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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Overpowered: The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) and What You Can Do about It

Book by Martin Blank, PhD, Special Lecturer at Columbia University, Associate Professor at Columbia University 1968-2011

From Seven Stories Press:

Keys, wallet, cell phone…ready to go! Cell phones have become ubiquitous fixtures of 21st century life–suctioned to our ears and stuck in our pockets. Yet, we’ve all heard whispers that these essential little devices give you brain cancer. Could it be true? In 2011, the World Health Organization shocked the international community by confirming that the radiation from cell phones is a possible carcinogen to humans. Many of us are left wondering, as Maureen Dowd asked in the New York Times, are cells the new cigarettes?

Dr. Martin Blank notes that while the presumption of innocence is invaluable to the system of justice, it does not make sense as a public health standard. Overpowered brings readers, in accessible and fascinating prose, through the science, indicating biological effects resulting from low, non-thermal levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (levels considered safe by regulatory agencies). Radiation that comes not only from cell phones, but many other devices we use in our homes and offices every day.

It is generally accepted that there should be a limit on exposure of the public to EMF. However, industry pushes the envelope. Dr. Blank advises applying the precautionary principle when it comes to demonstrably hazardous EMF–and teaches us how we can take steps in our daily lives to reduce exposures. In this incredibly timely book, he arms us with the information we need to keep ourselves and our families safe.


“The extremely well documented Overpowered reads like an environmental thriller! Dr. Blank does a superb job of explaining the biological effects of cellphones and all things wireless on cell physiology and how to protect ourselves and, most importantly, our children. The sections on electricity, wildlife, and  the ‘business’ of science all demonstrate the dark side of technology–an inconvenient truth we must consider.”–Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of Zapped

“Martin Blank deals with a difficult subject in a scientifically accurate but easily readable fashion. He covers everything from powerlines, to cell phones, to light bulbs, to conflicts of interest, with humor and passion. In this great scientist, we have an unlikely activist and truth teller.”–David O. Carpenter, M.D., Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany

Overpowered arrives at a critical moment. We are awash in an invisible, highly damaging pollutant of our own choosing, based on presumptions of safety that should never have been made. Now world-renowned researcher Martin Blank pulls back the curtain on industry lies and government regulatory failures about the health and environmental damage of unchecked electromagnetic fields and wireless technologies. In this easily accessible ‘good-read,’ he shines blazing light on one of the most significant public health concerns today. This book is a must for anyone concerned with protecting their well-being, that of loved ones, and other species. Dr. Blank makes clear that continuing this ever-increasing ambient EMF/RF has dire consequences. From the personal, the political, and the planetary, you will never see things the same way again.”–B. Blake Levitt, former New York Times contributor, Author of Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves and editor of Cell Towers, Wireless Convenience? Or Environmental Hazard?

Available from Seven Stories Press

ISBN: 9781609805098
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 271
Pub Date: March 10, 2014

About Martin Blank
MARTIN BLANK, Ph.D. is an expert on the health-related effects of electromagnetic fields and has been studying the subject for over thirty years. He earned his first PhD from Columbia University in physical chemistry and his second from the University of Cambridge in colloid science. From 1968 to 2011, he taught as an associate professor at Columbia University, where he now acts as a special lecturer. Dr. Blank has served as an invited expert regarding EMF safety for Canadian Parliament, for the House Committee on Natural Resources and Energy (HNRE) in Vermont, and for Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court.

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Canada: Is accelerated corrosion, electron-stripping due to wireless radiation a co-factor in devastating Calgary fire?

Dr. Andrew Michrowski is president of the Planetary Association for Clean Energy, Inc., based in Ottawa, Canada

Posted by Take Back Your Power

Downtown Calgary fire: Is accelerated corrosion, electron-stripping from wireless tech to blame?
15 October 2014
by Dr. Andrew Michrowski PhD | reprinted with permission

Editor’s Note: The below letter was sent to a prominent member of the Alberta provincial government (name currently withheld at request of author), addressing a very possible but overlooked cause to the recent major electrical fire and outage in Calgary, AB, Canada.  Research is linked below the letter.  -TBYP

Dear madame,

It may be worthwhile to have it checked whether a co-factor in this tragic underground facilities fire was accelerated corrosion associated with the electron stripping from the variety of infrastructure networks involved, mostly in the wireless technology frequency and higher range spectra, including the opto-electronics involving SMART meter data, computerized data, telecommunications, etc.

We have studied the question since 1995 while conducting the multi-year national electromagnetic fields in housing for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (including co-work with Edmonton Power, Manitoba Hydro and BC Hydro). We also noted adverse advanced corrosion in underground infrastructure during a legal case in the Eastern Townships, and for many years now along major streets in downtown Ottawa, which have required complete overhauls in the tens of millions of dollars of re-furbishing and fixing in over ten office, hotel and condominium buildings associated with facilities similar to the case in Calgary this Thanksgiving weekend. Note that a recent report by the Ontario Fire Marshall has indicated certain technical issue aspects associated with wireless frequency technology (such as SMART meters) that may apply to Calgary.

What we could offer, as an independent collaborative of advanced scientific thinking – if accelerated corrosion is indeed a factor – is not only some suggestions for shielding, but also for proofing the infrastructure through novel protocols against repeats, some of which have been developed in Alberta, but which may require further research and testing for their applicability for Calgary-type situations.

We are copying various Alberta associates, et alia, who might be able to be helpful in this regard. We are apprehensive that this incident may be precursor to others worldwide, in view of widespread popularity of wireless technology and the insatiable demand for more and more data capture and monitoring.

Attached are some documents associated with the issue of inquiry.  Note that to identify of accelerated corrosion co-factor, investigators should be able to ascertain (even with microscopy) that it occurs faster than normal oxidation, such as rust, and provide the usual chemical layer of protection, that there are many punctures, the coloring differs, that there is abnormal shrinkage – from the electron stripping – at surfaces.  The proofing would stop the puncturing associated with electron stripping from emissions in the higher frequencies including opto-electronic fixtures.

Yours sincerely, Andrew Michrowski PhD

Relevant research:
Ontario Association of Home Inspectors 2014 Presentation (PDF)
Characteristics of Powerfrequency Currents in Water Mains – Canada (PDF)

Andrew Michrowski, Ph.D.
The Planetary Association for Clean Energy, Inc.
La Société planétaire pour l’assainissement de l’énergie, inc
100 Bronson Avenue / Suite 1001
(613) 236-6265 fax: (613) 235-5876


The Planetary Association for Clean Energy, Incorporated (PACE) was founded in June 1975 in Ottawa, Canada, under the guidance of the Hon. Senator Chesley W. Carter, then Chair-person of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Health, Welfare and Science as well as member of the Senate Special Committee on Science Policy. With the Hon. Carter, a number of scientists undertook to make use of this Association to develop an international interdisciplinary network of advanced scientific thinking individuals and organizations. Together, these were to promote and steward “clean energy systems” for eventual implementation on a planetary-wide scale.

PACE is in special consultation status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC)

News coverage of fire:


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Angry Colorado residents demand answers from utility company

The “AMR” meters (“turtles”) mentioned in the story are actually power-line carrier Smart Meters (PLC). There is very little difference between PLC and wireless Smart Meters. Instead of the signal being sent wirelessly, it travels along the electrical lines at least part of the way to the utility company. These meters create “dirty” electricity — transients — by design.

“Dirty” electricity is a health hazard. In addition to traveling to the utility company, these signals also radiate from utility lines and travel along household wiring and along water pipes. These PLC Smart Meters may also have the switching mode power supply problem, creating even more dirty power, also traveling on electrical lines and on pipes. They are very harmful, with many of the other  problems, including privacy loss and surveillance issues. They will also have an antenna for transmitting to the Home Area Network inside a house.

From Pagosa Springs Daily News:

LPEA Under Fire for ‘Smart Meter’ Policies
Diana Luppi | 10/21/14

All hell broke loose at a La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) meeting held on October 8 in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Approximately 60 residents from Pagosa Springs and neighboring Durango, Colorado, gathered to discuss LPEA’s threat of an opt-out fee of $50 for its co-op members who declined the installation of AMI meters, commonly referred to as “smart meters.” The following day, October 9, a meeting was held in Durango, Colorado, attended by approximately 70 residents of both communities.

Michael Dreyspring, CEO of LPEA, presided over both meetings. Very few Board members or staff were present at either meeting. At the Pagosa meeting, Mr. Dreyspring was in command for no more than two minutes and 40 seconds before the miffed residents of Pagosa Springs went volcanic and LPEA lost any semblance of control. As their pedantic power point presentation went up in flames, so did an outspoken and furious crowd.

Though the Durango meeting was slightly more subdued than the Pagosa Springs’ meeting, members they were also extremely angry and ended up walking out after about an hour of voicing their opinions because they realized that even though the purported purpose of the meeting was to gather information for LPEA staff and board members to discuss in determining a possible opt-out fee, no official recording of everyone’s comments was being made. And, as attendees at the Durango meeting attested, only cursory, sporadic notes were taken by a member of the LPEA staff.

Numerous co-op members concluded that the meeting was a sham.

Cat calls and fireworks omitted, the following issues were presented to the LPEA representatives brave enough to show up for the meetings in both towns:

The Energy and Commerce Policy Act of 2005 in part states, “The customer is to be offered a “smart meter” not extorted when refusing one or have their utilities shut off when refusing one.” There was no informed consent on the part of co-op members to allow these meters to be installed. Co-op members never opted-in… so why did they have to opt-out?

Many only realized the installation was taking place because they happened to be at home or arrived during the deployment process. Some signed an opt-out form refusing the meter and LPEA installed it anyway. Installers arrived in neighborhoods like a military stealth operation using personal vehicles and installing meters on members’ properties only if nobody was home. If “smart meters” are the best thing since sliced bread, why did LPEA feel compelled to both sneak around and lie? Continue reading

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CNN exposed high water bills from Smart Meters…in 2011

CNN: City’s Faulty Water Meters Make Monthly Water Bills Skyrocket

Question: Why, three years later, are water Smart Meters still being installed and utilities still lying about the high bills?

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Wisconsin consumer advocates draft Smart Meter legislation

Consumer health advocates in Wisconsin have launched the campaign Protect Wisconsin!

The goal: Help Wisconsin develop a safe technology policy

As part of the campaign, they are asking public support for Smart Meter legislation that protects the public.

Smart meters are neither green, smart, or safe. There are far better ways to save energy than moving from passive mechanical analog meters to energy consumptive and dangerous meters.

Below is a portion of the bill. It also contains footnotes with links and references.

SECTION 1. Title of Bill:

The Wisconsin Utility Consumers Health, Safety and Privacy Protection Act

An act to amend the public service law, in relation to protecting the health, safety and privacy rights ofall residents and utility consumers in the State of Wisconsin.


  1. Provide all utility consumers the right to retain their mechanical analog utility meters at no cost.
  2. Require utility providers to replace installed electronic and/or transmitting smart utility meter(s) with mechanical analog utility meter(s), at utility consumer’s request, within one week. Each utility provider will adhere to a “no questions asked,” no fee, and no time limits imposed procedure.
  3. Place an immediate moratorium on all transmitting smart utility meter installation pending:
    1. The results of a Wisconsin Department of Health Services investigation of the health effects being reported after transmitting smart utility meter installation and the implications for public health and safety. Health and safety implications of installation of transmitting smart utility meters adjacent to each other must be included. Assistance with this investigation shall be requested from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including investigating nationwide reports of adverse health effects after the installation of transmitting smart utility meters.
      1. Require utility providers and Wisconsin Public Service Commission to keep and make readily available complete records of all transmitting smart utility meter related health complaints to aid in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services investigation.
    2. Investigation of the security risks of transmitting smart utility meters, their ramifications for utility system integrity, and feasibility of protecting utility system security and integrity with a transmitting smart utility meter system in place.
    3. Development of rules regarding the use of ratepayer data collected via transmitting smart utility meters.
    4. Investigation of the health and safety implications of the undisclosed conducted microwave frequencies on building wiring originating in the transmitting smart utility meter and the undisclosed conducted high frequency voltage transients, also named “dirty electricity,” caused by transmitting smart utility meter’s electronic components. 1,2
    5. A cost-benefit analysis of allowing installation of transmitting smart utility meters incorporating ll the above factors and the cost of continuously replacing transmitting smart utility meters to keep pace with technological advances, e.g. replacing all the one-way transmitting smart utility meters presently installed in Wisconsin with advanced two-way transmitting smart utility meters.

For the complete bill:


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More CPUC uproar; staff attorneys criticize director over emails

California Attorney General ordered the CPUC so safeguard evidence for the investigation on “judge-shopping”. However, that message didn’t get to the attorneys that work for the CPUC. These attorneys have had disagreements and run-ins with executive staff in the past. For instance,

CPUC attorneys are also worried that “clean-out” days planned at the CPUC may just clean out critical evidence.

Excerpts from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Lawyers with the state commission that regulates Pacific Gas and Electric Co. say the agency’s bosses didn’t pass along an order from state Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office to safeguard evidence as prosecutors investigate a judge-shopping case involving the utility and top public officials.

In a memo addressed to the five members of the Public Utilities Commission, obtained by The Chronicle, 13 attorneys with the agency said the first they heard of the order was when they read about it on a newspaper’s website.

Harris’ office told the commission on Sept. 19 to preserve any e-mails or other evidence related to back-channel communications between PG&E and regulatory officials. The lawyers said they learned of the order “by chance” when the Sacramento Bee reported on it last week.

The attorneys called on the commissioners to compel the agency’s executive director, Paul Clanon, to cooperate with investigations by state and federal prosecutors into whether the communications between PG&E and the state agency broke any laws.

Those communications show that a PG&E vice president secretly and successfully lobbied two commissioners and their staffs to have a preferred judge assigned to a rate-setting case arising out of the San Bruno pipeline explosion.

PG&E released the e-mails last month and fired the vice president and two other executives implicated in the affair. The utilities commission has picked a new judge for the rate case, and commission President Michael Peevey’s chief of staff, Carol Brown, was reassigned.

“We are concerned that, if the newspaper report is accurate, to our knowledge, the commission has not taken appropriate steps in the past months to preserve evidence, such as notifying all relevant commission officers and staff of their obligations,” the lawyers wrote to the five commissioners in a memo dated Wednesday.

…The lawyers asked the commission to compel Clanon to issue an order to preserve evidence and assure staffers that they will not face retaliation if they cooperate with the state and federal probes.

For more:

Article by Jaxon Van Derbeken. He is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: jvanderbeken at

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

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Wisconsin Stop Smart Meters says, Request your utility data

This advice is good for all utility customers on Smart Meters:

To understand the extreme smart grid data collection of your electric, gas & water utilities, you’ll need to SEE what they are collecting – in your record of usage data.

* Request your complete data in charts or lists. Make sure you ask for every measurement they take down to the second. Some utilities collect hourly (Alliant), some every few seconds (WE-Energies). If you don’t ask for this detail they will send you summaries by day, week or month. Ask for at least the past 2 years to get a good picture of things.

* Analyze your data. Look for patterns relating to appliance use, home vacancy periods, etc. Compare to these kWH charts, where usage data can reveal patterns within a home, when a family is away, when they get up, etc. No one asked your permission to gather all this detailed data about your utility use.

* Ask the utility if your meter communicates or sends/receives data with other meters. For example, Alliant electric meters, the Sensus Flexnet iCon type, constantly “listen” to each other and take turns sending your data to the cell towers. The neighborhood meter with the best connection to the tower at the moment sends each meter’s data. So, your private usage data readings might go to your neighbor’s meter on his home and property. Or maybe your neighbors’ private data might come to YOUR meter to be sent. Alliant encrypts it, but it is sent around, nonetheless.

But sending a customer’s data to other customer locations is prohibited by state code. PSC 113.0611 says the PSC “shall keep a record of employees authorized…to enter customers’ premises.”  There is no such record of people receiving your data in your network. The law does not authorize other customers to receive YOUR private usage information sent to their properties, whether encrypted or not. This never happened when one meter reader would read your meter directly.

PSC 113.0302(2)(d) discusses Refusal or failure to permit authorized utility personnel to read the meter at least once every 6 month in order to determine actual usage. Again, only authorized utility personnel are supposed to have access to your data on your property from your meter.

*Tell your utility that you never gave them permission to pass your usage data among other customers’ meters. The private transaction between you and the utility should not involve other customer locations and devices. State code does not allow it. Give them notice to stop doing this, by law.

*Tell your utility you never gave them permission to obsessively collect your usage other than for monthly billing. Demand that they only take a reading once a month to bill you.

*Give state lawmakers copies of your requests made to the utilities and their answers.

*Tell lawmakers you never gave permission for the utility to obsessively collect your usage data beyond monthly billing reads, and  you never gave permission for the utilities to send your data to via other customer meters. Mention state law that says only authorized persons may get your meter’s readings.

*Ask lawmakers to sign on to AB 345 to let you get a non-transmitting analog meter to be read once a month by you or the utility for billing purposes only. Remember, smart meters such as the Alliant iCon can be remotely updated and have endless data and networking capabilities. They can be changed without any notice to you, the consumer. In fact, they were installed without any notice to YOU, the customer. You were never given a choice about having a meter that obsessively collects and sends your hourly usage.

Updates could happen at any time with NO notice to YOU the customer. For example, the Integrated FlexNet SmartPoint meters can be programmed to report daily, hourly, 15- and 5- minute read intervals. We never gave these utilities permission to monitor and report our usage like this. Act now to push back.

The key word here is PERMISSION. We never had a choice about these new types of meters, which obsessively collect our data and expose our families to extra radiation involuntarily. Period.


Wisconsin smart meter minute: ACTION ALERT #2, Request your utility data

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