You may have heard there is now an “opt out” in California and several other states for people who do not want a smart meter. Sadly, if you are under this impression you have been badly misinformed. Millions of people- even in states with so-called “opt out” policies- are still being forced to live and work in proximity to these hazardous, spy meters. Opt out policies are being applied haphazardly, without reference to evidence of harm, and in violation of CA Public Utilities Codes 328.2b and 453(b). Specifically:
- There is no “opt out” if you are unfortunate enough to live in a condominium or apartment complex next to a bank of meters.
- There is no “opt out” if you run a business, and don’t want your employees or customers exposed.
- There is no “opt out” if you are poor and cannot afford the hefty, arbitrary fees being levied as punishment for refusing to swallow what the utilities are forcing down our throats.
- There is no “opt out” if you are a customer of Southern California Edison, and they are making you pay a large fee for a digital meter that can still spy on you and make you sick. Plus- separate and additional fees are also being considered for So Cal Gas customers!
- There is no “opt out” for anyone in public, walking down the street through the thick, strong electrosmog caused by smart meters that pulse up to 190,000 times per day, polluting the sidewalk with a carcinogen barely regulated by government or industry.
The bottom line is that the public never opted in to this dangerous, ill-conceived program. Now that the hazards of installing smart meter mesh networks have become all too clear, with thousands sickened, hundreds driven from their homes by health harm, appliance damage and fire, and a Pandora’s box of surveillance options now opened to law enforcement and corporate interests, a wave of smart meter rebellion is growing daily. Visit our contacts page and see what’s going on where you live. No one listed in your town? Start your own chapter and let us know so we can post your contact info so others can find you.
Why all the fuss? The root problem is that we were never asked or consulted, despite the fact that written permission is required of any resident or property owner before any such device is installed on private property. Literally, there is no legal mandate to install these devices. The utilities argue that they have unlimited rights to install whatever they want on your home. Taken to absurd extremes, that would mean they could install a nuclear power plant in your backyard and you couldn’t raise a finger. Obviously this is absurd, but the utilities are panicking at the scale of the resistance, and now overreaching. With trillions at stake in the worldwide deployment, a little thing like democracy and choice can’t be allowed to get in the way, after all.
This Thursday June 21st is a regular meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco. One of our supporters will be “escorting” a group of seniors who live in apartment complexes to speak at the public comment time at the start of the meeting. These seniors are upset, and rightly so. They- along with millions of others- are being discriminated against. While the well-off pay the fee and happily live radiation free in their large lot detached homes, seniors and others with a fixed income- many of whom have pacemakers or other medical implants subject to smart meter interference- are forced to live close to the pulsating microwave emitting devices. A fine way to say “thanks” for years of service in the military and for making our communities what they are today.
The CPUC has lately been trying to intimidate members of the public from speaking out, after hundreds and hundreds have turned out and spoken in disgust against the smart meter scam, with harsh sounding policies saying you can only speak once on a particular subject and forcing even the most electro-sensitive people to pass through a metal detector and sit in a room with strong wi-fi. (You can avoid the scan with a doctors note and simply change the subject of your talk every time when you sign in, eg. privacy, health, smart meters, the fascist state, etc.) Point is that we will not be intimidated- we will speak out and demand an end to smart meters!
Join “Multi-Unit Communities” Day at the CPUC! Spread the Word!
RESIDENTS OF MULTI-UNIT DWELLINGS AND INTERESTED OTHERS: COME JOIN PG&E CUSTOMERS WHO WILL SPEAK AT THE CPUC ON THURSDAY, JUNE 21. A group of residents from low-income senior housing communities in Marin will protest opt-out fees, calling attention to unfair challenges that a punitive, extortionate opt-out program presents to multi-unit building residents who want to live in a SmartMeter-free environment.
Where: California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F.
When: Thursday, June 21, 9:00 a.m.. Sign in from 8:30 to 8:50.
Please contact us for more information.
I strongly oppose the SmartMeter and their radio SmartGrid project.
I never got a SmartMeter and never will.
The reason for this post is to inform everyone that I just got my SmartMeter opt out initial fee of $75 from PG&E which showed up on my recent bill. There was no additional meter reading fee, why ?, I don’t know. But it might have something to do with the fact that the meter readers are still manually reading all the meters in my area, even the SmartMeters.
So far, I have not seen one posting anywhere about anyone actually being charged this initial fee, so, I thought people might like to know, it is real, but will it be rescinded ?
I sure hope so, so keep on fighting the good fight.
Yes, many of us are already being charged on our current bills for exercising the “option” to opt-out. It is curious if not revealing to compare previous and current PG$E billing statements for those of us who have “chosen” to opt out. The easiest way to show this would be to submit copies of bills. But since account numbers, etc. appear there, a more belabored description is necessary to protect privacy. Check it out, and see if the following observation matches your own bills:
On the bill for the month of March, the various charges are itemized and added up resulting in “TOTAL CURRENT CHARGES” (X amount). Following that, noting full payment for the previous bill, appears the bold-print bottom line in a box:
“TOTAL AMOUNT DUE (same amount)
DUE DATE – 4/(XX)/2012”
Now comes the first bill (May’s) to include a $75 charge for “SmartMeter Opt-Out Initial Fee”, accompanied by more nauseating hype about how they “believe in choice when it comes to the meter at (y)our home.” Here the billing format has changed significantly. Same itemization of the various standard charges (without yet listing the opt-out fee), but now instead of “TOTAL CURRENT CHARGES”, it states “Current Charges Due 06/(XX))2012” (X amount, exclusive of the opt-out fee). Then again noting previous balance payed, then under that comes the $75 opt-out fee. Finally comes the big bold bottom line in the box, visually the biggest attention grabber:
“TOTAL AMOUNT DUE” (Sum of above-listed current charges + $75 opt-out fee)
Here’s the kicker: There is no due date stated on this bill for “TOTAL AMOUNT DUE”, only for current charges exclusive of the opt-out fee!
Implicit/complicit in this odd change in billing format are issues of corporate authority and customer consent. If we read between the lines, it says “We’re not really authorized to charge you this fee, but if you’re gullible/compliant enough to pay, we’ll accept it anytime you’re ready. And by the way, we believe in money.”
In view of the recent CPUC suspension of opt-out fees for Southern California Edison, let the waiting game commence.
As for eventual rescission of the fees: Let us not forget, California Public Utilities Code Section 745 (d) (1) is fairly explicit about prohibition of opt-out fees:
“Residential customers have the option to not receive service pursuant to time-variant pricing and incur NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES as a result of the exercise of that option. Prohibited charges include, but are not limited to, administrative fees for switching away from time-variant pricing . . .”
Defiance of the above-quoted Code Section by CPUC approval of opt-out fees establishes the commission as a rogue, outlaw agency acting without authority. Suspending opt-out fees for Southern California Edison is probably the first step to bringing the commission back into compliance. PG$E most likely comes next.
I read their letter, sent to me today listing the same charges you note on the bill- however, it reads somewhere in the middle of a paragraph, “if we haven’t heard from you (no due date) we’ll assume you want a smart meter and put one on your home.” I’d just pay, so they don’t put one on- we can all get together and sue them later, like Erin Brokovich when the brain tumors start killing everyone- did you check out the tree before/after pic? We were going to do an experiment, for fun awhile back, to show the same thing, because we were worried about surveillance & wifi systems in our home affecting Eukaryotic life (humans & plants!)- but now, we see very clearly our suspicions were correct. scary.
I got billed $75 on my recent bill. For nothing more than what I’ve had for years. Yeah, makes perfect sense to Peevey.
Do you pay ‘online’? We do & have been checking almost daily for whatever response we might get from them regarding only paying our ‘usage’ , while
avoiding the ‘new’ (illegal) $75 opt-out fee last week. Being that we have an
online acct we can access it at any time & guess what? We just found an
additional $10 added to our $75 (=$85 now) the other day & showing due 6/20/12. By the way, because of having ‘online’, we rec’v our bill via email
usu the next day after the meter reading was performed.
Yes, the letter we are trying to figure out (we don’t want the smart meter, but can’t afford to opt out?@?) states you’ll be charged 75 PLUS a 10 per month fee on top of that- SUE THEM, you never asked to opt-in in the first place, who the heck are they to endanger us like that?
I wanted to comment on a point everyone nationwide seems to be missing. Ever since there were meter readers, the cost of their salaries has been included in the cost you pay for each kilowatt you use. When Smart Meters were installed, and the meter readers laid off, not a single utility that I’m aware of has reduced their rates to reflect the fact that these salaries are no longer being paid. So their argument that they have to cover their salaries, vehicles, gasoline, etc. and therefore charge these “opt-out fees” is moot. You are being charged twice. So basically you are being blackmailed/extorted. Last I checked, that’s against the law.
Furthermore, the utilities claim that they also need the money for maintenance fees for the analog meters. Another fallacy. Those meters rarely ever experience any problems. My father has had his for 31 years and never had a problem. I’ve had mine 27 years, no problem. I know people who have had them 40 years and never single glitch.
I would say that you missed the many of my posts about SmartMeters, because I stress on the so called elimination of meter readers.
The sad fact is, there really is no way for PG&E to eliminate all the meter readers for a myriad of reasons, especially in Marin.
In Marin, PG&E is done with the electric and gas SmartMeter deployment and has eliminated 11 meter readers out of a staff of 22. But, the skeleton crew that is left is working overtime to take up the slack of PG&E eliminating half of their readers.
Some of the reasons are that: due to the topography, terrain, lush forested areas, low density and large parcels, the meters often are to far spread out to work with the radio SmartGrid mesh network. Another one is that the people who have E6/7 TOU meters for measuring the bi-directional flow of current fed back to the electrical power grid by solar and other customer generating system still need to have those meters read by a meter reader once a month.
So, there is no possible way that all the meter readers will ever be eliminated in Marin. Also, in my semi-rural area, we have a 36 percent refusal rate of SmartMeters, we never got them and never will now for sure.
And you are right about the durability of analog meters, I have had mine for 30 years, I was here when they installed it, never one problem with it. I talked briefly to my meter reader reader and he said they still have analog meters in service that are 80 years old, like the ones that only have 4 dials instead of 5.
It used to be that when U.S. corporations got contracts to manufacture meters for the utilities, they built their meters to last a hundred years and require little or no maintenance, but now, the exact opposite is true. Now, the meters are very cheaply made in foreign countries, built with planned obsolescence in mind and are forced on the customers for an expensive price to enable all the corporations and government officials to reap a windfall of profits.
Thanks for pointing that out about total charges due and then the $75 charge listed as adjustments.
But if you noticed, the coupon that is used to pay the bill says total amount due, including the initial opt out fee.
And, as far as I know, PG&E has not yet started the time-variant pricing, I think it is set to start in 2014 as a test, but may be available now for people who volunteer to start the test early. I have read that in 2014, time variant pricing will be mandatory for all who have SmartMeters, the test will last for 2 years, and if the program does not save customers money on their bills, the program will have to be scrapped by law.
The time-variant pricing program is the one of the reasons for the SmartMeter program, that is supposed to save energy and all that horsepuckey.
I find it extremely hard to believe that anybody will change their life , so I think this time-variant program will be another dud, but this dud is one that will actually be tried.
The Smart thermostat program is another dud, so far, there is no such program in PG&E that I know of, but there are pilot projects testing in L.A. and L.V. (Nevada), and other states that started over 12 years ago.
They are not using the SmartMeters for this testing, but instead are using a separate radio transmitter on a lower frequency and a receiver in the Smart thermostat or on the AC unit itself to receive the one way commands (not interactive) from the open channel of the utility to control the compressor relay (only) on air conditioning units. This is the marketing hype that has confused some activists when the utility claims that the Smart thermostat is part of a HAN and the utilities send commands to “appliances”.
It is very misleading for the utilities to call the compressor motors on air conditioning units “appliances”, because actually it is equipment used in HVAC.
By the way, the Home Area Networks plan is completely separate from the utility.
Every time I go to a store that sells large appliances, I look at the new high end goods for sale, and none of them have the advertised monitoring chip to send out the usage data to a customer purchased home area monitor.
Both MicroSoft and Google abandoned their development projects for Home Area Networks monitoring, instead they are developing automation systems to compete with the myriad of other automation systems that have been in use for decades.
Now Concast is offering a version of home automation systems that will be web based.
1000’s of people are already sick and dying from the dangerous and constant bombardment of microwave radiation from illegally installed smartmeters, cell phone towers, cell phones, wi-fi and more. When the criminals that have profitted from these weapons begin burying their own children, and loved ones…then perhaps millions of people will wake up to the fact that IGNORANCE will not protect anyone from constant exposure to radiation. There are over 5000 international and independent studies proving DNA DAMAGE from non-ionizing radiation/radio frequency, which causes brain tumors, cancer, infertility, heart damage, ringing in the ears, insomnia, shingles, asthma and more. The devastating and life-threatening effects of ionizing radiation and non-ionizing are identical: the only difference is latency, non-ionizing effects are causing damage and those with EMF sensitivity caused by exposure, and children, elderly, immune suppressed individuals are the canaries that are feeling these dangerous effects, while the majority of people will end up sick and dying years later. The utility executives, telcom executives and their criminal lobbyists all deserve the ELECTRIC CHAIR!!!
Unfortunately there are millions being affected right now and don’t know the source. The smart meter is the “trojan horse” as it is killing people every day. All of us that are informed should be spreading the word as this is a clandestine invasion of America.
If a cell phone company wants to put a transmitter on my property they must pay me to rent the space. If the power company wants to put a transmitter on my home they don’t even have to ask?
Was there any ‘COVERAGE’ on the last CPUC meeting of last Thurs (June, 21)?
Haven’t seen any mention, whatsoever, anywhere here. What happened?
Just got my OPT OUT bill from SMUD $127.00 and $39.40 per month .. this is extortion Makes me sick and I’m on a fixed income.