Pacific Gas and Electric claimed last week in a workshop held at the CA Public Utilities Commission- the video of which is now online thanks to EON– that their ‘smart’ meter program is in full compliance with all FCC regulations. However even a kindergartener could see that this is clearly not the case. If you look at the FCC authorization for the OWS-NIC507 (pdf) Silver Spring Networks smart meter transmitter that is being deployed throughout PG&E’s service territory (and likely, beyond) you will see three very clear violations of FCC regulations. Leave it to PG&E to violate three regulations in just one FCC document. Let’s take a look at each violation individually:
PG&E and other utilities are contracting with companies like Wellington and Corix to install their ‘smart’ meters. These companies hire temp workers with little to no electrical or professional expertise, according to previous employees who blew the whistle on dangerous practices. Faulty installations are suspected in several cases where ‘smart’ meters caused fires and explosions. These are NOT professional installations. Strike One.
The FCC requires that all persons be kept at least 20cm from the smart meter. Silver Spring Networks says it is up to the utility to ensure compliance. PG&E claims they comply with all FCC regulations. Yet they fail to erect any safety enclosure, post any notices whatsoever warning people to keep their distance. What’s worse, they actually post photos on their website of people touching the meters, recklessly instructing people to violate FCC safety standards. In this context, the “smart” meter may change Bob’s life in ways he may not be expecting. The utilities claim that people are going to be far from the meter- but what about kids playing around the side of homes or apartment buildings? We imagine all of this is not going to look terribly impressive to a jury calculating the amount of future health damages. Funny that cell phone manuals warn people to keep about 1-2cm away while the ‘smart’ meter requires 20cm distance. That must mean that the smart meter radiation is that much stronger than a cell phone. But that would mean that the utilities are lying….. Strike Two.
“Smart” Meters are being co-located wherever there are multiple units- in apartment buildings, condos, etc. Co-locations result in more frequent and more powerful RF exposures, which is probably why the FCC required that the antennae not be clustered together. Strike 3- you are OUT PG&E.
The question is, why is no one enforcing these regulations? Why are state and federal regulatory agencies covering for the utilities while the health and safety of millions of people is put at risk?
FLORIDA NEWS YOU CAN USE:
* If you politely complain about your meter in Florida you may wake up to find you have a tamper resistant aparatus installed by your utility as reported by a gulf coast resident.
*Pool owner alert: FPL announces a new law in their Energy News insert. Single speed pumps or parts can no longer be purchased; costly new pumps must be purchased instead. Does this mean that the CHIP is now in the new pump? Hey, good news for ICLEI supporters!!!
No chips will ever installed in any water pumps The reason for this new regulation is most likely a perfect example of how the corporations manipulate the government. They order all these new regulations to enhance sales, it’s called a corporatocracy. It could have something to do with safety, because anything electric in and around water is extremely dangerous, there is a whole special section of the NEC that covers pools.
The utility companies have been installing the brass rings with a special security tamper proof lock for decades on certain customers that they might suspect of stealing power or adjusting their electric meter to run slower.
Only utility company employees are allowed to have the special tool that unlocks what us private electricians call “naughty boy clamps”. But I do know a few electricians who have those tools, they probably got them from a friend who works for the local utility, it’s amazing what a pot stick or some doughsky kicked out can do.
A person can buy a small can of liquid nitrogen and pour it on the ring, it will crack it. If you do this, be very careful with the chemical, save the little tag and when you replace the “smart” meter with an analog one, it will come with the regular aluminum ring, so put that back on and replace the tag. the wire for the tag threads right thorough the bottom of the ring, and if you are careful, you can make it look like it has not been snipped.
Another problem not taken into account is the mixing of frequencies and subharmonics.
In radio, when you take two frequencies and “mix” them, they create a lower and higher frequency. These are basic radio principals.
This mixing can happen in open air. If you hold up a piece of wire in the air, it becomes a mixer. Any place two signals can combine becomes a mixer. Brain cells can be a mixer, skin cells, water in the body.
One of the frequencies we are dealing with is the frequency of the data packets being transmitted.
When a lot of meters are within range of each other, more and more data packets are transmitted, raising the frequency (of repetition). This frequency varies due to software algorithms and so they are never constant, always changing.
If you happen to be sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, this type of pulsing chaos and shifting frequencies could cause discomfort. It’s possible that people that are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation get used to the constant frequencies of things like radio station transmitters. It becomes normal. But pulses that vary in frequency and duration would be like bright random flashing lights, consistently just out of your view no matter what way you look. They are there just enough to bug you but you can’t quite figure out why.
This is why forcing these smart meters on the public is a bad idea. They should be going slow and carefully, and only installed by FULLY INFORMED choice.
Jim: You are obviously not an RF Engineer, I am.
You only get mixing when the frequencies are different. Since all of these radios are on the same frequency, you cannot get mixing. Well, you sort of can because the transmitters are not on EXACTLY the same frequency, but one will be near DC, which cannot propagate and is easily and completely filtered by the output network, and one will be on double the frequency, which will easily be filtered by the output network. Thus not a problem.
I also challenge you to produce ANY professionally written, peer reviewed journal articles that even suggest someone can “be sensitive to electromagnetic radiation.” In fact, the FCC forbids “safety issues” to be considered when zoning for cell towers is considered. The fact is, the levels allowed are more than 50 times lower than anything that causes any effects at all.
THE ONLY EFFECT of exposure to HIGH LEVELS of RF Radiation is heating. Our bodies handle heating very well by redirecting blood flow and sweat.
In fact, the lead researcher on the effects of RF Radiation used to go to her lab on cold Winter mornings and enter the diathermy machine. She exposed herself to absolutely huge amounts of RF Energy while inside a copper cage until she felt warm.
There are exceptions. One should not expose one’s eyes to high levels of RF radiation in the frequency range of 2.5 to 5 GHz. The reason is the eyes absorb more energy in that frequency range, and the eyes do not have blood flow, thus the heat cannot be drawn away as in the rest of the body. However, the power levels must be very high. Thus, it is a very bad idea to get up on a ladder and look into the feed horn on a high powered (TRANSMIT) satellite dish.
Smart Meters are not a bad idea. They don’t transmit at much power, and they transmit in VERY short bursts. They won’t heat your body, and that heat is the only “danger” from them.
Yes, be “FULLY INFORMED” and not fueled by junk science.
Also, a wire will not allow for mixing. You need a non-linear junction of some sort, like a diode, or a transistor on the output of some amplifier which doesn’t have proper filtering.
@Bubba You may be an RF engineer, but you are no biologist or epidemiologist. There are many hundreds of studies, both epidemiological and experimental, showing bioeffects of low-level RF. Here’s one just published today.
“The effects are claimed to show a dose-response relationship and occurred well below current limits for technical RF radiation exposures. Chronic dysregulation of the catecholamine system has great relevance for health and is well known to damage human health in the long run.”
Bubba, you may be an RF engineer, but you are not a biologist or a doctor, and you are terribly misinformed about smart meters. Smart meters typically use frequency hopping spread spectrum, so the frequency is changing between 50 different frequencies continuously. There are plenty of peer-reviewed scientific studies showing myriad non-thermal effects of low level microwave radiation.
What is your source of information? You need to take an anatomy course…. Eyes absolutely have blood flow….
I saw pictures of cornea clouding caused by looking into operating high power UHF transmitters built in the 1950’s.The cornea gets its oxygen from the air not blood. Plus as a radar tech we were required to ware photo exposure badges for possible high power microwave exposure in the 3 Ghz range. The inverse square law cuts the power exposure levels quickly. However I see no good reason to ignore FCC requirements.
A new article states all the reasons they are pushing for these smart meters
A few gems:
“automated meters could be hacked by someone with $500 worth of equipment and training in electronics and software engineering. The attacker could potentially take control of millions of meters and shut them off simultaneously or disrupt the load balance and cause a blackout”
“Many burning questions remain, and seem to be even more urgent after our off-the-record, this-meeting-never-happened meeting on smart grid cyber security… there is so little clarity to the nature and scale of the problem that solutions are bound to be incredibly ineffective while wasting massive stacks of cash”
“Boeing was named as a security partner on Southern California Edison’s $60 million request to connect a 32-megawatt wind storage battery to the grid”
“Congress funded Smart Grid before its security was assured and that the old system may have been more secure, and finding out that the utility companies only have a voluntary approach to security and seem to be sharing our Smart Grid technology with the rest of the world, and then seeing that billions of dollars are going to go to defense contractors for security that may not be so secure, this seems to be not only a waste of taxpayer dollars, but a plan that may ultimately sever the backbone of our country.”
So far, our old power grids in this country are safe from hackers.
All the equipment , switch gear and controls are average 40 years old, and are safe from computer hackers.
They haven’t even begun to start upgrading the power grid to being what some call “smart”yet. That is expected to cost $300 billion and take about 10 years to complete once they get started.
Those battery and solar projects are a good thing, but giving taxpayer money to corporations for developing solar power individual customers “energy management systems” is a sham. People who have solar electric systems already have their own energy management systems, and many are not even connected to the power grid.
Thanks for the info.,Redi! I am STILL greatly distressed that Florida is mostly a sleep at the meter. WAKE UP, FLORIDA!
Social media works. Learn how facebook operates and use meetup and other sites like them. You will be able to contact people on those sites and create awareness from that. Build it and they will come.
Use the example letters (link at top of this page to the right) and other info from here to inform everyone of the problems with smart meters. A lot of people have no idea what’s going on.
If you have local TV stations that have consumer investigators, you should call their people and maybe they will run a story. CNN ran a good story on the hackability of these meters and the dangers. Since then there’s a lot more info available, just look for it.
“cybersecurity experts said some types of meters can be hacked, as can other points in the Smart Grid’s communications systems. IOActive, a professional security services firm, determined that an attacker with $500 of equipment and materials and a background in electronics and software engineering could “take command and control of the [advanced meter infrastructure] allowing for the en masse manipulation of service to homes and businesses.” Experts said that once in the system, a hacker could gain control of thousands, even millions, of meters and shut them off simultaneously. A hacker also might be able to dramatically increase or decrease the demand for power, disrupting the load balance on the local power grid and causing a blackout. These experts said such a localized power outage would cascade to other parts of the grid, expanding the blackout. No one knows how big it could get.”
A couple more myths that need debunking.
The power grid is not yet “smart” and the power grid is not the wireless mesh network that the meters use to communicate, it is completely separate.
There are some radio controlled switches in the power grid that have been used for decades, and none have been hacked yet. They use these switches to shunt power around on different lines when things happen on the grid.
Although the mesh network could be hacked, and people could conceivably turn on and off the power to buildings, and also intercept monthly billing info, that billing info is not marketable or useful to anybody.
The biggest myth is that if someone turned off many buildings at once, that it would cause a surge. That is not true at all, but if they turned on hundreds of loads all at once, it would cause a sag in voltage, not a surge in voltage.
Sags cause a lot of damage to all kinds of equipment, like compressor motors and some electronic devices, sags are far more common than surges. So, yes, a hacker could get into the mesh network and cause damage, but not voltage surges.
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I had been trying to figure out what laws were being broken when they installed these meters. ON “take back your power” film they mentioned it was against the law for electricans to install these meters, but it didn’t quote the law it was against. I am in Georgia and our opt out was tabled so we have nothing to protect us now. What about federal laws such as privacy laws? It is astonishing to me that these companies are getting away with this. In Boston they are not installing htem becuase thier privacy laws are so strict.
I have not seen the film that you are referring to, but if it is like all the other videos that I have seen made by non scientist amateurs being produced, it is probably mostly false and misleading information about the SmartMeter/smart radio grid projects.
As en electrician, I find it extremely hard to believe that there would be any law on the books barring electricians from installing ANY kind of electric meter, be it a utility revenue meter or any other type.
But who knows, when we have corporate charities like ALEC writing the laws, anything is possible.
I noticed that none of the progressive news agencies address the SmartMeter issue, probably because since the beginning, there has been nothing but false and misleading propaganda being put by some activists.
I have been working hard to debunk those myths and propaganda, and I think it has started to work. But most of these journalists do not possess the advanced knowledge that I have on the subject, so they don’t know where to begin. So rather than look stupid, they simply avoid the issue. The propagandists have really taken over on this SmartMeter issue, which is to the detriment of our fight against the SmartMeters.
I wouldn’t make that assumption. As far as the Documentary ‘Take Back Your Power’, it’s about the so-called “Smart Grid”, and identifies other issues as well, some by Professionals. So before you pass judgment, watch it, you just might learn something…
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That’s very sweet of you to say Milton. We love you all too- that’s why we’re doing this after all! We will win.
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Had one of these installed less than 2 weeks ago. My daughters hamster cage was on the interior wall just behind where the meter resides. The hamster died within days of the installation. Strange coencidence? I’m now very concerned as this is my daughters bed room. What can I do?
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Eric, you could try sheilding the wall where the meter is mounted to keep the rf energy out of your daughter’s room – and the rest of the house. This is like a Faraday Cage but not completely surrounding the four walls, floor & ceiling with screening. If you’re fortunate to have insulation with aluminum foil lamination, you could try attaching grounded wire(s) to the differ3ent sections or panels of insulation in the wall behind the meter, starting at the meter and grounding adjacent sections sufficient to put her body in the “rf shadow” (Think of the rf device in the meter as a “light”). I am not an electrician nor an RF engineer but that’s what I would try.
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