Last updated: April 19, 2012. Best viewed using Mozilla Firefox internet browser.
That's right. Our utility companies are now installing mini-cell towers on what is supposed to be the safety and sanctity of our private homes. They're wireless smart meters that will replace the old analog meter that you have on or near our homes, businesses and schools.
Great. Just what we need. More man-made wireless RF radiation blanketing our homes and bodies. And during these stressful and economically hard times, they also come with costs to our pocket books, privacy and security, civil liberties, freedom of choice, and public safety.
Burbank Water & Power's website says the wireless smart meters are mandatory, even though the U.S. government says they aren't. So what happened to our rights to say what wireless devices we want installed on our homes? By bypassing our input and consent, it's no wonder national consumer rights groups, privacy experts, civil libertarians, environmental groups, conservative and liberal political parties, residents, neighborhoods, cities, and counties, are opposing these installations. Yes, the problems with wireless smart meters aren't just confined to Burbank. They're also generating growing concerns, problems and opposition throughout the state, nation and world.
Actions you can take: In California, 45 cities and communities have adopted measures to oppose or outlaw the installation of wireless smart meters in their communities.
1. Write! Write and ask your local officials to adopt and support the consumer and resident right to opt out and not have a wireless smart meters installed on your home without your consent. Also rite and ask your local utilities that you are requesting the right to opt out and do not want a wireless smart meter on your home. To do this, go to:
"Actions You Can Take & Helpful Organizations and Websites" (Discussion Item #14 below): https://sites.google.com/site/nocelltowerinourneighborhood/home/wireless-smart-meter-concerns/actions-you-can-take-other-helpful-organizations-and-websites
Bottom line: Our Congress is encouraging the adoption of smart grid technologies, but Congress and our Federal government have not mandated wireless smart meters on every home. In addition, national consumer and state advocates are recommending voluntary consumer adoption! Even the California Council for Science and Technology's recent health report on wireless smart meters recommends that options be considered for those who have concerns about them. (See list of discussion items below for more details.)
Wireless smart meters are not personal telecommunications facilities (cell towers) so the limitations of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 do not apply here -- i.e., city officials are not prohibited from considering environmental or health concerns when deciding how to opt out or halt the installation of wireless smart meters in their communities.
2. Watch! Must-See TV: View the April 28, 2011 Santa Barbara, CA, smart meter town hall forum, featuring expert who present logical and intelligent reasons why you need to oppose smart meters at your home and community. Click the YouTube video arrow on your right.
Summary Background: Local utility companies across the country are now deploying wireless smart meters on our homes (and schools and businesses). These new wireless smart meters are different than your traditional meter because they record and communicate, via wireless RF radiation bursts, information and data to your utility company on how much energy you are using as often as every 15 minutes 24/7 -- to give them (and you) a near real-time picture of how much energy you are using during certain times of each hour and throughout the day. In addition to the wireless smart meter monitoring your energy usage, there are also wireless gas and water meters being deployed.
If you live in an apartment or multi-residential complex, you may not want to live or sleep in the unit that is right next to the large bank of several side-by-side installed wireless smart meters.
Wireless smart meters are just one element of the host of smart technologies being deployed -- what energy experts estimate will ultimate cost trillions of dollars to upgrade our nation's electrical grid with the hope of increasing energy efficiency and creating cost savings. Consumer advocates, however, point out that most of the cost savings will be passed onto the energy industry and not the consumer, and that there already exist effective ways that consumers and utilities can conserve energy, and improve energy efficiency and create a greener, cleaner planet without the mandatory adoption of wireless smart meters.
And therein lies the other problem: most utility companies are telling their ratepayers that the installations are mandatory. But, according to who? Consumers and communities must be able to retain their rights and freedom to opt in or out of adopting wireless smart meter technologies due a variety of concerns, including these below.
Given all these concerns and issues surrounding wireless smart meters, it's no wonder there's a growing movement of consumers, consumer advocates, and local officials who are upset and want other choices to wireless smart meters and the right to options or refuse. Consumers groups are organizing protests, boycotts, distributing flyers, hosting educational events and presenting information at meetings, putting up signs on their homes and meters. Two grandmothers have even gotten arrested in an attempt to protect their life and liberty.
Summary: Reasons for Concern
Because this is such a new and infinitely evolving technology, and the utilities and federal and state agencies regulating them may not have anticipated the groundswell of consumer concerns and response actions they would generate, there are a growing number of reasons why we should be concerned about wireless smart meters:
From a report by Dan Hirsch available at: http://www.committeetobridgethegap.org/
Their concerns are not just all theory and hype -- in areas where wireless smart meters have been installed, you'll find real-world nightmare stories from consumers complaining about how their lives have been negatively affected or destroyed because of these new installations.
So why are utilities rushing to install them on our homes, schools and businesses, and what action can you take if you want to opt or refuse one? Read the details and helpful information about this issue -- click each of the discussion items below:
Smart Meter Discussion Items
1. First and Foremost: Are Wireless Meters Mandatory?
2. Smart Meters Unite Consumers, Citizens and Residents from Opposite Backgrounds and Political Affiliations
3, Actions Being Taken: What Are Consumers Doing To Protect Civil Liberties and Affirm Their Rights to Refuse or Opt Out?
4. Going Deep: Understanding the Big Picture and Real Costs and Concerns, Helpful News Reports and Consumer Advocacy Reports and Analysis
5. Smart Meter Consumers Anger Grows Over Higher Utility Bills, and Problems with Accuracy
6. Privacy and Security Concerns Still Unresolved
7. Health Concerns Grow: Consumers Are Getting Sick From Wireless Smart Meters
8. Consumers Report Public Safety Hazards and Interference Problems
9. Cities and States Outside of California Pull Back
10. Resident Campaigns In Other States
12. Lessons Learned: What's Happened in Australia
13. Lessons Learned: Major Problems for Canada
14. Actions You Can Take & Other Helpful Organizations and Websites
15. City and County Documents including Agendas, Minutes, Video Meeting links, Staff Reports, Proposed and Approved Ordinances, Resolutions, Correspondence, etc.
16. Wireless Smart Meter Background Information for Burbank/Glendale
*USE OF THIS SITE DEPENDS ON AGREEMENT WITH OUR DISCLAIMER: This website is intended to help advance knowledge and stimulate further research. While all reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the validity of the information given, no warranty is given towards its accuracy. It is not intended to substitute for medical advice nor as a final statement with regard to possible prevention and avoidance recommendations or potential biological effects. No liability is accepted by the authors for damages arising from its use or misuse and interpretation by others. All references to smart meters refer to wireless devices, which may vary in their emissions.