The Dangers of “Smart” Meters: Are You Informed?
Additional Information than previously published in The Redstone Review, Lyons Colorado 4.16.14
The three electric companies that service the Lyons area are currently installing “Smart Meters” (SM). These meters are an extremely powerful and sophisticated technology that should be considered before your acceptance. Are you informed about the health effects, privacy issues, fire concerns and hidden costs of these devices? Are you aware of your legal right to opt-out?
There is national and international controversy about these SM which have been quietly installed by electric companies to purposely avoid public discussion of their issues. There are numerous peer reviewed scientific studies proving the harmful effects, such as the BioInitiative Report 2012 which was contributed to by 10 countries.
The aim of this article is to open a discussion as a community by providing information for you to consider what choices are appropriate for your household with the realization that your choices will affect your neighbors and the natural environment we all cherish here in Lyons. There is a Lyons community meeting to discuss the SM topic Thurs. May 22nd at 6:30pm to be held at the Pinewood Springs Fire Station Community Center (turn East at the wooden Pinewood Springs sign –and you’re there). I will lead the discussion along with local residents Peter MacGill and Cathee Courter who have measured and mitigated electromagnetic fields (EMFs) for clients for a decade. See their link listed on the website below.
Many of us have chosen to live in Lyons because of our love of living in tune with nature, but the electrosmog we create is extremely damaging to our bodies and the environment. It’s important to consider how to continue to preserve this natural relationship and our freedoms by being cautiously informed of new technologies before they gain a grip in our community which may be difficult to reverse at a later time.
Those that live in the big cities will continue to be inundated by increasingly complex wireless communications, but we have a unique opportunity to safeguard ourselves from this EMF pollution because we are tucked into the foothills away from the grid.
You do have options. You can have a non-transmitting meter installed by your electric company, or you can keep the SM but have your company turn down the rate of transmission to once a day.
This article is only an overview of the issues. I encourage you to do your own research. Links to help you in your investigation can be found below. You’ll find links on scientific articles, reports and SM specific websites. Substantiation of all information in this article can be found there.
Our nervous system is electrical and strong EMF radiation disrupts our natural electrical impulses causing a long list of problems: insomnia, weakened immune system, cancer, reproductive problems, autism, migraines, etc. There are numerous reports proving the ill effects of EMF radiation from SM. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed RF radiation emitted from SM as a 2B carcinogen, which is the same as exposure to DDT or lead. SM signal strength is up to 30 times as strong as cell phone radiation. SM are set at the factory at the highest signal strength and broadcast at least every 10 to 50 seconds. The closer you are to your neighbors the more frequent you will feel the signals. SM create a network of communication in the community so they broadcast multiple times between one another. In an apartment complex this could be nearly constant.
SM are designed to collect data and create a detailed profile of your energy use and daily habits, especially when used with ‘Smart’ Appliances . There is evidence that electric companies are selling this data to third parties. SM transmission is very vulnerable to hacking. The following quote is directly from a congressional report explaining what smart meters are capable of:
Congressional Research Service
Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity (page 7):
With smart meters, police will have access to data that might be used to track residents’ daily lives and
routines while in their homes, including their eating, sleeping, and showering habits, what
appliances they use and when, and whether they prefer the television to the treadmill, among a
host of other details.(60)
(60) Jack I. Lerner & Deirdre K. Mulligan, Taking the “Long View” on the Fourth Amendment: Stored Records and the Sanctity of the Home, 2008 STAN. TECH. L. REV. 3, ¶ 3 (2008).
This information may sound unbelievable, but this is the current state of technology that is being installed on your home.
SM are not certified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) as required by the electrical code for all appliances within the home because there are so many instances of fires. If your meter causes your home to burn down, your electric company is not liable –you are, for allowing the installation.
Non-transmitting analog meters cost approx. $50, SM cost approx. $500. Analogs run for approx. 30 to 50 years, SM are reported to last only a few years –just like cell phones. Analog don’t require electricity, SM use a lot of electricity and guess who pays? There are many reports of increased fees after SM installation.
This information is just a brief introduction to the vast documentation available on this subject. Please investigate for yourself, and while doing so, ask yourself why you should subject your family to the possibility of these effects for the benefit of a corporation’s profits? Are there really any benefits for you the consumer, and if so, is it worth you paying extra to risk your health, privacy, and safety to be experimented on? If this is what the technology is capable of now, what will it be capable of in a decade or more? Now is the time to opt out while you still have a choice.
Presently, 14 states have either banned smart meters, have pending legislation against them, or have offered customers the opportunity to opt out. Some for health concerns, others over privacy issues: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont. Are Colorado residents apathetic or just uninformed?
Your Legal Rights: According to The Energy Policy Act of 2005, under Title Xll, Subtitle E, Section 1252, (a), (14), (C) and Colorado Public Utilities Commission, smart meters are “optional” and are “upon the customer’s request”, so according to federal law, which is supported by state law, you have a legal right to Not accept these devices. So don’t let the electric company bully you into accepting one.
To Opt Out of a ‘Smart’ Meter:
It would help our grass roots cause to know how many residents want to opt-out and have a non-transmitting meter installed and how many want to keep their SM and have the broadcast rate turned down. This will help us to know if the electric companies are reporting truthfully and what sort of a community consensus we have to respond to any issues. Please send an e-mail to Prescott Knock: Subject Line “Smart Meter Opt-Out”. Include the choice you’re making and which company provides your service. It’s also helpful to have your name and what area of Lyons you’re from.
- See How Do I know If I Have a Smart Meter or Not?
- See CCSMA Colorado Opt-Outs: Know Your Rights
- E-mail Prescott Knock and/or phone Peter + Cathee 303-823-6108 your opt-out choice and the name of your service provider
- Let either Prescott or Peter + Cathee know if you want to be on an e-mail list for more info about the progress of this initiative
- We would appreciate your help as a volunteer.
- If you have Lyons Municipal Light & Power (LMLP) call 303-823-6622 ext. 15 to opt-out
- If you have Longmont Power and Communications (LPC) call 303-651-8458 to opt-out
- If you have PVREA call Dennis Brooks at 970-282-6471 to opt-out, (he has been very helpful).
- Come to the community meeting May 22nd for more info and community discussion.
More info on this topic in the May edition of The Redstone Review.
Prescott Knock is a resident of Pinewood Springs. He is the co-founder, co-host and co-producer of The Collaborative Community Radio Show broadcast on Boulder’s KGNU 88.5FM and co-founder of The Buddhist Coalition www.buddhistcoalition.org
‘Smart’ Meter Information:
YouTube Video Presentations:
- Take Back Your Power: Investigating the Smart Grid –Josh Del Sol(Highly Recommended)
- The Truth About Smart Meters by Brian Theisen
- The Dark Side of ‘Smart” Meters’ by Rob States
- Live Blood Analysis – Observable Effects of RF/MW Radiation from ‘Smart’ Meter
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Baby Safe Project
- Stop Smart Meters!
- EMF Safety Network
- Take Back Your Power
- Smart Meter Dangers
- CCSMA Colorado Opt-Outs: Know Your Rights
- Colorado Citizens Smart Meter Awareness CCSMA
- Peter MacGill and Cathee Courter, Lyons Residents, Information: Electromagnetic Fields (EMF’s) and Health
Scientific, Government and Industry Reports:
- BioInitiative 2012: A Rationale for Biologically-Based Exposure Standards for Low-Intensity Electromagnetic Radiation
- BioInitiative 2012: Report Conclusions
- World Health Organization: International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans)
- The Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe: Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment
- Smart Meter Data_ Privacy and Cybersecurity_Congressional Research Service_02.03.2012
- Smart Meter Class Action Lawsuits
- PG&E’s Big Confession
- Health Experts from 20 Countries Caution About Smart Meter Risks
- U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Cybersecurity: Challenges in Securing the Modernized Electricity Grid
- GAO Testimony Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate
- European Data Protection Supervisor warns ‘massive collection of personal data’ could be accessed without safeguards. Detailed information about electricity customers’ power usage, which gives insights into when a house is occupied, is being shared with third parties including mail houses, debt collectors, data processing analysts and government agencies.
- A Report for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission
Smart Metering & Privacy: Existing Law and Competing Policies
- EPA: Index of Publications on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation (0 – 100 GHz)
- CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher
- County of Santa Cruz, California Moratorium on Smart Meters