Arizona: 19,000 APS customers refuse Smart Meters; state conducts health study; are Elster Smart Meters overheating and malfunctioning?

The Arizona Republic newspaper reported on August 28[i] that 19,000 customers of Arizona Public Service have refused Smart Meter installation. This is again in stark contrast to the claim that only a small minority oppose these meters.

In addition, the Sedona City Council and the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council last year asked the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to exempt city residents from paying opt-out fees for keeping their analog meters. The town of Bisbee asked the ACC to stop installations completely until health issues were addressed. The ACC oversees utility companies in Arizona.

Now, an APS insider has leaked information that APS is replacing thousands of Elster Smart Meters every year. The figure for 2014 is projected to be 50,000-60,000 Smart Meters. Why? Because they are overheating and the relays aren’t working.

Warren Woodward reports

Are tens of thousands of defective “smart” meters being stealthily replaced in Arizona?

Posted on
5 September 2014

In the wake of several massive “smart” meter recalls due to component overheating and subsequent fires, is Arizona Public Services Company (APS) replacing tens of thousands of “smart” meters?

An anonymous APS whistle-blower says, “Yes.”

Read more in my letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission below:


September 2, 2014

Arizona Corporation Commissioner (ACC) Docket Control Center 1200 West Washington Street Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Re: Docket # E-00000C-11-0328


A source within APS has revealed that APS “smart” meters are failing, and failing in a way that presents a fire risk to ratepayers.

My source, whose privacy I must protect, tells me that APS has replaced thousands of faulty “smart” meters, and is scheduled to replace 50 to 60 thousand this year alone due to heat induced failure of the remote disconnect switch and LCD display. (I have seen the failed LCDs.)

Remote disconnect switch failure resulted in a recall of over 10,000 “smart” meters in Lakeland, Florida where 6 house fires occurred [Meters overheating, to be replaced in Lakeland]. And in Portland, Oregon, remote disconnect switch failure resulted in a recall of 70,000 “smart” meters after 3 fires there [PGE replacing 70,000 electricity meters because of fire risk]. “Smart” meter-caused house fires have resulted in massive “smart” meter recalls in Pennsylvania (186,000) and Saskatchewan (105,000).

You must investigate APS at once. State statute demands it:

A.R.S. 40-361.B – Every public service corporation shall furnish and maintain such service, equipment and facilities as will promote the safety, health, comfort and convenience of its patrons, employees and the public, and as will be in all respects adequate, efficient and reasonable.

A.R.S. 40-321.A – When the commission finds that the equipment, appliances, facilities or service of any public service corporation, or the methods of manufacture, distribution, transmission, storage or supply employed by it, are unjust, unreasonable, unsafe, improper, inadequate or insufficient, the commission shall determine what is just, reasonable, safe, proper, adequate or sufficient, and shall enforce its determination by order or regulation.

APS has painted a very rosy picture of their “smart” meters over the years, but have they told you about this dangerous and potentially life threatening inherent flaw, one that analog meters do not have? APS has a history of concealing information from the public and regulatory agencies. APS refuses to come clean about their “dark money” political donations, and, earlier this year, it was revealed that APS did not report an explosion at their Palo Verde nuclear plant for 5 months [‘Explosion’ at Palo Verde nuclear plant not reported for 5 months].

Also, if APS is replacing tens of thousands of “smart” meters, how long will it be until APS comes begging for a rate increase so that ratepayers bear the financial brunt of their (and your) “smart” meter fiasco?


Warren Woodward


The Arizona Corporation Commission was considering opt-out fees. However,

In August 2013, before deciding on the proposed opt-out fee from APS, the commission requested that the [Arizona] Department of Health Services provide a study of the meters.

The commission asked ADHS to answer whether there are health impacts from the meters and whether the radio-frequency emissions from them exceed federal requirements, commission spokeswoman Rebecca Wilder said.

The first part of the question will be answered by ADHS’ review of published research on the meters. To answer the second part, the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency will measure meters’ radio-frequency emissions, Wilder said.

“There will be no input from the utilities,” she said. “We wanted this to be an independent, objective report.”

The report is behind schedule and won’t be prepared by next month as originally expected, but it should be available in October or November, ADHS Assistant Director Don Herrington said Wednesday.

“The literature review is pretty broad,” he said. “Trying to find the (studies) that are done scientifically is the key.”

The radio-frequency exposure is an important question for concerned residents because the transmissions “hop” from one meter to the next, working as a network. One customer’s data hops from meter to meter until it gets to a device that collects information from the area and sends it back to the utility.

The DHS should hold hearings to receive public testimony and expert witness testimony. Laboratory settings are not the only sources of data. Will there be public hearings by the DHS?

“Studies that are done scientifically”. Other states have used industry information or industry consultants or federal agencies as the final word on the issue, not disclosing that public agencies are under enormous political pressure to bring in results that don’t rock the political boat, and industry studies support industry goals.

Sage Associates did computer modeling of Smart Meter emissions for Landis & Gyr and Itron Smart Meters,[ii] and found that they could exceed FCC exposure guidelines at substantial distances from the meters under normal conditions. There are also the issues of reflection, as well as the emissions from banks of Smart Meters. In addition, these emissions travel on house wiring and metal piping. If ARRA tests a Smart Meter in isolation in a laboratory setting, the data will not demonstrate real world conditions and impact. These meters must be tested with maximum duty cycle and maximum output possible.

Finally, as Sage Associates did for Itron and Landis & Gyr Smart Meters, and Dr. Magda Havas did in her extensive report for the city of San Francisco[iii] when it considered citywide Wi-Fi, the output of Smart Meters must be compared to peer-reviewed studies of biological impacts from RF.

The public will be watching whether these health and safety agencies in Arizona take their responsibility to the public seriously.





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