Posts Tagged ‘MA DPU and smart meters’

10/26/17 Results from Patricia Burke and the statehouse hearing of the telecom committee on a group of 29 bills pertaining to gas pipelines

https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/2797

Angels were with us. Among the gas bills are two DPU reform bills that would allow a group of 10 ratepayers to intervene in DPU gas and electricity dockets. The Senate had a full hearing at about the same time at 10:45 am and the house had an informal hearing starting at 11:00 amso it is likely that those who came to testify ended up talking to staff members and not many legislators. We saw Sen Pacheco’s staff chief at the elevator (Pacheco is the chair of the committee) and were told that he was at another meeting for the committee chairs already. We did not plan to testify at the hearing, but to give out info, and we did   : )

We brought 2 flyers….one about Peter Valberg DPU tobacco scientist and one about lack of protection for community rights and problems with the Worcester smart meter pilot and reporting and we gave one to each person n the hearing room, about 125.  We didn’t specifically try to convince people about smart meter issues, we talked about abuse of the process of community consent.

Many people stopped to speak with us, from Mom’s out front, 350.org, and other groups.  There were also about 5 groups there on the issue of the energy siting board  (power plants etc) …and that also pertains to Valberg. One group made neon signs that said “No more fossil fuels” on one side, and “reform the DPU” on the other side for people to hold up, and they were also happy to see our flyer. We also met a young and very upset father who was there to testify specifically about how Peter Valberg said that powerlines at his house in Winchester were safe.

Overall, it was a  success. We did not sign in to testify as we felt it was much more effective to give people info.

There are two versions of the omnibus energy bill and both include/focus EXCLUSIVELY ON smart meters- one is by Sen Pacheco…..I think that we would be very well served to plan to have a presence at that hearing when it gets scheduled….and to do something visible…and for this one, to make a flyer about smart meters specifically…It is clear to me that people do not know about smart meters….and that the omnibus energy bills is a smart meter bill.

Rep Jennifer Flangan’s Bill is based on smart meters vai these docket numbers;

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H1725/

(b) The Department shall issue an order concluding the current Grid Modernization Proceedings (D.P.U. 15-120, 15-121 and 15-122) by December 31, 2017.

Sen Pacheco’s Bill also:

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S1875

(b) The Department shall issue an order concluding the current Grid Modernization Proceedings (D.P.U. 15-120, 15-121 and 15-122) by December 31, 2017.

SECTION 6: Section 1B of Chapter 164 of the General Laws is amended by inserting after subsection (f), as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, the following section:

(g) Beginning on January 1, 2018, each distribution company shall offer to default service customers an option to choose a time of use rate designed to reflect the cost of providing electricity at different times of the day. Each distribution company shall provide each default service customer, not less than once per year, a summary of available rate options with a calculation of expected bill impacts under each. Should a customer opt into a time of use rate, the distribution company shall install all necessary equipment within 60 days of request. Any residential customer choosing for the first time a time of use rate shall be provided with no less than one year of bill protection, during which the total amount paid by the customer for electric service shall not exceed the amount that would have been payable by the customer under that customer’s previous rate schedule. A customer may choose a different rate schedule after one year. If the Department approves default service rates that include time-varying pricing on a mandatory or opt-out basis, this offering structure may be discontinued, but each distribution company must offer a time-varying default service rate at all times.

 

 

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Not good news. Maybe she’s thinking this is a better alternative to WiFi on every single electric pole?

Attorney General Maura Healey recommending full deployment of smart meters.

Full Deployment of AMF Continues to Be the Best Path Forward for the
Commonwealth.
In its Grid Modernization Order (Modernization of the Electric Grid, D.P.U. 12-76-B
(2014)), the Department provided a plan for the Commonwealth to move towards modernizing the Commonwealth’s electric distribution grid to achieve a cleaner, more efficient, reliable and customer-responsive energy future for the Commonwealth. That plan recognized the importance
of making Advanced Metering Functionality (“AMF”) available to all Massachusetts electricity customers. The AGO strongly believes that the path envisioned by the Department’s Grid Modernization Order, including its prioritization of AMF, continues to be the right course to
ensure that the Commonwealth meets its clean energy goals and that all electricity customers in the Commonwealth enjoy the benefits of advances in customer-facing and grid-facing technology.

http://170.63.40.34/DPU/FileRoomAPI/api/Attachments/Get/?path=15-120%2fAGO_Reply_Brief.pdf

Comment by 4/20 by Patricia Burke  re: Smart Meter Pilot Cost Overruns

April 20 is the deadline for comments to the Department of Public Utilities regarding surcharging ratepayers $15M for cost overruns for the $45M Worcester smart meter pilot.

National Grid’s pilot did not include health monitoring, but featured safety testimony from a tobacco scientist.  In Arizona’s current utility rate case, Dr. Sam Milham M.D. M.P.H. stated,  “It is my professional opinion that smart meters are a public health hazard.”

 

Expert testimony indicates that electrical noise due to the switch mode power and radio frequency transmissions being conducted along house wiring and re-radiated into the home are causing biological harm.  Sleep deprivation (recognized by the UN as torture) is a primary health complaint associated with smart meters.

 

As reported by Lynne Weycherly in the Ecologist, “they emit as many as 14,000 short bursts of intense microwave radiation a day, disrupting cellular electrochemistry and causing health symptoms from migraine to tinnitus, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, chest pain, palpitations and memory loss.”

 

Michigan’s Senator Colbeck testified that smart meters are at risk from EMPs (electromagnetic pulses), fires, and hacking due to: no surge protection, no conducted emissions filters, no circuit breaker between the meter and power source, and the cyber security “back door.” He endorses analogues.

 

Ratepayers should not be on the hook for excessive costs. Instead, the pilot should be investigated for violating prohibitions on human experimentation without informed consent, misrepresentation, and as a case study in misguided decision-based evidence-making that manipulated community consent. Be heard. Please comment.

http://170.63.40.34/DPU/FileRoomAPI/api/Attachments/Get/?path=17-53%2fOrder_of_Notice.pdf

Watch the part about smart meters and why its bad to sign the opt out contract for not wanting the utility company to install a smart meter.
Published on Aug 8, 2016

The “Opt-Out” contract IS A SCAM! This video presents detailed info how to more effectively refuse and challenge harmful and illegal programs which attempt to force you to accept dangerous policies such as vaccinations and spying/transmitting utility meters. This video goes into detail to present your legal options and explain the powerful free documents at FreedomTaker.com which are designed to put the authority back in your hands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIELtYIsbD4

Eversource Energy, National Grid and Unitil have filed proposals in response to a requirement that they file grid modernization plans to reduce the effects of power outages, optimize demand — including reducing system and customer costs — integrate distributed resources and improve workforce and asset management.

National Grid presented the DPU with four five-year options that range from $225.3 million to $830.5 million, and up to $1.3 billion over ten years. The more expensive options include providing the company’s 1.3 million customers with smart meters.

So how do they recoup the 1.3 billion….. guess who gets higher electric bills even when they claim this saves energy…. so your meter reading goes down but the base rate skyrockets so what benefit it is to us, the customer?

The claim that smart meters were necessary to integrate renewables into the grid went off the rails when Arizona utilities began to alter the compensation formula for solar producers. Arizona saw a decrease in applications for rooftop solar when utilities started charging producers up to $50 per month in some areas for the privilege of selling electricity back to the grid. States, including Massachusetts, are engaged in net metering battles with caps on rooftop solar installation and compensation formulas that reward utilities, enabled by smart meter time of use billing capabilities. Regulators, politicians, and industries in many states have favored large utility-scale solar farms, rather than the efficiency of decentralized rooftop installations with on-site storage.

National Grid, Worcester, the state Legislature, and then-Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration came to the rescue for smart grid green-washing charges by planning a “sustainability” smart meter pilot that would conclude that a well-educated community with leading academic partners, a solar-powered car wash, and a wind turbine would welcome the opportunity to alter electricity consumption behavior in response to data provided by wireless smart meters.

To ensure the pilot’s success, the state DPU also allowed the utility to replace each opt-out with another customer meter installation. This accommodation altered any possibility of research validity because the pool of participants is skewed toward those who support the program’s goals. The fact that National Grid has its own employees or others who will benefit from smart meter deployment in the pilot further erodes credibility. National Grid recently recommended other deployments seek “easy installs,” which includes employees and early adopters of new technology, but Massachusetts ratepayers probably did not need to pay $48 million for this conclusion.

The DPU covertly granted the Worcester pilot a sweetheart deal similar to Illinois, by allowing the utility to wait more than two years until January of 2015 to launch the pilot, with no accounting for cost overruns or recognition of citizen opposition. Meanwhile, the DPU mandated smart meters for statewide deployment.

Despite the mantra that customers “wanted more information about their electricity usage” so that they could make better decisions,” the need for “better decisions” by consumers is the direct result of punitive time-of-use rate structures planned for Massachusetts and elsewhere.

National Grid employed a career tobacco mercenary scientist to mislead the Worcester Zoning Board on the safety of the wireless network. Peter Valberg also testified for the DPU to negate health concerns and justify the mandate the same week he testified for Phillip Morris cigarettes.

Worcester’s Health Department followed suit with its own health report that mischaracterized the BioInitiative Report summary of research showing biological harm. The Worcester report quoted a local engineering professor who received funding for grid research and who has no health expertise. It was partially sourced from Wikipedia. Citizen concerns over property values were also negated by the city assessor’s report.

Had the Worcester pilot not been an exercise in decision-based evidence making, it might have already proven that smart meters are not a reasonable investment, that they are not safe, that they invade privacy, and that they are neither secure nor green.

The decision by the DPU to create a smart meter mandate without waiting for the results of the Worcester pilot, and on the basis of fraudulent health claims partly based on the testimony of a career tobacco scientist, leads to the question: “Is the Green Communities Act responsible stewardship or racketeering?”

Recognition is dawning that the environmental and health consequences of technologies being deployed ostensibly to address the health and environmental consequences of fossil fuels are driven by the market, with no true regard for the environment or health.

Three years ago, Worcester residents asked for a public hearing concerning the smart meter pilot where they could ask questions that National Grid would be required to answer. Four city councilors – Konnie Lukes, Gary Rosen, Michael Gaffney and Moe Bergman – attempted to advocate for constituents. The ruling by unsung hero Worcester Solicitor David Moore prevented National Grid from overriding zoning ordinances for tower installations.

Career tobacco scientists thrive in environments where there is an inadequate system of checks and balances. History will have a difficult time understanding how so many people could have been duped for so long by the masquerading of green. Now it’s time for a both a moratorium and an investigation of the pilot, the DPU as an agency, and the Green Communities Act.

Stretching the truth a little bit becomes habitual lying, which eventually defines the character of a city, commonwealth or country, unless enough individuals help to restore impeccable grace and justice. Worcester is the place, and the time is now.

 

From Worcester Magazine Today

This is being aired on public TV stations around Massachusetts. It depicts the debate at the Sheffield town meeting with clarification of points discussed by Patricia Burke who is spearheading the fight against smart meters in central MA throughHaltMASmartMeters.

The New England Governors (NESCOE) advanced costly proposals for smart utility meters, Northern Pass, and the Kinder Morgan gas pipeline behind closed doors, in violation of local democracy. Citizens speak out at a hearing for a smart meter moratorium in Sheffield MA, and in opposition to the gas pipeline in Ashfield MA. Public resources could be directed to less damaging alternatives, giving priority to localized and largely user-owned renewable generation

View the show: http://www.wccatv.com/video/about-smart-meters/ABOUTSMARTMETERS16