SACRAMENTO, CA– Resistance to smart meter deployments can vary tremendously, depending on local circumstances. Sometimes a local population is informed, organized and resistant to a smart meter deployment before the men in uniforms and white trucks arrive like some old episode from the Twilight Zone, barging into people’s backyards and installing devices that make people sick.
Other times, little attention is given to the quiet, but pervasive ‘meter upgrade’ until problems start cropping up.
That’s the case in Sacramento, California where 99.9995% of households have now been installed with smart meters by the local municipal utility SMUD. Only when people started connecting the dots between a variety of sudden health problems and the recently installed metering mesh networks did a local group get organized and start applying pressure, attending meetings and speaking out.
According to Eric Windheim, Director of Stop Smart Meters! Sacramento, and an owner of an environmental health business who founded the group in May 2012:
“At first it was only a couple of us. But every meeting more people are coming out of the woodwork who have been hurt by smart meters and want them off their homes. All we want is safe, clean electricity delivered through a proven safe analog meter from a utility that tells the truth. Is that too much to ask?”
Apparently it is. SMUD has lied about the number of daily smart meter pulses, and ridiculed those with serious, doctor verified health damage from smart meters. SMUD published statements that “smart meters send radio transmissions only once every four hours” but Stop Smart Meters! Sacramento forced them to admit the truth- that SMUD Smart Meters in fact emit 13,381 transmissions per day on the average, according to industry documents.
The SMUD lie was off by over 2,230%.
It tells you something when a utility has to lie about the facts in order to get people to believe that something is safe.
Now SMUD is being bombarded by thousands of angry residents who want their smart meters off and analog meters back. SMUD has been forced to schedule a workshop this Thursday, February 21st (5:45-9pm 6201 S Street if you want to go) to deal with growing smart meter complaints from the public. Two outside national “experts” will speak for SMUD for the first hour. The public has 90 minutes- 3 people who sign up on SMUD’s website in advance will have up to 10 minutes each and everyone else gets 5 minutes- or 3 minutes if its crowded.
Sources familiar with SMUD on the smart meter issue say, “expect professional discourtesy.” They don’t like to hear that they are killing your grandma. SMUD is also doing everything possible to make it difficult, including the installation of new “crowd control” measures in the Board Room (see below).
The escalating smart meter drama at SMUD meetings reached a new level in October when a woman named Rosa P. came and spoke directly to SMUD’s board about her suffering from the bank of dozens of smart meters installed on the wall of her apartment. She told the Directors about her constant bloody noses whenever she was at home, near the smart meters. Though many had described their symptoms, the board members just didn’t seem to get it. So Rosa brought her blood-soaked nightgown to the meeting in a plastic bag, and placed it on the overhead projector, to show SMUD directors what effect smart meter radiation is having on her life. The macabre show and tell had its desired effect. As Rosa’s bloodied nightgown filled the screen, the blood drained from the faces of the board members.
Are they starting to realize what they are responsible for?
One Director- Genevieve Shiroma- was particularly shocked, and said to Eric after the meeting:
“Mr. Windheim, No more bloody rags!”
Eric Windheim replied:
“Those are not rags. This is Rosa’s nightgown and she’s standing right there.”
Director Shiroma just said:
“Take her to a doctor…”
For 2013, SMUD has changed its policy- not to allow no-cost ‘opt outs’ – but to prohibit members of the public from using the overhead projector at meetings. Though the directors seem to have been shaken by the sight of blood, it hasn’t seemed to soften their smart meter policies, or make it any easier to get the devices off your home. Twilight Zone indeed.
SMUD claims authority to examine and censor any visual material the public will present 48 hours before Thursday’s workshop but they have not offered to share their visual images in advance with the public.
Remember, this is the same utility whose director was caught on tape joking that “these people” could afford to buy ‘tin foil hats’ to protect them from the radiation.
Despite the challenges, Eric and his group have been persistent advocates for those harmed by smart meters in Sacramento. It has not always been easy. Just this month a promising newspaper article authorized by the owner of the paper with interviews of Eric and several others was to be published but as soon as the reporter contacted SMUD for some clarifications the article was canned. Last year a local TV station agreed to run a series of reports on Smart Meter Problems but SMUD threatened the station according to the person who was going to be interviewed.
Is SMUD violating the First Amendment to the Constitution? “Infringing upon the freedom of the press”? “Abridging the freedom of speech”?
Eric has been “body blocked” by SMUD staffers as he was trying to speak with the General Manager about a legal issue, and the group has been threatened that if they spread the word, and a lot more people ‘opt out’ the fee will rise for everyone. In other words, be grateful for what you have and shut up.
SSM! Sacramento is not shutting up. In the last several months they have distributed more than a thousand flyers, attended dozens of events, and recently packed Eric’s house with 23 people on short notice to hear from an RF expert coming through town and talk about what to do about SMUD.
The ‘opt out’ fees and punitive policies have been particularly harsh. SMUD initially tried to charge people $127 and $39.40/month for a “non-transmitting” digital smart meter (the kind that has been associated with dirty-electricity related health impacts). Now- trying to defuse a growing public revolt- they’ve lowered their digital “non-transmitting” meter fee to $14/ month, but are refusing to allow people to retain their analog meters, threatening several- including Eric- with electricity disconnection.
Nationally, it’s shaping up that municipal utilities seem to be some of the worst perpetrators. Perhaps because local government authority combined with control of utility services concentrates power and invites corruption. We have certainly seen this in places like the City of Naperville (CON). Though SMUD has not used police escort to force smart meters on homes yet, they have deployed half a dozen armed officers at meetings- some say to intimidate the increasing number of sickened SMUD customers coming forward.
Lesson learned is that localization of public services is a worthwhile goal, but make sure you don’t go from the frying pan into the fire: your local government board may be worse than the company shareholders they are intended to replace.
In advance of Thursday’s meeting, a 2.5′ steel barrier has been installed to keep the public behind the second row of seats in the boardroom and away from the SMUD directors and staff. SSM! Sacramento includes members with hearing disabilities, and so has typically been sitting in the front row in order to hear what is said. Now SMUD has decided to move everyone back to the third row, behind the new heavy steel barrier. An apt symbol for the soured, increasingly entrenched relations between utilities and the public.
According to SMUD:
“Because this is a workshop and not a Board meeting, speakers will be allowed to use the overhead projector if requested 48 hours in advance of the workshop. All slides must be submitted to SMUD 48 hours in advance of the workshop. Requests to use the overhead projector and materials should be provided by email to Erik.Krause@smud.org”
Afraid of the sight of a little blood, SMUD?
Important Upcoming Meetings to Speak Out and Stop Smart Meters!:
1) Sacramento Smart Meter Meeting:
Thurs. Feb. 21 5:45-9pm 6201 S Street, Sacramento (SMUD)
2) California Public Utilities Commission Meeting:
Thurs. Feb. 28 8:45am 505 Van Ness, SF (PG$E, SDG$E, $SCE$)
Download pdf of SSM! Sacramento’s Flyer here: Smart Meter Workshop Flyer
If you want to come and speak, please do – you can contact Eric Windheim, Director of Stop Smart Meters! Sacramento @ 919-395-7336 to coordinate.
To support Stop Smart Meters! Sacramento: send donations to Stop Smart Meters! Attn: Sacramento SSM! Donations will help offset printing and office costs associated with organizing resistance to SMUD’s smart meter policies. We thank you.
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How did you get SMUD to tell you how many pulses per day?
Did they come and measure or do they just have that information?
Great question czehfus. I discovered that the PUC ordered PG&E to reveal the truth about the number of RF transmissions daily and since SMUD used the same Smart Meters and the Same system administrator. I persisted in asking them to tell the people of Sacramento the truth and change the false & deceptive information that SMUD published. After 3.5months SMUD changed their verbiage from “only once very four hours” to 13,361 per day on the average. SMUD did not, however, go back and disabuse each customer individually.
SMUD had Silver Spring Networks (smart meter system administrator) send them a report with the numbers.
Keep fighting these EVIL ones folks.
We are still on them. We could use some allies though. Want to join us and speak to the Board of Directors at an upcoming meeting? You will get 3 minutes. The meeting schedule is
For a video of a recent meeting and our victory for our right to speak to the Directors about an agenda item see the first 20 minutes of this video:
There are other ways to get involved and we are also looking for ideas. Best wishes,
I’m considering a faraday cage at my meter, and reflective/absorbtive fabric on the wall inside. Cheaper than a 14$ per month surcharge to employ a meter reader.
Pedro, that is a good first step but you still have the DE, Dirty Electricity from the SMPS, switch mode power supply in the Smart & Digital Meters to contend with that travels onto all of your wiring. Additionally these meters are illegal “Wiretap and Survaillence” devices that record when you are home and what you are doing in the home. The Smart Meters also have RFID chip readers in them that can read any RFID chips in range such as credit cards, passports and other private items you posses.
I’m feeling sick today. Must be SMUDs fault.
Ding ding ding ding ding…you are right! Good answer!
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Hello. After watching an interview with Josh Del Sol yesterday, I decided to have the electrical smart meters on my duplex where I live swapped out for analogue ones. It took 2 hours and multiple calls to line up the paperwork and authorization from my tenant to ensure that this could happen…for a big cost, of course. Then, I received a subsequent call from one of the managers I had talked to saying I was INELIGIBLE to take advantage of the opt-out program because the opt-out program is not available to multiple family dwellings. Period. According to the manager, the only avenue open to me is to go to a SMUD Board Meeting! Now I’m starting the process of gathering information to protect myself and either get rid of these smart meters or at least mitigate their effects on my health. Please advise me if you would.
Smud’s power meters probably gave my mother a very rare form of aggressive cancer that doctors couldn’t figure out. She just died, painfully, but she spent about 60% of the last decade or so about 7 ft away from that ‘smart’ meter.
It wouldn’t surprise me that Smud doesn’t have their customer’s health in mind. I needed a little help, and their attitude was ‘LOL too bad. Here’s the bill. Even though it was our fault that our power line was too low and got ripped out by a semi truck, and caught your house on fire and the elementary school next to it.’ Which has happened 3 times now, they fixed it no problem the last 2 times. The 3rd time, they’ve been idiots.
I’m probably going to take this case to ‘Call Curtis’ on TV and the BBB, and if they don’t fix it still… I’m going to sue Smud. I’ve been without power for 3 weeks after being a loyal regular paying customer for 25 years.
I refused a dopy so-called Electric Microwave Smart Meter with a registered Letter I sent to the Electric Power Company here in Victoria Australia stating to the C.E.O and his lawyer/s that for Health and Safety Reasons I refuse them permission to put such a poisonous Microwave Device on my privately owned home. I also sent them an Anti Trespass Notice and posted a copy of same on my front gate and next to my Electric Meter Box which I have now had padlocked for over four years. They the Electric Power Company only had 14 days in which to answer my letter in writing other wise they had to abide by the Canberra Anti Harassment Notice and accept all of the terms on this Lawful Notice and never to bother me for a Poisonous Microwave and far from Smart Meter which is wrecking more and more peoples’ health all the time.
Please see this powerful Notice below. You in America should see your Head of Government to get a similar Lawful Notice constructed to safe-guard your Health and Medical Welfare as well.
(INSERT OWN NAME)
(Insert name and
Address of Power Distributor)
NOTICE OF PROHIBITION OF UNDUE HARASSMENT OR COERCION FOR SMART METER INSTALLATION
This notice is provided to _______________________________________________ and any persons, entities,
(Insert Power distributor name and ACN no off letter you received)
Employees, associates, corporations, sub-contractors and agents of the fore mentioned (herein referred to as Your Company).
Notice to agent is notice to principal.
Note: This notice is provided in addition and following a NOTICE OF PROHIBITION FOR
SMART METER INSTALLATION (date of your first letter) and NOTICE Your Company’s
INTENTION TO DISHONOUR AND VIOLATE PROHIBITION FOR SMART METER
INSTALLATION NOTICE (date of your letter received from Power Distributor after) served on Your Company.
Your Company is prohibited and forbidden from communication in any manner, with the intent to solicit for the installation of a “smart meter” or meter containing wireless communication function(s) at the following (service) address: (Insert your address). Such an act is herein referred to as a PROHIBITED ACT.
I have lawful and legal standing and claim of right to make such a demand.
Any PROHIBITED ACT will be considered an act of undue harassment or coercion with the supply or possible supply of goods or services as defined by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CTH) Vol. 3, Ch. 4, PT> 4-1, Div. 5 Sec. 168; such an offence carries a penalty of $10,000,000 Ten Million Dollars. If Your Company is in any way directed by the Government (State of Victoria) and State of Victoria Corporation to perform such an offence, the Government and individual members are liable under tort may in addition be held vicariously liable.
Any PROHIBITED ACT remains prohibited unless I provide a NOTICE OF CESSATION OF PROHIBITION explicitly annulling this notice, or following a sale of property and change of property title holder for the property in question.
A copy of this notice will also be provided for their records to (via regular mail):
1. Customer Relations The Department of State Development Business and Innovation
2. Minister for Energy and Resources Mr Michael O’Brien Victorian Government in the State of Victoria.
If a response to this notice containing any dispute of facts or CLAIM OF RIGHT based on lawful claim of right is not received within fourteen days from Your Company, it shall be fact that you accept as fact this notice and facts contained within, and will honour this notice; such requiring no further action on your behalf.
_______________ __________________ _____________
(Your SIGNATURE) (Witness to your Signature) Print Witnesses name)