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Smart Meter Dangers to Health and Privacy: What You Need to Know Before It's Too Late
For info on what's happening in Kentucky, click here. You'll find links to news updates and information sites at the bottom of this post.
UPDATE 3/5/13: See Jan's comment below for an abundance of information on smart meter dangers and how other cities, states are fighting them.
With very little research, it's abundantly clear that Smart Meter dangers are real and verifiable. Your health and your privacy are at risk and in a big way. That utility companies persist with this nonsense is appalling. But persist they do. If you don't have them in your area yet, you will. Learn everything you can now and get ready to rumble.
(Click on the photo to visit StopSmartMeters.org.)
Here in Kentucky, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is asking for public comment* re. implementation of Smart Meters on our homes. Did I comment? You betcha. I also wrote a letter to the editor (a shorter version of this post, attached at the bottom.) If you live in Kentucky, I'm hoping you will, too!
*To comment, email Andrew Melnykovych, Director of Communications at PSC, Re. Case 2012-00428. Or mail a letter to P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, KY 40602, send a fax to 502-564-9625. Or submit in person at the PSC offices.
Smart Meter "DANGERS"? Really?
Yes, really. Smart Meters emit radiation. Many people report a constant hum. They are a fire hazard. In Big Brother fashion, they also monitor every moment of your electrical life. On the plus side, according to utility companies, electric service prices will be tied to time of usage, possibly lowering your utility bills overall. (Not so fast, Abernathy: there's more detail below.) The question before the PSC is whether or not Kentuckians will be allowed to opt out of a Smart Meter and continue with a dumb meter. Because of health and privacy concerns, I'm on the opt-out team, along with much of the country. In every city where Smart Meter technology has been imposed, citizens have demanded an opt-out with either no or minimum penalty. In cities where no opt-out has been provided (yet), citizens are in an uproar. Such an uproar, in fact, the ACLU is working to see that our rights are protected. This is no small matter. We can avoid an uproar in Kentucky by implementing an opt-out before the fireworks.
How Much Radiation Comes from a Smart Meter?
My utility company told me there is no more radiation from a Smart Meter than from a microwave popping corn. That may** be so. Call us crazy, but we don't own a microwave. We don't hold our cell phones to our ears, we opt out of airport scanners and none of us have "preventive" health screenings like mammograms or xrays. Radiation causes cancer, an irrefutable fact. The more radiation you are exposed to, the higher your risk. I'm going to add to my family's radiation quota to (possibly) save a little on my electric bill? I don't think so.
A Smart Meter is a "Surveillance Tool"? Are You Wearing a Tinfoil Hat?
Re. having public employees surveil every moment of my electrical life for my own good, um, no thank you. Smart Meters know what time you get up, what time you go to bed, how late you are on the computer, how dark you like your toast, how hot you like your shower, how often you run your dishwasher, when you might be using an appliance at an unusual time, when you’ve left more lights on than usual, when you are home and, more importantly, when you are not. Ok, "surveillance tool" might be a little dramatic. Although, if cops thought you were up to no good, they could secretly get your usage data and finagle probable cause for a search warrant. Hey, they get search warrants for less, these days. The goal of collecting this data, say the utility companies, is to deduce times of high usage. They say this is so you can save money on your overall bill. In reality, it's so they can charge more during those high-usage times. A woman in California wrote that her times of high usage had gotten so expensive, she’d resorted to doing her laundry at midnight to cut down her electric bill. Another Smart Meter advantage for your utility company is that it can turn off or "dim" your service by remote.
When Will Kentucky Replace Our Analog Meters with Smart Meters?
You might be surprised to learn that Kentucky utility companies have already replaced our meters with digital meters prior to consulting us. Many of these new meters have radio capability, although the utilities say*** they are not using this. At the moment, electrical usage is reported once daily (I believe -- double checking that now) via the electrical lines. Some digital meters have no radio ability. Take a look at the make and model of your meter and look it up on the internet to see what kind you have. If it has an FCC code# on it, it’s a radio. It may or may not be currently irradiating you and your family. If anyone in your household has started having unexplained headaches, it may be due to your Smart Meter. This has been a common complaint alleviated by the replacement of the Smart Meter with an analog.
What If We Opt-Out of Smart Meters?
In many areas, analog meters are read infrequently. You pay an average electric bill every month. Every once in a while, your meter is read and your bill adjusted accordingly. That will work here.
Analog electrical meters are available online @ bit.ly/analogmeter for $69. They come with installation instructions.
Your utility company could give you back your analog meter. If they still have them...
When I asked my utility customer service rep if I could get my analog meter back, he did not exactly refuse. In fact, he was coy: “We have retired those meters.” I asked why. He said they were getting old. Then he quickly added that there are no parts for the old meters. Really? No parts? I don't believe that. When I asked if I could buy one and have it installed, he got flustered and said, “NO! You may not.” I don’t know if he was telling the truth. When I told him I knew about the comment period, he did not sound happy. Why didn't HE tell ME about it?
Where Can I Get More Info on Smart Meter Dangers?
For more information on Smart Meter dangers and why you should care, here is a short video: bit.ly/smartmetervideo. (You’ll find links in the next section of this post, too.) Citizens around the world are vehemently protesting Smart Meters, citing health and privacy concerns. I would like to see Kentucky get ahead of the curve on this by introducing an opt-out for those of us who do not care to be irradiated or surveilled in the privacy of our homes.
Links for more information on Smart Meter Dangers:
And here's a surprise: Smart Grid Funding Misspent on Obsolete Technologies
*To comment, write to Andrew Melnykovych, Director of Communications at PSC, Re. Case 2012-00428 via this email address. Or send a letter to P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, KY 40602. Or fax to 502-564-9625. Or submit in person at the PSC offices. **Independent studies have shown that, when Smart Meters are fully operational 24/7, they emit quite a bit of radiation and it’s constant. ***Utility companies have (gasp) been caught lying re. whether or not the radio-equipped radios are currently being used. Also re. the range of radiation and amounts.