Report on Smart Meter Problems

The December 2012 report “Analysis: Smart Meter and Smart Grid Problems – Legislative Proposal” is available to the public. This 173-page report by activist Nina Beety has extensive referenced information about many of the problems and risks of the Smart Meter program, with information from state, national, and international resources. Supplemental documents can be downloaded here.

Originally written for California legislators, this updated report also provides a legislative and regulatory action plan for halting this program, and suggestions for reforming utility regulation so that the public is protected in the future.

Table of Contents

What is a Smart Meter?
Smart Grid/Smart Meter problems and issues
– Overview
– Overcharging, accuracy, and the Structure Group report
– Reliability
– Privacy invasion
– Fires and electrical problems
– Health problems Continue reading

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Ontario’s Smart Meter program called “abject failure”; 5,400 Smart Meters removed due to fire risk

New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns — “They blew billions of dollars on meters that haven’t saved us energy, haven’t saved us money, and are presenting a threat to public safety.”

Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski — “yet another example of the Liberal government failing to respond to problems of their own making… As we’ve seen the smart meter program has been an abject failure since the beginning.”

Thousands of smart meters in Ontario to be removed over safety worries

Some 5,400 of Ontario’s 4.8 million smart meters are being removed and replaced because of a risk they could heat up, cause an electrical short and possibly spark a fire.

In Saskatchewan last summer, SaskPower removed a model of Sensus Corp. smart meter from homes and businesses after eight unexplained minor fires.

By: Robert Benzie Queen’s Park Bureau Chief, Jan 22 2015

In another jolt to Ontario’s troubled smart-meter program, 5,400 of the electricity conservation gauges are being removed due to a risk of fire.

The province’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) announced Thursday that Sensus 3.2 smart meters equipped with a remote disconnect feature are affected.

“We’re acting out of an abundance of caution,” ESA president and CEO David Collie told reporters at Queen’s Park, noting there are 4.8 million smart meters in Ontario.

“This particular meter is in very limited use,” said Collie, noting while there are about 50,000 Sensus 3.2 meters in Ontario, the safety concerns are with only the remote-disconnect models usually installed in seasonal properties, such as trailer parks or summer cottages.

It’s the latest snag to hit the controversial $2-billion smart meter program, which auditor general Bonnie Lysyk criticized last month for cost overruns and poor performance.

Lysyk found one in six of the meters had not yet transmitted any readings of electricity use and criticized the doubling in cost of a system that was supposed to come in at $1 billion.

Collie said the ESA began investigating after eight unexplained minor fires in Saskatchewan last summer linked to a different remote-disconnect meter, the Sensus 3.3.

SaskPower has since removed the Sensus meters in question from homes and businesses there.

After one minor problem was reported at an undisclosed Ontario location, the ESA issued a safety bulletin to all of the province’s 73 local utilities to replace the meters by March 31.

No Toronto Hydro or Hydro One customers are affected.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, under fire for recent problems with the time-of-use monitors, stressed “there have not been any reported incidents with this particular model of smart meter in Ontario.”

“The safety of all Ontarians is the number one priority of our government,” Chiarelli said in a statement.

His office said it is up to the local utilities to “recover all costs associated with this action” from Sensus.

‎In a statement late Thursday, Sensus officials said the North Carolina-based company was “disappointed” in the ESA’s decision and would be following up to determine why the safety authority acted.

“The Sensus iConA Generation 3.2 remote disconnect meters have a perfect record in Ontario,” the firm said.

New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto—Danforth) said the Liberals have created “a total mess” of the smart meters that were designed to save consumers money by encouraging them to use electricity at off-peak hours.

“They blew billions of dollars on meters that haven’t saved us energy, haven’t saved us money, and are presenting a threat to public safety,” said Tabuns.

“The government has a lot of answers to provide.”

Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke) said it’s “yet another example of the Liberal government failing to respond to problems of their own making.”

“We’ve been calling for the ministry to take action on this issue since August. Ensuring Ontario families are safe should not take six months,” Yakabuski said in a statement.

“As we’ve seen the smart meter program has been an abject failure since the beginning.”

More than 400 of the problem Sensus meters have already been removed, but there are still almost 5,000 in use — 3,492 of them are Bluewater Power Distribution customers in the Sarnia area.

There are also 449 Waterloo North Hydro customers; 327 with Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro; 266 with EnWin Utilities in Windsor; 161 with ‎Greater Sudbury Hydro; 115 with Brant County Power; 108 with Cobourg’s Lakefront Utilities; 27 with Canadian Niagara Power; 24 with Norfolk Power Distribution; seven with Oakville Hydro; and three with Algoma Power.

Smart meters enable utilities to charge fluctuating prices at different times of day, meaning electricity will be more expensive at peak times of day such as the dinner hour.

That’s to encourage conservation because consumers should be able to save money by using their dishwashers and other appliances at night.

Since 2011, the devices have been linked to 13 small fires, according to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office.

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Message from Economic Forum in Davos: Privacy is Dead.

Commercial interests and governments’ intelligence apparatus want privacy to be dead. However, privacy only gets murdered if people allow that and if they don’t fight every attempted incursion and theft.

And the assault and theft of DNA written about below, though it is connected to loss of genetic privacy, is assault and theft. None of it is acceptable, and this article blurs definitions — also a feature of the Orwellian world we are becoming.

Would George Orwell have been surprised at how many people welcome the loss of privacy?

From, January 22, 2015

Imagine a world where mosquito-sized robots fly around stealing samples of your DNA - hat is the terrifying dystopian world portrayed at Davos

Imagine a world where mosquito-sized robots fly around stealing samples of your DNA – hat is the terrifying dystopian world portrayed at Davos

Imagine a world where mosquito-sized robots fly around stealing samples of your DNA. Or where a department store knows from your buying habits that you’re pregnant even before your family does.

That is the terrifying dystopian world portrayed by a group of Harvard professors at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, where the assembled elite heard that the notion of individual privacy is effectively dead.

“Welcome to today. We’re already in that world,” said Margo Seltzer, a professor in computer science at Harvard University.

“Privacy as we knew it in the past is no longer feasible… How we conventionally think of privacy is dead,” she added.

Another Harvard researcher into genetics said it was “inevitable” that one’s personal genetic information would enter more and more into the public sphere.

Sophia Roosth said intelligence agents were already asked to collect genetic information on foreign leaders to determine things like susceptibility to disease and life expectancy.

“We are at the dawn of the age of genetic McCarthyism,” she said, referring to witch-hunts against Communists in 1950s America.

What’s more, Seltzer imagined a world in which tiny robot drones flew around, the size of mosquitoes, extracting a sample of your DNA for analysis by, say, the government or an insurance firm.

Invasions of privacy are “going to become more pervasive,” she predicted.

“It’s not whether this is going to happen, it’s already happening… We live in a surveillance state today.”

‘Nasty little cousin’

Political scientist Joseph Nye tackled the controversial subject of encrypted communications and the idea of regulating to ensure governments can always see even encrypted messages in the interests of national security.

“Governments are talking about putting in back doors for communication so that terrorists can’t communicate without being spied on. The problem is that if governments can do that, so can the bad guys,” Nye told the forum.

“Are you more worried about big brother or your nasty little cousin?”

However, despite the pessimistic Orwellian vision, the academics were at pains to stress that the positive aspects of technology still far outweigh the restrictions on privacy they entail.

In the same way we can send tiny drones to spy on people, we can send the same machine into an Ebola ward to “zap the germs,” Seltzer said.

“The technology is there, it is up to us how to use it,” she added.

“By and large, tech has done more good than harm,” she said, pointing to “tremendous” advances in healthcare in some rural areas of the developing world that have been made possible by technology.

And at a separate session on artificial intelligence, panellists appeared to accept the limit on privacy as part of modern life.

Rodney Brooks, chairman of Rethink Robotics, an American tech firm, took the example of Google Maps guessing—usually correctly—where you want to go.

“At first, I found that spooky and kind of scary. Then I realised, actually, it’s kind of useful,” he told the forum.

Anthony Goldbloom, a young tech entrepreneur, told the same panel that what he termed the “Google generation” placed far less weight on their privacy than previous generations.

“I trade my privacy for the convenience. Privacy is not something that worries me,” he said.

“Anyway, people often behave better when they have the sense that their actions are being watched.”

The World Economic Forum in the swanky Swiss ski resort of Davos brings together some 2,500 of the global business and political elite for a meeting that ends Saturday.


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U.S. federal attorneys must investigate California Public Utilities Commission

Los Angeles Daily News, January 19, 2015
Editorial by Thomas Elias

Memo to U.S. attorneys in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego: It’s high time you investigate the former president and some current members and officials of the California Public Utilities Commission for things like conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Evidence against current commissioners and former commission President Michael Peevey has mounted steadily over the last six months, but there has been no action against anyone.

State rules forbid utility regulators from communicating individually with executives of the companies they regulate
. Any letters, texts or emails must go to all five commissioners, as a means of preventing secret deals favoring the companies over their business and residential customers.

Yet, emails have shown that Peevey for years communicated privately and had understandings with executives of both Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and the Southern California Edison Co., of which he was formerly president. He even hosted at least one high PG&E official at his country home in Sea Ranch, north of San Francisco.

He also communicated privately with Edison execs, setting up a dinner in London with one, and in one case reported by the U-T San Diego newspaper agreeing to delay a PUC action that would limit the percentage of Edison’s executive bonuses it could bill to ratepayers until after that year’s bonuses had been paid under old rules.

Current Commissioner Mike Florio has recused himself from some votes affecting PG&E because of his role in a “judge-shopping” attempt. Emails showed Florio helped the utility choose a sympathetic commission administrative law judge to preside over a key case.

And there was the recently disclosed 2012 phone call between Edison’s external relations director and the administrative law judge presiding over a case to determine how Edison and its customers would split the cost of retiring the disabled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Edison says that call covered only technicalities.

All this led Michael Picker, the new commission president, in a public meeting, to call the emails “troubling and very painful to read.”

One bottom line in all this is that customers of California’s big regulated utilities — PG&E, Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric — pay power rates averaging almost twice as much as consumers served by the municipal utilities in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Riverside, Sacramento and Anaheim. Power rates have consistently risen, while consumption has remained steady. Details are contained in a report about San Onofre generated by former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

No, utility profits are not supposed to lead to doubly high energy bills. That, in fact, is what the PUC was set up to prevent.

This column has frequently documented PUC favoritism of the big companies over their rate payers, labeling Peevey a “fox guarding the chicken house” as early as 2005. But the emails released in recent months provide a smoking gun pointing toward possible criminal conspiracy. If so, it could be charged as mail fraud and/or wire fraud because excessively high rates set via conspiracy would have been billed by mail or email.

Aguirre suggests the U.S. attorneys convene special grand juries like the one that indicted PG&E for its conduct surrounding the fatal 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion.

“We need to investigate how utility rates got so high,” Aguirre said. “It’s been a swamp of dishonesty.”

Aguirre suggests investigating, for example, what happened to money collected by the big companies to ensure utility safety. “Edison was paid money for defective San Onofre steam generators. PG&E was paid money (since the 1950s) to fix (gas lines), but failed to do so,” his report said. Similarly, he said, defective SDG&E equipment caused a huge 2007 San Diego County fire.

“In each case, the PUC blocked its (staff’s) investigations into utility executive wrongdoing,” Aguirre charges. No one knows what happened to billions of maintenance dollars paid by customers.

Efforts to ask Picker about these charges and any plans to improve PUC practices were rebuffed.

The bottom line: The pattern of utility regulators’ favoritism of the companies they oversee, even possible collusion with them, has been plain for decades. [1] But the email and telephone call evidence emerged only lately.

That evidence is so strong it would be dereliction of duty for prosecutors to ignore it.

Thomas D. Elias is a writer in Southern California. Reach the author at .
Full bio and more articles by Thomas D. Elias
Utilities regulators’ actions should be investigated: Thomas Elias

[1] Ed.: See,0 “The secret life of Michael Peevey

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New York Times fails to report conflicts of interest in coverage of power line health issue

By Paul Brodeur, former staff writer at the New Yorker
Published in Huffington Post, December 12, 2014 ml

In recent days, employees of The New York Times have posted no fewer than three pieces on the newspaper’s website, asserting that the risk of harm from the electromagnetic fields (EMF) given off by power lines is negligible, and that fears of it are unfounded. Among the postings is a seven-minute video produced by Kyra Darnton for Retro Report, entitled “Long After an 80’s Scare, Suspicion of Power Lines Prevails.” An accompanying article with the same title has been posted by a reporter for Retro Report named Clyde Haberman, and a third piece entitled “A Fresh Look at Power Lines, Cancer and the Dread-to-Risk Ratio” has been put up by a reporter for the newspaper named Andrew C. Revkin.

The video produced by Darnton and some colleagues at Retro Report relies preponderantly on the testimony of two researchers — David Savitz, who is vice-president for research at Brown University, and John Moulder, director of radiation biology at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Early in his career, Savitz conducted studies showing that children living in homes near power lines were developing leukemia twice as often as children who did not live in such homes. Later, he received a five-million-dollar contract from the Electric Power Research Institute — an organization financed by the electric utility industry — to study the risk of cancer among electric utility workers. Savitz found an increased risk of brain tumors in these workers, but he subsequently renounced this finding and challenged similar findings on the part of other researchers. He also renounced his finding of increased leukemia in children exposed to power-line electromagnetic fields, and challenged similar findings by other researchers. In Darnton’s video, he declares, “it’s quite questionable whether these fields cause leukemia at all.”

Savitz has every right to renounce his work on electromagnetic fields, and to challenge the validity of studies conducted by other researchers, but is it good journalistic practice for Darnton and her colleagues at The Times to omit any mention of the fact that he has received heavy financing from the electric utility industry?

John Moulder, who, like Savitz, also plays a leading role in Darnton’s video, tells its viewers that the “Current state of the science says power lines cannot be a major public health hazard.”

Moulder has every right to express such an opinion, but is it good journalistic practice for Darnton and her colleagues to omit any mention of the fact that he has testified repeatedly as a paid consultant for the electric utility industry that electromagnetic fields given off by power lines do not pose any health risk?

As for Moulder’s assessment of the current state of scientific research regarding the power-line health hazard, how in the name of any claim to objectivity could Darnton and her colleagues omit mention of a report issued by a panel of scientists convened by the prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in Lyon, France, whose twenty-five members reviewed the findings of dozens of studies of childhood leukemia victims and the proximity of where they lived to power lines, and concluded unanimously that power-frequency magnetic fields are “possibly carcinogenic to humans”? (Among the members of the panel were representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Radiological Protection Board, the Yale University Medical School, and the World Health Organization.)

The answer to this question is that Darnton and her colleagues did not try to find out if there was any evidence to cast doubt upon the conclusion that exonerates power-line electromagnetic fields of posing any health risk. If they had seen fit to contact me — the author of half a dozen articles about the EMF hazard in The New Yorker — or Louis Slesin, the editor and publisher of Microwave News — a meticulously researched newsletter that has carried information about the health hazards posed by EMFs and microwave radiation for more than thirty years — they could easily have learned about the conflicts of interest that may well taint the views of Savitz and Moulder, as well as about the unanimous findings of the IARC report.

(Disclosure: I appear in Darnton’s video giving a three-second answer to a question asked by Tex Koppel during a Nightline program about EMFs that aired back in the early 1990s. Both Louis Slesin and I have written letters to Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor of The Times, pointing out the conflicts of interest on the part of Savitz and Moulder, and the necessity of acknowledging such conflicts when reporting on public health issues.)

This is not the only time that The New York Times has failed to inform its readers adequately about the existence of a major public health risk. During a twenty-year period between the 1960s and 1980s, I wrote a number of articles for The New Yorker about the massive health hazard posed by exposure to asbestos, as well as the extensive toxic tort litigation being brought in jurisdictions around the nation by sick and dying asbestos workers and the families of dead workers against asbestos manufacturers, who had concealed the hazard for half a century — in some cases, neglecting to inform their workers when X-ray examinations revealed that they had developed fatal lung disease. During that whole period, The Times carried articles about the asbestos problem on its business pages, and often referred to asbestos as an “alleged carcinogen,” thus conferring legal rights upon a mineral that had killed or disabled tens of thousands of American workers, and been shown to be the most important industrial cause of cancer in the world. Moreover, The Times invariably “balanced” the findings of researchers whose studies had demonstrated that asbestos was carcinogenic with denials issued by researchers financed by the asbestos industry.

Only when the nation’s largest asbestos company, Johns-Manville, filed for bankruptcy on August 26, 1982 — an event brought about because juries around the nation had found the company guilty of outrageous and reckless misconduct, and levied millions of dollars in punitive damages against it — did the story find its way to the front page of The Times.

A day later, an editorial writer for the newspaper proved to be so ignorant of the fifty-year cover-up of asbestos disease by the nation’s asbestos manufacturers that he compared the human agony they had visited upon their workers with the fiscal uncertainty besetting them. “Asbestos is a tragedy,” he wrote, “most of all for the victims and their families but also for companies, which are being made to pay the price for decisions made long ago.”

Asbestos proved to be a powerful carcinogen that inflicted cancer and other disease upon workers who inhaled its fibers in occupational settings. It also posed a health hazard for people in the general population, who were exposed to asbestos insulation that had been sprayed as fireproofing on the girders of buildings — a practiced now banned nationwide. Studies of power-frequency electromagnetic fields show them to be are a far weaker carcinogen than asbestos, but also demonstrate that they pose a cancer hazard for telephone linemen, electric utility workers, and workers exposed to EMF emanating from electrically powered equipment and machinery. As for children and people in the general population, a glance along any street in the United States should be sufficient to show that power-line EMFs are ubiquitous in the environment, and to serve as a warning that their potential to cause widespread harm should not be ignored or denied.

One might have hoped that The Times had learned by now to inform its readers about conflicts of interest that could skew the accuracy of its reports on matters relating to the public health. However, judging from Darnton’s video and the pieces by Haberman and Revkin, who have rubber stamped its flawed conclusions, one would have been mistaken to do so.

One might hope that in the future The Times will inform its readers regarding conflicts of interest in people it presents as reliable sources, so readers may make better-informed decisions about the information being transmitted to them.

Don’t bet on it.


Paul Brodeur is the author of several books, including The Zapping of America and Currents of Death.

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Alert: Disaster with Ukraine’s nuclear reactors probable with shrinking coal supply


(Source: Energoatom)

(Source: Energoatom)

This is a catastrophic situation. Please read my comments following about why the lack of coal is such a serious problem.

From Fort Russ, 12-7-14

The Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine held an urgent meeting with the new Minister Vladimir Demchishin, in a frantic attempt to find a way out of a catastrophic situation with a shortage of coal at Ukrainian thermal power plants, reported “Ukrainian Pravda” on December 5, with reference to sources in the Ministry.

It is noted that at the talks were present the head of DTEK (energy company of Rinat Akhmetov) Maxim Timchenko and Sergei Kuzara, a former adviser to Eduard Stavytsky, Minister of Energy in  Azarov [Yanukovich] government.

The publication referred to the information from the Director of one of the thermal power plants of Ukraine: “I knew that everything is bad with coal, but did not suspect to what extent — I am not trying to scare you, but if in the near future we will not run the gas/fuel blocks, then we will freeze, and Kiev will be first in line. There is no coal at the plants, because of the stupidity of the country’s leadership, we will not have enough time to get it in a week”.

The following data was provided: at TPP warehouses of the state company “Centrenergo” since July the amount of coal decreased to a minimum: July – 969 thousand tons; August – 691 thousand tons; September – 205 thousand tons; October – 98 thousand tons; November – 58 thousand tons, and now, in December – there is not even that.” It was emphasized that the speech of the Director of TPP was “very emotional and with unprintable language towards the leadership of the country”.

As reported by IA REGNUM, the state company “Ukrenergo” announced on December 3 “a particularly dire state with the provision of coal at Zmievskaya, Uglegorsk, Lugansk, Dnieper and Kryvoy Rog TPP’s, where the fuel reserves will last only 4 days (as of December 3). Ukrainian authorities do not want to buy coal from Donetsk and Lugansk Republics,  a contract with South Africa is practically annulled, and deliveries from Russia are “irregular”.

Translated by Kristina Rus

Editor’s commentary:

This is a catastrophe.

First of all, the people of Ukraine will freeze, literally freeze, this winter. There are areas where the Kiev regime’s forces, with NATO support, have targeted and destroyed the infrastructure. That already means no electricity and no water. But with no coal, they will die. American taxpayers are paying for weapons and support to destroy more homes and kill more Ukrainians.

But it’s even worse and international in impact. Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, and nuclear reactors in general, are dependent on grid power to keep reactor cores and fuel rods cool. For Ukraine, with 40% of the power coming from thermal plants, and the rest from nuclear, that means they are absolutely dependent on the coal-burning (thermal) power plants . Those reactors will either be forced to shut down now, eliminating that source of electricity. Or if Kiev is utterly sociopathic, which they have amply proven, the reactors will be kept running until the inevitable power outages lead to explosions and meltdowns just like Fukushima.

There are 15 nuclear reactors in Ukraine.

There were three reactors that melted down and three explosions at Fukushima. If the 15 reactors failed, that would be five times Fukushima.

Everyone who follows the research and reports from Fukushima [see ENE News — —  for the most up-to-date information] knows what a cataclysmic and ongoing disaster that is, with no end in sight.

How disastrous would a Ukrainian nuclear holocaust be? The end of Earth now, immediately? Possibly.

Americans think this radiation won’t reach them. It has, and it will.

The United States was blanketed with radiation when the Fukushima reactors initially exploded. There are daily radioactive releases into the air. Radiation from Fukushima circles the Earth every 13 days, drifting down on us, more so when it rains or snows. No one is left out. The Northern Hemisphere is particularly impacted. 400 tons of contaminated water flow into the Pacific Ocean every day (at least), and the Atlantic Ocean is at risk from flows through the Bering Straits..

This Ukrainian crisis is the responsibility of the United States and NATO and the Kiev coup regime. They created this nightmare. The news media has covered up the truth, just as it has about Fukushima.

See this earlier article:

Get this information about coal and the power plants to your local and national officials. Send this to everyone who cares about a future. The situation in Ukraine is the most urgent issue before all of us. The people of Ukraine need our help desperately and the survival of the entire world is at stake.

For information about Ukraine and Russia from a variety of sources, see

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“A Pattern of Incompetence and Fraud” — Critique of Arizona’s flawed Smart Meter report

In August 2013, the Arizona Corporation Commission requested that the Arizona Department of Health Services conduct a study of Smart Meters.

The commission asked ADHS to answer whether there are health impacts from the meters and whether the radio-frequency emissions from them exceed federal requirements, commission spokeswoman Rebecca Wilder said.

The first part of the question will be answered by ADHS’ review of published research on the meters. To answer the second part, the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency will measure meters’ radio-frequency emissions, Wilder said.

“There will be no input from the utilities,” she said. “We wanted this to be an independent, objective report.” [1]

In November 2014, after more than a year, the state released its report —
[A more compressed file is here:]

Did the Arizona Department of Health Services fulfill their goals?


Warren Woodward submitted this detailed report to the Arizona Corporation Commission in November  (E-Docket # O1345A-13-0069)

A Pattern of Incompetence and Fraud: Exposing Major Mistakes, Misleading Misrepresentations, and Obvious Omissions in the Arizona Department of Health Services’ “Smart” Meter Health Study

In December, he further evaluated the accuracy of RF measurements and the equipment used by the ADHS in the state report.

Video Exposé – The ADHS “Smart” Meter Study Is Grossly Inaccurate
Information and Perspective by Warren Woodward
December 9, 2014 


As I wrote in my report on the Arizona Dept. of Health Services’ study, “In a cynical sense, the Tenmars was the perfect choice for the ADHS study – a pitifully inadequate meter for a pitifully inadequate study.”

If you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to read my full report, “A Pattern of Incompetence and Fraud”. The cheap, inaccurate Tenmars TM-195 is only one of the many major failings of the ADHS study. Sadly, the study is a fraud on the people of Arizona.

My report, “A Pattern of Incompetence and Fraud”, is posted several places online, including: and

Warren Woodward’s report can also be found at:


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NY Times: Smart Meter program failing to deliver money or power savings, and costing thousands of jobs

From New York Times
Power Savings of Smart Meters Prove Slow to Materialize
By Matthew Wald, December 5, 2014

The end is in sight for the meter reader, who each month faithfully tramps through the flower beds or into the basement, flashlight and clipboard in hand, to record electricity use.

They are being phased out because tens of millions of new meters talk directly to the electric company. The meters can record use by the hour, changing the price as the market changes and telling the customer — or maybe even the appliances themselves — the best time to buy energy.

But this is not happening. Although the goal is to shift consumption to off-peak hours when cheaper, cleaner electricity is available, experts say it is still many years away, despite billions in federal subsidies that have helped finance the switch to the so-called smart grid.

Analysts say that most customers, and public service commissions, are simply not ready for the change to what is known as dynamic pricing, which is intended to benefit the whole system by reducing demand during peak hours.

The idea is that as prices rise on summer afternoons or fall in the middle of the night, customers will learn to tailor their consumption — like running a dishwasher or washing machine, or charging an electric car — during times of better pricing.

Modern power meters are meant to smooth out peaks in demand over the day. But this has largely not happened.

It is a strategy that will become increasingly important as more wind turbines and solar panels are connected, and produce electricity without any relationship to the level of demand.

So far, though, industry and government officials, along with a few environmentalists, are pointing to a variety of other, smaller benefits from a number of smart grid innovations around the country.

For example, the new meters allow electric companies to remotely transfer an account from one name to another when a family moves, or cut off service for nonpayment, all from a central office, just as the phone companies do. And they can tell a utility that the electricity is out even when there is no one home to report that.

But the dishwashers, air-conditioners, water heaters and other electric appliances that would automatically take signals from the meter are still to come, leaving consumers to manually manage their energy consumption.

“The smart meter giving people real-time access to price information is not going to make them get up in the middle of the night and turn their dishwasher on,” said John P. Hughes, the vice president for technical affairs at the Electricity Consumers Resource Council, a consumer group that represents mostly large industrial users. “Getting the enabling technology to do that is going to take a long time.”

There are exceptions, of course. Illinois has about 25,000 households on the program, less than 1 percent of those eligible, and some of them save 20 percent on their bills, said Anne Evens, chief executive of Elevate Energy, which administers the real-time pricing program for Commonwealth Edison and Ameren-Illinois. Her company will send texts when prices rise above certain levels. It gives some customers a digital meter that it calls a Joule that displays the price down to the tenth of a cent. In an experiment, it controls when some electric cars recharge.

Karen Taubman put her 122-year-old house in River Forest, 10 miles west of the lake, on the real-time rate. She can check a web page to see what the rate is, but says she has a sense of when peak times will be. She has a washing machine and a dishwasher with timer buttons that let her set them up to run in the middle of the night. In summer she air-conditions the house down to 68 degrees, in effect cold-soaking the walls and furnishings, counting on thermal inertia to slow down the time it takes to warm up in the afternoons. She estimates she saves $15 to $20 a month; her typical bill is $110.

“You try to do the right thing for the environment and our pocketbook, keeping both in mind,” she said. The generators required on peak are more expensive than average, and dirtier too, experts say.

Joe Godinsky, in Sycamore, Ill., looked at the real time rates and realized that late-night electric prices were so low that he could turn down his gas heating system and warm up the bedrooms with electric heaters. He says he is convinced he is saving money and persuaded his parents to put their house on a real-time rate, too. But it’s not for everybody, he acknowledged. “I’m an engineer,” he said. “I like getting kind of geeky with things.”

Ms. Evens said that for the pricing to work and knock down peak demand, about 10 percent of customers would have to use it.

Nationally, though only about a million residential customers, less than 1 percent of the total, are now using real-time prices, according to Brett Feldman, a senior research analyst at Navigant Consulting. In 10 years, he predicts, it will be only about 14 million.

His company predicted early this year that by 2020, 82 percent of American consumers would still be unable to sign up for dynamic pricing.

The Energy Department estimates that by the end of next year, 65 million meters, covering more than a third of electricity customers in all categories, will have smart meters.

The Recovery Act of 2009 earmarked $2.5 billion for the smart grid, of which the new meters are a large part. Some of the money went for a variety of other devices, some of which are supposed to make the high-voltage grid backbone more stable.

So far, Congress has not paid much attention to the effect of the spending.

There are some environmental benefits, in addition to the cost savings.

A report by the Energy Department in August said that with new equipment, utilities could control distribution more tightly; in some cases, this allowed them to run the lines at slightly lower voltage, saving energy. The report also identified faster restoration of power in blackouts. [This has not been substantiated by other sources.]

And they can save diesel fuel. In Texas, Oncor, which serves 3.2 million customers, says its trucks now drive 39 percent fewer miles, a drop of about 14 million miles, because it has installed smart meters.

And there is the reduction in the jobs themselves, Although the meters were paid for in part by the Recovery Act, which was supposed to stimulate employment, the effect of the meters has been exactly the opposite.

“It eliminated literally thousands of meter readers across the country, and no way has it created any type of permanent work,” said Michael Langford, president of the Utility Workers Union of America.

“The meter-reading jobs were decent, good-paying jobs,” he said. “People were able to buy homes, pay their taxes, buy cars on them, and we eliminated those.”

But for consumers, the payoff has for the most part not been realized. In the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel, which represents customers in public service commission hearings, William F. Fields, a senior assistant, said that the cost-effectiveness of smart meters had yet to be demonstrated.

“I’ve never seen an analysis that shows that shifting my dishwashing, clothes-washing and clothes-drying load is going to make a significant impact on my monthly bill,” he said. “It’s just not that much electricity.”

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