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.

Signed printed copies are available for a $75. donation each (within the U.S.; add $20. for shipping outside the U.S.).

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EU Appeal: Scientists and doctors call for moratorium on 5G, warn of serious health risks; RF-EMF proven harmful

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September 13, 2017

We the undersigned, more than 180 scientists and doctors from 36 countries, recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, for telecommunication until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry. 5G will
substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.

APPEAL

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Calgary: City auditors cite lack of confidence in water billing and water meters in wake of complaints

From the Calgary Herald

By Bill Kaufmann
September 10, 2017

In the wake of Calgarians’ complaints over drastic over-billing for water services, city auditors have expressed a lack of confidence in the process.

And a report to be delivered to the city’s auditing committee Thursday also states malfunctioning water meters and a lack of internal communication have contributed to the inaccuracies.

“In mid-2016, the Water Utility experienced a number of meter read failures due to faulty Encoder Receiver Transmitters (ERTs) on water meters,” states the Sept. 5 report that covers Jan. 1, 2016, to May 30, 2017.

“The Water Utility identified accounts where estimated reads continued for ‘a number of months’ and were not identified, resulting in large retrospective customer bills.”

A number of Enmax customers have complained about monthly water and wastewater bills running into the thousands of dollars when a normal monthly invoice would be around $100.

Some say they were away from home during those unexpectedly high billings and insisted they’ve had no major leaks or wastage in their water use.

While the city audit report expresses confidence that billing is taking place and at a proper annual rate, there’s “limited assurance over the completeness and accuracy of individual customer billing and accounts.”

Without proper reporting, says the report, it’s not clear whether the city or its arm’s-length utility Enmax are to blame for the billing lags, but it’s clear they “can create delay in receipt of revenue, unexpected financial burden on customers, and reputational risk to the city.”

Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu said he’s not surprised by the report, adding he’s had concerns over what he calls “smart meters” that have been relatively recently installed in many homes.

“Everything mechanical or digital can have problems, even the space shuttle,” said Chu.

“There’s always error, nothing’s guaranteed and you have to recognize it — we have to be honest with ourselves.”

Late last month, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said those stuck with outrageous water bills will be reimbursed and charged an average monthly billing instead.

He also said the city will investigate the cause of the over-charging and the accuracy of water meters.

A notice of motion being brought by Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart in the upcoming council meeting Monday is pushing for those measures and others, including determining if all water entering some Calgarians’ homes is being improperly billed as wastewater — effectively a double-charge.

Chu, a member of the audit committee, said he’s in favour of all those moves.

“We should take the average of people’s usage and charge only that,” he said. “Nobody’s saying they should get free water.”

Though he hadn’t read it fully, committee member Coun. Richard Pootmans said the audit report’s recommendation that meter issues be tracked and reporting improved are consistent with Colley-Urquhart’s notice of motion.

“Between the audit report and Colley-Urquhart’s notice of motion, most of the issues related to the audit report will be addressed,” he said.

“In a way, this is a process that’s working, problems are being addressed.”

Pootmans, who’s not running for re-election this fall, said he’s confident the next council and its committees will solve the over-billing problems to Calgarians’ satisfaction.

“If there are some gaps that need to be addressed, let’s address them,” he said.

In a written statement, Enmax spokeswoman Gina Sutherland said the audit is one targeting City of Calgary processes and that it “isn’t related to the recent customer inquiries involving unexpected high consumption situations.”

She reiterated the company is engaged in an independent review of its systems.

“We have already committed to the city water utility that we will fully support them in their implementation of any process improvements that may be identified in the audit,” added Sutherland.

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

City auditors cite lack of confidence in water billing, meters in wake of complaints

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California legislature recognizes people with electromagnetic sensitivities as disabled

Since May, the California Legislature has provided ADA accommodation for people disabled by electromagnetic sensitivities (EMS). This is the first California legislative session to acknowledge EMS and to arrange accommodation and access for the EMF-disabled so that they can participate at hearings.

On Wednesday, July 12, California Assembly leaders provided the most extensive accommodation to date at a hearing on Senate Bill 649 (Hueso). Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee Chairman Miguel Santiago said, “The Assembly’s Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator has received multiple requests for accommodation from individuals wishing to participate in this hearing,” and ”in an attempt to accommodate as many individuals as possible,” the committee a) made a special order of business with a “time certain” for the SB 649 hearing, so those with EMS could arrive for the hearing and then leave, reducing their EMF exposure b) provided remote telephone access for those too disabled by the indoor air quality to testify in person, and c) made a request to the audience to turn off the wireless on their cell phones or put them in airplane mode “as a courtesy to the electromagnetically sensitive.”

In a 1998 survey by the California Department of Health Services , 3.2% of respondents reported electromagnetic sensitivities, and .5% were unable to work or had to leave a job due to EMS. In 2001, California developed a Cleaner Air symbol for rooms and paths of travel that include reduced EMF. Disability due to electromagnetic sensitivities was recognized by the U.S. Federal Access Board in 2002, and the California State Architect’s office helped write the recommendations for accommodating those with EMS and with multiple chemical sensitivities published in the 2005 Federal Access Board report “Indoor Environmental Quality”.

Though additional measures and continuing dialogue are needed to accommodate all those who wish to attend state hearings and testify, particularly on matters related to their disability, this is a welcome first step for the disabled rights of these Californians.

Access Board https://www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/indoor-environmental-quality

CDHS survey http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241215/

Cleaner Air symbol: http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/pubs/cleanerair_factsheet.pdf

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New Congress bill to finally require “basic” security for IoT devices purchased by the government…but not for the public

And then there are Smart Meters, with direct access to the electric grid.

It’s scary to realize that these are the national decisionmakers.

From CBS Local 4, Colorado

Is your refrigerator a national security risk?

By Shaun Boyd
September 12, 2017

WASHINGTON (CBS4) – The federal government is worried some refrigerators and coffee pots could pose a national security risk, and it’s taking action.

Colorado’s U.S. Senator Cory Gardner among a bi-partisan group of senators who are sponsoring legislation to secure the so-called Internet of Things – everyday devices that are embedded with computer chips and sensors.

Gardner says those devices can be used as weapons of mass disruption.

“The federal government orders billions of dollars worth of Internet of Things devices each and every year,” says Gardner. “These are things that can be hacked into. You can try to control systems, instruments with them. You can certainly read what people are doing and maybe even eavesdrop on a conversation people are having.”

Just last year baby monitors and webcams were used in a cyberattack that took down major websites like Twitter, Spotify and PayPal.

The devices serve as portals to networks.

As Chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, Gardner is sponsoring a bill that would require any internet-connected device purchased by the government meet basic security standards.

“Things like firewalling off information, requiring patchable and securable devices, making sure that you don’t have a hardcoded password from a factory that someone can have access to.”

He says many of the devices are imported and have little to no security making them highly vulnerable gateways into government systems that can be exploited by criminals and other countries.

“We’re facing kind of a brave new world when it comes to these things and we need to be prepared from a policy standpoint to address it. Everything around us is going to have to be looked at from a security perspective and what we are doing as country to advance innovation while make sure we are safeguarding people.”

The Internet of Things includes about 15 billion devices, from thermostats to appliances, but it could grow to 50 billion over the next few years.

While the legislation only applies to devices sold to the government, Gardner is hopeful the changes will carry over to those sold in the private sector.

cyber security bill 6pkg transfer frame 1390 Is Your Refrigerator A National Security Risk?
Sen. Cory Gardner
[Ed.: Sounds like locking the barn door after the horse has bolted, Sen. Gardner. Not very proactive and not very wise.] 

Shaun Boyd is CBS4’s political specialist. She’s a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience.

Is Your Refrigerator A National Security Risk?

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Insurance exclusion and litigation risks: a coming storm for wireless?

From Talk Markets

By Gloria Vogel
July 27, 2017 

  • Increased RF injuries may result from the proliferation of antennas to support expanding wireless activity.
  • As workers and the medical community begin to better understand those RF injuries, the wireless industry could face increased RF safety awareness issues.
  • Insurers no longer provide RF exposure coverage, so wireless providers may find property owners less willing to renew existing leases, or to lease space for antennas.
  • An RF safety protocol could help protect workers and the financial interests of the wireless ecosystem.

Jobsite hazards, both seen and unseen, exist everywhere in our nation.  All but a few of these safety challenges can be mitigated when corporations or industries decide to address them properly.  Imagine an enterprise sector that utilizes a known human hazard and knowingly turns a blind eye to the health and safety of third party workers. Yet, this is exactly the situation surrounding radio frequency (RF) radiation within the wireless industry.  Wireless carriers have long hidden behind the veil of federal compliance to avoid implementing a meaningful RF safety solution.

To date, the wireless industry has managed to stay relatively unscathed financially from injuries related to RF radiation. This is largely due to the medical community’s ignorance of the effects of RF injuries, either cognitive or physical.  If experts in the medical community have no understanding of RF radiation, how can a worker realize they have been injured when RF radiation is invisible, odorless, and tasteless? Workers have no way of connecting their overexposure incident with the manifestation of symptoms, which may not arise immediately.

An Invisible Threat with Detrimental Impacts

The risk of RF radiation overexposure from transmitting antennas has long been recognized as a human health hazard and is identified as such by the FCC.  RF radiation hazards from transmitting antennas can have thermal or cognitive/psychological injuries. Thermal injuries result in heating of tissue. Cognitive injuries manifest as memory loss, mood disorders, sleep disorders, and impaired or diminished cognitive function.

Global Insurers Withdraw from RF Exposure Coverage

In 2013, AM Best, the leading insurance rating agency, estimated that 250,000 workers are overexposed to radiation annually at wireless antenna sites.  Since then, global insurers have chosen to exclude RF coverage from their policies.  The last global insurer to exit the RF exposure market was Lloyd’s of London in 2015.  The ramifications of insurance firms excluding RF coverage are considerable. Without insurance coverage, wireless providers may find property owners less willing to lease space for antennas and current property owners may be less willing to renew existing leases. Without adequate insurance, the risk to the property owners far outweighs the lease revenue they receive. A single uninsured RF injury claim can wipe out years of lease revenue and expose the property owner to expensive litigation costs.

In Harm’s Way

Historically, antennas have been placed at inaccessible, remote, or fenced locations to prevent accidental RF exposure. However, as the demand for better service has increased, antennas have continued to encroach into urban and residential areas. Wireless carriers now install antennas in the sides of buildings, on rooftops, or in faux-chimneys, many of which are disguised to the untrained eye.  As such, a painter, roofer, or other contractor performing routine maintenance on the building is placed in immediate danger due to close proximity to transmitting antennas while remaining unaware of any potential hazard.

The Unaware Medical Community

The medical community is ill-prepared to handle RF overexposure cases since physicians are neither educated nor trained to recognize the symptoms of RF radiation overexposure.  Furthermore, they lack the knowledge to treat overexposure injuries.  RF overexposure injuries resemble a variety of other ailments and therefore are commonly misdiagnosed.  To the insurance industry, these injuries are classified as “Incurred but Not Reported” and are a significant factor in their decision to exclude RF exposure coverage.

Preventing “The Next Asbestos”

Through calculated tactics, legal actions, and lobbying, the wireless carriers continue the false narrative that there are no injuries or risks to unsuspecting workers near RF transmitting antennas.  As workers and the medical community begin to recognize RF injuries, claims will accumulate as the plaintiff’s bar becomes involved, and third-party litigation multiplies.

Fortunately, the industry still has time to address this issue responsibly by adopting a comprehensive RF safety protocol which will protect workers and the financial interests of the wireless ecosystem – including the major players: AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), and Sprint (NYSE:S).

Gloria Vogel is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU-SPS.   She is also  Executive Vice President at Treehouse Technologies, Inc., a firm dedicated to growing digital distribution of insurance products.  She was previously a Senior Vice President at Drexel Hamilton, and a Managing Director at Vogel Capital Management, an investment and consulting firm based in New York City. Gloria is a financial analyst and has been a consultant to the insurance industry with many years of experience following the insurance sector. She was the U.S. investor relations contact at Swiss Re, where she also performed credit analysis on insurer counterparty risks, and reviewed private equity/venture capital investments. Earlier, she was an All-Star equity research insurance analyst at several major Wall Street investment banks.

http://www.talkmarkets.com/content/stocks–equities/a-coming-storm-for-wireless?post=143501#

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Michigan: Battle over Smart Meters, DTE threatens shutoff (VIDEO)

From WXYZ – TV Detroit / Channel 7

Published on Aug 14, 2017

Ann Arbor protesters upset with DTE Energy in dispute over Smart Meters.

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Senate Bill 649 strikes at the electric grid, with utility workers in the crosshairs

August 12, 2017

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The electrical grid can be crippled by several methods, including physical attack, hacking, solar electromagnetic pulses, and by disabling utility workers. This last method is a consequence of California’s Senate Bill 649i and other 5G/”small cell” tower initiativesii if they are adopted.

Under SB 649 and these initiatives, utility poles, light poles, traffic signals, and “vertical infrastructure” will be converted into cell towers. Cell towers will also be installed on public property including parks. Local regulatory authority will be virtually eliminated. Once these bills pass, the public will have no voice, and there will be cell towers on every block.

Microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation is sensitizing and irritating. A single exposure can injure and sensitize a person, causing disabling health effects.iii Repeated exposure increases the likelihood of injury and disability. Electromagnetic sensitivities (EMS) were recognized in California by 1998iv and by the U.S. Federal Access Board in 2002, which issued a report on accommodating those with disabling EMS in 2005.v

Under SB 649, utility workers will work on and around these de facto cell towers every day.vi Research has found cancer clusters up to ¼ mile away from cell towers, but these workers will work within the envelope of highest microwave exposure and in the beam of the antennas. Wireless companies don’t turn off power to cell towers when workers are present, and two national surveys also found that cell towers even frequently exceed FCC limits.vii Workers’ exposure will routinely exceed FCC occupational exposure limits, which is based on a single 30 minute exposure not causing tissue heating. Cumulative, long-term, and non-thermal effects are not considered in FCC exposure guidelines.viii In addition, future 5G frequencies are used in military active denial systems and intensely absorbed by sweat ducts, causing acute burning pain.ix

Based on the research on microwave exposure, utility workers will be at extreme risk for cancers and tumors, cardiac problems including heart rhythm disturbances, DNA damage, changes in their blood, cellular stress and damage, breaches in the blood-brain barrier, neurological damage, brainwave changes and cognitive impacts, strokes, fertility impacts including having children with birth defects, electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS), seizures, blackouts, and what Europeans researchers call “burnout”.x They will likely experience nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headaches and migraines, vision problems including cataracts, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and remembering, impaired immunity, pain, ringing in their ears and other hearing problems, hair loss, and weakness and fatigue. The international literature from scientists and health care professionals is extensive.xi Last year the NIH National Toxicology Program announced significant carcinogenic effects from cellphone exposure levels after only two years of exposure — malignant brain tumors and heart tumors, and precancerous lesions, as well as DNA damage.xii Utility workers will have much greater exposure on a daily basis.

If utility workers start becoming impaired and then disabled, what happens? How much job loss can utility companies absorb before vital maintenance and repair work is jeopardized?

Six firefighters living under a cell tower were studied in 2004.xiii

Each of the men who had their brains scanned showed a hyper-excitability of the neurons, or brain cells. This is considered to be a precursor to early cell death and potentially early onset Parkinson’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s. Now, 8 years later, two of the men have had psychotic breaks with reality and all are suffering from memory impairment. All the men tested in 2004 had tremors, and some were still in their 20’s.

These firefighters, among the least likely to admit pain or disability, after cell tower activation reported:

  • mental confusion and difficulty concentrating
  • lack of focus and motivation
  • memory loss
  • mood swings including depression, anger
  • sleep disruption and lack of alertness
  • chronic headaches
  • vertigo
  • ringing in the ears

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