Reports on Smart Meter Problems

Updated July 23 2019

The 50-page paper “Overview: Fire and Electrical Hazards from ‘Smart’, Wireless, PLC, and Digital Utility Meters” is now available free for downloading and printing. It provides information from experts on utility meters used in the U.S. and Canada.

The report “Analysis: Smart Meter and Smart Grid Problems – Legislative Proposal” is available free to the public for downloading and printing. This 173-page report, released in 2012 by health and environmental advocate Nina Beety, has extensive referenced information on the many problems and risks of the Smart Meter program known at that time, with information from state, national, and international resources.

Investigation and admissions by the industry since 2012 continue to substantiate these serious problems, providing a searing indictment on regulatory and legislative officials who have failed to halt Smart Meter deployments.

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Song: Get Rid of These Smart Meters

Smart Meters will come to you soon,” said my utility.
You’ll learn and save, and so much more
With this technology.
Join in the trend, we’ll save the earth,
And conserve electricity.
Life will be grand and bold and new.
Smart Meters will set you free.”

Such rubbish! These Smart Meters full of hype,
Forced on you and me,
Invading our homes and neighborhoods and our towns,
What will our future be?
All the problems they can cause to us and our families.
These big bad meters are not wise,
And they’re not alright by me.

They fail to mention bills go up,
And there’s hackability.
Increase your risk for burglary,
And there’s no more privacy.
Your pacemaker might malfunction,
Or your appliances, you’ll see.
And they can shut your power off remotely if they please.

Do you really want Smart Meters anywhere
Pulsing powerfully.
Such problems and false promises given us
Typical boondoggle scheme.
I call on our state capitols to show some backbone please.
Repeal this program right away.
Let’s be Smart Meter-free.

These meters pulse their microwaves at every living thing.
All day and night they’re damaging our bodies, brains, and genes.
All the harm that they can do,
Affecting even bees.
It scares me stiff and makes me mad,
I’m hoping you’ll help me.

Get rid of these Smart Meters
Everywhere
Tell it to the PUC.
Get rid of these Smart Meters everyone,
Take ‘em back, utilities.
Try to cram them down our throats and on communities,
We’ll show you who still is the boss.
In America, we’ll be free.

Get rid of these Smart Meters everywhere,
Forced on you and me.
Invading our homes and neighborhoods and our towns,
What would our future be?
All the harm that they can do to our communities.
Smart ain’t so great.
Wise is the prize,
So please won’t you join me?

Smart ain’t so great.
Wise is the prize,
So please won’t you join me?

Copyright 2010 Nina J. Beety

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Wi-Fi proposed for Yellowstone National Park. Comment deadline Nov. 29, 2019

Update: direct link to comments:
https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=111&projectID=89100&documentID=99318

The East Idaho News article states “wireless access to recommended wilderness and park road corridors would be excluded,” it does not describe what wilderness and park road corridors are recommended for inclusion. In addition, the areas  excluded under the current proposal could be included in future build-out.

Submit individually written comments by November 29, 2019 (the park service does not accept bulk comments).

Ask that the comment deadline be extended at least 30 days due to the environmental and ADA impacts. Fourteen days is inadequate time for the public to become aware of this proposal.

Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ap, by hand-delivery, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or by any other means.

Yellowstone is a national treasure. Increased microwave radiation exposure will harm plants, trees and wildlife and will block access to those disabled by electromagnetic sensitivity. Environmental assessments and evaluation of access barriers for this proposal must be done.

https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectId=89100

Access Parks – Broadband Internet for Park

Residents and Employees

AccessParks (AP) has submitted an application for a Right of Way (ROW) permit to the National Park Service (NPS) proposing the installation of wireless radios, microwave point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and indoor Wi-Fi installations throughout Xanterra managed properties in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We anticipate that the installation will be expanded in the future to offer the same service to the NPS and other concessioners.

In order to supply high-speed internet to park visitors and employees throughout YNP, AP has proposed to install a large-scale wireless communication system covering Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful. Equipment needs for this project include five microwave antenna locations, twelve wireless backhaul antennas ranging between three and six feet in diameter, and up to four hundred and eighty (480) transceivers of 11 inch diameter or less installed on receiving structures.

In addition to the areas above, infrastructure would also be placed on the newly installed antenna mounting structure surrounding the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout. Typical installation photosimulations of AccessParks equipment and a list of properties to be affected are included on this project announcement.

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California power shut-offs pose fire risk due to Smart Meters

In the report I released this summer on Smart Meter fire and electrical hazards, I explained the dangers which electrical surges pose to digital electronic meters.

This week PG&E will activate Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) in many California counties. California utilities SoCal Edison and SDGE may also activate PSPS. Afterwards, companies will re-energize those transmission lines, causing surges to flow down the lines. These surges will impact the Smart Meters installed on homes and buildings throughout communities, as well as those installed on utility poles for cellular equipment — small cell towers. These surges could cause Smart Meters to malfunction, leading to electrical damage or even fires.

California residents:

Please send my report and this alert to California officials and local and state emergency personnel. State emergency personnel must be apprised of this fire and public safety risk. Also, let your neighbors know.

If you have a Smart Meter or other digital meter, when the power shutoff occurs, it’s a good idea to turn off all your breakers and your main breaker, and check your meter after the power is restored before turning on your breakers. Be alert to any signs of damage, overheating, or fire at the meter or in your home or building, strange sounds, such as buzzing, or electrical problems such as flickering lights.  If you see or hear any signs of malfunction or fire, contact your fire department immediately first and take photographs of any visible damage.

Smart Meters do not have a direct connection to ground, a circuit breaker, or adequate surge protection. Instead, they contain a varistor which wears out over time from repeated surges. When it wears out or if a high voltage event happens, including a surge over its maximum, touching wires, or a lightning strike, it will explode, allowing the overvoltage to flow unabated into the building. This can result in arcing, burned wiring, destroyed appliances and electronics, and fires, and it happens in seconds. It makes a popping sound when it explodes.

It is critical that emergency personnel understand the risks to the buildings in each community from these PSPS events and why fires and electrical problems can result. PG&E and other utility companies routinely tamper with fire scenes by removing Smart Meters, in violation of state procedures. Fire personnel must stop utility companies from removing meters so that a thorough investigation can happen. Inadequate fire codes and lack of training for fire personnel on Smart Meter vulnerabilities presently hamper data collection and accountability. This must change.

PSPS are dangerous for other reasons including the short warning period, PSPS also impact wells and water access for humans, livestock, and for fighting fires, disconnect critical medical devices, shut down air conditioning and refrigerators – especially critical for the elderly, those who are ill or disabled, and families with babies and children, shut down electricity to hospitals and urgent care centers, and can impact transportation infrastructure. PSPS shuts down communication for those who have shifted from dependable copperline POTS corded phones, to wireless communication – VoiP or cell phones – or cordless phone equipment. This is unsafe.

The so-called “Public Safety Power Shutoffs” policy must be re-examined now.

PDF: Fire and electrical hazards report

 

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California PUC directs utilities to expand Energy Atlas — disaggregated energy data “to reveal previously undetectable patterns” online

From California Public Utilities Commission

California Smart Grid:
2018 Annual Report to the Governor and Legislature

Released February 2019

p. 29

Energy Atlas: A Geospatial Tool to Combat Climate Change

Since 2014, the CPUC has been part of a group of state and local agencies to support the development of the Energy Atlas, a geospatial analytical tool developed by UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities Institute of the Environment. The Energy Atlas is the largest set of disaggregated energy data in the nation, and uses energy consumption data at the building level, combined with public records, to reveal previously undetectable patterns about how people, buildings and cities use energy. The tool helps regional planners and decision makers more effectively target energy program interventions and develop policies to mitigate and prepare for climate change. Originally limited in scope to Los Angeles County, CPUC Decision (D.)18-05-041 (Ordering Paragraph 32) directs the utilities to expand the Energy Atlas to all IOU territories statewide.101. 102

[101] Please see the following link for the text of D.18-05-041:
docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M215/K706/215706139.PDF

[102] The Energy Atlas is a free, public tool that is available at energyatlas.ucla.edu/.

cpuc.ca.gov/uploadedFiles/CPUCWebsite/Content/About_Us/Organization/Divisions/Office_of_Governmental_Affairs/Legislation/2019/CPUC%20Smart%20Grid%20Annual%20Report%202018.pdf

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Oregon: Portland starts charging fines for missing Home Energy Scores

From the City of Portland:

July 12, 2019

City to start charging fines for missing Home Energy Scores

The Home Energy Score requirement went into effect January 1, 2018. Since then, more than 13,000 homes have received a score.

City staff regularly review real estate listings to ensure they include the Home Energy Score and a link to the online Home Energy Report. While a majority of home sellers have complied with the Home Energy Score policy, some listings are still found to be missing the required information.

To date, the City has sent a warning notice to home sellers when their home is observed to be out of compliance. If the listing agent’s email address is publicly available, the City also sends a courtesy notice via email to the agent or their office so that they may assist their client in correcting non-compliance.

Within the next few months, the City will begin issuing fines to home sellers that remain out of compliance. The initial civil penalty is $500, and the City can issue additional penalties if the violation continues.

Homebuyers can use Home Energy Score information to better understand the full costs of home ownership and compare their choices. The report recommends the most cost-effective improvements to save energy – and money – on their utility bills.

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Aclara admits Smart Meters will provide detailed information on you and your home

For years, utility companies and regulatory commissions have denied that Smart Meter “aggregate” (or bulk) customer energy data could be broken down to provide details of what is used in a home or building. And for years, security experts have demonstrated the opposite is true: Smart Meter data can be disaggregated, decoded to show the individual appliances being used, and also show when a person is home and even who is home.i

Now, in the blog article below, Smart Meter manufacturer Aclara has admitted: disaggregation and use of private energy data can be done and will be happening “soon.”

Aclara claims the public wants this invasion of privacy. Really?

Through Smart Meters, utility companies and all their partners will be inside everyone’s home, constantly observing, evaluating, and recording individuals and their families, what they’re using and doing. It is as if PG&E, SCE, Duke, Consumers Energy, PECO, CMP, APS, and other companies installed video cameras in every room of every building, watching and recording, down to the “bad flapper valve in the toilet”.i

“This is technology that can pierce the blinds,” said Elias Quinn, author of a 2009 smart grid privacy study for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.ii

That’s what a Smart Meter does, connected to other devices and sensors in a Smart Home, in a Smart City. In 2012, former CIA Director David Petraeus said the Internet of Things is great for surveillance.iii

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Canada: Experts call for delaying 5G deployment due to health risks

This press briefing preceded a medical symposium May 31, 2019  on electromagnetic sensitivity and treatment options. More information on the symposium at http://c4st.org/ontario-doctors-warn-of-rising-health-care-costs-after-5g-roll-out/

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