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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Russian health agencies issue digital distance-learning recommendations for children; time limits for screen use, no use for under 6 yr olds, avoid smartphones

During this crisis when many schools are closed and children must study at home using digital technologies, it is vitally important to reduce their exposure to wireless radiation to protect their health.
— Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, March 27, 2020

From the Scientific Research Institute of Hygiene and Children’s Health in the Russian Ministry of Health  and the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RusCNIRP)

PDF – Russian

Digital Security in Distance Learning for Children Under 18

 March 25, 2020 

 (This is not an official translation. These recommendations were translated from Russian using Google’s translation tool and then edited for easier reading on the Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website.) 

The following recommendations for distance learning at home are intended for children (up to 18 years of age) and their parents and grandparents and anyone who helps children study at home using digital technologies.

1. Children under 18 years of age who study at home should primarily use personal computers and laptops connected to the Internet via a wired network. When using a wireless network, the distance from the Wi-Fi router to the student should be at least 5 meters (16 feet).

2. The keyboard of the computer or laptop must be disinfected with an antiseptic every day before starting work. The monitor also needs to be treated with an antiseptic agent.

3. Before using the keyboard wash the hands of both the child and the adult who helps him or her.

4. To reduce the risk of visual impairment and musculoskeletal system disorders, provide a child working at a computer or laptop with a convenient workplace (the height of the table and chair should correspond to the height of the child), to exclude the illumination of the monitor screen.

5. The main light source at the child’s workplace should be located on the side of the screen (not behind the screen and not from the back of the person working with the screen). The brightness of the source should approximately correspond to the brightness of the screen.

6. The use of tablets for distance learning at home is acceptable for adolescents over 15 years old. Before using the tablet, you need to wash your hands and wipe the screen with a disinfectant (wet towel). The location of the Wi-Fi point should be at least 5 meters (16 feet) from the student’s workplace. The tablet is placed on the table on a stand at an angle of 30 degrees, the distance from the screen to the pupil’s eyes is at least 50 centimeters (20 inches). Do not use a laptop or tablet on your lap, in your hands, lying down and the like.

 7. For all age groups: completely avoid use of smartphones for educational purposes (reading, searching for information)

8. For all age groups: for reading or completing tasks, mainly use ordinary books and notebooks.

9. Children under 6 years old must not use any computer equipment for educational purposes at home.

10. Children 6 to 12 years of age should minimize the use of computer equipment for educational purposes at home. If it is necessary to use it, the total duration of all types of on-screen activities should not exceed 2 hours per day (including watching TV). The class schedule should be based on a one-to-three schedule for 6 to 8 year olds (for every 10 minutes of work 30 minutes of rest) and one-to-two schedule for ages over 8 and up to 12 years (for every 10 minutes of work – 20 minutes of rest).

11. For children 12 to 18 years of age, the following mode of computer use is recommended: “one to two” for 12 to 15 year olds (for every 30 minutes of work – 60 minutes of rest) and “one to one” for children for 16 to 18 year olds (for every 45 minutes of work – 45 minutes of rest). 

The total duration of all types of screen activities for children 12 to 18 years of age, including watching TV, should not exceed 3.5–4 hours per day.

12. For the prevention of visual fatigue, perform gymnastics for the eyes during the break; for the prevention of general fatigue – a warm-up (tilts, body turns, squats, etc.)

13. If necessary to use headphones limit their continuous use: no more than an hour at a volume of not more than 60%.

14. Ventilate the room where the students study, before the start of classes (at least 15 minutes) and after each hour of work.

15. Do not use tablets and smartphones for educational purposes outdoors (in the park, on the playground and similar places).

 The above recommendations are based upon research from multicenter studies on children’s health and safety while using digital educational technologies, materials from the Scientific Research Institute of Hygiene and Children’s Health “NRCM of Children’s Health,” and the Russian National Committee for Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation, as well as recommendations from the World Health Organization and the best safety practices for children’s digital educational environments.

V.R. Kuchma
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Head of the program of multicenter studies on ensuring safe for children’s health ̆ digital educational technologies, Director of the Research Institute of Hygiene and Child Health Ф FSAI ̆ National̆ Medical̆ Research Center for Children’s Health̆,
Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation

O.A. Grigoryev
Doctor of Biological Sciences
Chairman of the Russian National Committee for Protection against Nonionizing Radiations, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nonionizing Radiations of the World Health Organization


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Virginia rejects Dominion’s $752 million Smart Meter plan

Virginia regulators stated that “significant” consumer benefits come from time-of-use rates (TOU) but the record of TOU is that doesn’t work and doesn’t save customers. Usage occurs during so-called peak times because that’s when it’s needed by the public. These usage patterns are often impossible to shift. TOU then penalizes the public, while providing financial gain only to the utility companies.

From Utility Dive
March 27, 2020
by  iulia Gheorghiu

Dive Brief:

  • The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved a final order on Thursday rejecting the vast majority of Dominion’s grid modernization plan, while approving some cybersecurity and reliability provisions.
  • According to regulators, Dominion failed to justify that the most expensive part of its plan, the smart meter proposal, would have “overall benefits to customers” without a comprehensive proposal for time of use (TOU) ratesetting. Implementing the 10-year grid modernization plan fully would cost customers nearly $7 billion, with AMI costing $752.5 million total. Of the first $838 million investment required by the plan, of which nearly $304 million was designated for smart meters, regulators approved only $212 million.
  • Regulators agreed that Dominion demonstrated grid hardening improvements, cybersecurity measures and a new computer platform to support customer service would benefit the customer base. The SCC will have to approve any rate recovery for costs that exceed those estimates.

Dive Insight:

Dominion’s AMI proposal represented a significantly pared back estimate from its $1.49 billion 2018 grid modernization proposal, which the SCC rejected in January 2019.

Regulators at the time invited the utility to resubmit a proposal with a plan for time-varying rates, to further access energy efficiency and demand response benefits.

“AMI is necessary to implement such rate design, and without TOU rates, one of the most significant benefits of AMI is lost to customers,” regulators determined in 2019, asking for deployment of the rates at the same time as a smart meter rollout.

“While Dominion wants approval to collect from its customers the substantial costs of full deployment of AMI technology, it has failed to submit a comprehensive proposal to roll out TOU rate design across its entire territory and make such rates available to all its customers,” the SCC’s final order said.

Dominion submitted to Virginia regulators in December and January a separate stand-alone proposal for a TOU rate pilot, for 10,000 of the utility’s 2.5 million Virginia customers. The SCC previously approved three other TOU rate pilot offerings paired with three AMI demonstration pilots.

“It is profoundly disappointing that the SCC failed to support the benefits that can only be made possible by full deployment of the proven, industry-standard smart meter technology now used by all customers in North Carolina, DC and Maryland,” Rayhan Daudani, a Dominion spokesperson, said in an email.

While other nearby areas are carrying out smart meter deployment, other regulators have questioned full AMI rollouts based on the high cost of the technology since the SCC first rejected Dominion’s grid proposal.

Since Dominion’s 2018 proposal was rejected, the utility added a cost-benefit analysis and “extensive customer feedback,” Dominion told Utility Dive earlier this year.

“[I]ntelligent grid devices enable the effective integration of renewables and further support reliability improvement for our customers,” Daudani said.

Dominion’s grid modernization plan included:

  • $7.2 million, or $186.6 million over a decade, to deploy cybersecurity protections;
  • $36.5 million, or $668.9 million over a decade, to deploy a customer information platform, which would replace the way the company handles metering, billing, credit, services orders and revenue reporting;
  • $34.8 million, or $65.9 million over a decade, on program pilots for a smart charging program to further electric vehicle integration, a microgrid in Petersburg, Virginia, and a smart hosting capacity analysis to define how much distributed resources can be connected to the grid;
  • $210.8 million, and approximately $2.9 billion over its lifetime for grid hardening to increase resilience, targeting customers most vulnerable to outages — regulators did not agree to all components;
  • $241.5 million, or $2.1 billion over a decade, to deploy self-healing grid technology, which did not receive staff support; and
  • $3.2 million, or $11.1 million over a decade, to work on stakeholder engagement and customer education through grid modernization workshops.

The customer information platform and funding for grid improvements will enable Dominion “to give our ​customers more options to access their energy usage information and bills while we provide even more dependable service,” Daudani said.

The utility is reviewing the final order to determine next steps.

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Meter choice bill introduced in Michigan legislature — H.B. 5606; also requires grounding and 120 kV surge protection for advanced meters

On March 10, Representatives Sue Allors and Steven Johnson introduced H.B. 5606 in the Michigan House of Representatives.

The provisions in House Bill 5606 include:

  • A utility customer may choose to have a traditional analog electromechanical meter or an advanced meter
  • Utility companies shall not condition their service on a customer having a different meter than an analog traditional meter.
  • Utility companies may not impose a fee for “opting out” of an advanced meter.
  • Utility companies must provide proper notification to customers if they plan to install an advanced meter.
  • Advanced meters must be properly grounded and have at least 120 kilovolt surge protection that is rated to divert a lightning strike.
  • A customer’s energy use data and internet user information are private and confidential. Utility companies shall not “use, rent, or share”  that data or information except by competent court order or law.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy for hearing.

Bill page:

Bill text:

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France: Energy companies EDF and Engie cited for violating data protection rules

From L’Usine Nouvelle / Robin des Toits

Why the CNIL pins the Linky

22 February 2020

The sling against Linky is not likely to weaken. The National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL) has just put EDF and Engie on notice for their management of the data emitted by these communicating electric meters. Specifically, it reported, after verification, two breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The first refers to the conditions for obtaining users’ consent. By checking only one box in the form, an EDF or Engie customer agrees to transmit the history of their daily consumption, but also the history to the nearest half hour. ” Such global consent is contrary to the requirements of the GDPR ” because it is ” neither specific nor sufficiently informed“, denounces the CNIL. It stresses that a user may wish to transmit to his supplier a history, but not the other. This is all the more important since the half-hour data are much more precise on private life, revealing the times of getting up and going to bed, the periods of absence or even the number of people present in the accommodation. On this point, Engie reacted by indicating that he had changed his policy since, basing his offer solely on consumption data at the day. Other bad practice pinned ” excessive retention period for data consumption.

“EDF keeps daily and half-hour consumption data five years after the termination of the contract. The monthly data are kept three years after termination at Engie. The two companies have indicated their intention to comply with the GDPR in the three months allotted by the CNIL. This reframing does not settle the businesses of Linky which, in spite of its installation in 19 million homes since 2015, is the subject of 22 legal actions representing 5000 opponents. Their criticisms relate to its attack with privacy and the possible health effects of the electromagnetic fields it emits 

(google translation)

Source :

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France: Thousands participate in joint legal action against Linky/Smart meters

From Robin des Toits / France TV Info

For the past four years and the appearance of the Linky electric meter, many people have opposed their installation in their homes. In Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), lawyers propose to take collective action against Enedis, the subsidiary of EDF which manages these meters.
(Video – French)

Jacques Marchetto, an inhabitant of the agglomeration Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), thought they could escape the Linky counter in their building. But one of these meters, assigned to a store on the ground floor, ended up being installed. He decided to participate in the largest legal action ever taken against the meter . With 10,000 other plaintiffs, he will pay a subscription: € 8.20 per month for two years which will be paid to the two lawyers responsible for leading the legal battle against Enedis.

20,000 meters installed per day in France

Since the installation of the first meters four years ago, the mobilization of anti-Linky has been reflected several times in the street. The launch of this new collective action disappoints Enedis, represented by its lawyer, Me Michel Guénaire. 24 million meters have already been installed in France. An additional 11 million will be added within a year, at a rate of 20,000 per day. A deployment, which for the moment, has never been interrupted by the courts.

Original source :

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German govt. expert: Smart Meters are access points to electricity grid, hacking the grid from private homes possible

“Introducing smart meters means you install access points to the electricity grid in private homes,” said Reinhard Gruenwald, an energy expert at the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag, a scientific institution advising German lawmakers. “You can’t physically protect those. If criminals are smart enough, they may be able to manipulate them.”

Attacks on grids could cause major catastrophes globally, according to Nicholas Hanlon, project manager for critical infrastructure security at the Center for Security Policy.

“Clean water, hospitals, transportation, communications, and food storage, all depend on the electrical grid,” he said. “If the grid is down for a few days it’s no big deal. But imagine social order after two weeks.”

Imagine one or more nuclear power plant catastrophes if back-up generators don’t immediately operate at full power following a grid shutdown.

Analog electromechanical meters are not access points to the electricity grid . Why are political leaders endangering our entire society?

From Bloomberg, April 1, 2015

Turkey’s 10-Hour Blackout Shows Threat to World Power Grids

by , , and

A massive power failure that crippled life in Turkey for almost 10 hours on Tuesday highlights the threats facing electricity grids worldwide.

Turkey’s most extensive power failure in 15 years, which left people stranded in elevators and traffic snarled, wasn’t the result of a lack of electricity. The prime minister said all possible causes — including a cyber-attack — were being investigated.

While the source of the problem is still unknown, recent revelations that a 2008 oil pipeline explosion in Turkey was orchestrated via computer and the high-profile hacking last year on Sony Pictures Entertainment demonstrate the increasing ability to penetrate systems. For power grids, technology being added to make them more reliable and productive is also giving attackers an entry point into vital infrastructure.

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1971 Powell memo to U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged broad action through societal structures to “attack the (Ralph) Naders”

When attempting to stop Smart Meters and other wireless deployments in local communities and educate local officials, members of the public often find the Chamber of Commerce promoting these technologies and supporting the utility and wireless companies.

The Powell memo, written in 1971 by Lewis Powell, an influential member of the corporate legal community, said the work of consumer and environmental advocates ,such as Ralph Nader, is an attack on the “American Free Enterprise System.  He called on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to take a more active and aggressive role in the country in promoting their interests. In his memo, he detailed the many avenues of influence the Chamber  could utilize to assert their influence.

Lewis Powell became Associate Justice on the Supreme Court the following year, serving on the Supreme Court from 1972 – 1987.

The Powell Memo (also known as the Powell Manifesto)


In 1971, Lewis Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell’s nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity. Anderson cautioned that Powell “might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice…in behalf of business interests.”

Though Powell’s memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophy.

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