Do we really need wireless smart meters? Decide for yourself:
Do you want an accurate, reasonably priced utility bill? Utility customers have noticed huge increases in their bill after a ‘smart’ meter is installed- in some cases hundreds of dollars more than usual. A study released in September by the Structure Group, who calls PG&E one its biggest clients, claimed the meters were accurate. But the study did not examine the meters operating as part of a mesh network as they are in the field. And overcharging continues.
Do you value civil liberties and the right to privacy? When a ‘smart’ meter is installed, your utility has access to a treasure trove of information about you- when you wake up in the morning, when you go on vacation, what kinds of appliances you are using, etc. They will be able to sell this information to a series of corporations and the government. Read the interview with the Electronic Frontier Foundation about how ‘smart’ meters violate privacy.
Do you care about wildlife and cutting carbon emissions? Smart meters do not result in energy savings, according to Reuters. They may even increase energy consumption. There is also emerging evidence that wireless, non-ionizing radiation (from cell phones, wi-fi, and ‘smart’ meters) harms wildlife and damages trees.
Are you concerned about job losses in this anemic economy? PG&E claims that they are retaining 80% of their meter readers. What they don’t tell you is that several years back, they transitioned their meter readers from full time to temporary so the job loss would not appear so drastic. We cannot afford to lose thousands of jobs in this economy.
Do you value your health, and the health of your family and friends? Just as we’re learning that cell phones cause brain tumors, why are we installing the same technology on everyone’s homes with no right to opt out? Thousands of people have complained of tinnitus, headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, heart arrhythmia, and other symptoms after a ‘smart’ meter was installed. This is consistent with published studies associating these symptoms with exposure to electromagnetic fields. Smart meters violate already high FCC limits on human exposure to microwave radiation and are being installed as “electro-sensitivity” skyrockets. There are also reports of ‘smart’ meter interference with pacemakers and other implants.
Are you in favor of fire regulations that put the safety of residents first? A number of electrical fires have been caused by ‘smart’ meters. PG&E’s meters are not UL certified, as is required by electrical code for all electric appliances within the home. Smart meters are potential ignition sources and remove utility personnel from neighborhoods. If meter readers had been present in San Bruno, would the gas leak have been detected? Whistleblowers have alleged unsafe installations.
Are you alarmed about the decline of our democracy and informed decisionmaking? The conversion to ‘smart’ meters is one of the largest technology roll outs in history, and yet virtually no public consultation with ratepayers or local governments was carried out in advance. The CA Public Utilities Commission, an appointed (not elected) body who are meant to regulate utility companies, has ignored popular local opposition and recklessly continues forcing ‘smart’ meters onto the people of CA.