Report on Smart Meter Problems

Updated May 1, 2017

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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New: Electromagnetic Sensitivity page with chapter on Symptoms

Recent additions to this website are a page on Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS) and a chapter on Symptoms.

Electromagnetic sensitivity is when a person experiences adverse health effects when using, or in proximity to, RF-EMF emitting devices and equipment – Smart Meters, cell phones, Wi-Fi, cell towers – and/or EMF fields. This is an environmentally-induced condition, and it can be life-threatening. Avoidance and reduced exposure are key. EMS is recognized by the U.S. government. This condition is also known as electrohypersensitivity (EHS) in Europe, Canada, and other countries.

EMS/EHS can be disabling, and in the United States, those who are disabled are entitled to equal access and protected from discrimination by the law.

The new page has information and resources on the Americans with Disabilities Act, including the U.S. definition of “disability”.

Wireless radiation poses an access barrier to those who are EMS-disabled.

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Maine legislation would replace Central Maine Power, Emera Maine with ‘consumer-owned utility’

From the Portland Press Herald
January 28, 2019
By Kevin Miller

The bill, which will be considered by the Legislature, would use low-interest revenue bonds to buy the transmission and distribution assets of Maine’s two largest for-profit utilities.

AUGUSTA — Critics of Maine’s two largest for-profit electricity suppliers unveiled a proposal Monday to create a “consumer-owned utility” that they say would be more beholden to ratepayers than shareholders.

The plan by Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, would require Central Maine Power and Emera Maine to sell all transmission and distribution assets to the proposed Maine Power Delivery Authority. Bill supporters said the authority would use low-interest revenue bonds to make the multibillion-dollar purchase, allowing the new consumer-owned utility to provide electricity to most Maine residents at lower rates than those charged by the two investor-owned utilities.

The proposal is, in part, a response to the controversies that have dogged CMP since an October 2017 windstorm left some customers without power for more than a week, as well as massive bill spikes reported by thousands of customers.

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Central Maine Power has a backlog of thousands of faulty bills, facing utility commission investigation and class-action lawsuit

From Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel
February 9, 2019
By Tex Turkel, Portland Press Herald

As the electric utility generates hundreds of flawed bills daily, customers ask: ‘What the heck is wrong with this company?’

More than a year after discovering major problems with its new billing system, Central Maine Power is still generating inaccurate bills for many customers and in many cases not sending bills at all.

To this day, CMP is flagging more than 700 flawed bills a day that need to be examined manually to fix inaccuracies before they’re sent to customers. The electric utility has a backlog of roughly 6,000 faulty bills that require adjustments.

The utility’s failure to resolve its billing problems drew the ire of regulators, who threatened fines and other sanctions last week. The charges by the Public Utilities Commission’s consumer division were the latest hit for a company under fire by regulators, in court and in the Legislature.

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A new look: no ads!

If you’ve visited this site before now, you’ve seen annoying ads that WordPress puts on this website.

This website hasn’t received any income from those ads.

This website’s goal has always been to make information available to the public in the most accessible way possible. Recently I saw how distracting those ads were, detracting from the look and message of this site.

So today, I paid WordPress to remove its ads from Smart Meter Harm.

If you appreciate the information on this website and this free service to the public, please go to the Donate page and help pay the bills. Since 2012, thousands of people have visited this site, and it has received only one donation of $5. from a reader. Fortunately, colleagues have stepped in to help at critical times.

Keep the information flowing. Show your support for grassroots public advocacy. Donate to help this work and keep this service available to all.

Thank you.

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Iowa Utility Board orders free opt-out and residential customers with analog meters may keep them, for now

On February 6, 2019, the Iowa Utility Board issued its final ruling, rejecting Interstate Power and Light Company’s proposed tariffs for alternatives to AMI meters.

On March 1, 2018, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) filed with the Utilities Board (Board) a proposed tariff regarding non-standard meter alternatives for its electric service customers. Specifically, IPL proposes a $15 per month charge to customers who elect to opt out of having an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)1 meter installed. The proposed tariff is identified as Docket No. TF-2018-0029. On the same day, IPL filed a similar proposed tariff for its natural gas service identified as Docket No. TF-2018-0030. The Board issued an order docketing and suspending the proposed tariffs on March 28, 2018.

In its ruling, the Board ordered that the company must:

  • Allow all residential customers  taking service on the general residential rate to opt out of having an AMI meter on an ongoing, permanent basis. The opt-out option shall not be available to non-residential customers or those taking service under an optional, non-standard rate.
  • Allow the opt-out option without any fee or charge at this time since meter-reading costs are presently included in a customer’s base rate
  • Allow customers who currently have an analog meter to retain that meter as their alternative until such time as the meter fails or otherwise must be replaced
  • Provide a choice of a non-transmitting digital meter or an AMI meter set to pulse only once per month to other customers electing the opt-out option.
  • This order shall not preclude Interstate Power and Light Company from seeking a charge or fee for its opt-out tariff as part of a future rate case.
  • Interstate Power and Light Company shall file a revised privacy policy that limits the selling or giving away of customer information without customer consent within 30 days of the date of the order.

Attorney Jay Marcus filed this brief in the proceeding to obtain relief for residents.

The Board considered many issues in the proceeding, including the safety of digital meters. Unfortunately, the Board has put the burden of filtering the transients from digital meters on the ratepayers. Witnesses told the Board that a) filtering options were not expensive, and b) filters could eliminate most transients from the electrical lines.

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U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal blasts FCC and FDA on 5G safety questions: “We’re kind of flying blind here.”

From the office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal:

At Senate Commerce Hearing, Blumenthal Raises Concerns on 5G Wireless Technology’s Potential Health Risks

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Blumenthal criticizes the FCC & FDA for inadequate answers on outstanding public health questions

Wireless carriers concede they are not aware of any independent scientific studies on safety of 5G technologies

[WASHINGTON, DC]— During today’s Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the future of 5G wireless technology and their impact on the American people and economy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) raised concerns with the lack of any scientific research and data on the technology’s potential health risksThe full video of Blumenthal’s statement and exchange with industry representatives can be found here.  

Blumenthal blasted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—government agencies jointly-responsible for ensuring that cellphone technologies are safe to use—for failing to conduct any research into the safety of 5G technology, and instead, engaging in bureaucratic finger-pointing and deferring to industry.

In December 2018, Blumenthal and U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) sent a letter to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr seeking answers regarding potential health risks posed by new 5G wireless technology. At today’s hearing, Blumenthal criticized Carr for failing to provide answers, and instead, just echoing, “the general statements of the FDA, which shares regulatory responsibility for cell phones with the FCC.”  Blumenthal also decried the FDA’s statements as “pretty unsatisfactory.”  A PDF of Carr’s complete response is available here.

During an exchange with wireless industry representatives, Blumenthal asked them whether they have supported research on the safety of 5G technology and potential links between radiofrequency and cancer, and the industry representatives conceded they have not.

If you go to the FDA website, there basically is a cursory and superficial citation to existing scientific data saying ‘The FDA has urged the cell phone industry to take a number of steps, including support additional research on possible biological effects of radio frequency fields for the type of signals emitted by cell phones.’ I believe that Americans deserve to know what the health effects are, not to pre-judge what scientific studies may show, and they also deserve a commitment to do the research on outstanding questions,” said Blumenthal.  “So my question for you: How much money has the industry committed to supporting additional independent research—I stress independent—research? Is that independent research ongoing? Has any been completed? Where can consumers look for it? And we’re talking about research on the biological effects of this new technology.”

At the end of the exchange, Blumenthal concluded, “So there really is no research ongoing.  We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.”

In November 2018, the National Toxicology Program released the final results of the longest and most expensive study to date on cellphones and cancer. Those studies found “some evidence” of a link to cancer, at least in male rats. However, the study only focused on the risks associated with 2G and 3G cell phones. The latest 5G wireless technology relies on the deployment of many more new antennas and transmitters that are clustered lower to the ground and closer to homes and schools. There has been even more limited research with respect to the health ramifications of 5G technology, and the FCC has thus far failed to adequately explain how they have determined 5G is safe.


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UK: National Health Service to use Smart Meters to monitor dementia patients; privacy red flags

Microwave radiation is linked to neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and ADHD,  cognitive problems such as memory loss and concentration difficulties, dizziness, insomnia, and mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, and agitation.  Smart Meters will worsen the health problems and function of these very vulnerable people; they will deteriorate faster. How tragic they are to be victimized. 

Daily Mail
February 3, 2019

Dementia patients to be tracked by smart meters so that doctors can monitor any sudden changes that indicate illness, falls or mental decline

  • Devices will track patients’ daily routines such as when they boil the kettle 
  • Meters then send alerts to family members or carers who can check on patients
  • Critics warn about a huge range of privacy concerns over data sharing

By Sophie Borland And Victoria Bischoff

The NHS is to use energy smart meters to monitor dementia patients in their homes.

The devices will track patients’ daily routines, such as when they boil the kettle, cook dinner or turn the washing machine on.

They will flag up any sudden change in behaviour which could indicate an illness, a fall or a decline in their mental state. The meters will be able to send alerts to family members or carers, who can pop round to check if the patient is all right.

The devices will track patients’ daily routines, such as when they boil the kettle, cook dinner or turn the washing machine on.

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