Do smart meters pose health risks?

ZDNet (blog)

By Heather Clancy | May 7, 2010, 7:57am PDT

Concerns over electromagnetic radiation and radio waves have prompted the town of Fairfax, Calif., ...




To the people in BC, my husband, I and Katharina Gustavs just met with John Horgan, Opposition Energy Critic, about Smart Meters, and we got horrible news. The Clean Energy Act, which has had its first reading and is to be passed this session, exempts smart meters from any public discussion. Also, it is his reading that people will not be allowed to opt out of having wireless connections to their homes. It appears that there are only a few people in opposition to this, and these only on the basis of cost. There has been no cost-benefit analysis.

And because the title is "Clean" and the emphasis is, supposedly, on saving energy by encouraging people to use electrical devices when the power is cheap (e.g. cook dinner at midnight) the Green party is in full support, leaving no real opposition.

The next reading will be in 3 weeks, so I would encourage all BC residents to spread the word, write letters to newspapers, etc. People need to know the problems in California, that there will be higher bills because the rates will be higher during peak hours, the govt. will know when you are using the power not just how much and you will be charged for cooking at 6:00 pm.

This is an insidious money grab and we are being forced into opening our purses, with no chance to debate let alone argue.

Health is another issue, but one which no one will hear. Mr. Horgan made it clear that when I sent him health studies, he referred concerns to Randy Ross, of the Radiation Centre (who helped write Safety Code 6) who said Safety Code 6 is safe and there is no harm from non-ionizing radiation. Discussion closed. I do think Mr. Horgan is open to discussion on this point, but he is more concerned about the fiscal issues. So send your MLAs info. about insecurity, increased bills, etc. and spread the word fast.


Manassas Environmental News Examiner

This week, Dominion Virginia Power dropped a request to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to install ?smart meters? at all of its customers? homes in Northern Virginia by 2013.

The utility originally filed its ?Integrated Resource Plan? with the SCC last July. After allowing time for public comments, the SCC had planned to hold a hearing February 16, 2010, on whether to allow Dominion to proceed with the plan. However, last Friday, Dominion filed an amended plan that did not include the smart meter project.

In the original plan, Dominion had requested rate increases that would cover the cost of installing the meters. A major part of the plan, called the Voltage Conservation Program, would have used advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology, commonly known as smart meter technology

Smart meters would save energy

This program would have required installing the two-way digital meters in the homes of all of its approximately 2.4 million customers. The meters would allow the company to lower voltage on its distribution circuits by 5 percent during non-peak hours, saving energy for the company, while at the same time saving money for consumers without affecting electric service.

Other parts of the plan that will go forward include a residential air conditioner cycling program, a residential low-income program, a residential lighting program, residential Energy Star® new homes program, residential heat pump tune-up program, residential refrigerator turn-in program, and a residential heat pump upgrade program.

According to the plan, the voltage conservation program using smart meters would have accounted for approximately 75 percent of the energy savings of the plan. The voltage reduction program would have been implemented automatically by the company as the smart meters were installed.

Smart meters are small computers that replace standard electricity meters. Because they can transmit information from the utility to the home and back, smart meters avoid the need to be read by utility personnel or radio-based broadcasting to nearby trucks. They would also allow the utility to remotely switch appliances and air conditioners off for short periods, in order to prevent overloads.

Utilities across the country are testing and installing smart meters, which they hope will help them meet stricter energy efficiency guidelines required by new laws. For instance, the Virginia Energy Plan, set in September 2007, includes a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide back to 2000 levels by 2025. In general, these regulations are a response to the threat of catastrophic climate change, although the science behind the theory is increasingly coming under question.

Questioning smart meters

According to a report in the Intelligent Utility Daily, the attorney general's office and the SCC staff ?both supported the withdrawal of the ?advanced metering infrastructure? aspect of Dominion's conservation plan, having previously questioned the effectiveness of the technology and its high cost.?

In addition to the cost, one problem is customer acceptance of the meters, which some see as intruding on their privacy, or as leaving their home energy systems open to attacks from hackers.

An even bigger concern is that smart meters would allow utilities to charge more for electricity during high-demand hours, generally in the afternoons. The result could be devastatingly high energy bills for those who stay home during the day, including the elderly, the ill, the unemployed, the self-employed, and families with young children.

More field testing before full rollout

According to David Botkins, Dominion?s media relations director, the company has recognized and is responding to concerns about smart meter technology. ?The bottom line is we are not backing off our commitment and belief in smart grid technology, but we are?slowing down and doing more [field testing of]? the various attributes of the technology,? he said in an email on Friday.

The utility said that instead of the full rollout, it will expand its smart meter testing in Northern Virginia by another 30,000 customers.

Dominion just ended a pilot critical peak pricing program in Dec. 2009, in which a group of customers were charged higher rates for electricity used during critical peak demand hours, and which allowed the utility to remotely adjust or reduce the consumer?s use during that time. The company is also carrying out large-scale smart meter projects in Charlottesville and Midlothian, Virginia.

Dominion's Botkins said that the additional test in Northern Virginia would allow the company to add ?an urban setting to go with the mountainous setting of Charlottesville, and the suburban setting of Midlothian.? The smart meter programs in Charlottesville and Midlothian will not be affected by the announcement.

Those of you in Virginia may want to contact your attorney general with information about the health risk posed by the rollout so that appropriate studies are implemented in the study areas. The article does not suggest that health was a factor in this decision, now would be a good time to raise that issue. If you wait until installation is happening statewide, it will be much harder to stop.

Please see http://www.electricalpollution.com for more information about the risks of transmitting utility meters. General information on the health risks posed by radiofrequency radiation can be found there.

Please pass this on to those you know in Virginia.


The Virginia Attorney General is: Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II

The attorney general's website is:

They can be contacted at:
Office of the Attorney General
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 786-2071

He may be contacted electronically through an email page at the website.


Dominion?s smart meter rollout delayed in Northern Virginia.

Letter to the Minister

From: Hillar Kalmar
Sent: May-10-10 10:01 PM
To: Yamamoto.MLA, Naomi
Subject: Clean Energy Act

Dear Ms. Yamamoto,

I am writing to express my concern over a provision of the Clean Energy Act which is currently before the legislature. My specific concern is that this piece of legislation, as written, apparently does not give homeowners the choice to opt out of using the proposed wireless meters, which are known to emit radiation that is unsafe. Citizens across North America are concerned about the increased electromagnetic pollution such wireless meters will generate, without regard to a person's age or health.

The California Public Utilities Commission has been asked to mandate providing citizens with the ability to opt-out (refer
http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/EFILE/A/116285.htm ) and included below is a letter from an Ontario resident which details the negative health effects from such wireless meters.

My understanding is that the Clean Energy Act, intended to be passed this session, exempts smart meters from any public discussion and, if this is indeed the case, I think it's disgraceful.

Please do your utmost to ensure that people are given the choice of safeguarding their health.


Hillar Kalmar

Two types of smart meters

Dan and I thought all of you may be interested in knowing that there are two types of smart meters. The one that is being installed across Ontario that Dan and others are sensitive to and an other type, one that is hard wired to your phone system. Although to date we have not been granted an exemption, our local power company has agreed to install the hard wired non emf meter. They will pay for the meter and we are required to pay $50 per month for the dedicated Bell phone line for the meter. This is a solution that will enable us to live in our home and we will continue the battle regarding the exemption. I am certain that you feel as we do that we should not be forced to pay for the phone line however that issue needs to be resolved in a different forum.


Informant: Martin Weatherall


Smartmeters and paid Lobbying

Remembering that Lord 'Smartmeter' Truscott was paid by Landis & Gyr, leading makers of smartmeters, to fix the NuLab. government 's Energy Bill to include compulsory smartmeters -

'38 degrees' has just had a big breakthrough in our campaign to ban secret lobbying. This week the new government announced plans to introduce a lobbyists register. [1] This is a huge win for us. If it's introduced big business will be forced to be more transparent about lobbying. We'll be able to see who is meeting whom, who they're working for and how much they're being paid.

But there are two remaining problems:

* The timescale hasn't been announced. Right now big business is still allowed to lobby in secret. We need the rules passed into law quickly.

* Big business pressure could change the government's mind again. Hours after the plans were announced a powerful group of lobbying firms vowed to fight it. [2]

We've nearly won, but more people power is needed to make sure we ban secret lobbying this year. Please email David Cameron and Nick Clegg now and urge them to introduce the new rules as soon as possible:


38 Degrees has been campaigning against secret lobbying ever since the MP expenses scandal. Back then, we voted on our priorities for cleaning up politics and banning secret lobbying came top. We teamed up with Spinwatch and the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency. Thousands of 38 Degrees members signed a petition to the Labour Government last summer. Thousands more put the pressure on David Cameron in March. During the election campaign we sent thousands of emails to candidates asking them to support a ban on secret lobbying and challenging them on their own links to the industry. Thousands of us working together got this week's announcement.

Our friends at SpinWatch emailed yesterday to say "this would not have been possible without the thousands of 38 Degrees members across the country who campaigned for the register".

Again and again we've seen lobbyists distorting politics. Whether it's the Digital Economy Bill, plans for a new runway at Heathrow, tobacco advertising or arms deals, too often it feels like lobbyists are calling the shots behind closed doors. Let's move fast to make sure the Government turns this ban into law quickly, and doesn't water it down under pressure from big business. Please email Cameron and Clegg now.

Click here to send the new government an email:

Thanks for getting involved,

David, Johnny, Nina, Hannah and the 38 Degrees team


[1] The Government announced in the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition agreement that they would introduce a register of lobbyists interests. See section 6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8677933.stm

[2] The Public Relations Consultants Association (the lobbyists' lobbyists) announced plans on Wednesday to fight a statutory register of lobbyists' interests. More here: http://www.prca.org.uk/default.asp?pid=589&sid=8

From Mast Sanity/Mast Network


SmartMeters fraught with dangers

Vallejo Times-Herald

Doctors and nutritionists, as well as people with health and EMF (electromagnetic frequency) sensitivities testified. PG&E did not show, though invited. ...



SmartMeter Critics Fear Radiation

The Bay Citizen (blog)

Another said her husband's brain tumor was caused by electromagnetic radiation from a cell phone. Some members of the Council took the concerns to heart. ...



Smart Meters and Smart Regulation


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