SMART METERS REALLY SMART?

There’s a controversy cropping up over the new smart meters in cities  all across America

A concerned reader asked us the following question:

Just curious if ya’ll have a “smart meter” installed on your house yet? We do here in Claremont and Im worried about it. And if you do what precautionary measures are you doing to block any possible radiation from those meters? Would love to see a post about it. You guys and gals would really help the movement to get rid of these smart meters.

Edison says they emit signals at least once a minute, while videos all over Youtube shows these meter sending signals several times per minute.

In fact, a “ …growing numbers of activists who are protesting against Smart Meters …  They contend that the radio frequency (RF) Smart Meters emit is harmful to human health. People living with the meters are claiming mild to severe symptoms that are all over the board: Concentration and memory problems, dizziness, tinnitus, heart palpitations, headaches, sleep disruptions, nausea, anxiety and behavioral problems in children.” – via Smart Meter Radiation Risk

Our response:

We are not too thrilled at the prospect of smart meters but from what I can tell we (thankfully) got a AMR (aka “Automatic Meter Reading”) meter so the city still has to send someone out and “Walk By” to take a reading

But the installation of smart meters may well be on their way in your area.  However, many adverse side affects are being reported, such as ringing in the ears, headaches and even cancer.   See:  Living Nightmare How Smart Meters Led to Health Problems

Here is a list of counties in CA that have made smart meters illegal.

For an in depth look at smart meters and what you can do about it see Stop Smart Meters

We all need to educate ourselves and make sure we know what the dangers are and what our options can be.

What are your concerns, if any, over Smart Meters?

:: Resources ::

Smart Meter Dangers

Say No to Smart Meters!

Comments(28)

  1. 1916home.net says:

    That is awesome you posted a link to the cities, towns and counties in California bannign the use of smart meters!

  2. Wendy says:

    The smart meters have been installed for months in our area, but not turned on. A PG & E worker admitted they may never be turned on. There are too many hills in this area for the signal to work well. The plan had been to put transmitters on street lights in hilly areas, but our rural area does not have street lights, and putting up poles everywhere in rural hilly areas may not be practical.

    • Janet says:

      LOL Wendy Nature saves us again! We live in the mountains!

      • Gail Gardner says:

        There are different types of smart meters. In rural areas they sometimes use PLC instead of or maybe in addition to RF. They are apparently even worse for our health as they put dirty power on every wire in your house – even if you turn off the main breaker. They transmit right through transformers.

  3. Tabor says:

    I have to say, I have some serious doubts about this. I certainly understand the privacy concerns, but most meters are in an area where any member of the public could just walk up and read it. But what if someone were to intercept your data. What could they do with it? From an environmental standpoint, these would seem to be a better solution. No longer does someone have to DRIVE from house to house, manually reading the meters.

    We’re surrounded by RF signals every day. Cell phones, cordless phones, wi-fi and cell phone towers that are placed every 1/4 of a mile or so in the cities. I’m not claiming that RF doesn’t effect some people negativity but to say this technology is somehow more dangerous than the technology we’ve all been surrounded with for decades seems more than a little suspect.

    • 1916home.net says:

      Hi Tabor… Not all of us are subjected to constant RF signals at home. I have not owned a microwave oven, cordless phone, or any wi-fi devices for years now. My exposure to RF is from the new smart meter on my house and the “RF swarm” I am exposed to around the city. I have had constant headaches and have been rather unfocused ever since our meter was put in a year ago. Im working on a solution (a wire mesh to put around the smart meter) so if my health improves I will certainly know it was the meter.

      • Corey says:

        You are constantly surrounded by RF.

        An example: Grab a radio. Turn it on. If you can hear a signal, guess what?

    • bstar says:

      Tabor – I’m against Smart Meters, but you’re exactly right that we are surrounded by electromagnetic signals (whether we want to be or not), and in the scheme of things Smart Meters emit miniscule signals. I don’t see people rallying against, say, cell phone towers in their town, or their neighbors using wireless Internet or cordless phones or any number of other RF sources.

      But I’m against them for two reasons: privacy and cost. Utilities are passing on the cost of these new meters to customers in many cases. (And in doing so, they can eliminate jobs.) And experts have figured out ways of taking a power usage trace from Smart Meters and figuring out every single thing a person did in their house that used electricity. There’s no reason for the power company to have that kind of data.

  4. Canadian Jane says:

    In Southwestern Ontario, Canada, our Smart Meter was installed in January of 2009 and put into use in July of that year. Problems were noticed locally with cordless telephones having a buzzing(interference) but that seems to have been fixed.

    Since Smart Meters were put into use, the rates have increased so that now the “off-peak” rate is higher than the “over so many kwh” rate we were paying. Being an at home parent with a husband who has no set work schedule, I find it difficult to use the electricity during off-peak hours, when it’s cheapest (and supposedly in lowest demand)…who wants to stay up all night to vacuum, do laundry, cook, etc.?

    The power (and water) companies are now seeking rate increases to make up for loss of revenue as households are cutting back usage…darned if you do, darned if you don’t, it seems. The “big sell” on the Smart Meters in our area was that a person would be able to control their spending on electricity but our bills are higher than ever, even though we’re using less!!!

    As for the health concerns, I would say hair loss…because we seem to be pulling ours out over the increase in costs:)

    • Jody Nuttall says:

      I agree. The thing that bothers me most about smart meters is the completely dishonest way in whuch utility companies are universally promoting them as a way for the consumer to save on electricity costs. What that means is that, as these companies implement off-peak period use rates, the only way the consumer will be able to “save” is by using powered appliances in the middle of the night. As time goes on, we will pay a higher and higher premium to use power during the times of day when we actually need it. Here in British Columbia, we generate a huge volume of hydro electricity, and BC Hydro (which is a Crown corporation) is soaking the citizens of this province in order to sell power into the lucrative US grid, instead of keeping it affordable for those of us who live and pay taxes here.

  5. Luann says:

    Re: Smart Meters – Radio waves are low-frequency…is the concern that these radio waves are inherently different than the radio frequencies for AM, FM and all other bands? If so, how are they different?

  6. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, OK yet another radio wave source to worry about. Cell phones, TVs, computers, alarm systems, radio stations, TV stations, high voltage electrical lines and on and on we could go produce radiation. Is it any wonder we end up with all the weird ailments of the present day. We are swimming in radiation. I don’t know where we could go to get away from being bombarded with radio waves of some sort. Technology certainly has come with a price. I don’t see that it’s going to stop or even slow down but run an ever increasing course through our life time. I worked in the technological field for 41 years and am now seeing many of my retired friends still in their sixties coming up with cancer. Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget about radiation therapy. You can tell that I’m not real thrilled about how civilization has advanced in the last fifty years. Don’t get me wrong. I love technology but what is the real price we have to pay for it. Well, I’m going to get off the soapbox now.

    Have a great day if you can.

  7. Mint says:

    Exposure to radio frequency is nearly harmless. As many posters have already pointed out, we are surrounded by RF at almost all times. Consequently, there is a wealth of knowledge concerning RF and their potential dangers. What we know: Radio waves produce a type of radiation known as “non-ionizing radiation”. This means that they are generally harmless, except in cases of extremely high and frequent exposure.

    Ionizing radiation, produced by high energy sources like gamma rays and X-rays, can be harmful to human health, even in low, infrequent exposures. This type of radiation causes ionization of atoms and molecules, leading to destruction of the molecules in cells and DNA. If DNA is destroyed in a cell, that cell can be cancerous.

  8. Mint says:

    Exposure to radio frequency is nearly harmless. As many posters have already pointed out, we are surrounded by RF at almost all times. Consequently, there is a wealth of knowledge concerning RF and their potential dangers. What we know: Radio waves produce a type of radiation known as “non-ionizing radiation”. This means that they are generally harmless, except in cases of extremely high and frequent exposure.

    Ionizing radiation, produced by high energy sources like gamma rays and X-rays, can be harmful to human health, even in low, infrequent exposures. This type of radiation causes ionization of atoms and molecules, leading to destruction of the molecules in cells and DNA. If DNA is destroyed in a cell, that cell can be cancerous.

    There is little, if no, evidence to suggest that smart meter produce such high frequency radio waves to present a risk to human health. While I share the popular opposition to them, based on privacy concerns and cost effectiveness, in order to understand our world, we must understand GOOD science.

    And Dave, as one member of the technological field to another, I’m quite surprised to hear that you understand so little of the science of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    http://www.lbl.gov/images/MicroWorlds/EMSpec.gif

  9. Dave says:

    Smart meters are not to be worried about, we have bid on some of the work in a pre-paid electric meter. You would go to a local retailer, load a prepaid debit card with $xxxx and then stick in a reader/meter, when you’ve used up what has been loaded the electric goes off. The utilities are racing to get this together. ( gas and electric). There will be no need for billing, meter readers ect. ect. We have been told that in Europe there are several hundred thoudsand of these in use today.

  10. Kiwi says:

    Smart meters will cut co2 emissions from electricity required by up to a 3rd, i cant believe people on this thread can see them as essential to fighting climate change especially considering how much power comes from fossil fuels in North America.

  11. jennifer says:

    I have had my meter changed back to analog… the headaches, and constant fog and irritability are gone. I still keep my energy use down as a personal choice, I just can’t believe how much better I feel with it gone.

  12. Raised Right says:

    There is an even greater concern related to “Smart Meters”. It is the intrusion of a global government into your life. It is a device that will not only monitor your energy consumption, but it will also act as a surveillance device equivalent to a GPS tracking device on your car or your phone (bet you didn’t know that “Smart Phones” are capable of tracking (and they do) your conversations and destinations.) It is yet another way for the government to take CONTROL of yet another aspect of your life. It is a way to “TAX and CONTROL” all in the name of “Climate Change” which has been shown to be a money grabbing scheme invented by scientists. For more info research Agenda 21 and the U.N.’s plan.

  13. Kiwi says:

    Raised right you are a tool,

  14. MikeM says:

    This blog and website give us information, sometimes called data. At times or in places the data includes information on electric power and water consumption at this homestead (house). Meters are used to measure that consumption (tally the data). Add a clock to the meter and the consumption over time can be measured. Add a simple computer and a recording device to the meter and the data can be easily collected by other (smarter) computers for analysis (and billing). A radio transmitter can be incorporated into the meter to transmit the data through the air (or in the case of electricity through the same wires on which the power is delivered) to make collection of the data easier, cheaper (driving by rather walking up to the meter).

    Our problem as utility consumers is that we do not have, or choose to make little use of, this usage data. How much electricity do we use in our daily home activities: the refrigerator, the TV, the computer, the lights, the ac/furnace or heat pump? There is no direct feedback from our activities to our wallet. At least when you buy gas (petrol) for your car you know not only how much you’ve spent, but you know how many gallons (liters) you purchased and the unit rate you paid. If you fill up every time and you note the approximate total distance you traveled since your last fill-up you will have a general sense of what your average consumption rate is. You’ll know how your car’s performance is compared to its past performance and compared to other cars. Add this cost to your other costs to keep and use your car and you’ll have a general sense of your transportation costs.

    But do you know how much electricity your home is consuming? What is the unit rate you are charged? How does this consumption compare to to your past consumption for the same month in past years? How does it compare to your neighbors, to other similar homes in your neighborhood? Wouldn’t this information help you in making your daily decisions: buying electrical appliances, adding insulation, turning off lights. You already have a general sense of what to do but you have little in the way of direct feedback.

    Smart meters do help the utilities. The RF issue is a nonissue. (Please read – research – before you write.) The cost of electricity will continue to go up. There is no reason it should go down. Demand is growing. But having more information is making us better informed consumers. If choices become available (a more open – read competitive – market) we will be better prepared to make them.

    For now, you should choose options for more information. Please read more. Ask more questions. Don’t just settle for the latest rumor and wonder about the latest body ache.

    Peace,

    Mike

  15. JadeStar says:

    Faraday Cage. (Actually invented by Ben Franklin in 1755). Blocking RF signals for 2.5 centuries.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage
    “The reception or transmission of radio waves, a form of electromagnetic radiation, to or from an antenna within a Faraday cage are heavily attenuated or blocked by a Faraday cage.”

    So the answer? Wrap it in a metal mesh.

    Done.

    • Mia Nony says:

      Good idea. Of course the smart “device” tells on you, and with a Faraday cage the signal ceases to be transmitted and the device no longer sends or receives any data. The utility rep usually shows up, often the same day you do this. They try to convince you you are “not allowed” to do this. However they are not allowed to do what they did, and you are allowed to use self defence to protect yourselves. Be prepared to defend or replace the cage. Eventually they give up and send a meter reader from then on. Little old ladies seem to do this very well, they just explain to the utility rep, “Honey, you have a job to do, so do I, and mine is to protect me from you”

  16. MetricCook says:

    Smart meters are stupid as he’ll, why? They only read in one direction! Our current analog induction meters can easily ‘read’ both directions by turning either way, forward or backward depending on the direction of current flow. So, why are smart meters so dumb? Utilities are forcing you to put two ‘smart meters’ on your home if you have solar or wind generation And Making You Pay to Read Both Meters! Double the cost of other non-self-generating homes!

    Keep the analog meters, Boycott ‘dumber meters’!

  17. Richard Gay, Austin (@willbonds) says:

    I’d guess that smart meters aren’t really necessary, and they probably end up de-employing someone who needs a job.

    If you want to cut down on RF in your home, you can use a grounded foil liner (the foil is already there in some sheet insulation) or a grounded metallic screen liner. It makes what is called a Faraday cage and will shunt the RF energy to ground, where it won’t harm you. And no, it won’t harm the ground. Just be prepared for no TV or cellular reception inside. Of course, the installation is easier if you do it when you build the house.

  18. Jonluk says:

    I am a R/D Engineer in Bio Science and Physics. I have run across some common information concerning RF energy. When it is modulated in specific ways and frequancy ranges, the energy is directly recieved by the body and/or nerves. According to how it is processed by the body, even low levels of RF energy can cause sickness and/or death.
    Some of our leaders here in the US are making it clear they are in favor of population control at any cost. I guess many of you will call me an alarmest, It is your choice.

  19. Ray says:

    May I ask some rhetorical questions? No, I do not need answers to them, I have studied them and already drawn my conclusions.

    Does not each family/person have the ability to control their own use of electricity?

    For those who do have the ‘smart meter’, do they not have the opportunity to study and learn how to make a Faraday cage?

    Have we not come to a point in time where we have developed any number of ways to provide much of our own electricity in alternative methods? Thus limiting the amount of electricity from the grid?

    To follow the previous question and expand the first question, do we also not have the means to use less electricity, ie. cfl’s LED’s etc.

    If the Energy companies do not make a profit, what stops them from going out of business and no longer providing the service?

    If I may follow with my ‘two cents.?

    We obviously are all blessed here because we can afford the electricity that we use to run the computer that we are posting with. A computer is a luxury, not a necessity. I do believe that we surround ourselves with cages of electric current, cages of steel(vehicles), put many things in our bodies that are no longer representative of good wholesome foods and liquids. We over medicate, under exercise, and obviously everyone here understands these issues and more.

    I only found this site yesterday and have perused almost all of it, much of it with my two teenage children. We appreciate the sharing of information. Thank You

  20. Mia Nony says:

    EVERYTHING about the smart grid flies in the face of EVERYTHING about self sufficiency and health.
    Every single device is able to cover 21 square miles when in “smart meter” mode & from 125 to 300 square miles when it switches over to operating in cell relay collector hub mode.
    It is literally the opposite. These days utilities (and governments) are taking full advantage of electrical dependency and treating customers like addicts beholden to dealers. They have crossed not only ethical but legal lines.
    AMR is easily upgradeable to AMI in mere seconds, using what they call “personalities modules”.
    Neither one is at all safe unless you place a Faraday Cage around the device and use Reflectix sandwich insulation for the entire interior wall behind it. So unless the AMR is left programmed to remain in sleep mode, it still uses an SMPS which spikes to 70,000 gigs and back, flipping the switches of your body, your nerves and muscles, on and off like a strobe light billions of times a second. This is an inescapable override of your body’s natural response to subtle natural magnetic lines of flux. What happens is that microwaves cause gradual slow motion electrical failure of the body, cognitive impairment, beginning w/ memory loss, blood brain barrier leakage, insomnia, destruction of healing melatonin, etc.
    The safety issue is as simple as making certain to use only hard wired appliances, (portable phones are even worse than cell phones, fluorescent lightbulbs reduce brain function, baby monitors, etc) Measure it yourself by buying a Cornet65 Electrosmog monitor to assess risk for everything in, outside & all around your home.
    These rf & microwave enabling devices violate many laws, from the Weights & Measures Act (Cdn) to Federal Electrical Code, Building Codes and Safety Code laws. Smart microwaves precipitate 20 years corrosion on metal in a 2 month period. (Andrew Michrowski). A court case was won in Quebec when the smart transmission lines destroyed an organic pig farm’s business. Think we are safe when pigs are not?
    There is no way that any digital device which is NOT hard wired in with fibre optic cable, even if it uses BPL to transmit, any smart system which uses microwaves could NEVER be called green. It is exactly the opposite.
    AMR and AMI both emit rf able to kills off plants – and brain cells.
    Smart “meter” cell relay devices also double as collector hubs, rotated remotely by stealth from house to house.
    A collector hub is like having a cell tower right on the side of your home, coupled to your unshielded wiring, as well as to all unshielded bioelectrical wiring, yours, & everything in the ecosystem. All biology suffocates beneath the microwave blanket as each biological entity becomes a conductor, forcibly couple directly into the smart grid. These bi-directional radiating transmitters violate the terms & conditions of your verbal, implied or written contract with the utility. The smart grid turns your home into an involuntary third party location amalgamated into their corporate data mining system, which far exceed the limits of what any such corporation is permitted to do, by law. This device shares personal data with 5000 other estimator devices.
    The device profiles the user and then proceeds to “estimate” ambient static energy as “usage”. To really “get” what is going on here, film the device for a few days. Then throw the master switch on your circuit panel (or switchover to a stand alone off grid system if you have the good luck to have one) and stay off grid for as many days as you can manage while you film the “meter” as it goes right on reading your zero usage just as if you were still on grid. This device is able to read you neighbour’s meter and bill you for dissipated energy that never even makes it to the device in the first place.
    Use your right to refuse or lose your rights. You have choice, believe it or not. This is not federally mandated in the US, only “encouraged”. Say NO.

  21. Mia Nony says:

    Smart meters are illegal
    No that is not a website, just fact.

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