Posts Tagged ‘smart meters’

Today (April 8) we won a victory in the fight against radiation in New Mexico. The Public Regulation Commission has denied PNM’s application for Smart Meters. “The plan presented in the Application does not provide a net public benefit and it does not promote the public interest,” wrote the Commission.

The Commission accepted the Hearing Examiner’s recommended decision without alteration. It ruled that:

• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will save money.
• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will produce energy efficiency.
• PNM did not show that customers want smart meters.
• PNM did not evaluate alternatives.
• PNM did not say how it would protect customer data privacy.
• Cybersecurity issues need to be addressed.
• 125 good, high-paying jobs would be lost.
• Proposed opt-out fees were unreasonable.
• There was insufficient public input.
• There was insufficient response by PNM to public objections.

EVIDENCE ABOUT HEALTH EFFECTS was discussed at length. “Customers who have strong feelings about the
health effects of the meters should be allowed to protect their stated health concerns without a
prohibitively high cost.”

The decision goes on to state: “The conditions of the portion of the population who believe they are
electromagnetically sensitive deserve acknowledgment and consideration as decisions are made
regarding the implementation of an AMI Project. Accommodations could include reasonable
opt-out provisions and fees and perhaps the selection of technologies that minimize the impacts
on such people. Such accommodations may be desirable to minimize health risks to customers
and address the needs and preferences of PNM’s customers. These are issues that can and should
be addressed in a public input process of the sort PNM stated in its 2012 Report that it would
conduct before bringing a smart meter proposal to the Commission for approval.”

The decision means there will not be smart meters in the near future in New Mexico’s metropolitan areas: Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Clayton, Ruidoso, Tularosa, Alamogordo, Silver City, Lordsburg and Deming.

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Editor comment: Same old jargon from the industry trying to make residents look like they are fear mongers. We have to stick together … same thing we in Sheffield went through with the smart meter moratorium attempt.

 

Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2017 6:39 pm

By Heather Bellow, The Berkshire Eagle

GREAT BARRINGTON — There was a water meter fight in Housatonic last week.

A plan already underway by the Housatonic Water Works Co. to replace analog water meters with a new wireless model has customers worried about bursts of radiation from its transmitter, which sends water use data to the company using cellular networks.

The private water company and meter manufacturer say the level of radiation is less than that emitted by a text message, and is equivalent to “a brief cell phone call.” But ratepayers are still wary.

“You’re trying to force these meters on people when in fact they’re dangerous,” said Christopher Rowland, a resident, speaking to James Mercer, the water company’s co-owner and treasurer.

The new models, made by Badger Meter, boost accuracy and last 20 to 25 years, said Badger representatives and Mercer, all speaking at an informational meeting Thursday at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire in Housatonic.

Mercer said his company, which provides water to Housatonic and some surrounding homes, has already installed the new meters for 537 out of 850 customers, and that the state Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the company’s water operation at Long Pond, required the replacements for accuracy in identifying unaccounted-for water.

“Now we can tell the flow per day,” Mercer said.

Last year the state Department of Public Utilities approved the company’s phased-in 30.3 percent rate hike over two years for system upgrades like the new meters and new mains.

Mercer told residents that the new meters will save the company and customers time and money, since water use can be read remotely, without the need for a visit by a company technician.

The new meters can also detect leaks, and customers will be notified by text or email, he said.

But around 10 customers said they were worried about electromagnetic and radio frequency emissions from a twice-per-day transmission of data.

Radiation questions and confusion all around

“I don’t want to be a guinea pig,” said Corinne Rowland.

“It’s not a smart meter,” said Badger representative Scott Fitzgerald, of the general term for wireless meters that have raised health concerns nationwide. “It doesn’t have radio frequency waves. It’s less [radiation] than a text message of info.”

Radio frequency wave devices will, however, be installed in one area of town that has poor cellular service, Mercer said, adding that the water departments of Great Barrington, Lee and Stockbridge use this type of meter.

But the product description for the Badger E-Series Ultrasonic Plus meters says it does use radio frequency.

Badger representatives did not respond to requests for clarification. Mercer said they were still gathering information about radiation levels for him to pass to customers.

To address concerns about radio frequency waves, a Badger marketing specialist told Mercer in a letter he passed out at the meeting that the meter’s ORION Cellular endpoint transmitter emits radio frequency signals “well below the levels most people come into contact with on a typical day in their home” from TV sets, wireless and cellular phones.

And distance also decreases exposure, the letter said, especially since the transmitter is typically in the basement or outside.

Badger representative Tom Watts said he isn’t a physician or a scientist, and so couldn’t answer health-related questions. He said the transponder emits a signal twice per day at a 900-megahertz frequency as it connects to cellular networks, and said he would talk to company engineers to get more exact information about the device’s electromagnetic emissions.

He did say that the meters meet Federal Communications Commission guidelines for human exposure to radio frequency waves and electromagnetic fields.

But some residents were unconvinced, and unimpressed by adherence to FCC rules.

“I’ve studied this,” said Susan Lord, a Housatonic resident who is also a physician. “[American] standards for toxicity are much more lenient that anywhere else in the developed world. We’re being bombarded by all those things.”

Several people at the meeting expressed fears about health effects from the emissions of the meters.

The American Cancer Society’s website points to some research indicating health threats from radio frequency waves, but says, all told, the impact is unclear. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, has classified RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

SUNY Albany’s David Carpenter, a physician who is director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, has said there is no evidence that radio frequency waves are safe, and that there haven’t been any studies conducted on people living in homes that have wireless meters pulsing out such waves.

And the World Health Organization is concerned enough that it is currently preparing a report on the health risks of exposure to radio frequency and electromagnetic fields.

Opt-out fees and attempts to vanquish them

Accusations were hurled through the Unitarian meeting room. One customer said Mercer had threatened to shut off her water if she refused the new meter. And Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, told The Eagle two customers had called him on different days saying Mercer had made this threat.

Mercer denied it, and said he would offer a new mechanical meter if people want it, though cautioned that it might come at a cost. He said he would have to petition the DPU to make the opt-out possible, and told The Eagle that he has no inkling of cost, which would be set by the agency.

But this might all depend on what happens with a bill moving through the Legislature that would allow a free opt-out of wireless meter installations, and would protect ratepayers in other ways. It’s a bill Pignatelli says he supports.

Fitzgerald mentioned the bill, and said he’s knows what’s holding it up.

“It’s the no-charge part of that,” he said.

One provision of the rate increase was that Mercer hold regular informational meetings about various water company issues.

As the meeting wound down on a more peaceful note, with a fraction of the attendees left, Mercer acknowledged that this issue is “sensitive and emotions are running high.”

Lord suggested that the reason for the tension is that there wasn’t an opportunity early on for input from what is a small, close-knit community.

“That’s why this has gotten out of hand,” she said.

We did a test of an analog meter in Housatonic MA Nov. 2017. It obviously had an AMR chip in it as it was emitting RF frequency that we measured with our Acoustimeter. Just because it looks like an analog, don’t assume it is one. National Grid told us that some AMR’s actually look like analogs.

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.

 

 

Mark Your Calendars

The legislature posts hearings one week in advance, but we’ve received tentative advance notice of these two bills:

 

S.107 An Act relative to disclosure of radiofrequency notifications requires manufacturer warnings be prominently displayed on product packaging of wireless radiation-emitting devices. Sponsored by Senator Julian Cyr. Tentative: Tues. Sept. 26.

 

H.3400 An Act clarifying authority and responsibilities of the department of public utilities will allow a group of ratepayers to intervene in dockets for electricity and gas before the D.P.U., as well as allow elected officials to participate. This bill came about in part due to the way that the DPU handled the gas pipeline dockets, but will assist all ratepayers. We feel that this is one of the most important bills in this legislative session. The bill may be up for its hearing in mid-October. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H3400

 

We are extremely disheartened that the MA Attorney General has endorsed smart meters, suggesting that municipals and aggregators also be approached:

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

Please continue your advocacy efforts with the Governor and the Attorney General regarding the DPU’s reliance on tobacco science, human rights concerns, greenwashing, and cost overruns for the Worcester pilot program. We hope this will become an election concern. The Attorney General has been authorized to spend $150,000 for consultants to review the Worcester smart meter pilot program overruns:

http://170.63.40.34/DPU/FileRoomAPI/api/Attachments/Get/?path=17-53%2f1753_Order_9817.pdf

The public comment period has passed but please provide your input directly to  Alexander.Early@state.ma.us and Shannon.Beale@state.ma.us to assist the AG in her investigation.

 

H.2030 and S.2079  The hearing before the Joint Committee on Education for two MA bills pertaining to Wi-Fi in Schools was held on Sept. 5. It is still possible to send written testimony for all bills. For more information, see https://sites.google.com/site/understandingemfs/ma-emf-bills.

 

Videos of citizen testimony for the Wi-Fi bills here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMAz9ZRXjYmoXSabQE54w0DhZ28y11mEO&disable_polymer=true

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

by John P. Thomas
Health Impact News

Electric utility companies are in the process of installing smart meters at all of their customer locations, which are making thousands of their customers sick. These meters emit microwave radiation in the 900+ megahertz frequency band, which is known to cause weakness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, pain, and immune system disruption. These smart meters broadcast intense bursts of microwave radiation through the air many times per minute, 24-hours a day. [1, 2, 3, 4]

Smart meters also add high frequency electromagnetic radiation in the kilohertz frequency band to the electrical wiring of every building where they are attached. This electromagnetic radiation is also harmful. It turns the electric wiring in buildings into giant antennas that fill the interior spaces with radiation frequencies that are known to alter human biological functioning. These same frequencies are used in medical research to block the activity of nerves. [5]

The nationwide installation of smart meters is like a time bomb ticking, because the harmful effects are cumulative — it can take 5 or 10 years of exposure to evoke a life-threatening illness.

At some point, it will not be thousands who suffer from electromagnetic radiation sickness, but there will be an explosion of illness. There will be millions of people who are experiencing chronic disability and fatal illness from exposure that spanned many decades. [6]

The current epidemics of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and even autism will intensify until very few of us will be able to escape these devastating illnesses. Others will suffer for decades with chronic fatigue, unexplained anxiety, and attention deficits until a life-threatening illness makes its ugly appearance.

It is true that the majority of people feel nothing when exposed to electromagnetic radiation such as microwave transmissions from smart meters and cell phones. Even if people can’t identify reactions to this exposure, proteins within their cells are being permanently altered. [7]

At present, very few healthcare providers in the conventional medical system consider electromagnetic exposure to be causative for the diseases they treat. They are either unaware of the scientific research on electromagnetic radiation and illness or they are skeptics who don’t believe that unseen and unfelt electromagnetic radiation can have an effect upon the bodies and minds of their patients.

Most continue to use pharmaceuticals designed to eliminate acute symptoms, when their patients are actually suffering from chronic illnesses linked to electromagnetic radiation exposure, which can only be fixed by reducing exposure.

It is estimated that 80% of modern chronic illnesses are caused by or influenced by long-term exposure to sources of electromagnetic radiation such as cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, cordless phone base stations, Bluetooth devices, smart meters, and dozens of other wireless devices that are used every day by Americans.

By far, smart meters are the worst offenders in this list. The combined electromagnetic radiation from these devices is evoking modern illnesses and disabling us at a level that has never been seen before, because these levels of exposure have never been experienced by human beings before. [8]

http://healthimpactnews.com/2017/smart-meters-countdown-to-a-national-crisis-of-illness-and-death/