On October 14, 2011, I received notice
from my 'member-owned'
that all of us 'members' would be getting a new electric meters.
Respectfully, I was pissed.
was ambiguously deceptive, never mentioning the term “Smart Meter”
which instantly raises the ire of every well-informed person I know.
So I called the office of my 'member
owned' electric co-op to voice my strong objections, and – as the
'sales pitch' I was given on the phone did not change my opinion
about the wastefulness and stupidity of this technology being thrust
upon me against my will, a few days later I got this
officail letter in the mail.
Sadly, there seem to not be very many
'well-informed' folks left on the face of this planet, and thus I
shall enlighten you:
The big push for Smart Meters is the
brain-child of the fourteen-member Global Intelligent Utility
Network Coalition, in which such multi-national folks as IBM and
Siemens are key players. The group's stated objective is in a
nutshell “to change the way power is generated, distributed and used
by adding digital intelligence to current systems.”
However, 'forced' Smart Meter
installation -- such as what is now being done by our member-owned
Petit Jean Electric Cooperative -- without benefit of open public
discussion, sans any vote by the member-owners, by a Board of
Directors that meets every month in private/closed meetings which
'members' are forbidden to observe – has raised serious concerns
among those who have chosen to educate themselves on the subject. In
general, these concerns involve the science, the law and common
sense, and to understand them we must understand what Smart Meter
Smart Meters record how much energy is
used on a moment to moment basis by each individual meter and then
sends this information via two-way signals between each meter and
the central system.
The two-way signals are transmitted
omni-directionally as micro-wave bursts, meaning that each home,
office, business, school, church or factory is constantly bombarded
with EMF (electro magnetic frequencies) 24 hours a day.
The particular EMF bandwidths used by
Smart Meter technology – 900 and 915 megahertz – are in the same
frequency as cell phones and are now known to be extremely harmful
to health. The World Health Organization now classifies this type of
radiation as a potential carcinogen, meaning that there "could be
some risk" from exposure and radiation advisory authorities
recommend minimizing exposure as a precaution.
The microwave pulsing technology used
by Smart Meters is more continuous than cell phone radiation and a
variety of scientific studies show that this radiation detrimentally
affects the brain, nervous system and hormones, disrupting bodily
functions causing 'leaks' in our blood-brain barrier.
Radiofrequency (rf) radiation has been
placed in the same category of carcinogens as lead, DDT, engine
exhaust, pesticides, and chloroform.
Typical symptoms from exposure include
migraine headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, forgetfulness and
confusion, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) tingling, nausea and
vomiting, constant thirst, heart palpitations, elevated blood
pressure, limbic system disturbances, severe depression, anxiety or
crying jags. For some, the endocrine systems go into hyper-arousal
(as with severe stress), ultimately leading to a collapse known as
"burnout" and damage to DNA.
The risk of developing serious
symptoms (often referred to as "electrical sensitivity") increases
in proportion to exposure. And critics say that once the Smart Meter
/ Smart Grid system is fully operational, there will be no place
anywhere to escape its penetrating radiation.
From wikipedia: Panel-mounted
solid state electricity meter, connected to a 2
substation. Remote current and voltage sensors can be read and
programmed remotely by
modem and locally by
infra-red. The circle with two dots is the infra-red port.
Tamper-evident seals can be seen.
But hey... we're only talking about
our health, which we should all be prepared to sacrifice in the
namesake of 'improvement'... right?
So what about the serious legal
privacy issues? As the data collected by each Smart Meter accrues,
those who have access to it can learn a lot about consumers: What
time you wake up and go to bed; when you are away from home, for 10
minutes or 10 days; even when you watch TV or charge your cell
phone. In other words, these devices enable a type of electronic
monitoring of the activities that take place in the privacy of your
According to wikipedia, the respective
Attorneys General of Illinois and Connecticut have come out strongly
against Smart Meters because they see no benefit to consumers and
several nations, including Australia, New Zealand, and the
Netherlands, have halted or are re-thinking implementation.
Seeing the plan as yet another device
of 'social engineering' being thrust down the gullet of unwitting
consumers by profit-driven energy conglomerates, at least two
California communities have voraciously fought the 'forced'
installation of Smart Meter technology, and won.
Even the Wall Street Journal, in
“Smart Meter, Dumb Idea?” (April 27, 2009) questioned the value of
the technology. “Not everyone thinks smart meters are such a smart
use of money. Utilities are spending billions of dollars outfitting
homes and businesses with the devices... (but) security researchers,
however, have criticized the swift deployment of the meters because
they say the systems haven’t been sufficiently hardened against hack
According to the March 4, 2010,
edition of Wired Magazine, Security Pros Question Deployment of
Smart Meters, “The country’s swift deployment of smart-grid
technology has security professionals concerned that utilities and
smart-meter vendors are repeating the mistakes made in the rollout
of the public internet, when security became a priority only after
malicious attacks had reached mass levels”
But when it comes to the power grid,
the costs of remote hack attacks are phenomenally more dramatic and
having your Inbox dunned with unsolicited porn. “The cost factor
here is what’s turned on its head. We lose control of our grid,
that’s far worse than a botnet taking over my home PC,” said Matthew
Carpenter, senior security analyst of InGuardian, speaking at a
panel at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco.
Still, utility companies (like our
dear Petit Jean) are making out big-time. Federal grants (which come
from our tax dollars) totaling $3.4 billion are earmarked for all
the good little utility companies who comply with what big brother
has decided is 'good for us': A nationwide transition to smart-grid
technologies, ostensibly to make 'the grid' better for everyone.
At an installation cost hovering
around $76 per meter (which is nearly what I pay for a whole month's
worth of electricity), the promise is “to reduce energy costs for
customers” with this wonderful new 'safe and secure' technology.
METERS for water, gas, electricity planned for installation
We note that there has not been a lot of mainstream press on the
pitfalls of 'smart' meters here in the US, however the alternative
press and noteworthy publications in other countries are rather
DAILY MAIL (Great Britian)
HERALD SUN (Australia)
Strange then, isn't it, that the
Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois has been
awarded an $18.8 million grant to fund a five-year research project
to figure out how to make certain that the smart meters and other
devices implemented by power companies can resist hackers and other
Note, however, that by the time the
research project is completed, most of our nation will have already
adopted untested and unsecured technologies. Sounds like a field-day
for ill-tempered hackers and nefarious do-badders to me.
And then there is the little matter of
'interoperability'. Think of this like getting your 'smart phone' to
talk to your 'stupid computer'. Now understand that the availability
of electricity to your household or business will depend on things
just exactly like getting a Mac to talk to a PC or trying to make a
cell-phone call in a 'dead zone'..
Got your attention yet?
But hey... this is America... so the
only question that really matters is “How much money is it going to
save us?” After all, 'saving money' is the point of all of this,
Right... but whose money is it going
According to Thierry Godart, Siemens
North American president of Smart Grid Division, Infrastructure and
Cities, when the smart-grid system (including wondrous new 'smart
appliances') reaches 'maturity' the “bundled solution of hardware
and software” will enable “utilities to realize the (economic)
benefits...” with “optional rate schedules” (think of cell-phone
plans or satellite TV packages, complete with pre-pay subscriptions
and immediate disconnects).
Thus if the cost of electricity gets
too high for you to afford, not to worry!!! You will be able to
change 'rate plans'... eliminating such things are 'on demand hot
water' or only allowing you to use electricity during 'non-peak'
hours of the day. So if you can't air condition your home at 4pm on
a sweltering July afternoon (because the 'smart meter' turned your
AC off)... not to worry!!! At least with your downsized 'package'
your refrigerator will be allowed to run 8 hours a day... which will
keep some of your food from spoiling for a day or two.
Last but not least, we are supposed to
applaud the fact that millions of paid employees (aka: meter
readers) will be put out of their jobs. But don't worry about them.
After all, unemployment benefits (aka: more of our tax money) will
keep them in fine fettle until they can find new jobs!.
Get a clue, my friends... This is
sophisticated 'social engineering' being promulgated as 'for our own
good' by a league of multi-national energy and technology brokers
who are up-playing 'consumer benefits' while plotting (just like the
greedy Wall Street bastards they are) on taking us all to the
cleaners for billions in (their) profit, behaving like bullies in
the playground, picking on the (stupid) consumer because they know
they (from experience) that 'we' won’t say a word.
Shame, shame, shame on us...
~ Christine Beems