PG&E Caught on Tape Threatening Disconnection of Service for “Smart”Meter Refusal

This audio was provided to us by Charles Pine, a resident of Oakland who refused to allow Wellington Energy to install a ‘Smart’Meter on his duplex.  It was recorded several days ago when a PG&E employee came and attempted to install a new wireless meter without so much as knocking on the door.  This was the second attempt at installation, after Charles had already refused a Wellington installer several months before.

While PG&E makes public statements like “we are working with communities and engaging in a conversation about how our customers can benefit from SmartMeter technology” the reality is that they are threatening the public with disconnection of electrical service, and ignoring pleas from electrosensitive people who are suffering so badly that in many cases they are being forced to leave their own homes.

Several weeks ago, the utility made soothing statements that made it seem like it would respect residents who did not want a wireless meter on their home.  The reality on the ground- as this incident demonstrates- is very different.  PG&E continues to lie, to cheat, and to endanger our lives and our health.

How much more will you stand, California?

This entry was posted in Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Oakland, PG&E. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to PG&E Caught on Tape Threatening Disconnection of Service for “Smart”Meter Refusal

  1. M.Hertz says:

    I wonder what the man from PG&E meant when he said that the problems with the meters had been “cleaned out”? I wonder what he meant when he said they have now been updated? Was he lying or does he mean that they won’t make people sick anymore? Does that mean that he is saying, like we have been saying that they had made people sick? What did the idiots at PG&E do to the meters to change them and why did they change them if they keep saying that there was nothing wrong with them in the first place? Why should we believe a word they say?

  2. Redi Kilowatt says:

    Right on Charles Pine, thank you for sharing your experience with all of us across the country.
    The PG&E employee mentioned articles 13 and 14 of the service agreement between them and you. I am curious about that.
    I ordered a service in 1980 at the address where I still reside and I don’t have any recollection or record of any kind about articles 13 and 14, in fact I signed nothing to get the service in my real name.
    I think that the PG&E employee was just playing with your mind, he probably has no authority to say what he said to you.
    From my experience, PG&E must give a customer a notice whenever they need access to your property for any reason, and they also must give a notice in the form of a letter a few weeks in advance of when they are going to be doing work in the area, possibly interrupting your electrical power delivery. The letter states what they are doing (ie: replacing cross arms, power poles, transformers and cut out fuses, etc) and apologizes for any inconvienence. I think that they are required by law and their franchise agreement with the local governing jurisdiction to do this, and it is also important for customers who are using medical equipment, computer equipment for their livelyhood, and the people that need electricity for many tasks that must be done during the day. Hey, it’s just common courtesy too.
    That PG&E guy that you dealt with was a shmuck, and that is being polite. He is a nothing, with no authority whatsoever. A little Napoleon/Hitler wannabe !

    • Charles (the resident in this report) says:

      Redi wrote: “I think that the PG&E employee … probably has no authority to say what he said to you.”

      Most likely, the employee is under tremendous pressure to get those meters in place. I do not blame him personally. PG&E should not even try to install the devices until we as a society deal with the potential price-gouging, the risks to privacy, and the total amount of radio frequency energy around us.

      • Dan LaFever says:

        I blame him personally. You said it yourself. He is under pressure to get them installed. He freelanced, which is personal.

  3. Randal Horemy says:

    There is no such thing as an “electrosensitive” person. Say what you will about PG&E’s customer service, but you guys opposing smart meters are nuts.

    • Randal- I hope – for your sake- you never have to eat your words one day when you become electrosensitive. Believe me it’s no fun. Anyway, how are you so sure?

    • Wrong. Everyone is electrosensitive, unless you are dead.. says:

      Your entire nervous system is regulated through electrical impulses. Its the same kind of electricity that powers your electronics. The kind with electrons! Have you ever heard of an EKG? It measures the electrical activity of your heart. There is also quite a bit of electrical activity going on in most peoples brains.

      If you truly believe that there is no such thing as an electrosensitive person, try putting your finger in an electrical outlet! This is obviously an extreme example, but can be placed on a relative scale.

    • Electrosensitivity is unfortunately very real says:

      You’re not informed on the reality of the situation, Randal. Be thankful you aren’t afflicted with the condition; it is very difficult to live and cope with it in the present artificially augmented electromagnetic environment most developed countries have created. There are many with it who are struggling just to get by and a persistent effort to spin and suppress the facts about electrosensitivity by the industries who would potentially have to pay for mitigation and damages.

    • Wil says:

      Check this out and discover why PG&E thinks you are right

  4. RuhRoh says:

    A few months ago we had someone trying to enter the back yard of our house in Palm Springs to install the smart meter. We happened to be there that week and I heard the gate being rattled and went out and found the guy trying to force it open. When I questioned him he said I had to open the gate or he was going to to shut off my power. I called the police who escorted him off my property. I have filed a complaint with SCE because notice was never given. They blamed the problem on their contractor doing the work. These boobs are thugs that use threats and intimidation. Do NOT give them any information or allow them on your property without PROPER notice.

  5. Alex G says:

    You guys are a bunch of wimps. Thanks for driving up the cost for everyone in CA.

    • Mojack says:

      Cost for everybody ? How so the rates are unjust you eaither pay for those being subsidized on the lower rates or you being supported by those on he higher rates. Pg&e is making there profit not by the energy they sell but being decoupled through add on’s . Wtf sell me my energy at the same rate you choice to by energy back from me Through net metering . Last time I looked the check for the power only had my name on it not the rest of ca. So drink the cool. Aid and be a sheeple . Adgenda 21 and pg&e control your life through their spy meters . After 2 months they finally removed the spy meter off one on my properties . One more to go and they can shove their fees where the sun dosnt shine

  6. SomethingAintClean says:

    Recently, we had a PG&E contractor come out and ask if they could install a Smart Meter to replace our electrical meter and I said no. He was polite and left without saying much. We have since received a letter in the mail asking us to please call them to schedule an appointment so they can come ou to install said meter. When we had a Smart Meter installed on our gas meter over a year ago, we were mailed a notice that said they would be replacing pipes in our front yard — no mention of a new meter whatsoever. I was completely shocked when I came out to find a new meter in place. The subversive and bullying tactics that PG&E uses in order to install these meters continues to underscore the fact that something is indeed very wrong with these meters. I second the notion to keep these guys off our properties until ALL these issues have been put to rest.

  7. RobertWilliams says:


    I have spoken with dozens of people that were also threatened with disconnection if they didn’t allow a smart meter. But unlike this man who taped the conversation, most people fold and accept the meter after the threat.

    Another common false threat the Wireless meter installer uses is: “If you don’t allow me to install now, PG$E will be back and Charge you ($$) the next time.”

    This is PG$E corporate strategy to tell customers these lies, not the indiscretion of a single installer, but that is the next lie PG$E tells when they are caught on tape.

  8. Carl Hoffman says:

    good for him.
    now what are we going to do about it? this reminds me of all the documentation i collected relating to violations committed by my previous employer which amounted to nothing because it was a matter of an insignificant individual armed with facts against a powerful monolith that called all the shots. this video is a good example of the way today’s employees not only side with but disseminate propaganda for their bosses. letters to my district supervisor, Jared Huffman, Tom Ammiano and Jerry Brown on this issue have gone unanswered. i took the time and trouble to mail out information to everyone on my block and received no response. no one with any power has the guts to take on PG&E or the PUC. i spent a lot of time on the phone with an anti-Smart Meter activist who had no suggestions about how to prevent installation on our property or how to organize my neighborhood. more and more we Americans are being expected to just keep our mouths shut, pay our taxes and utility bills and do whatever the corporations and the governments they control tell us to. this is one reason some people i know are planning to leave the country. the vast majority of Americans don’t care about what is happening here but will be quick to tell you that the kids who are killing and getting killed in the undeclared wars we are paying for are doing it for our “freedom”. now while we’re spending our time trying to resist PG&E’s scheme the water department is all set to shove their automated meters down our throats. i would like to hear specific instructions about how to go forward. for a lot of people it’s already too late and needless to say the things will never be removed once they’re installed.

    • HI Carl- Thanks for your post. Now more than ever we need to organize to defeat this insanity- that means:

      -not giving up or surrendering our power to a utility or a corrupt government. We all need the courage to say NO when a utility company tries to force a smart meter on our home or threatens us with fines or disconnection. Exercise your rights or lose them! Just say no. YOU have more power than you realize- use it!

      -A key part of organizing is neighborhood by neighborhood. If neighbors stand together and organize a phone tree or a “wellington watch” they are much stronger than trying to fight the utility on our own. This is something we’re not accustomed to but we need to learn how to gather in the street with our pitchforks and collectively defend our street from threats like smart meters. Get to know your neighbors! Knock on their doors and have a conversation with them.

      -taking physical measures against installation like locking up your meter is critical. This is your home and you have a right to defend it.

      -organizing teach-ins and flyer distribution parties. Build up the courage to speak out- in letters to the editor, council meetings, and even on your downtown street. This is the essence of democracy and PG&E and the other utilities are counting on the fact that people will cower in their homes, isolated and fearful of the utility, fail to organize with others alarmed about the situation.

      -the most important thing is not to get discouraged. yes it is a massive juggernaut. yes PG&E is 90% installed in CA. But certain areas have held out and they have done so by occupying the street and risking arrest. Civil disobedience is a brave and noble action- and it is essential to protecting our rights when they are threatened. Stop Smart Meters! can advise your community on this option if you are unsure or fearful about how to proceed.

      -Bottom line- no one is going to stand up to protect your rights for you- it’s up to all of us!

  9. It seems, more and more, the Smart Grid the utilities are building, with help of the American Recovery Act, may not actually help America recover. People will be penalized by the rollout, including the disabled, implanted, poor, previously efficient folks, electrosensitives, and children. If only the billions of Federal Dollars and utility-matched funds were put directly into the grid itself instead of remote-controlled meters. Some say the remote control ruined television. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin the way customers buy electricity from their utility.

  10. Mark M says:

    In China, most homes/apartments have some sort of solar power on the roof. Granted this is because there is a shortage of energy there, but it just shows how far behind we are and need to catch up. Every roof in this country should have some sort of solar power.

  11. Commander Bunny says:

    My smart meter was snuck onto My house when I was away, it wiped out my ham radios on some freuencies, so I filed a complaint with the FCC.
    Now I have a good old rotary meter back on My place.

    It can be done.

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      Hi CB,
      You are not alone at all on the issue of the new automated billing meters causing problems with ham radio operators gear. There were strong protests in Europe about interference by the new billing meters that operate at 850 MHz UHF GSM and put out 1.51 watts of RF to communicate with the radio towers, and also the 915 MHz UHF LAN for the mesh networks that communicate between meters and repeat data for up to 500 meters billing data 24/7, albeit at a lower power output . Those frequencies are right near your ham radio allotments, and you were there first !
      Many people don’t understand how important amature radio operators are to national security and public safety, especially in disaster situations. Also, as you well know, the General Mobil Radio Service (GMRS) has their own repeaters and an emergency channel 5 , used often in areas where there is no mobile phone coverage for motorists to report accidents and summon help, kind of like the old citizens band channel 17, only far better because it is UHF-FM.
      There is a group that is talking about designing and selling personal 2 way radio telephones to sell to the general public, albeit nothing new to you and myself, but a great concept.
      I don’t know the details of this new plan, but I will look into it and report back.
      Basically it is selling radios that do not need to go through corporate controlled mobile phone repeaters (cell towers). They can communicate directly with each other and eliminate ” the big corporate brother”, like you and I have been doing for decades.
      Your case has set a great example of what can be done if one stands up for their rights, and it could be for many reasons, like interference issues, electronic smog sensitivity, privacy concerns, or being ripped off by the fascist government corporations that take our money and use it against us with false advertizing propaganda campaigns about how somehow this new automated billing program is going to save us money. Off with their heads.

  12. Redi Kilowatt says:

    I saw a truck with a PG&E logo on it today parked near my house, so I approached the truck and struck up a conversation with the man. It turns out that he is a contractor for Cannis (or something like that) in charge of managing all the other sub-contractors working for PG&E.
    What the purpose of their work now is to install new cutout fuses for PG&E, being done by PAR Inc. The reason for the upgrade to the power grid is because of all the wildland fires and lawsuits stemming from the old cutouts that sparked when they blew, the new ones don’t.
    This man told me that he was involved in the installation of the Data Collector Units (DCUs) for both the new electric and gas meters in our area. He said that he was the one who directed the other contractors where to put the DCU’s. I asked him what they looked like, because I have not seen anything around here. He described that they are mounted on a 30 inch mast arm on a power pole, with an antenna on the top and one on the bottom, mounted on a small box. I told him that I have been looking around and have not seen any of those devices. He said that they are here, and I said not any on this street. He could not say that there were , when they were not.
    Then he went on to say that these devices and systems are brand new and untested, and there are going to be many problems and that Marin has many problems with the telemetry, and it could be many years if ever that they actually get these new meters working here, but that they are working fine down in the flatlands.
    He asked me, you know what this is all about , right ?. He explained that the sole purpose of the automated billing meter program was to eliminate manual meter reads, he said that the government said,” it’s time you start acting like a utility and meter reading has got to go”!
    So, it’s all about the elimination of meter reading jobs, so I decided to do some math.
    In a study that I read in Electrical Contractor magazine, they stated that a small utility of 1 million customers could save $80 million over a 10 year period by eliminating meter reading jobs and being able to raise the rates on a time of use basis.
    So, PG&E has 10 million customers, and they can realize a profit of $800 million over 10 years, or $80 million per year by eliminating manual meter reading.
    And the cost to the ratepayers to fund this program was $2.2 billion dollars, that is $22 million per year amortized over a ten year period.
    PG&E had around 860 meter readers before the deployment started. A regular meter reader earns $29 per hour plus full benefits, and a “hiring hall” meter reader earns $36 per hour with no benefits. That is a cost of around $72,000 per year for each meter reader. The cost to fund the meter reading department is $6 million, 192 thousand per year for PG&E !
    PG&E has pulled off the biggest ripoff in the history of northern California, and the other fascist utility corporations are also doing all across the globe.
    PG&E has already admitted that the addition of the new electrical load to our power grid by all the millions of new meters will necessitate building more power plants and improvements to our power grid to handle this new load. Next, they will ask the CPUC to raise our rates to build more nuclear plants to power their new meters. GO FIGURE !

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      Sorry, I misplaced a decimal point when reporting the cost of the meter readers salaries, it should have read $ 61.920.000 per year, close to $62 million, that is in line with the report that said a utility company with 10 million customers can save $80 million per year by eliminating meter readers and new TOU rate increases.
      Sorry for the typo.

      • Redi Kilowatt says:

        OOPS, another misplaced decimal point, the rate increases granted so far for the meter program have been announced at being $2.2 billion, and that should have read that over a 10 year period the cost to ratepayers is $220 million per year.

  13. rebecca says:

    Face to Face with Smart Meters

    Very good interview on Smart Meters. In it McGinnis states that the meters convert 240 Volt AC to 12 Volt DC. DC is a fire hazard. This is one of the many problems with these units.

    Most likely the only way to stop these thugs is to sue the big players in federal court. Sue them in Criminal court, it has teeth.

  14. Redi Kilowatt says:

    I didn’t view the Youtube segment, but what does a smart meter need to rectify 240 volts AC to 12 volts DC for ? All electronic devices rectify AC line voltage to around 5 volts DC to power the central processing units and clocks, but it is very low current, in the milliamps.
    Direct current electricity is more pure, and more powerful too. Medical equipment in hospitals and airplanes use DC because it is more reliable and easier to control.
    About fire hazards, the new meters are untested and will no doubt have many problems, like any new untested electronic device. When a new automated meter starts a fire, it is purely the fault of the meter, and is not the fault of ones existing wiring that has been installed and inspected, and working perfectly for decades.
    And yes many fires have been started by the new meters, by all means, sue the pants off of PG&E.

    • Amy O'Hair says:

      @redi kil0watt
      Skip ahead to 43 minutes in, and see if you find what he says stands up.

      My computer-engineer husband says it’s unlikely that SMs rectify to 12 volts—they probably go to 5 volts like all modern CPUs.

      • Steve Poole says:

        First off, I’m against Smart Meters because my research has determined that it’s nothing more than a scam to “digitally bill” the consumer into higher fees. Second, I produced the referenced video “Face to Face” and I know Walt to be a reliable and honest person. Third, I’m a licensed Electronics Technologist who worked in the industry for eleven years before fleeing for my health…

        Sorry folks, but these post don’t make any sense in relation to the video referenced or the technology employed. Or, maybe they make sense but they are irrelevant.

        “All electronic devices rectify AC line voltage to around 5 volts DC to power the central processing units and clocks, but it is very low current, in the milliamps.”
        This is a false statement and unsupported with any evidence.

        …”unlikely that SMs rectify to 12 volts—they probably go to 5 volts like all modern CPUs.” is misleading.
        “Probably” is not conclusive but only speculative.

        12 Volts and 5 volts are both quite commonly used simultaneously in the design and implementation of digital home electronics… especially your computer. Designers factor in 12 V and 5 V into these systems because the respective devices utilized, require one voltage or the other. Fans, CPUs, Disc Drive transports etc, need 12VDC and the lower function ICs need 5VDC.

        Here’s a link and schematic to a Smart Meter power supply page if you require proof: (Scroll down)

        Peace and solidarity.

        • Redi Kilowatt says:

          Smart meters have no fans, so they don’t need 12 volts DC, but they do have EPROMS, and clocks, so they must rectify to 5 to 7 volts DC.
          And what is wrong with the statement that all electronic devices rectify AC line voltage to 5 to 7 volts DC ?
          When you accuse someone of posting something that is wrong, you must give a reason why you form your opinion, otherwise you have no credibility.
          Your your opinion is that “these posts may make sense but are irrelevant. Please state why that is your opinion, we would like to know.

  15. SOS Florida says:

    Those of you with friends and family in Florida; THE WORD IS NOT OUT HERE!

    Question: Many homes here (mine included) have metal interior stud framing. Is this a conductor that will amplify EMFs? What about homes with aluminum siding?

    FYI: I am told by neighbors that if you pay your bill on line you totally miss the fine print periodic notification schedules!

    FYI: The Florida head of the PSC just resigned. Does anyone know why?

  16. Sourgrapes says:

    Just has a so called sub contractor of PG&E knock on my door asking for personal information in order to lower my electric bill 20%. I called Napa Police, but i dont know what happened. Its freaking 8:30 pm and the guy came right up on my porch and practically walked into my house.

  17. mary says:

    we have 4 rentals all had the meters installed without us knowing. cable TV has also mounted their product through our new roof. i don’t think it is right to do anything to someones property without consent.
    are you aware of the utility’s intention for smart meters? one day everyone will be on a time of use fee schedule. Time of use will end up costing people a very high bill.
    we installed solar and are on time of use, net mettering. it is a change of life style. all consuming appliances are put off till off or mid peek use to save. laundry, dish washer, auto watering ( we have a well). peek time is Mon=Fri 1pm-7pm. mid time is 7pm=9pm & 6am-1pm. low peek is 9pm-6am. cost for peek is $.49 kwh, off peek is $.09 kwh, we get credit for over produce to be applied when we don’t make enough. at the end of the year any left over credit they pay us $.04 kwh. do the math what they pay vs what they charge.

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