolts.

      • Mia Nony says:

        Sure wish I had the skill to upload pix to show you what we decided to do.
        Since I posted this a year ago, we designed & built an entire room complete with steel doors surrounding the external meter wall, complete with a small viewing window which has a burglar grill installed on the interior side over wired safety glass.
        Tell me, is it true that a house can use electricity without using a meter at all?

      • Mia Nony says:

        Enclosure number two: For our small seasonal getaway cottage we enclosed the meter by building an entire sun room around the meter wall. The room was designed around a whole bunch of single glazed windows we found at a bargain price at a garage sale and installed as a double layered set of windows, plus a solid wood door which someone was getting rid of during renovations.

      • Mia Nony says:

        Failing that we have in mind a fenced moat which is wider then the length of the reach a bucket truck, of course a moat would be stocked with an endangered species … such as crocodiles §;~D

      • Sana says:

        Ray most of us don’t have ur expertise so can u think of another way to avoid all this or would u come to my house do do all of that for me. They’re putting their flags and marking their spots as we speak. Anyone feel free to respond. Find all of us another way Ray please

  3. Lynn Jackson says:

    I am going to install a cage over the electrical meter asap. Do I need to put the cage over my gas meter also? Please list me as a opponent to this invasion of my home.

    Lynn Jackson

  4. colleen brunetti says:

    9/5/2011 Since smart meters have been installed around me on other homes, I have experienced ear aches, headaches and a feeling of pressure at the top of my head also nausea. I have tried putting heavy duty foil on my window where I usually sit. Very upset and don’t know what to do.

    • Amy O'Hair says:

      @Colleen Brunetti
      I am sorry for your distress! First, file a complaint with your public utility commission—If you are in California: — Click “I want to file a complaint”. Be on record as having been affected by this device.

      People who have been affected have become sufficiently desperate to remove their ‘smart’ meter and replace it with an analog. Protect your new meter, pay your bills and keep the SM, it belongs to your utility. You have the right to protect your health and safety. Of course if you are a renter or not the ratepayer, there are difficulties in your situation.

      People have gotten SM removed by persistently writing and calling those in the utility companies who are responsible, over and over again, pleading and begging. It is humiliating, and time-consuming, but in certain situations it can work.

      Some people have tried shielding. Hardware store aluminum screening is effective and fairly cheap. It’s good to get some help doing this. If you want to continue this conversation, click on my name above, and when on my YouTube channel, click “Send a message.”

    • Btruth says:

      I’d smash it with a insulated hammer, or a rock at 3AM. Blame it on the neighborhood kids. It’s already illegal, so do whats necessary to protect yourself.

      • admin says:

        Stop Smart Meters! doesn’t recommend smashing “smart” meters–for your own safety. Not just the shock hazard issues, but the meters are reputed to contain a switch that uses a substantial amount of mercury, a recognized neuro-toxin, and releasing that into your own environment would be a bad idea. We are researching this new item, and will report when we’ve got hard data.

        Everyone in Colleen’s place should know that there are people all over the state who’ve taken matters into their own hands. You’re not alone. No one has been cut off or arrested.

  5. Emma Kiana says:

    I called PG&E and told them I do not want the smart meter installed. That was about the first week of September 2011. They put me on what is called a “delayed list” and would be heard by some committee headed by someone never heard of before in October. If this committee approves it, this person at PGE said I would have to abide by it’s decision. If I refuse, does PGE have the right to cut off my power?

    Mad at this Utility

    • admin says:

      This week TURN (The Utility Reform Network) stated that PGE definitely does NOT have the right to cut you off for refusing a “smart” meter. Pay your bill, secure your meter, and stand your ground.

  6. Some Power Guy says:

    You know you do not have the right to block access to the meters? They are property of the respective power company’s and they do have the right to access them.

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      That may be your interpretation, but being an an electrician installing meter main, load centers and combos, I have seen a lot of things that were done decades ago that would prevent access to an electrical meter. Many customers have meters that are 80 years old deep inside buildings that are not accessible to PG&E. These thousands of customers have been putting out their personal readings of the electrical meters at a location out of the building for decades. I have customers that have 200 amp electrical services installed in locations that are not permitted today.
      Meter mains and load center enclosures are supposed to be 56 to 77 inches off of the ground, with at least 5 feet of clearance. This is so the meter reader can easily read the meter, and also so that anyone working on the main panel can work on it without breaking their back. That is the NEC.
      I have seen some meter main and load center installations that would make a Wellington monkey turn around and run fast. I’m not talking about “dog houses” locking the meter, I’m talking about meters that were installed in some locations where there is no access any more to service them due to subsidence of earth, blackberries, poison oak and retaining wall failures.
      The meter readers sometimes have to get down on their belly, and read the old dirty, cobweb infested meters through plants that are overgrown from a distance of 5 feet or more. They have been diligently doing this for years without a complaint or a ratting out of a customer. Sure, the meter readers should have access to read the meters whenever possible, but as far as changing out a 40 year old meter with a cheap, simple radio transmitting meter that transmits for nothing at all in many areas, they are not going to bother with it. That is why we still have our analog meters in use.

  7. Karin Nance says:

    are smart meters are about to be installed on oct. 1 with no warning and I can’t find any info on my rights in colorado. I’m assuming they are not the same as california…I’m going to a meeting, but I would like to find here somewhere what my rights are here…help!

    • Jim says:

      The example letters here would be the first step, sending a copy to the PUC would also be good too so they have a list of the issues and know people are complaining.

      No one has the right to come on my property and install ANY device that would endanger my privacy, security or health. The power company doesn’t have the delegated authority to do that.

      The link to the example letters is up top at the right of the page here.

      Scroll down for extra example text and you should edit the document to your particular situation. It could also be used to get a already installed smart meter removed.

      Smart meters are not mandatory, they were permitted by the PUC to be installed, but originally were to be opt-in at the customer’s request, but then the DOE got involved and started handing out $$ and you know where that goes…

  8. don says:

    Just build a dog house for a MEAN big old dog at the meter.. then they will have to have you home to get access..

  9. vodknockers says:

    A lock company in Santa Rosa is selling
    “anti-tampering” collars that lock up your analog meter.
    It goes around the existing ring and PG&E cannot remove it.
    Call and order one over the phone…end of story!

    Economy Lock & Key
    (707) 579-3183

  10. Pingback: Defend Your Analog Meter Part V | Stop Smart Meters!

  11. evelina fata says:

    Are there any protests scheduled in the Los Angeles area against these meters?

  12. Barb says:

    What about legalities in Indiana? Indiana Michigan Power Company has installed smart meters in South Band…..I am located in Allen County, IN. I have an analog meter presently and wonder how I can lock it up or what legislation refers to my rights to not have the new meter installed. I live residentially and the house is 14 years old.

  13. deeann says:

    Are there any protests in the santa barbara area?

  14. Acromwell51 says:

    Some power guy is correct about the meter being the property of the utility and that the utility has a right to access and maintain it’s equipment, including entering your property or removing anything on or around it’s equipment . See your respective service agreements and conditions of service. Just because they have allowed folks to try and protect the meters from being removed or have accommodated access issues up to now, ultimately they do have the right to remove the meter andor disconnect service if so needed to ensure service, meter reading, maintenance, etc.

    • admin says:

      @Acromwell51 The utilities first and foremost have the *responsibility* to provide safe and secure power to ratepayers. Such a basic service, necessary for life, cannot be seen as an optional customer purchase. Governments allow IOUs to provide this service, but they regulate them for a reason: the utilities provide a life-sustaining service, and the “customer” base is essentially captive to their monopoly, and vulnerable to exploitation. Nothing has illustrated this better than the smart meter debacle.

      So before you go off about their rights, utilities must first uphold their basic responsibilities to provide safe services that don’t endanger customers or violate their rights. Smart meters have violated people’s basic rights to safety, their right to protect themselves from bodily harm, their right to protection from unwarranted search and surveillance.

  15. customer 137 says:

    I just locked my meter box that i paid for and installed, my lock is no different than the power companies lock. I can’t remove theirs, they can’t remove mine. (i expect them to contact me as i would have to contact them, that is reasonable)

    I have several concerns with getting a smart meter:

    1) How will it reduce my costs?
    2) Real time monitoring
    3) Health risks being next to the bedrooms
    4) I’ve heard these meters have caught on fire before, if so, the power company needs to have a bond to insure recovery for my loss
    5) involintary interuption of service

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      Customer 137,
      Here are some answers.
      1) SmartMeters don’t do a thing to reduce energy costs, only give the utility a chance to raise rates with their time differential pricing schemes.
      2) No real time monitoring, the cumulative total usage since the meter was installed is transmitted to the utility once every four hours. Then, that data is compiled in the central servers and used to print out your monthly bill.
      After this data is processed at the central server compound, it is then made available to customers via the internet with a delay of at least 24 hours.
      The customer must sign up and create a “my account” program with the utility to view previous total electrical consumption dating back from the previous 24 hours up to the previous 14 months. There is no real time data transmitted on the radio smart grid or transferred to the internet, but, there is a display on the meter itself that shows real time data. That is the only way a customer can see real time usage, to go out, camp on the meter and put their face in it for a day or 2. And none of that real time data is transmitted to any customer purchased ancillary devices, it is only available on the meter itself. That feature went clunk, not much interest in camping at a SmartMeter site, most people have much better things to do with their time.
      3) About health risks, I do not doubt that the meters are harmful, but I will never have a SmartMeter so I can’t really say.
      4) About fires, I know a person where the SmartMeter started a fire, but the fire inspectors and insurance corporations hushed it up and blamed it on other electrical problems. I have no doubt at all that the SmartMeters are responsible for starting fires.
      5) I don’t get what you mean about involuntary interruption of service, I have read accounts that some SmartMeters have a motorized remote disconnect switch, but I have not seen any cases that they have been used.
      I don’t really believe that the smart radio grid is capable of that operation. If anything, maybe a technician has to go out to the site of the meter and plug in an optical programming probe to the meter to disconnect service for non-payment of bills. Again, I am not sure of this because I have not seen any cases of remote disconnect done with the radio grid. The only thing that I have heard is rumors from activists, but I have no real proof.

    • Richard says:

      And some other answers to #1, 2, and 3…

      The SmartMeter cannot reduce your costs, but it does provide you with data that can help you better manage your use. You could get the same data from reading the dials on an analog meter; the SmartMeter simply provides a digital display.

      >>”the cumulative total usage since the meter was installed is transmitted to the utility once every four hours…” This is incorrect. Through the utility’s website I am able able to download my data (delayed as it is) and see variation in my hourly usage, so the transmissions (however frequent) must include that level of data.

      Health risks? Personally, I doubt it; but that’s just my opinion. I have measured the EM field on the backside of the meter, from within my garage, about 1 meter back, and the signal is on the order of 0.250 uW/cm^2 chirped about once per minute. It’s about 10-20x stronger on the front side. The interior levels are about 2x the level of a basic wireless router at 1 meter…BUT a router’s signal is continuous, not chirped intermittently.

      In case you’re interested, here’s another nice summary of the IARC’s work on “evaluation of cancer hazards” that helps keep SmartMeters in perspective with other wireless technologies.

      Just FYI 🙂

      • Richard says:

        Some clarification…while the quote itself is correct; what I meant to convey was: while cumulative total usage may be transmitted once every 4 hours, the cumulative total is not the extent of the data.

        Speaking for myself, I’m always looking for ways to cut back on electricity use, because our family is always over the baseline values set by the utility, and so looking at the past hourly and weekly data does help to better understand where the totals come from. If/whenever residential time-of-use pricing becomes available, then I should think that real-time data would be an essential part of that plan.

        • Redi Kilowatt says:

          Could you clarify what you mean that the cumulative total is not the extent of the data ? What other data do you think is included in the transmissions from the SmartMeters to the utility over the smart radio grid ?

          • Richard says:

            You earlier stated: “the cumulative total usage since the meter was installed is transmitted to the utility once every four hours” — and while that may be true, that alone would not allow me to see my hourly usage, so the data transmission must include more than just the cumulative total every 4 hours–it must include the hourly totals.

  16. Dave Smith says:

    Does anyone have any legal info on Indiana? I want to take this to city council as I contacted them and they have not had anyone bring this up in my city. I plan on blocking them. I found this letter in my searches that people can send to their company:

  17. Redi Kilowatt says:

    All SmartMeters transmit the total cumulative data once every 4 hours, that is the advertised industry standard across the country.
    If you set up a “my account” with your utility, you can see a cumulative view of your previous electrical usage hour by if you want, but that data is complied from the once every 4 hour transmissions from the day before. There is no possible way that any customer could ever view hour by hour usage in real time, it will always be compiled from the previous days once every 4 hour transmissions.
    The meters do transmit almost constantly to keep in sync with the smart radio grid (Silver Springs Networks).
    This feature of viewing previous usage was one of the things touted about SmartMeters being able to help customers save energy, but it is basically useless, and what the researchers have found out is that it is not very popular with consumers.
    People really don’t care to spend the time to set up an internet account, and then read previous usage, another marketing scam that went clunk.

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      I don’t think you understand how the SmartMeters and their smart radio grid network work.
      I will try my best to explain it.
      The SmartMeters send a burst of total cumulative usage data once every 4 hours.
      In that 2 second data packet, it contains (supposedly) the readings in one hour increments to total the 4 hour block of usage. That information is sent on the smart radio grid to the central servers at the utility. then at the central server center, that information is fed to the billing computers, and to be made available on the internet if a customer has set up a “my account” application on their computer, (and soon to be a mobile phone app called “Green Button”).
      That data available online is not real time data, it is compiled from the previous 24 hours use all the way back to up to 14 months. That is how they do it.
      Even though each meter only sends consumption data every 4 hours, not all of PG&E’s 6 million electric meters send this data packet all at the same time (concurrently). They have to send the data sequentially, or random sequentially.
      The meters transmit their usage data on a radio network that they call a “smart grid”. They call it a smart grid hoping to confuse people that it is the electrical power grid, it’s not, and has nothing at all to do with the electrical power grid operations. The radio smart grid is strictly for revenue collection purposes.
      So, now you know how they do it, and why since groups of meters communicate with each other, that their smart radio grid has to be transmitting 24/7, because each meter transmits usage data at a different time for the most part. And the rest of the time when the meters are not repeating data to the utility, they are transmitting to keep in sync with each other on the radio grid (network).

      • Richard says:

        And what part of my earlier reply —

        “…so the data transmission must include more than just the cumulative total every 4 hours–it must include the hourly totals.”

        — What part of this is inconsistent with your explanation? Your initial statement to “customer 137” said nothing about hourly data, so I thought I would share my experience with the system and the data available.

        I understand how it works just fine. I was only responding to your request for clarification 😉

  18. Randy says:

    Easy way to stop smart meters is this. Power companies can not legally install a non UL device on you house. Insurance companies will cancel your home owners insurance. Which may involve your mortage company. Thus leaving you holding the bag.
    I don’t know of any Smart Meter that is UL approved. I assume they can’t pass UL testing the way they are today. So any one that has one and don’t want it should be able to get rid of it under this method or sue the hell out em. Their plenty of videos and pictures of these things burning up on the outside of house for support.


    • Mia Nony says:

      In BC, Canada, so far BC Hydro is a publicly owned utility. Turns out the loophole is this: We OWN the analog meters they have removed and destroyed. Heads really WILL roll, and analog replacement meters by law must be returned to owners.

  19. vodknockers says:

    Well, here it is, July 2012 and my old meter is still locked, no increase in my bill, no threats from PG&E…nothing has happened. WE WON.

  20. Chuck Barlow says: I build electric meter cages to stop smart meters


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