Smart meter technology is relatively new and untested. We are being used as the guinea pigs. Fortunately there are many people researching and providing information about their effects on us. This blog is an attempt to provide resources about the meters as well as information specific to Pennsylvania. Use the links in the sidebars to find informative websites, videos, studies and articles that I have found to be helpful, as well as information specific to PA residents.

Friday, June 28, 2013

"my first duty is to protect my people, our future generations and our lands"

Osoyoos Indian Band Prohibits Smart Meter Installations

Oliver, B.C. Canada—June 13, 2013
On behalf of the Osoyoos Indian Band, Chief Clarence Louie announced today that he and all Band Council members have signed a governing document prohibiting Fortis BC, the local utility company, from installing Smart Meters on the approximately 703 homes and businesses on the Osoyoos Indian reserve. 
“Having been presented with science-based evidence, the Band Council and I are convinced that Fortis’s proposed wireless smart meters in meshed-grid networks have the potential to harm our children and our environment. No scientist on the planet has been able to verify the safety of these extremely dangerous devices that emit microwave radiation 24/7 in perpetuity and which cannot be turned off.”
“As Chief of the Osoyoos Indian band, my first duty is to protect my people, our future generations and our lands. For that reason, the band Council and I believe we need to err on the side of caution and respect the world’s leading independent scientists who say—and have evidence to prove—that electromagnetic radiation, especially pulsed and microwave frequency radiation, is harmful to all living things.” 
“I am proud of our Council for standing up and voting to prohibit the installation of smart meters on our lands in order to protect not only our own people but all the peoples who resides and work on the Osoyoos Indian Band lands.” 
For More information, contact: 
J.R. (Banjo) Linkevic
Osoyoos Indian Band
(250) 498-3444 x 119


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Toward a Smart Meter RECALL!

Customers all across the United States have reported being harmed by utility smart meters. In Indiana, a mother of three small children can’t live in their home because a bank of smart meters gave her debilitating health problems.  In California hundreds of customers have reported headaches, ringing in the ears, heart palpitations, sleep problems and more.
Customers report flames shooting from outlets, burned out appliances and fires after smart meter installation.  Meanwhile in some states, the utility companies and their regulators response is to charge more money (opt-out fees) to avoid smart meters and they ignore the health and fire hazards.
The US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is a federal agency that will take complaints on utility smart meters from all US states.

Please go here for more details and updates.

Friday, June 21, 2013

What we can do...

[note 7/2/13 : see update at bottom of this post, 7/4/13 see update on Act 129 below]

I am no expert on the laws, but this is what I have learned about why we are being subjected to having these smart meters installed, and also what actions we can take at this time to protect ourselves through the legal system.

Federal law enacted in 2005 required the electric utility companies to provide time-based meters to customers requesting a time-based rate...i.e. smart meters.

Energy Policy Act of 2005

bottom of page 371

(a)IN GENERAL.—Section 111(d) of the Public Utility Regulatory
Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2621(d)) is amended by adding
at the end the following:
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this
paragraph, each electric utility shall offer each of its customer
classes, and provide individual customers upon customer
request, a time-based rate schedule under which the rate
charged by the electric utility varies during different time
periods and reflects the variance, if any, in the utility’s costs
of generating and purchasing electricity at the wholesale level.
The time-based rate schedule shall enable the electric consumer
to manage energy use and cost through advanced metering
and communications technology.

and further down...

‘‘(C) Each electric utility subject to subparagraph (A) shall
provide each customer requesting a time-based rate with a
time-based meter capable of enabling the utility and customer
to offer and receive such rate, respectively.

In 2008, Pennsylvania enacted Act 129, part of which states...

 (2)  Electric distribution companies shall furnish smart
        meter technology as follows:
                (i)  Upon request from a customer that agrees to pay
            the cost of the smart meter at the time of the request.
                (ii)  In new building construction.
                (iii)  In accordance with a depreciation schedule not
            to exceed 15 years.

Although the federal law appears to require smart meter installation only for those customers requesting them, the state law in PA does not provide that option.(update 7/4/13 This is what I've been told. I am looking into this more as I am not quite convinced that this is true.)

Many states now allow for customers to opt-out of these technologies. Pennsylvania should, too!

In 2011-12 and again in 2013, Rep. Mike Reese introduced three bills that would protect our rights as energy consumers. These bills are sitting in committee, waiting for Rep. Robert W. Godshall (Consumer Affairs Chairman) to find it in his heart to allow these bills to move ahead on their path to becoming law. It is up to us to provide the impetus for this to happen.

Even if you are not objecting to this technology, or are not sure yet if you do, it is in our best interests to have our rights and privacy protected in this way.

At the moment, in June of 2013, the House of Representatives is focused on bills relating to budget concerns and will not review these bills until sessions resume in the fall. That gives us time to contact our representatives and get our voices heard.

The three bills are as follows...

HB 899 Repeal of Smart Meter Mandate

It reads, in part...

I am of the opinion that although smart meters may be a technology that has advantages, no government body should mandate their usage. Such a mandate jeopardizes common principles of supply and demand.

This legislation, one of three bills addressing smart meter technology that I intend to introduce, would simply remove language that requires energy companies to provide smart meters while still allowing companies to offer the technology should they choose.

HB 902 Consumer “Opt-Out” of Smart Meter Usage

It reads, in part...

I and other legislators have been contacted by constituents that have expressed their desire to not have smart meter technology at their homes or businesses. Their concerns range from securing sensitive and personal information to the health impacts of radio frequency (RF) waves. My perspective is one that questions if a government mandate was appropriate at all.

This legislation, one of three bills addressing smart meter technology that I intend to introduce, would provide consumers the ability to “opt-out” of having a smart meter and require the Pennsylvania Utility Commission to create a fair surcharge system that would be paid by these consumers. This is similar to laws recently passed in Maine, Nevada and California.

(I want to mention here that many object to the surcharge for opting out, and I will try to get more information on that. In the meantime, if this bothers you too, you might want to mention your objection to that aspect of the bill when you contact your representative.)

HB 906 Consumer Consent to Share Smart Meter Information

It reads, in part...

Part of this mandate is the requirement that, with customer consent, power companies provide direct meter access or meter data to third parties including electric generation suppliers and providers of conservation and load management services. While it makes sense for certain third parties to have access to data necessary to ensure that consumers are billed properly for the services they receive, I am concerned about this information being shared with government agencies without prior consent.

This legislation, one of three bills addressing smart meter technology that I intend to introduce, will ensure that customer consent is required before an electric distribution company may share customer meter data or provide meter access to a government agency.

Rep. Reese's office has suggested that we each contact our local state reps and ask them to co-sponser these bills when they return to work in the fall. Also, ask that they speak candidly to Rep. Godshall and insist that he push these bills through the committee (of which he is the chairman) for a vote on the house floor. With enough representatives backing these bills, it will send a clear message to Rep. Godshall that the people of Pennsylvania expect to be properly represented and protected by our elected representatives. A call to Rep. Godshall might also be something to do, but the most important thing would be to get as much support for these bills as possible.

You can find your local representative here...Find Your Legislator

And if you are so inclined...Rep. Godshall's information is here... link

Thank you. Please spread the word and share this with as many people as you can.
Post a comment as well when you do, so we can all know that people are taking action!

[added 7-2-13... I have found that there are also three bills in the Senate introduced by Sen. Donald C. White. They are SB816 SB817 SB818
Click the links to see them. More updates on this post to come soon. ]

Monday, June 10, 2013

“Occupy Your Home”

 "An overwhelming majority of US and Canadian citizens are entirely unaware that an especially dangerous device has been attached to their homes. While installation of “smart meters” across North America has continued apace since 2009 the health effects such devices pose have yet to be fully realized. Left unaddressed the broad use and continued deployment of such equipment will almost certainly influence human health for many generations to come...."

Continue reading at this link...

“Occupy Your Home”: Confronting Smart Meter Toxification by James F. Tracy

Sunday, June 9, 2013

PUC Chairman: Opting Out of Smart Meters Not Up For Discussion

PUC Chairman: Opting Out of Smart Meters Not Up For Discussion


During a Chamber of Commerce panel event about energy innovation, Robert Powelson, chairman for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, told those in attendance that opting out of smart meters was not up for debate in Pennsylvania. Mr. Powelson was the featured speaker during Friday’s event at the University City Science Center, “Smart Technologies Re-Energizing the Regional Economy.” Addressing loss of privacy concerns, Mr. Powelson said there is no issue of any government body having access to personal data from smart meters. “It’s not the government. It’s your [energy] usage data and it’s your decision what to do with the data,” Mr. Powelson said. “We’re moving forward with meters here. Whether you like it or not, you’re getting a meter.” Mr. Powelson also told those in attendance that Pennsylvania is becoming an east coast epicenter for energy development and one of the most robust competitive retail markets with more renewable energy offerings.