“I Want My ‘Smart’ Meter Off, Too!” The Widening Call for Return of Analog Meters

Tuesday’s post documenting the return of Caitlin Phillips’ analog meter by PG&E brought a great number of emails to Stop Smart Meters! in the days that followed.

This was confirmation of what we already knew: many of California’s ratepayers are very eager to have their “smart” meters removed and replaced by an analog—often these are people who have been suffering with persistent health complaints, like insomnia and headaches, since installation.

Caitlin jumped through many hoops before PG&E stooped to her simple request: to regain what she never consented to have removed—her old, fully functioning electric meter. She wrote to PG&E, the CPUC, and when her requests were ignored, bought a replacement analog meter and had the smart meter removed.  Only when she spoke at a CPUC meeting on Oct. 20th and told the Commission what she had been forced to do, did President Peevey direct PG&E to replace the analog meter on her home.

Unfortunately, right now, anyone wanting to get back an analog meter will also have to work hard to get this to happen. If you are within driving/transit distance of San Francisco, we urge you to come to the next meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission, on Thursday November 10, 2011, 9 a.m. Arrive 15 minutes early to sign up to speak. Chandu Vyas and Elizabeth Barris both asked for and were granted analog meters during the public comment portion of CPUC meetings. (CPUC, 505 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco CA.) For those who cannot make the trip, see the end of this post for a way to participate via phone.

Make sure you ask for—and get—an analog meter, not a “non-transmitting” digital meter, as these have also been linked with health effects. Basically, it is your home and no one has the right to force a device on your home that you don’t want—it’s as simple as that! Don’t give your utility the power over you by asking them if they can please remove the meter—demand that they do so immediately and let them know you will contract with a professional to get the job done if they refuse.

Other news: Article on SFGate.com confirming the huge number of data pulses each day from electric “smart” meters:  “SmartMeters send almost 10,000 signals a day”. Some ‘smart’ meters send out over 190,000 signals every day!  We’ve been warning the Commission and the public about this for months and it turns out we were right!  Read more analysis of the radio-frequency problems of ‘smart’ meters disclosed by the utilities  in this recent post on EMFSafetyNetwork.org.

Participating via phone in the public comment portion of the CPUC meeting: If you cannot make the trip, then, please contact the CPUC and request accommodation to speak during public comments by phone. They say they need three days to arrange accommodation, so contact them by Monday morning Nov. 7. The Public Advisor’s office is (415) 703-2074

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

9 Responses to “I Want My ‘Smart’ Meter Off, Too!” The Widening Call for Return of Analog Meters

  1. Jim says:

    The power company states that they will protect your information. They have a privacy policy in place.

    If you live in an apartment complex and they installed a “Smart” Meter, your electrical use on a minute by minute basis (or seconds) is available to anyone nearby via the “HAN” feature, a “ZigBee” network built into the “Smart” Meters.

    Your privacy has just been violated. Contact your lawyer.

    Want to know which apartment is not occupied right now? Just set up your laptop with a ZigBee receiver and monitor all signals, they are waiting for you, all UNENCRYPTED. Hey, point the antenna out your window and monitor the houses across the street or the other apartments nearby!

    Want to match a meter to an apartment? Take your high res digital camera over to the UNPROTECTED bank of meters and take a few pictures. The meter numbers and the apartments numbers are clearly marked.

    You are now a easy target for burglars due to power company CEO greed. Call your lawyer today!

    You can see what a complete privacy invasion this STUPID meter idea is.

    What I would like to know is where are all the high tech people in the silicone valley on all this? WHERE ARE YOU GUYS? You have a tone of technical people there in N. Cal, where are they all on this?

  2. Redi Kilowatt says:

    That would be silicon valley Jim.
    One could take pictures of a bank of analog meters too, so what ? The meters do not have the address that they serve on them, only a meter number.
    I think the tone of technical people in “N. Cal.” think you are a phony, and that you don’t know anything about anything electrical or electronic.

    • Jim says:

      You already have the address of the APARTMENT BUILDING, you are already there taking the picture, what you want to do is match each meter number to each apartment number.

      You could write down all the numbers but who wants to stand around all day doing that when a picture is easier?

      The number you want to match up is the meter number or possibly a “MAC ID” which is a network ID, which would identify the meter on the ZigBee network, then match that to the apartment number and you now know which data belongs to which apartment number.

      These numbers are clearly marked on the front sticker on the meter. The apartment number is marked on the metal electrical enclosure so a meter reader can easily identify which apartment’s meter he is reading.

      So now your privacy has been violated.

      Are you really not getting this?

  3. Redi Kilowatt says:

    I think the very worst thing about the new meters transmitting so many pulses per day is the fact that most of the transmissions are just for the new meters to chat and keep in sync with each other, and the meters only transmit total electrical usage for 4 hour periods in microsecond bursts six times per day.
    For the executives from PG&E and Silver Springs Networks to admit this when grilled at a public meeting is great, but to anyone who understands, this does not make the meter project look good at all to us.
    It is a program designed to force the sale of an expensive radio revenue collection system that consumes and wastes energy 24 hours per day.
    Quite frankly, I admire the candor of these executives when pressured for the truth, but the truth hurts sometimes.
    The radio meter project is a sham, wastes energy, and adds to the bombardment of radio frequency radiation to the public (which is very harmful for some), and provides absolutely no benefit to the consumer. We have been royally scammed.

  4. Sam says:

    I only hope we get the chance to have our smart meters removed here in Australia. This site looks like yours http://www.stopsmartmetersau.com

  5. Kim Goldberg says:

    Here in BC, where smart meter installation is going full-speed ahead despite growing public protest, we now have at least one case in the past week of BC Hydro removing a homeowner’s recently installed smart meter and replacing it with an old analogue meter after sufficient complaint from the homeowner. Meanwhile, BC residents are essentially waging block-by-block warfare against the Corix installers contracted by BC Hydro to install smart meters on every home. The Corix installers (who are not even qualified electricians) are disregarding posted signs and are aggressive, threatening and intimidating toward occupants who don’t want a meter. Residents are caging, chaining, padlocking and boxing in their analog meters to keep them from being switched out. Plans are afoot to mount a province-wide referendum and possibly a class-action lawsuit. So the goal here is to simply keep the meters off as many homes as possible until these larger strategies have a chance to play out. More info here:

    • Redi Kilowatt says:

      You should look into laws regarding private contractors working on residential property in Canada. I don’t know the laws there, but here in California, we have a State Licensing Board to look up and file complaints against licensed contractors working on residential properties.
      I do know that the utilities are exempt from complaints, but I don’t really know about complaints about the private sub-contractors installing the new meters.
      Here in northern California, we are served by the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. , and the chosen contractor to install the meters is Wellington Energy. Wellington Energy is an out of state contractor based in Pittsburgh, PA.
      They have one CEO who holds a C-10 electrical contractors license with the State of California. I don’t understand how Wellington can circumvent state licensing requirements that all employees doing electrical work on residential projects in the state must be certified electricians by the state. That is a rigorous 5 year apprenticeship program that requires night school and a certain amount of hours to be fully certified. These apprenticeship programs are sponsored by the IBEW union and jointly with the State.
      Here in California, the Wellington installers are not really qualified or allowed to do anything electrical or electronic. We call them “Wellington Meter Monkeys”. They sure know how to do some shoddy and dangerous work, and couldn’t spot trouble even though their life and everyone else’s lives depend on it.

  6. Soraya Os says:

    Interesting, we allow B.C.Hydro to install the “Smart Meters”, that are the cause of ill health, invasion of privacy, elevating bills and possible damage to the home or business.
    As a reward we get to pay the bills for all this. Oh yes if you don’t pay your bill, you may be cut off. Wake up justice system, is there any justice left , or is this the end of our ‘DEMOCRACY’?? Who controls what? Corporations, Government or what?

  7. Raji Nevin says:


    I don’t know if I have already written to you or not- but we could use your help! We are in upstate New York – Woodstock to be exact. We are the ONLY people that we know of who took a Smart Meter off our home – following what Jerry Day proposed. It did NOT work in our favor. We have been without electricity for 8 1/2 weeks now. NO ONE is listening to us. We have been to our NY PSC, government officials, talked to lawyers, etc. and NOTHING is working. We have raised a HUGE amount of awareness – showing the movie Take Back Your Power twice and holding public meetings – personally talking to thousands of people – etc.

    I see that you have some court cases won – this is our next move. Part of the problem is we do not have money and so we really need to convince an attorney to take this on – contingency or pro bono. We can represent ourselves – as you have examples here. We will use your examples.

    Just wondering if ANYONE has ANY more ideas to help us. We need to get our electricity back!

    All the best,

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