Having been forced by bad press to throw sickened customers a meager bone–the option to keep an analog on an individual basis only, at an inflated cost–PG&E CEO Anthony Earley made this astonishing remark: “Why should we be fighting with our own customers over something like this?”
Why fight indeed? Over something as petty and inconsequential as the right to be safe in one’s home? The right to privacy behind closed doors? The right to be safe from electrical fires? The right to not live in a low-level microwave oven for the rest of our lives. Let’s all just get together, roast some chestnuts and pretend there’s nothing wrong.
We think Mr. Earley may be a little late grasping the facts:
The US government says ‘smart’ meters are NOT mandatory as per the Federal Energy Act of 2005. This letter from a US Representative clarifies the matter. OPT-IN is the only legal way this program could have been implemented.
“Smart” meters emit a Class 2B carcinogen into people’s homes. ‘Smart’ meters are toxic–adding 10,000+ strobing pulses of radio-frequency microwaves into customers’ lives. The RF peaks inside a ‘smart’-metered home exceed what a nearby cellphone antenna array would contribute, an RF source already known to harm humans.
“Smart” meters are making many, many people sick. Accounts continue to pour into SmartMeterHelp.com, and EMFSafetyNetwork.org.
“Smart” meters are not safe. They have caused fires and explosions, shocks, arcing, appliance damage, and interference, and continue to do so. These devices lack UL certification. No utility has the right to endanger people and property.
“Smart” meters do not save energy. They are green-wash of the deepest dye. They use energy themselves, and studies have not shown any significant energy savings, or customer savings. The savings (that is, no meter readers to pay) goes straight to the utility. The PG&E program cost $2.3billion, which came out of our pockets. Deployment of ‘smart’ meters is picking low-hanging fruit–meanwhile the real work of updating the grid is delayed.
“Smart” meter data is not well protected. Privacy in the home is threatened by detailed information being broadcast wirelessly. Some utilities believe they OWN that data.
We know who PG&E cares about pleasing, and it is not customers: PG&E spent $79M in the last couple of years lobbying congress–only one other company in the US outspent PG&E, and that was General Electric. They are a huge contributor in California politics.
So, Mr. Earley, that is why we will continue to fight your toxic, expensive, extortionate, environmentally harmful, dangerous surveillance meters. With all this evidence piling up, why would anyone want to opt IN?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Opt out is a cop out. Smart meters are bad policy- period. Time to wise up and *Pull the Plug* on the ‘Smart’ Meter debacle for good.
PG&E never ceases to amaze me with their automated phone calls and autocratic attitude towards the public.
First, I never asked to be put on a delay list or any other list, I flat out refused the SmartMeter and have been one of the earliest people to speak out against the program. I never had any intention of having a SmartMeter installed on my electrical equipment.
Now, they use brainwashing and mind control techniques to say that I now can opt out !
How can I opt out of a marketing promotion that I was never in in the first place ?
The utility corporations and the government officials that they control may not have known at first that their SmartMeter program was a dud, but some of them knew it was a fraud and that is why the heavy handed military style deployment, forcing a sale of a flawed product on anyone that they could before they got stopped.
They had this so called opt out plan cooked up early on, knowing that they could not sell all of the meters we bought for them, but making sure that those who refused their product (SmartMeters), had to pay twice as punishment. We all paid for the SmartMeters in PG&E through a rate increase approved by the CPUC, and now they want to ask the CPUC to charge us again for refusal of a SmartMeter.
That is what most people would consider, deceptive advertising, consumer fraud, bribing public officials, private property rights violations, verbal abuse and double dipping.
Why should anyone be charged twice for a product that they did not order, do not want to buy and will never need ?
Excellent points, Redi!
(1) Regretfully a number of well-intentioned consumer organizations have submitted an “Opt-Out” application to the CPUC, thus tacitly accepting that they have opted INTO the program:
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Application of Consumers Power Alliance,
Public Citizen, Coalition of Energy Users, Eagle
Forum of California, Neighborhood Defense
League of California, Santa Barbara Tea Party,
Concerned Citizens of La Quinta, Citizens
Review Association, Palm Springs Patriots
Coalition Desert Valley Tea Party, Menifee Tea
Party – Hemet Tea Party – Temecula Tea Party,
Rove Enterprises, Inc., Schooner Enterprises,
Inc., Eagle Forum of San Diego, Southern
Californians for Wired Solutions to Smart
Meters, and Burbank Action For Modification of
D.08-09-039 and a Commission Order
Requiring Southern California Edison Company
(U388E) to File an Application for Approval of a
Smart Meter Opt-Out Plan.
COMMENTS OF CONSUMERS POWER ALLIANCE, PUBLIC CITIZEN, COALITION OF ENERGY USERS, EAGLE FORUM OF CALIFORNIA, NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENSE LEAGUE OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA TEA PARTY, CONCERNED CITIZENS OF LA QUINTA, CITIZENS REVIEW ASSOCIATION, PALM SPRINGS PATRIOTS COALITION DESERT VALLEY TEA PARTY, MENIFEE TEA PARTY – HEMET TEA PARTY – TEMECULA TEA PARTY, ROVE ENTERPRISES, INC., SCHOONER ENTERPRISES, INC., EAGLE FORUM OF SAN DIEGO, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIANS FOR WIRED SOLUTIONS TO SMART METERS, AND BURBANK ACTION ON THE PROPOSED DECISION OF ALJ YIP-KIKUGAWA
ISSUED OCTOBER 11, 2011
Pursuant to Rule of Practice and Procedure 14.3 of the California Public Utilities
Commission (“Commission”), the Applicants named in the Caption and Title above
(“Joint Applicants”) respectfully submit their Comments on the Proposed Decision
(“PD”) issued by Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Yip-Kikugawa on October 11, 2011, directing Southern California Edison Company (“SCE”) to file a SmartMeter
Plan. Joint Applicants fully support the PD and urge the Commission to promptly adopt the PD.
Further, Joint Applicants agree with and fully support the clarifications proposed
by the Division of Ratepayer Advocates in its Comments filed October 31, 2011.
Dated: October 31, 2011, at Tiburon, California.
By: /s/ James M. Tobin
James M. Tobin
Jose E. Guzman
August O. Stofferahn
Tobin Law Group
1100 Mar West Street, Suite D
Tiburon, CA 94920
Telephone: (415) 732-1700
Facsimile: (415) 704-8919
Attorneys for Joint Applicants
(2) In the article above I clicked on the link ‘Federal Energy Act of 2005’ and found this, on page 388, under ‘SEC. 1287. CONSUMER PRIVACY AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES’:
“(c) CRAMMING.—The Federal Trade Commission may issue rules prohibiting the sale of goods and services to an electric consumer unless expressly authorized by law or the electric consumer.”
Do you, or anyone reading this, know whether such rules have ever been issued? Would this section alone protect us in court?
Great post Robert,
I am not a lawyer, but I have a strong feeling that there many laws on the books to protect the electric consumers from the many things that the utility corporations and government officials have done regarding this current roll out of SmartMeters.
Like I have said many times before, PG&E has been been approved this $2.2 billion rate increase to implement the installation of SmartMeters. Out of that rate increase, probably at least $100 million of the ratepayers money has been spent on a propaganda campaign that includes : multiple TV ads every day on the major networks at prime time rates, slick sales brochures distributed to customers, paying public officials and lobbyists to support the campaign and paying employees of the utility corporations and manufactures to post in favor of the campaign, and also to try and discredit the opponents. Remember William (Ralph) Deveraux ?
These corporations and public officials involved with this marketing campaign think that they are so powerful, that they think that they can brainwash the people into actually believing laws that the corporations made up themselves.
I think this CRAMMING law would apply to what they have done with the SmartMeter program, but also I believe that many other real laws have been broken regarding property rights, health and safety code violations, and fair trade laws.
These utility corporations have unlimited resources to pay for legal and lobbying fees, they take the ratepayers money and use as a war chest to fight the consumers. What it will take is some very high powered attorneys to challenge the utility giants, and that will take enormous amounts of money, but hopefully maybe some of the “good lawyers” will offer some of their services “pro-bono”
You’re right, Redi.
I believe this mess will end up in court because I don’t see how it resolves otherwise. I found this very encouraging first (to my knowledge) lawsuit to be filed. While it doesn’t represent the consumer but the small energy suppliers, it’ll be interesting to see whether it will affect the Smart Grid program.
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If you don’t want a smart meter because it causes you health problems and the utilities wants more money from from you to change the meter to make it not harmful to you isn’t that discrimination based on your health?
The charge for opt-outs is predicated on the claim that smartmeters
save the cost of meter reading. Where’s a shred of evidence for that?
I went through all the rate changes back to 2009, there are lots of
increases totalling over $1 billion and zero savings for meter-reading.
We need to demand that utilities put up or shut up: unless PGE delivers
a rate reduction to consumers for meter-reading savings, it has no
basis to claim any meter-reading fee at all for smartmeter opt-outs.
There are also other zero or low cost alternatives PGE must be required
to offer, eg consumers reading their own meters or using postal workers.
Thank you Mike Lee for that link. I like the line that says that it is pointless to use mobile radio services for stationary devices.
That reason alone is why the SmartMeters do not work with solar or any other generating systems. The radio network is restricted to only reporting total use every 4 hours to PG&E, and is so simple that it will never be able to transmit usage data in real time.
The radio network must be on and transmitting 24/7 just to keep the sync with each other, but each meter only transmits data 6 times per day to the utility.
For those who are considering using solar or any other source of electricity and feed back excess to the power grid for credit, a traditional analog meter will do, but if the want to get credit for peak time rates when power is most often back fed, they can have an E6 time of use meter installed. The TOU meters have been in use for about 20 years. They are digital, and look like a new SmartMeter, but they do not transmit data to the utility, and must be read monthly.
I strongly recommend that everyone view this smartmeter fallacies link, and then continue to fight real hard and heavy against PG&E leveraging more fees on the consumers who do not want or need a new SmartMeter.
It is incorrect to say that the network is restricted to 4 hour KWh readings.
Adding 6 or so more characters to a network packet to read the meter is no problem, so it’s possible that every network sync packet could contain the meter reading and the resolution of data going to PG&E could be very high.
And since there’s two way communication it would be possible for PG&E (or a outside hacker with a off the shelf $200 transceiver) to send a command to increase the reading resolution to manyl times a second if they wanted.
So it would be really easy to figure out what appliances are running at your house and if you are home, sleeping or what after observing for a while.
There is nothing restricting PG&E from changing the meter reading resolution at any time. They can do it on a per meter basis or as many meters as they like, all from remote.
They can also update the entire firmware of the meter and any settings / variables that are available to them in that version of the firmware.
This is what makes this a “unfair trade practice”. You have no idea what they are changing and when. They can screw with the calibration figures anytime they wish and/or make the display show something different than the actual readings.
States are now going to need a government body to check the firmware on a random basis, like they do with gas pumps (weight and measures dept).
Right now you have to take PG&E’s word for it. And after all this, and the videos showing how trustworthy they are, you tell me if that’s OK or not.
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