Public Grills Utility Execs at CA PUC

Yesterday utility executives were grilled by members of the public, angry about the health damage from wireless "smart" meters (from l to r: San Diego Gas and Electric, SoCal Gas, PG&E, and Southern California Edison)

San Francisco- Yesterday, as part of an “opt out” judicial proceeding at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) the public had a chance to pose tough questions to a panel of utility and “smart” meter  supplier executives, who responded at times by giving false information, vague, tight lipped reassurances, often refusing to answer relevant questions about the power of wireless radiation being emitted by the meters. The judge refused to allow expert medical testimony or public comment on the record or any questions regarding widespread health effects of the pulsing meters.

Outside at lunch, a boisterous crowd chanted “Pull the Plug,” demanding that the entire wireless “smart” meter mesh network be scrapped, and insisting that any charges to “opt out” of the health damaging “smart” meter program would be akin to charging disabled people to access a wheelchair ramp.

Photos courtesy Helene Robertson

Don’t Ask Why People Want  to “Opt Out”

Judge Yip-Kikugawa, who presided over the workshop- was assisted by several CPUC staffers, who circulated wireless microphones throughout the audience of about 100 people, a slap in the face to electrosensitive people who were already suffering from the pervasive wi-fi and cell phone radiation in the room, forcing several to leave the building.  The judge attempted to rule out questions about “why” the opt out was necessary in the first place, requiring that the discussion focus on “how” various opt out proposals would be structured.  Without addressing the reasons behind the widespread opposition to the smart meter program (largely due to adverse health effects) it quickly became apparent that it would be difficult to identify a solution.

Power of the Meters a Touchy Subject

Judge Yip-Kikugawa threatened to shut down the proceedings twice after participants posed difficult questions about the power of the transmitters.  Stop Smart Meters! Director Joshua Hart asked PG&E and Silver Spring Networks how they were complying with FCC regulations that state that “all persons must be kept at least 20cm from the meters” and that meters “must not be co-located.”  Silver Spring Networks replied that it was up to PG&E to ensure that FCC requirements were being met.   Jim Meadows of PG&E replied with a short statement: “PG&E is complying with all FCC regulations.”   Clearly however, the company is in violation of these requirements, failing to warn residents to keep their distance from the meters and installing more than 100 meters in the same location.

Majority of Radiation Pulses Aren’t Even Transmitting Customer Data

Later in the afternoon, Silver Spring Networks executives  admitted that the SmartMeters are transmitting continuously 24/7.  Even though the meters only upload usage information 6 times per day to PG&E, the meters are continuously ‘chatting’ with each other 24/7 every few seconds in order to authenticate and keep the network synchronized.  From their comments, it appears that potentially 90% of the meter chatter has nothing to do with uploading data to PG&E, it is chatter to keep the network synched up – radiation that has nothing to do with customer energy use.   It now appears likely that much of the radiation that is making people sick is simply to maintain the mesh wireless network itself.

Yesterday, PG&E also confirmed that the individual home SmartMeter data is NOT used on a real-time basis for predicting power generation.  The PG&E substations are what communicate the power needs on a real time basis.  They also confirmed that turning off every wireless SmartMeter transmission would have zero impact on how the smart grid functions on a daily basis.

According to PG&E, the SmartMeter time-of-use data is analyzed later (sometimes months later) to make more accurate and precise power generation predictions, but the real-time nature of this data is not used in anyway by PG&E for operating the “smart” grid.  In fact, the individual SmartMeter data is only uploaded 6 times per day to PG&E, and usually many hours after the power is used.  So according to PG&E, the individual SmartMeters are completely unnecessary for communicating real time data and running the “smart” grid.

This raises the question as to why PG&E is deploying meters which are transmitting every few seconds 24/7.  A SmartMeter which could upload the customers’ time-of-use data one time per month (or be read by a PG&E meter reader employee) would serve the exact same purpose.  PG&E would use this data in the exact same way for their billing and energy producing predictions, so the 24/7 wireless mesh network that is saturating our neighborhoods serves zero purpose for billing or energy conservation.

Frivolous Radiation Permeating Our Neighborhoods

It was confirmed by the PG&E representative that a SmartMeter system which uploads the customers’ time-of-use data for the entire month could be uploaded just one single time per month, and this would serve the same purpose for PG&E as the current 24/7 wireless transmissions which take place every 4 seconds.  It is completely unnecessary and serves no purpose for our neighborhoods to be saturated in a Class 2B carcinogen 24/7.

It became starkly apparent from the proceeding yesterday that a simple time-of-use NON-wireless meter read by a meter reader once per month would supply PG&E with the exact same data they need to make their calculations.  The wireless aspect of the SmartMeter program seems only designed to eliminate human meter readers.  The wireless saturation by the PG&E mesh network in our homes has zero impact on conserving energy.  The truth is that the public in California are being exposed to wireless radiation from “Smart” Meters because PG&E does not want to pay meter reader employees and technicians to activate and de-activate power at homes and businesses, transforming reliable jobs and benefits into extra shareholder profits.

Full video of the workshop is available here.   See ABC7 news Coverage here.

Credit: Ellen Cecil


This entry was posted in Citizen rebellion, CPUC, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, FCC, PG&E, San Francisco. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Public Grills Utility Execs at CA PUC

  1. Redi Kilowatt says:

    Thank you kindly On the Level Blog for the excellent article.
    That is the best and most accurate article concerning the new transmitting meters that I have ever seen yet to date, and it confirms many things that I have been saying over and over again for the last 2 years.
    The truth is a much more valuable tool than some of the rhetoric that some people post in our fight against this costly corporate welfare program.
    Keep fighting the good fight y’all.


  2. SOSFL says:

    To Joshua and all those who have worked tirelessly:

    Please always remember that you are working for the greater good of all U.S. citizens! On behalf of concerned Floridians and those who do not yet know what awaits them; THANK YOU. God Bless each of you.

  3. Shane Gregory says:

    I want to thank everyone who is working to stop and, hopefully, to remove this toxic overlay of radiofrequency emissions from our planet.

    This is becoming such a critical issue all over the globe, including my soon-to-be “former home” of 23 years: the city of Burbank, CA. I am being forced to leave the city that I have loved living in, where I have friends and family and community ties. The place that I thought of as a safe and friendly haven.

    I began to experience severe health affects within 5 hours of the installation of 4 GE Trilliant smart meters on my small apartment complex on 7/28/2011. Headaches, nausea, insomnia, feelings of agitation and irritability, and difficulty concentrating have made it necessary for me to leave my home. My symptoms resolve within about 30 minutes going to a meterless area. I have been living out of my car since 8/2/2011, stopping in the evenings at the homes of people who are able to let me sleep for the night. My life has been turned upside down. I knew nothing of smart meters until the onset of my symptoms, but I do know for sure that the effects are real. Five out five residents who were polled in my complex (out of 6 total residents who live here full time) have shared that they are having similar physical symptoms. A woman in the building next door has reported that she is unable to sleep in her bedroom. She didn’t know she had a bank of 8 meters installed in the basement directly below her bedroom.

    I have sought remedy through contacting Burbank Water and Power. Initially I was told it would be too expensive to restore my analog meter by Ron Davis, Chairman of BWP. Another board member suggested I just move out of Burbank. In a bizarre twist, I received a phone call from BWP a month after I spoke about the problem offering me a new refrigerator (free) to replace my “old” refrigerator. This is peculiar, given that my refrigerator is only one year old. I then received another call from BWP suggesting that I might have a problem with a carbon monoxide leak. Given that my carbon monoxide meter reads zero and given that I feel ill in other people’s homes in Burbank, I hardly think that this is feasible. BWP employees have suggested that I am reacting to my neighbors’ WIFI. While this may be true, I have lived quite comfortably with my neighbors’ WIFI until the day the meters were installed. They also suggested that I might be having a problem with the new paint in my apartment (it’s a year old) or the new carpet (it’s 15 years old). Other helpful suggestions included the idea that something new is in bloom and/or there might be some construction going on around me.

    I contacted Judge Yip-Kikugawa, telling her of my plight. I received a terse message back from one of her assistants stating that the CPUC has “zero authority” over BWP and a suggestion that I present my complaints to my City Council. I took the suggestion and tearfully told the Mayor of Burbank and the Council at a meeting in early August. The response was underwhelming, save for that of Dr. David Gordon. After public comments were made, Ron Davis was allowed to take the floor for several minutes, during which he stated that the meters are “safer than safe” and that BWP is working with each concerned citizen to resolve their issues. I do not feel that BWP’s effort with me come close to solving my problem. I am losing my home and they are offering me a new refrigerator.

    I am desperately saddened by the situation and am seeking a place to go that is not too far distant from my elderly mother and from the community I have lived in all my life.

    Please continue your work, knowing that those of us whose lives are being so negatively impacted, are so very grateful.

    This must be STOPPED. Civil rights, human rights, and the future of the planet could very well turn on this issue. Dramatic? Yes! True? Absolutely.

  4. Tiffany Epley says:

    I submitted a question at the meeting asking if Edison customer still have to pay the approx. 1.6% cost of the smart meter if we ‘opt out and pay the initial costs and monthly costs the answer: YES!

    So we are being charged for the smart meter even if we do not have one. We are being charged the 1.6% higher to have a RF mesh network in our neighborhood without a meter reader coming out every month. WHY? Why are we paying the same for less, and more for nonsense?

  5. Redi Kilowatt says:

    Thank you Joshua for the diligent and great reporting of that meeting.
    You got the PG&E executives to admit that they have been lying to the public all along, something which I have known all along.
    It started when I went to the CPUC website about a year ago and saw a PG&E document posted about how the new meters could save the customers energy.
    I posted that it was a fraud on a local forum.
    I was instantly attacked, the people that attacked me did not know that it was a PG&E document, and they thought that it was a CPUC document, and the CPUC is like a god that would never , ever lie to the public !
    This is great news to me to hear that these PG&E executives have finally come clean. But I do wonder about this sudden change of being more honest. No doubt that with all the other things the corporation is facing now, that might have had something to do with it.
    What has happened was that they bilked the ratepayers for $2.2 billion to implement a meter program that was supposed to allow the corporation to eliminate the meter reading department, and also eliminate the need to send an employee out to disconnect electrical service on all the foreclosed buildings.
    By eliminating the union meter reading jobs, PG&E was supposed to get a return of the ratepayers investment of $80 million per year for 10 years, not bad since their (PG&E’s) investment was zero, it was all ratepayers money.
    Well, as it turned out, PG&E still has to manually read the meters in at least 50 percent of their territory, in Marin and San Francisco, it’s more like 80 percent of the meters need to be manually read.
    That is not good news to the shareholders. The shareholders have insisted that some meter readers be “released”. In Marin, we had 22 meter readers, and so far, they have released 11 of them. But the ones that are left now have to work mandatory overtime (paid at time and one half). So there has been no cost savings to PG&E in Marin, even though they have less meter readers. The shareholders are livid.
    I am hoping that some stellar attorney (Josh ?) file a lawsuit against PG&E for mainly false advertising and consumer fraud. The CPUC should also be named in this lawsuit.
    It would be a class action suit so the individual customers (if they prevail) would not see any great amount of money, but the attorneys would see some.
    Hopefully, part of the settlement would be an apology from PG&E and a thorough disclosure of the reasons for the meter project, like what was extracted in yesterday’s meeting. The ratepayers deserve to know the truth, even though it makes the government and PG&E look real bad, there are many other things that PG&E has done that are even worse. PG&E is getting “beat up from the feet up”.

  6. Thank you so very much, Joshua, and Everyone fighting for our health and safety!! You are our heroes!!! We are behind you 1000 percent!

    SHAME ON EVERY PG& E INVESTOR, EXECUTIVE, and CPUC that is ignoring thousands of severe health complaints caused by dangerous smartmeters!! You will be criminally charged for harming millions of customers, burning down their homes, murdering their families!!

    There will be a day when justice will prevail, and the people responsible for forcing smartmeters on the homes of innocent babies, children, and their families.
    These corporate criminals will end up rotting in jail or burning in hell, for the torture and crimes they continue to recklessly and grossly subject innocent people to in their own homes.
    Millions of people in Ca, and across the country are sick and OUTRAGED by the criminal actions by PG & E, WEllington, and the CPUC.

    Investors will lose big $$$$, if they do not demand PG &E to pull the plug on wireless smartmeters IMMEDIATELY!!

    How many innocent children will die from leukemia, cancer, brain tumors from the massive , constant bombardment of microwave radiation emitted by millions of dangerous smartmeters, and the mesh network? Thousands will die, and when parents figure it out that wireless smartmeters were “deployed” with ZERO CONCERN FOR SAFETY, just so PG & E and investors could fire hard-working meter readers and pocket the profit….

  7. julie says:

    Well, now we can not only tell, but show the great grandchildren of the WWII generation what Fascism really is, and why their grandparents had to go overseas and fight it… oh yeah… Is this the beginning of a grand research project on RF’s on human mice?? Couple the RF’s with the fallout from Fukushima fallout on the west coast, and we just might wind up being less than intelligent, dead, or both. Well, okay, there is fallout from Diablo nuclear plant which PG&E owns as well. Now I live downwind from that, and just had a smartmeter put in before I could run out and catch the installer. He worked fast. This is just criminal. I am ready to leave the state, but I sure will be doing my research to make sure I won’t be going from the frying pan, into the radioactive fire! I can’t even believe this is the USA that I grew up in. No way!

  8. Linda B says:

    I just want to say thank you to those who were able to attend the meeting and for the report on the meeting. I think that if you want a Smartmeter on your home, then you should be able to Opt-In for a Smartmeter and let the rest of us keep our analogs. I am a cancer survivor (twice) and I will NEVER allow them to put a Smartmeter on my home no matter where I live. Keep up the good work!

  9. Soapbox Jill says:

    Bless you, Joshua and Amy and all, for your hard work on this important national public health issue. Here in Wisconsin, we had planned our first protest outside a state utility roundtable, but then the Wisconsin Public Utilities Institue (of the UW) which had organized the meeting (which the public could attend but not speak at) cancelled the meeting.
    I think we need to gather more specific information about the meters and some stats, which you (esp. Amy) have done so well. It all seems like such a big thing, to gather this info. and sound intelligent about it, esp. for those of us also dealing with radiofrequency/microwave sensitivity. But we’ll do our best.
    Thanks, again, for your inspiration.

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  11. dale clure says:

    hello;since the smart meters were installed in our area,my father has passed on .in 2006,my mother got cancer of the breast one side removed. last march.and has increased the arricept to 10mg for cognition,continues to decline .I’ve had more and more insomnia and cognition imparement as well.this is in N.Idaho ,the power Co. is AVISTA ,I’ve become more and more inclinded to build a faraday cage arround the meter Keep up the good fight Dale

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