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Say No To Smart Meters

WHY SMART METERS ARE DANGEROUS AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR HEALTH…

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PG&E is installing wireless  “smart meters” (replacing our existing electric and gas meters) at every single home, business, school, medical clinic, etc., in the Bay Area and elsewhere. It’s important that you read this and take personal action ASAP. Spread the word as widely as possible!

The meters transmit pulses of microwave energy roughly every minute, around the clock, and even repeat the signals from neighboring meters in what’s called a “mesh network”; and PG&E is also installing additional antennas outside on our light and power poles. PG&E’s official line is that no customer is allowed to opt out of receiving its wireless meters. This entire system is creating a looming public health disaster for our families and our communities.

Though safer technologies are readily available to create a smart grid, this one’s a sweet financial deal for PG&E. We customers pay all the costs, already $2.2 billion (roughly $250 per meter) bringing PG&E an immediate profit of $300+ million. And they create opportunities for PG&E to soon create even more corporate profit at our expense. PG&E makes phony greenwashing claims about the meters encouraging conservation, but (when you factor in the extra energy needed to broadcast all these pulses night and day), the program will actually likely cause a net increase in our overall carbon footprint. And the meters aren’t bi-directional, so they can’t be used for net metering for folks who have their own rooftop solar installations. By now almost everyone’s heard about the meters’ over-billing problems (more than 50,000 inaccurate meters to date) that PG&E’s finally being forced to begin acknowledging. But the meters have other major liabilities that most folks haven’t heard about yet:

There are security & privacy concerns: a top cybersecurity firm recently tested 5 different brands of smart meters for vulnerabilities, and found that they all could be EASILY hacked into, allowing someone to remotely shut down your power, inflate your bills, tell if you’re out-of-town (making you a target for burglary), commit identity theft, or even bring down the whole electricity grid. For more details, see here.

There also are safety issues, like known cases of the smart meter failing and starting a fire, or exploding. Also, in a recent official filing PG&E confirmed that its smart meters can damage customers’ sensitive electronics. And the new meter is effectively a remote control device in charge of your house or business, allowing PG&E the option of unilaterally rationing or cutting power to a property when the corporation deems it useful for THEIR purpose.

But by far the most dangerous aspect is the way these wireless meters put our health at risk! This kind of microwave pulsing works differently than more-continuous cell phone radiation, and it’s much more dangerous. Many scientific studies have verified that this type particularly affects the brain, nervous system and hormones, disrupting the functioning of many body systems and causing very serious leakage of our blood-brain barrier, and that low-power broadcasts (such as from these meters) are even more damaging than higher-power ones. Typical acute symptoms include migraine headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, forgetfulness and confusion, tinnitus, tingling, nausea and vomiting, constant thirst, heart palpitations and increased blood pressure, limbic system disturbances such as severe depression or anxiety or crying jags, etc.–and a general reduction from prior levels of functionality. For some, the nervous and endocrine systems go into hyper-arousal (as with severe stress), ultimately leading to the collapse known as “burnout”. Careful scientific research has proven that cumulative exposure to this type of radiation also causes more and more DNA breaks, which—if experienced frequently enough—have the potential to be a factor in ultimately causing cancer. Our risk of developing serious symptoms (often referred to as “electrical sensitivity”) increases the longer our chronic exposure to this radiation continues—and, with the smart meter system fully in place, there will be no place to escape it night or day. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health problems are particularly vulnerable.

The transmitting smart meters also typically add additional high frequencies directly onto home and building wiring. This additional high-frequency load is then re-radiated throughout the interior space. Scientific studies are finding that such high frequencies on building wiring are related to a host of health problems, similar to those described above. The Precautionary Principle—which says “Better safe than sorry”–is official policy in parts of the Bay Area; “better safe than sorry” should mean no wireless meters until it’s been independently proven that long-term exposure to them is safe.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SMART METERS THROUGH AN EVER-GROWING BOYCOTT, PERSONAL, NEIGHBORHOOD, COMMUNITY, AND MORE

How do you begin protecting yourself and your loved ones? To really win this one we’re ultimately going to have to build strong collective resistance, beginning with a smart meter boycott that utilizes the power of everyday folks joining together in large numbers and fighting back! PG&E originally said they would install the smart meters immediately whether you agree or not; but, as more customers began to resist, they started backpedaling and said “you can get a short delay”. They ALSO had threatened that, if you absolutely refused the meters, they’d shut off your power; but now they’re saying “well, ok, we’ll estimate your usage instead, except for the 2 times a year that we come out to read your meters”. (Well, that beats the hell out of having our families and our pets constantly irradiated, and our homes more vulnerable to break-ins.) If only one household had boycotted their meters, it would have been easy for PG&E to make a horrible example of them by shutting off their power. But the corporation will not do that to hundreds or thousands of their customers, because the bad publicity would be too costly! And it’s not clear they even have the legal authority to shut off power under those circumstances.

Next, because the meters bounce the signals from house to house, just retaining your own old meter isn’t sufficient. So, in parts of Oakland, folks have been talking to their neighbors and getting them to also object to the meters; they’re calling these neighborhoods “smart meter free zones”. You can do the same on your own block, in Fairfax and other parts of Marin. Here’s how to proceed with protecting your home:

1) IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD A SMART METER INSTALLED YET:

a) At TURN’s webpage , download & print 2 copies of the “Do Not Install” sign, and and tape one–clearly visible–onto your electric meter and the other onto your gas meter.

b) Call PG&E’s Smart Meter Dept., (866) 743-0263. Tell them you absolutely do not want a smart meter installed. Provide your name, address (or acct no), and phone number. They wioll reply that you have to eventually get the new meters, but they will instruct the installers to delay your installation.

c) Make the CPUC sit up and take notice! The CPUC Public Advisor’s Office logs all complaints and concerns about smart meters (other than a specific complaint if you believe your meter’s reading caused overbilling). Send them a short email to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov, telling them why you don’t want a smart meter. (You don’t have to go into great detail.) Include your name and PG&E billing address; your account number would also be helpful. They have already received more than 3,500 such complaints (not including overbilling ones), and that number is rising very quickly.

d) Educate your neighbors about smart meter dangers, and ask them to follow all the above steps too. Then, download TURN’s “Smart Meter Free Zone” sign here, place it in your window, and ask your neighbors to do the same. For more support in creating such a zone, contact TURN organizer Kori Chen at (415) 929-8876, x.361 or kchen@turn.org.

2) IF YOU & YOUR NEIGHBORS ALREADY HAVE SMART METERS ON YOUR PROPERTIES:

a) Phone PG&E’s Smart Meter Dept., (866) 743-0263; let them know that, since a smart meter was installed at your residence, you (or another member of your household) has been experiencing significant health problems, and insist that they temporarily replace the meter with an analog one. Once that replacement has been done, you are free to follow steps (a) through (d) in (1) above. As an alternative, consider taping a couple of layers of thick aluminum foil over all exposed areas, front and sides. Two layers of foil, shiny side in stops all RF coming from the meter.Then follow all the above relevant steps. Insist to both PG&E and the CPUC that you want your smart meters removed.

b) If you have a specific meter overbilling complaint, please file it at the appropriate CPUC department, either online or by downloading the proper form and instructions here.

3) OTHER IMPORTANT ACTIONS TO TAKE, TO BUILD A STRONGER “FIGHT BACK!” MOVEMENT:

a) A number of city councils (including Fairfax) and boards of supervisors have already sent letters to the CPUC, insisting on an immediate moratorium for this program and the opportunity for customers to opt out of participation. Lobby your own elected officials, asking them too to oppose this program.

b) A groundswell is building of health practitioners signing similar letters (that also contain extensive documentation of health risks). It would be very helpful if you approach your own health providers (both allopathic and alternative) with such a request. To help you do so, send an email to the Council on Wireless Technology Impacts (CWTI) at purrycomo@jps.net requesting a pair of model letters: one that explains to the practitioners how they can help, and the other being the actual letter for the practitioners to sign and return to CWTI.

c) Learn more, and help educate and organize others. Help build a large movement that stands up and says “NO Smart Meters! We will not accept PG&E’s corporate abuse of power and attempts to control what we have in our own home or business!”