Clean Power Smart meter opposition

Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by Silvio Marcacci


How to Stop Smart Meter Opt-Out Mandates from Advancing Across America?

April 2nd, 2012 by  

Smart meter opposition

Is this the future of smart meter rollouts?

Smart meter opt-out mandates are popping up across the United States, threatening utility smart grid efforts. But the key to data security, one of the major hurdles to consumer acceptance, may be held by a set of privacy rules debuting in Southern California.

Opt-out requirements aren’t new for utilities, but their rapid spread could slow efforts to modernize grid technology. In February, California’s Public Utility Commission (CPUC) approved a smart meter opt-out option for the state’s largest utility, joining Maine in allowing customers to keep their older analog meters for a fee.

In March, the CPUC extended that opt-out mandate to the state’s two main southern utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE), covering nearly the entire state. Like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to the north, utility customers will have to pay up to $75 per person, plus $10 per month, for the privilege of staying analog. But California and Maine aren’t alone in promoting the opt-out mandate.

Opt-Out Mandates Spreading

Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission approved a similar program for NV Energy customers in late February, with a few key differences. Nevada’s opt-out would substitute analog options for digital devices that store electricity usage data but do not transmit it to the utility, and would postpone the opt-out option 60 days for the utility to file for a monthly fee structure. NV Energy expects about 7,500 opt-outs from 1.45 million meters, and may charge a $110 one-time fee with a $15 monthly charge.

The opt-out movement may soon gain more momentum in Georgia. Opt-out legislation recently passed in the state senate, and is currently pending in the state assembly. Unlike every other measure, Georgia would not allow fees to be charged to customers who prefer analog meters. The state’s largest utility, Georgia Power, has already installed smart meters for 90 percent of its 2.4 million customers.

Privacy by Design

Customer opposition has centered on two main points — privacy and data security concerns, and non-ionizing radiation from transmitting radios. Because smart meters essentially create the same amount of radiation as widely accepted products like cell phones, wireless phones, and wireless Internet routers, utilities haven’t focused on addressing these concerns. But data security is a real concern for consumers and utilities alike, and a collaborative effort may soon fix the issue.

California’s SDG&E is joining the Canadian province of Ontario to adopt the “Privacy by Design” code of conduct for all smart meter deployments. The system of rules would apply to smart meter manufacturers, grid managers, utility billing operations, and others to apply privacy and encoding by default in all settings.

The rulebook was designed by Ontario’s privacy commission, and has been integral to customer support for the province’s smart meter rollout to 4 million customers. What’s new with the Ontario-SDG&E model is making privacy data transparent to customers and regulators from start to finish — a big improvement over the lax practices of many utilities, which have been criticized in reports from the federal government.

Will It Work?

One of the biggest promises of smart meter technology, improving communication between the utility and customer, is also its biggest weakness. Privacy concerns are valid and important, so getting it right before a major hacking scandal erupts should be of paramount importance to utilities nationwide.

If SDG&E’s experiment works, smart meters could deliver on their potential to empower customers through time-of-use rates and demand response, reduce power outages, and reduce operational costs. But if it doesn’t quell privacy concerns, utilities may see even more opt-out mandates spread across the country, and the full future of smart meters may never be realized.

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About the Author

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate policy public relations company based in Oakland, CA.

  • bill jinson

    I live in Ontario and I can tell you that the smart meters are the biggest scam going. Our electricity bills have doubled since they were installed. Even when you cut consumption or do laundry in off peak hours you don’t save money like they claim. Smart meters should resisted by rate payers everywhere. They are a scam.

    • Bob_Wallace

      That could happen only if 1) rates changed about the same time your smart meter was installed or 2) you increased your usage, 3) your old meter was faulty and under reporting, or 4) your new meter is faulty and over reporting.

      Take a look at your usage pre- and post- the smart meter installation. If it’s gone up significantly then ask for your meter to be checked, it could be faulty. If not, you’re either not telling us the full story or you got away with being undercharged for a long time.

      • bill jinson

        Google Ontario smart meters and you find stories of 1000’s of people in Ontario and B.C.who are experiencing the same thing. There was an article as well about a test university students did using an analog meter alongside a smart meter that proved cutting consumption or moving high energy consumption activities to off peak saves you nothing. Smart meters are a scam. Not one person in Ontario will have a positive thing to to say about it. It’s a scam. If was elected premiere of ontario they would all be ripped out.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “cutting consumption or moving high energy consumption activities to off peak saves you nothing”

          Give us a link to that study.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I Googled “Ontario smart meters” and didn’t find a single site in the first five pages that backs your claim.

          Doing some more googling I find that a very small number of rural smart meter installations are having trouble due to the meters not being able to transmit data due to terrain problems.

          • bill jinson

            I am trying to find the one i mentioned. It was from 2012 and I had it bookmarked at one time. Either way the smart meters have had the opposite effect from what we were told. Look up smart meter complaints and you will see the boning rate payers are getting since they have been installed. If you don’t have a smart meter yet you will see what we are talking about when you get one. Even the Germans decided against the smart meters when they did a study on them. Not all our high energy woes are squarely on the smart meter. The government shut down a perfectly good coal plant which provided 35% of our power in favour of useless wind turbines. All just to buy votes. The smart meters aren’t helping with the hydro prices in any case.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We’ve already seen the “problem” in California.

            A very small number of defective meters along with a large number of tinfoil hat knuckle heads spewing misinformation.

            In the CA case many of the meters were installed at the beginning of the air conditioning season and some people stupidly failed to compare like month to month usage.

  • Patrick

    BTW!: The Electric Companies in New Hampshire DO NOT inform the owner of a home or business that their meter is being changed out. They just slap the damn thing on any building they choose… Today, a doctor/owner of his business I spoke with said he had no idea his meter was changed.
    Just another coup over the overrun little people by their overlords.
    It isn’t the teleprompter reading puppet, it’s damage done by the same ones that formed the Trilateral Commission. educate yourself! (and their buddies at the Bilderberg confab)

  • Patrick

    The U.N. Agenda 21 (Rosa Koire’s book ‘Behind The Green Mask’) is entwined with the smart grid worldwide rollout plan.
    democratesagainstagenda21 .com or freedomadvocates .com will outline the extreme health dangers (example, WiFi has been banned in European schools)
    Most people ignore or are told lies about the cell towers, cell phones and wireless technologies causing illnesses. Couple the ‘electronic smog’ with the massive amounts of aluminum particulates sprayed in our air daily (worldwide), and you have humans as mini antennas. geoengineeringwatch .org or aircrap .org or just about any state’s name – – – example: californiaskywatch .com
    Mr. Robert Williams is very wrong about our rights. In N.H. Jeb Bradley managed to pass a law whereas the electric company MUST require signed consent before installing a radiation/surveillance/more expensive/ possible fire causing meter.
    We, as humans who don’t need more control and radiation thank good men like Jeb Bradley! Barely anyone even knows what the hell a so called, cleverly named, smart meter is all about. SICK

  • me

    Mr. Marcacci, thousands of studies show biological harm and effects at levels of radiofrequency far below what the FCC allows. The FCC only protects from heating tissue, like in a microwave oven, and they IGNORE all the other evidence and experts.

    Smart meters are not smart because they use a technology that plays Russian Roulette with the public’s health. The industry should have created a system using safe, efficient fiber optics. It might cost more at first, but all the resistance based on health effects would not even exist!

    We who are fighting for opt outs and ultimately roll-backs (you are not safe from your neighbors’ meters or apartment building BANKS of meters), will never stop. We have our backs against the wall. We are fighting for our very lives. We are fighting for our children’s future. We are even fighting for you, and your children’s DNA and blood-brain barrier. We are fighting against making involuntary guinea pigs of people and other creatures for the untested, unproven chronic radiofrequency barrage.

  • aberr

    It is proven that the technology used in cell phones and smart meters alters glucose functions in living cells and probably can affect protein folding as well as DNA replication. RF Electromagnetic fields alters the electric activity of the cell in neurons. Lawyers and politicians and engineers should not be making the decisions about cell phones nor should they be allowed to force smart meters on the world population. The vast majority of people don’t know about the effects of cell phones and smart meters and they need to be informed. “Disconnect” by Devra Davis PhD is beautifully written, very informative and you don’t need to be biology major to enjoy it.
    There has been a steady stream of reports of possible health risks associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields and MW/Rf (microwave/ radiofrequency) radiation from power substations, high voltage lines and microwave towers. Most frightening of these are the possible increases in the risk of cancer and childhood leukemia. Now the government is claiming that since we aren’t all dead that they can add more EMFs. After all, we’re stupid enough to use cell phones and wireless gadgetry…so they think they have a right to force more wireless on us…
    Smart Meters are radio transmitters, sending radiofrequency microwave radiation (RF) signals from both electric and gas meters. The electric meter has two transmitters. One RF signal is sent directly into your home (or business), and the other to a neighborhood data collector, which could be located on a lamppost, telephone pole, building or a home. Homes will also be used as repeaters for neighborhood RF signals.”
    “Sent directly into your home” should have the hair standing up on your head. This is an invasion of privacy; a system to spy on you inside your home to detect what you are doing and when and how many times. Any change in pattern uses for any reason could elicit a home inspection invasion to discern just what you are doing.
    SMART GRID/SMART METERS can and do cause hormonal system disruptions, tinnitus, memory problems, dizziness, slurred speech, intentionally induced muscle spasms, heart palpitations, lethargy, unconsciousness, disorientation, memory loss, confusion, and an increase in cancer, among many other symptoms. A reading of the pdf document above from 2006 indicates that these symptoms are exactly what was intended and now they have found the perfect way to impose this system of electrical incarceration and threat, right in your home or business. No one will be or would be safe from this electronic surveillance system, much less saving one dime in energy costs or using energy more efficiently.
    One carefully avoided point in this is that regardless of how you adjust the time frames in which you perform various household activities, you will be using the very same amount of power! This is not about energy conservation or efficiency.
    Today, everyone is exposed to more and more microwave fields from cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi and wireless utility meters. Most people will say, ho-hum, so what? But some people are getting sick from them. And every cell in everyone’s body is affect by them whether they immediately get sick or whether it just causes mutations to build up so they die of cancer around retirement age (the government would be better off if those old non-productive people die anyway). The world population has to say not to this very invasive advanced metering infrastructure and smart grid and appliances. Appliance manufacturers have been working with utilities and other technology vendors to test and pilot various capabilities enabled by smart appliances. It is relatively easy to produce a home appliance that can utilize two-way communications to interact with energy management systems…Smart Appliances Connected to Smart Meter wirelessly like a cell phone is connected wirelessly to a cell phone tower (smart meter)…. smart metering will turn every single appliance into the equivalent of a transmitting cell phone, and this at a time when public concern about the safety of exposure to the radiofrequency radiation (RF) of wireless technologies is on the rise. Heads up: that’s every dishwasher, microwave oven, stove, washing machine, clothes dryer, air conditioner, furnace, refrigerator, freezer, coffee maker, and TV, computer, printer, and fax machine.
    The average home has over 15 such appliances, each of which would be equipped with a transmitting antenna. While older models can be retrofitted,

  • dawn

    everyone is talking about how the smart meters will help us reduce our energy consumption by telling us how much we’re using with which devices. The fact is, we don’t need a meter to tell us how to reduce usage. If you don’t need a light on, turn it off. If you don’t need to use your electric over/stovetop, turn it off. The same goes for every device in your house. How much power is used to keep wireless internet transmitting even when the homeowner is not at home? Unplug your airport when you go out.
    The fact is, people use the power they need when they need it, like cooking. Also, stop watching tv, it rots your brain and wastes electricity at the same time!

    once again, a meter will not stop you from using power when you need it. Your brain can tell you to turn things off if they are not in use.
    use your brains people, and refuse to be charged for a service that is currently being provided for no extra cost.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Soon we will have appliances that ‘talk’ to our smart meters.

      Your clothes dryer and dishwasher will do their ‘hot work’ when electricity is cheaper. If you want to save money.

      Your refrigerator will do its defrost cycle when electricity is cheap. It will cool down a few extra degrees right before power prices climb for the day.

      Your air conditioner will cycle when electricity is not at the most expensive peak price.

      Your pool filter will operate when electricity is cheap and not during the highest priced part of the day.

      You going to stay around 24/365, watch spot prices, and turn that stuff on and off?

      • dawn

        I myself am making plans to go off the grid, so none of this will apply to me in the future anyway.
        I believe a law should be passed that says every building should produce it’s own power. The cost of setting up small scale energy systems is lower, and they are safer (harm the environment less in the case of wind or water systems). It would be cheaper in the long run to change each building over to small, on-site, renewable system, then to invest in smart meters which are only good as long as there is oil left to be refined and shipped around the world at grossly extorted prices.

        The fact is the fridge will still come on if it needs to during peak power periods, and you may have to cook during that time as well (most people cook dinner during a peak power period, and nothing can prevent that besides cooking all your meals in the middle of the night…)

        besides, if all these appliances start figuring out when the best/cheapest time is to turn on, then the peak usage period will change accordingly.

        Back to the idea of small, on-site, renewable systems for each building/home. If these building are converted or new ones designed to be more efficient and have alternative appliances, then they could reduce their energy need considerably, and be able to produce it on-site.

        The home I’m designing for myself will implement a cold-room on the north side of the house with a drain in the floor for using ice in the summer. My home will have a wood stove for heat and cooking, and heating hot water.

        Where I live the power goes out about twice a month anyway due to wind storms, so there is no point on relying on hydro for power anyway. They send crews out and helicopters to fix lines that come down over and over, and we pay for those services with rising power bills and regular power outs that last anywhere from 2 hours – five days long.

        If you really want to talk about what drives up the cost of power, consider all factors, not just someone driving up to check a meter.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’m off the grid. Have been for over 20 years.

          I do not agree with you.

          There are few places in the world where stand-alone buildings, even stand-alone communities make sense. It would take too much storage or a lot of biogas/something to make small 100% renewable systems affordable.

          Wider-cast grids smooth out variability.

          As far as smart appliances, it’s not that they would all run in the middle of the night. It’s that they would run when power is most available on the grid. If we install a lot of solar then there would be times when your refer might defrost in mid-morning when the Sun is bright but AC hasn’t fully kicked in. Or in the late afternoon when the wind comes up strong.

          Dispatchable load is very valuable for grid management.

          BTW, suggest you rethink the ice idea. Just get an efficient refer and power it with solar. I’ve got an 18 cu.ft. refer and it works like a champ.

          You’re either going to have to rely on someone else’s energy to make ice or store a heck of it away each winter.

      • sciquest

        Nonsense. Time-of-use electricity rates are determined by the hour of day, not spot pricing. Utility commissions have to approve rate changes. Smart appliances have no need of a smart meter to tell them to turn off from 4-6pm. They could tun themselves off at 4-6pm or any schedule the user sets.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Here’s a hint…

          Things change.

          TOU billing now is set by selected time blocks. There is no ability to crank prices around based on supply/demand ratio.

          With a smart grid and smart meters that ability will be created.

  • natural

    Health effects aside, our PG&E power bill increased dramatically as soon as our so-called “smart” meter was installed a few months ago. I am opting out now which means PG&E will switch us back to analog soon. Those of you who trust mega-corporations that say there are no ill health effects from smart meters… do you really believe a message from an entity that only cares about its next quarter’s stock price going up or down?

    • Bob_Wallace

      A number of people reported the same.

      Turns out that their smart meters were installed just as a heat wave hit. Everyone’s electric bills increased.

      You could investigate the facts behind why your bill rose. Or you can tin-foil hat out….

  • Shaccou

    If we as citizens globally or provincial, are against those smart meters then that only means one thing. Get rid of them. People do not like to put their families at risk for the sake of the corporations . Health, privacy, high billing, risks to private property i.e. fires etc. with no insurance coverage. Plus total control of your life. Spells only as a very cozy global umbrella covered in corruption for the powers that be. Protect your Freedom and Democracy. You have the right to chose. Remember 1% are trying to control all. While we the 99% have the real power.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Fact is, you folks so upset by the myths surrounding smart meters are a tiny portion of all global citizens.

      If not having a smart meter on your house makes you sleep better at night then stick with your old analogue meter and pay the minuscule fee for setting your mind at ease.

      It won’t cost you as much as one latte per week. And if you’re on a very tight, non-latte, budget then you could work on cutting your electricity use in order to offset the cost.

      (Of course, that would be easier if you had a smart meter.)

      You, my friend, are part of the less than 1/2%.

      • nin phan

        Factless opinion there Bob – Smart meters haven’t save ANYONE any money. I know, I’ve had one for three years in Ontario.

        • Bob_Wallace

          One swallow doth not a summer make….

  • Smart Meters – something to be afraid of?

  • Anyone who signs up for one of the utilities’ opt-out programs is a fool. The utilities have bribed state officials to develop out-opt programs which are a windfall for the utilities companies. Most of these opt-out programs will cost the customer close to $200 extra per year. No one should have to pay $200 extra just to keep their home safe.

    Although the utilities say their meters are safe, I have read that the utilities have gotten a sweetheart deal from the government stating that they can not be held liable in the future if it is determined that there is a health hazard. Now if these meters are as safe as the utilities claim, why did they need this immunity from future civil actions?

    My solution is to “electrically fence off” these hazardous meters from my property. I have a friend in the defense industry who is designing an EM shield that I can attach to MY ELECTRIC PANEL and enclose the meter without touching the meter, and stop all EM radiation from the meter. Regardless of how much power the meter can transmit at, a properly designed shield will let nothing escape.

    While some people have tried this on the cheap using aluminum foil, since the meter belongs to the utility company they have the right to remove anything that the homeowner afixes to their meter. With my solution not touching their meter, the utilities company will have NO legal right to touch, vandalize, or remove my shielding. I will be happy to remove the shield if they send out a technician who needs physical access to the meter, and then I will re-install my shield when he is finished.

    The goal is to take the profit out of the smart meter for the utility company. The main reason the utility companies want the smart meters is so they can fired their workers and we the customers are paying for these smart meters to put our friends out of work.

    Whether your issue is the health hazards from EM emissions, invasion of your privacy, possible hacking issues, or you are just fed up with the self-righteous attitude of the utilities companies; the answer is not to give the utility company more money through an opt-out program, but get a professionally designed shield and make their smart meter a money losing proposition.

    • Dennisastley

      Your EM shield is a form of meter tampering and you might be in violation of state statutes.

      • qui

        No, it isn’t.

      • 1555

        The smart meter mandate is tempering with our lives and health. Time to stop being so afraid of endless bs from so called authorities. Who gave them any authority in the first place ?

  • Onepointforyou

    The way to head off health concern issues is to do what used to be required of all technology. RUN PILOT STUDIES ON THE PROPOSED EQUIPMENT BEFORE EXPOSING MILLIONS TO THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS.

    The health studies still have still not been done. We are the guinea pigs for the utility companies of America. How dare they expose us to these devices without adequate testing?

    I know too many people who are suffering nasty symptoms from 24/7 smart meter exposure. Unfortunately, the money they will collect in eventual lawsuits will not reestablish their health.

    • aberr

      The telecommunication industry pays for studies with the intention of proving cell phones and smart meters are safe. For example, studies have shown that if a dye is injected into the artery of a person not exposed to EMFs…that the dye does not enter the spinal fluid due to an intact blood brain barrier…but if the person is exposed for a time to EMF’s then the dye does enter the spinal fluid. The telecommunication industry repeated the test and found that EMF’s do not cause the blood-brain barrier to break down….they got that result because they injected the dye into the abdomenal cavity instead of the artery. Those are the tactics used to prove smart meters and cell phones are safe. When this much money is involved, there are no honorable people…and if there are they get fired or not funded.

    • Sasha

      Hydro could be charged with deceit and fraud, with holding important information from the public Is it not a fact, that they are also guilty of bullying and threats. According to a very respectable
      fraud detective who did research, did not hesitate to mention that cutting off the electricity as said by Hydro is a form of extortion.
      What else do we need??? THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE !
      THE OTHER 99%. .

    • 1555

      If you study a bit on ‘eugenics’ then you might realize that the public is the guinea pig, and then when ill the public is the ‘expected profit for the sick care system’. Sad and yet that simple.

  • clea88

    “Because smart meters essentially create the same amount of radiation as widely accepted project like cell phones, wireless phones, and wireless internet routers, utilities haven’t focused on addressing these concerns. ”

    Dear Silvio

    Herein lies a big problem. The utilities are basing decisions that affect our health and lives on prevalence and popularity of gadgets that are using radio wave technology without looking at the mounting evidence that there is another side to the story.

    It is becoming clear that cell phone companies have dominated, suppressed, and skewed much of the research on the safety of cell phone use and proximity to towers. Very little independent research has been done.

    It makes sense that if you were a large, powerful company that wanted to get away with something that was going to make your business more profitable, all you have to do is control the research and hide what you are doing, which is pretty much what has been and is being done in the cell phone industry and is now being done by the utilities.

    So, to justify the use of radio and microwave technology in smart meters by saying that the wireless radiation used by smart meters is no stronger than the radiation used by cell phones is playing dice with our health, the health of our children, and even the children of the people who are making and installing the smart meters.

    There is strong anecdotal information challenging the assumption that wireless radiation is safe.,0,7715148.story

    Communities are challenging this assumption
    Neruosurgens are actually beginning to speak up based on what they have been seeing and

    Independent research is also starting to indicate that even low power microwave radiation is enough to damage the fetal brain, make cells leaky, adversely affect the heart rhythm, damage sperm. break DNA, damage DNA, increase glucose in the brain, cut immunity, dull memory, stress genes, worsen allergies, weaken bones and more. 

    The companies are  aware of this groundswell of public concern and they are responding to the problem. Not the problem of the cell phone radiation being harmful to your health, but the problem of the public finding out about what they are doing. 

    A recent article in stopsmartmeters,org mentions the uselessness of these ‘legal limits’. She says that they were not meant to protect our health, but more to prevent people from frying themselves and that they are outdated.

    In conclusion, if respected neurosurgeons are scared by what they are seeing now, wouldn’t it be good to put a halt to the whole idea of the deployment of wireless smart meters while we still have a few healthy people left ?

    We (you and me) seem to place so much more weight on “research” than our own experience.. Isn’t it time to wake up and trust our own inner knowing that tells us, regardless of the ‘research”, that this electromagnetic soup that we are creating will only lead to more cancer, more mental illness, more nervous system disorders more chaos, more sadness.. Is that really the world that we want to pass on to our children? The time to speak up has come.

    People are suffering. It is so important that the people who are making the decisions to implement smart meters know this, consider this, respect this.. and stop it. We need to wake up our human conscience.. it has gone into a deep sleep.

  • Mona
  • Mona

    Dear Silvio, Your article is missing the other side of the issue, which is expressed very clearly in the previous comments. It could be YOUR CHILD that suffers health concerns from these meters. It could be your favorite aunt, uncle, parent, grandparent that can’t withstand the emf effects from these meters. You will not escape the effects either. How will you feel when your nervous system is so attacked from radio pulses these meters give out, that you cant stop the shaking of your hands to write or type?? You might want to check this out before you write further articles supporting smart meters. there is a reason these opt out programs are popping up. Please investigate that side of the issue. And start here with this youtube video showing how a plant exposed to a smart meter is dying from the effects. This plant is us, and you.

  • ssilrf

    If utilities weren’t monopolies (which most are), they would be losing their customer by droves. Utility companies forget that they are offering a service to their customers, not mandating.

    People have the right to choose – at least those of us who are lucky enough to live in democratic countries are. The arrogant manner which utility companies are displaying at this time is totally unbusinesslike and unprofessional. If any other business stooped to calling their customers names, made fun of them, and did not offer a product that the customer wanted or liked, they would end up with very few customers and probably go bankrupt.

    Utilities seem to believe that they are the only “smart” people around. Sorry to disappoint you, but the world has billions of smart people who also have some common sense.

    Save energy? Turn off the lights. Unplug vampire electrical equipment that stupid manufacturers have created.

    Meter readers not required – Customers can read their own meters and forward to the utilities. Many people have been doing this for years.

    Update the grid at the major distribution centres.

    For a buck more, fibre optics to every home and business could have offered everyone: electricity, telephone, and cable service.

    No country/province/state in this world’s failing economy can afford the huge costs of smart meters plus $trillions for storage and protection of enormous amounts of data plus the new staff to manage all of this newly-created mess.

    A waste of money that nobody has!

    On top of all of the above, people’s bills are mysteriously doubled, tripled, quadrupled as soon as they receive a smart meter. Many citizens are already having difficulties paying the rent and feeding their families. With electricity prices skyrocketing for no reason other than a smart meter, is it right that people have to choose between paying the rent? Buying nutritious food? Using their electric stove? It’s called fuel poverty. The UK already has this problem – before smart meters.

    Smart meters make money for the manufacturers and the utilities. No benefits for customers but a mess of problems.

    And don’t think that customers will not go off the grid. They will. How many customers can the utilities afford to lose?

  • Concerned

    Reasons for not installing wireless smart meters.
    1. In B.C. Canada the changeover to Smart Meters are costing $930,000,000. This represents approximately $585.00 per meter for which the tax payer will eventually pay for.

    2. As the saying goes “if it aint broke, why replace it”.

    3. Analog meters historically have a life span of 40 to 50 years.

    4. WiFi Smart meters are subject to crashes and cyber hacking and must have software updated every few years. Look at your own computer software and how often it must be updated with costly software.

    5. Many states and provinces have hard wire fiber optics connection
    which then negates the health issues and WiFi crashes.

    6. If “time of use” billing is not the ultimate objective, why then are the more expensive “snooping” chips placed in the Smart Meters. Every body knows this, yet the Power Utility companies are camoflauging this truth.

    7. Replacing analog Meter Readers with unnecessary Smart meters only increase the unemployment costs.

    8. If labor saving manual recording is too expensive, consumers are willing to read the analog meters and report consumption monthly.

    9. WiFi Smart meters can subject the whole country to Cyber Terrorism because terrorists need only to shut down the whole North America power grid to make the countries vulnerable. Worse that “9-11” attack.

    10. More and more home owners are reporting much higher hydro bills since the Smart Meters have been installed.

    There are many more reasons too numerous to list.

    • yes People can just email a photo of the meter

  • The premise of your article is misplaced. The primary concern of the anti-Smart Meter movement is health concerns, which have no logical, medical, engineering, or other scientific basis. Consequently, utilities and regulatory commissions are dealing with emotional arguments that cannot be effectively dealth with using logical engineering arguments. Emotional arguments, even from very small groups of customers, always trump logic. To deal with this problem utilities and regulatory commissions need to craft opt-out options that don’t undermine the business case for everything else associated with metering and smart grid. It would also be helpful to provide pro-active approaches for heading off these issues before they become problems.

    As for privacy, data security, and cyber security – these issues are just in their infant stage of development. Pro-active attention to these issues should be a priority. These issues cannot be resolved with simple opt-out options.

    • Do you really know better than ALL of these organizations and scientists below and about 2,000 others who have published articles showing biological changes or damage from the specific non-ionizing radiation emitted by smart meters?

 Video Interview: Nuclear Scientist, Daniel Hirsch, (5 minutes)

Video Interview: Dr. Carpenter, New York Public Health Department, Dean of Public Health, (2 minutes)

      3. The NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE Calls for Halt To Smart Meters in Homes and Schools.

      4. The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION May 31 2011 placed the Non-ionizing radiation coming from Smart Meters (& some other wireless devices) on the Class 2-B CARCINOGEN LIST.

      5. The NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH Feb 2011 found biological changes in the brain after only minutes of exposure to non-ionizing radiation.

 2-page Press Release

      7. LABORATORY SCIENTISTS have observed

      (1) Human Cell Damage

      (2) DNA Chain Breaks
(3) Breaches in the Blood-Brain Barrier

      from levels of non-ionizing radiation lower than emitted by WIRELESS Smart meters.

      8. INSURANCE COMPANIES won’t insure smart meter liability due to biological damage seen by scientists they hired. 
 TV Video (3 minutes)

      • Bob Symington

        I agree that the science is showing potential physical effects…I would not want my testes next to a meter that is constantly pulsing microwaves between all the neighborhood meters. I would might have been OK with “smart meters” if they only radioed back to the utility every 15 minutes with a roof mounted antenna and gave me that info as well.

        Analog meters can be read by customers with only a once a year verification by the utility, for those thinking meter readers are too expensive…maybe even a photograph of the dials could be sent to the utility for verification–no meter reader necessary.

        It will be nice when the methanol direct power fuel cells are available and solar (etc) during the day can produce the methanol to use at night…then we can all go off the grid. I will boost my 2000W solar system to 4000W, just to be sure I can get rid of the alien power systems.

        • Fx Greek

          I am with You!
          Well Said!

          • Bob_Wallace

            I don’t think anyone is trying to put a smart meter next to your testicles.
            If that is actually happening then you must have done something to really piss someone off….

        • 1555

          Bob, just make sure you are completely disconnected from the grid. I just read that if the grid was to go down those solar system that ‘roll back your meter” would go down with it.

    • 1555

      Roger, some people are simply more in touch with what is going on in their bodies than others. Many people have been “talked out it”…and those are often the people who somehow “caught cancer”. People don’t catch cancer…it takes a while of CUMULATIVE components to result it it.
      Microwaving of US Embassy in Moscow in the time of Cold War is well documented as resulting in cancer to ALL US Ambassadors during the Cold War era. Do not be swayed by evidence being swept under the rug – and remember that it took Telecom full 5 years of hiding evidence before presenting it finally – that being about cell phone radiation.

      Hiding evidence and accusing people who are in touch with what is going on in their bodies (with the bodies highly sophisticated electro-magnetic functions) of emotionalism is one of the covert techniques which is commonly used when ‘wool is being pulled over the eyes of the public”.

      There are many smart people out here in the world. We know that for instance in Sweden there are over 180,000 people on disability due to EMF impact – yes, they were not told they are emotional or tin hats…Sweden is aware of the legitimate sensitivity of human organism to EMF…and these people cannot work or function around modern technology that has infiltrated even public parks – in the form of WiFi .

  • anderlan

    AMAZING, some people want to be forced to pay for some craftsman to schlepp out and read his meter when it could be done for almost nothing?

  • The Federal Energy Plan and State Legislation ONLY allows a utility company to OFFER smart meters to customers.

    Therefore it is illegal and immoral to FORCE or MANDATE smart meters and then REQUIRE people to PAY to opt-out.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Robert, your argument doesn’t make sense.

      Throwing in all-caps words does not correct that problem.

      The utility company is giving you a choice. You can keep your dumb meter and pay for the extra cost of reading that meter or you can let the utility company install a labor-saving meter and cut your monthly power bill.

      That’s the free market working, friend.

      BTW, those who have smart meters will most likely be able to use that information to cut their peak power usage and reduce their utility board even further.

      And, please, do not post any of that tin-foil hat stuff about how the rays are going to cook your gourd….

      • Bob – in this country, you can have any opinion you want and you can be a utility company shill if you have the stomach for it. But you saying my argument doesn’t make sense, does not make that so. Utility companies are ONLY ALLOWED TO OFFER smart meters, Read the 2005 Federal Energy Act and if you interpret it differently, I’d be interested to hear. Mandating and then charging to not have one is not offering.

        People who opt out are already paying on average $300 for the smart meter. If they don’t participate in the smart meter program but rather continue in the original program, why should they pay for BOTH programs?

        Utilities are NOT free market. They are monopolies that require PUBLIC REGULATION because economics demonstrates that monopolies gouge customers when their products don’t have readily available substitutes.

        Those with smart meters are NOT able to use the information from smart meters to reduce or fine tune their energy usage.

        The information available to customers with smart meters shows up on the utility company website 18-48 hours later WITH ALL ELECTRICAL DEVICES GROUPED TOGETHER in TOTAL, so no individual electrical device can be isolated by the customer.

        Without knowing how much EACH electrical device uses, the customer CANNOT use the smart meter information to improve or conserve their energy use.

        Utility companies through deceptive advertising get people to BELIEVE that the Smart Meter information will automatically assist them, but it does NOT.

        Bob – If you are not a utility shill or industry parrot, please respond to the information that I am posting, rather than cutely criticize my style as is the method of shills.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Your utility company is offering you a choice.

          Pick one.

          Face facts. It costs money to have someone drive around and read meters. If there are fewer meters that need reading then labor cost per meter is going to rise, more drive time between reads.

          Or get off the grid and produce your own electricity

          And please stop your ridiculous overuse of the cap lock key.

          • dawn

            they are already driving around to every house to check meters, so in fact the driving would be reduced if they didn’t have to go up each and every driveway. why would people pay for a service that is already provided at no fee.

            I live on an island and once the hydro people are here, they are driving around the whole island and up and down every driveway. Some driveways are harder to drive up than others. If less people were needing this service, the cost would go down, due to there being less driving up and down driveways. your argument makes no sense. why don’t you read some of the research posted in links in previous comments and then tell us what you think.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Let’s start with the fact that electricity prices are likely to rise in the future. Inflation, alone, will see to that.

            We aren’t necessarily talking about electricity prices dropping, but about prices rising less rapidly.

            “Lower” prices can mean “less high” prices.

            Moving to meters which can be read electronically is a cost saver for utility companies. If the price you pay is based on costs plus a reasonable profit then smart meters will cause your monthly bill to fall a little. Or rise less.

            Sending out someone to read meters costs more. Why should other pay for the unrealistic fears of others?

            I’ve read a bunch of the “research” from the anti-smart meter folks. It’s not research. It’s speculation and research findings inappropriately applied.

            Cherry-picking is rampant.

            What I think is that there are a very small number of people who are somewhat paranoid and very poorly educated when it comes to scientific methods.

            They grab on to an idea like vaccines cause autism, cell phones kill bees, wind turbines cause physical illness, the world is going to end in 2000/2010/2012, etc. And then they look for evidence which seems to support their belief. They do not look at the issue objectively, they dismiss any evidence which does not support their chosen position.

          • 1555

            Which power company do your work for ?- Would love to know.
            Our power company bluntly told us that they will save a bunch of money, plus the gov. gave them bunch of money to install these spying meters. Now since the NSA cat is out of the bag it is all in the open.
            Since they are making money, and saving money, and they were given money, those of us who want to keep our meters should be able to do so without having to pay $ 360 a year, in our very small area – since the el. company can easily have their crews – coming routinely to check on ‘stuff’ to also check the few analog meters around here.
            The mandate and the forcing folks to install these weird meters is frankly of major concern.
            It has me ready to install my own solar system – without linking to the grid, and give them the boot altogether.
            Lack of evidence by the el. companies about these “dumb smart meters” regarding health hazards does not mean lack of health hazard.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I work for Bob’s Utility Company. (And it’s time to shut down the generator. It’s been rainy today and I didn’t gen enough power with my panels.)

            You should be paying. Someone has to come to your house and read your dumb meter.

            And, yes, smart meters do cause health problems. They trigger anxiety attacks in foolish people.

        • anderlan

          So, you’re not against smart meters, but the way your utility is using them. I think you and your fellow subscribers should concentrate on that. In states where renewables and private residential generation is given a strong hand, it is because the people have intelligently and actively demanded a betters system. Follow their leads.

          Also, aren’t there devices you can put on your own wiring which give you obscene amounts of detail on your usage? Even if your utility doesn’t give you immediate or by-the-minute usage reporting, a good chunk of money is being saved by not needing a reader driving everywhere. If the utility isn’t returning that to the customers (unlikely) then, again, better governance is needed.


            Palo Alto, The Center and Brain of California’s Silicon Valley, Rejects Smart Meters.

            After evaluating smart meters for three years, Palo Alto determined that Smart Meter benefits are overstated and Smart Meter COSTS are greater than benefits.

            So installing smart meters is NOT more energy efficient and the financial burden is forced onto customers to pay utility company investments and expenses for decades.

            A smarter and more responsive GRID does NOT require a smart meter on each home. The necessary utility information can be gathered more efficiently, timely and inexpensively at energy distribution points. (The smart grid does not care how much power any one home uses.)

            Anderlan – The device that does give individual energy usage information that you refer to is called an Energy monitor. They are sometimes used by utility companies during pilot programs to fool people into thinking the information they are using is coming from the smart meter when it is actually coming from the Energy monitor.

    • anderlan

      Robert, if you don’t want a modern meter, go off grid. Thanks, more power to you.

      • Redi Kilowatt

        It is not practical for most people to go off the power grid.
        The best thing to do if one does not want a SmartMeter and have usage data sent on a radio “smart grid” is much more simple. Just refuse the SmartMeter , that is what I did. My utility company claims that they will tax me $75 for not opting into their scam, but I don’t care. They still have not charged me to keep my meter, but they sure charged me to install all the other SmartMeters. I don’t like it one bit, but what’s done is done.
        The simple AMR meters being sold are not modern meters, they do the same thing as the meter that I have, only they transmit total cumulative electrical use on a 900MHz radio network instead. Lots of problems with them, and they are not advanced meters so they won’t work with solar systems or EV charging systems.
        Basically, the simple AMR SmartMeters are useless garbage ! And guess what, the utility will never be able to eliminate the meter reading department because many people are into solar power and electric vehicles,

    • patrick

      The U.N. Agenda 21 (Rosa Koire’s book ‘Behind The Green Mask’) is entwined with the smart grid worldwide rollout plan.
      democratesagainstagenda21 .com or freedomadvocates .com will outline the extreme health dangers (example, WiFi has been banned in European schools)
      Most people ignore or are told lies about the cell towers, cell phones and wireless technologies causing illnesses. Couple the ‘electronic smog’ with the massive amounts of aluminum particulates sprayed in our air daily (worldwide), and you have humans as mini antennas. geoengineeringwatch .org or aircrap .org or just about any state’s name – – – example: californiaskywatch .com
      Mr. Robert Williams is very wrong about our rights. In N.H. Jeb Bradley managed to pass a law whereas the electric company MUST require signed consent before installing a radiation/surveillance/more expensive/ possible fire causing meter.
      We, as humans who don’t need more control and radiation thank good men like Jeb Bradley! Barely anyone even knows what the hell a so called, cleverly named, smart meter is all about. SICK

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