Dec 1

Smart Meters: What the Power Company Won’t Tell You

Posted on Dec 01, 2011 under Uncategorized | Comments are off


I stopped at a local convenience store the other morning, and got into a conversation about the local power company. I was told that they are installing Smart Meters in the area, California’s Antelope Valley, and that local residents had concerns. Many want to “opt-out” of the program, but they’re being put on a “Delay List” pending a Public Utilities Commission decision regarding an opt-out provision. The lady at the store gave me a copy of the local “Country Journal” that contained an article about Smart Meters, with boldface instructions telling how to get on that Delay List.

Later in that same morning, I was reviewing my email. I have joined several services which send me news tips (on subjects of my choosing), and the fourth item in one of these mailings referred to a story on Smart Meters, originating out of Maine. I thought, “Wow, The ‘Smart Meter’ subject has come-up twice in the same morning!” Naturally, my curiosity was piqued and I checked out the referenced article, Smart Meters Interfering with Home Electronics.

Of course, now I had to read the article. The story was from the opposite corner of the country, and they are reporting that Smart Meters are causing problems with household devices which use the same frequencies to transmit data.

I did a little more looking into the whole subject of transmitting data and what data the Smart Meters transmit. It turns out that the meters can transmit all kinds of data about your usage. They can tell what types of devices you’re running and for how long, and at what time of day or night. And that, of course, raises privacy concerns. I was quite surprised to find out that even the usage of old fashion “non-smart” appliances can be detected, let alone the “smart” ones (coming to an appliance store near you).

At this point I checked out “The Dark Side of ‘Smart’ Meters” on YouTube (see below). In this invitational presentation to the San Francisco Tesla Society consulting engineer Rob States explains how PG&E’s so-called Smart Meters work and why they endanger health and privacy. Regarding health effects, only one study in the San Francisco area is discussed, but the study’s findings are quite troubling. As stated in the video, many people are affected by “Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity” to radio waves; a significant 3% are “severely” affected, but 35% of the population is “moderately” affected by this sensitivity. And it turns out there can be considerable data transmission, since neighboring Smart Meters can “talk to each other,” in order to relay data to nearby cell towers.

So do you want to move toward generating your own electricity now?

I’m not an alarmist, but I do want to know the truth. I recommend a common sense and step-wise approach to gradually generating more of your own electricity. Smart Meters just add to the concerns I already had about being too heavily dependent on the power utility. In the next post, learn how to get started with another solution from My Solar Backup Depot.

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