Posts Tagged ‘MA electric rates’

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

$7,000 is too much for an electric meter
BE HEARD!
 
National Grid’s run-amok Worcester area
WiMax
‘smart’ meter pilot is $29M (65%) over-budget at $7,000 per meter, & does not represent Massachusetts demographics.
The many

egregious ahhem, 
misrepresentations in National Grid’s FEB 2016 ‘Interim Report‘ need to come to light before we all end up with $7,000 ‘smart’ electric meters.
 
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office will listen to ratepayer concerns on 
June 13th in Worcester (see details below)
—————————
INTERIM REPORT

CLAIM: 98% retention & 72% satisfied but the 4,000 – 6,000 

subjects who quit were conveniently not counted

CLAIM: In a ‘portion of Worcester’  

NOT: Groton, Auburn, etc.

CLAIM: ‘smart’ meters installed April ’14 

NOT: Installed in ’12 & ’13

CLAIM: Worcester Library usage 

Overstated Worcester’s Main Branch usage by 71%

 CLAIM: Not enough lower income subjects available
though half of Worcester meets National Grid’s threshold
CLAIM: 0.2% electricity “saved” on average
CLAIM: $1,250,0000 “saved” –  total (see chart below)

IRRECONCILABLE:

– 0.2% of the average annual MA home’s bill is less than $3

– Less than 11,000 subjects remain in the pilot

– $3 x 11,000 = $33,000

 

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES DOCS

 $29,000,000 (65%) over budget (and counting)

 Sustainability Hub: $700k / 1,400% over budget 

 Cost:  $7,000 per meter and rising

 Vegetation decimated for ‘smart’ networks

 National Grid bought ratepayer private financial

& lifestyle data without their permission


—————————

National Grid and MA Department of Public Utilities rely on 
career tobacco testifier and outdated health data.
v Adverse symptoms ignored or scorned: headaches, sleep 
issues, ear ringing, neurological, etc.

 

 
Questions/Comments/Suggestions: HaltMAsmartMeters@gmail.com
 

Page 11 of Interim Report

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Public Listening Session
Monday, June 13, 2016: 6 – 8 pm
Energy & Environment Listening Session
devoted to hearing directly from YOU about issues
important to Greater Worcester & the Commonwealth.

Broad Meadow Brook Center & Sanctuary
414 Massasoit Road, Worcester
Open to the public: RSVP
Questions for the AG:  AGOcommunityEngagement@state.ma.us 

 

 

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

On September 23 the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved severe increases in electricity billing rates, which the National Grid company had requested only one week before. From November 1 through April 30, basic service rates for home use will nearly double, from 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 16.2 cents.

The new rate will add approximately $30 to the average monthly bill this winter and is more than 60 percent higher than last year’s winter rate. Small commercial and industrial users will also suffer large increases, with their basic service rate increasing to 15.138 cents/kWh on November 1.

The rate increase was railroaded through DPU’s approval process. National Grid submitted its “request” on September 16 and demanded a response within five business days. The DPU caved in so cravenly that on October 2 the state Attorney General’s office sent it a letter quoting a 2001 DPU ruling “that rate structure changes should be made in a predictable and gradual manner which allows consumers reasonable time to adjust their consumption patterns.” The AG’s office, however, is unable to request any changes to the current rate hikes except for deferring some of them to next summer.