Concern over Smart Meters increases

February 11, 2011

The debate over the safety of PG&E Smart meters continues in northern California.

A property manager in Marina recently installed cages around the 142 electric and gas meters in the 70-unit apartment complex on Monterey Bay in response to PG&E’s attempt to deploy the wireless device throughout town.

On Thursday, a PG&E representative called Tobie Cecil and told him to remove the cages immediately or PG&E would call the Marina Fire Department to have fines issued.

Marina Fire Chief Harold Kelly inspected the cages and said, “As long as the meters are accessible, they’re fine.”

Meanwhile, the Capitola City Council passed an ordinance banning Smart Meters within city limits.

The council also unanimously voted for the city to write a letter of support for State Assembly Bill 37, introduced by Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, that would require the Public Utilities Commission to allow PG&E customers to opt-out of Smart Meter installation.”

There are now 25 cities in the state who have decided on some type of ordinance, resolution, or moratorium for Smart Meters.


21 Comments

  1. tommythumb says:

    People are f-ing crazy. I bet they got crazy when them horseless carriages hit the roads.

    We have energy all around us, watch out for that cell phone, your car, and everything else.

    Love and Kisses!

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  2. bobfromsanluis says:

    I have been looking around at the report from the California Council on Science and Technology and if the report to see if it is all that it is cracked up to be; I am not so sure now. This response paints a little different picture of the report, some possible links to industry by those that supposedly wrote the report, and the possibly faulty conclusions the reports comes to. Another consideration; will the insurance industry actually cover any potential health issues that come to light that could be attributed to smart meter technology?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. sloslo says:

    Here is a little quiz for all of you. Which of the following do you think exposes you to more electro-magnetic radition?
    * A smart meter that very occasionally transmits at a power of at most 1 watt?
    * The constant 60hz pulsing of the thousands of watts of 120 volt current that flows through all the electrical wiring running throughout the walls of your home?

    I don’t doubt that it could be possible that some people are sensitive to the effects of electromagnetic radiation, but clearly any exposure from smart meters is going to be hugely drowned out by the constant EMF exposure you are getting from all the electrical wiring in your home, office, etc.

    Which makes this whole debate really ridiculous. If you are ultra-sensitive to EMF, then you shouldn’t have electrical service in your home, and if you don’t have electrical service in your home, then you don’t have to worry about PG&E trying to install a smart meter or any other kind of meter in your home.

    Another fun experiment, which I’m sure we’ll never see anyone try. Since some people claim that their heart beat skips, head buzzes, etc when they are near a smart meter that is transmitting, they should easily be able to tell exactly when a smart meter transmits just by noticing the onset of their symptoms. Since smart meters only transmit very occasionally throughout the day, if their symptoms are real and not imagined, they should be able to identify exactly when this transmission occurs. I’d love to see an experiment seeing if there is any correlation to the actual transmit times of the meter. Any takers?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  4. Jim Zim says:

    Wow… reading these comments reminds me of the hysterical debate in the 1960′s about adding Flouride to drinking water.

    All you people who think a smartmeter on your exterior house wall is dangerous to your health: first let’s see you get rid of your cell phone and laptop computer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • bobfromsanluis says:

      Jim: Did you read this in the Tribune? As I stated earlier, what is wrong with well defined research that can answer most of the questions about smart meter technology? Do you really feel comfortable “trusting” PG&E telling you “don’t worry”? I for one would like more test results before I can be assured that the technology is not going to cause me harm. If you have no issues with the new wireless meters and don’t think your spouse or offspring will be harmed, then step right up and get your new meter. Good luck.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      • zaphod says:

        http://www.ccst.us/news/2011/20110111smart.php
        The California Council on Science and Technology
        there you go bfsl.

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        • bobfromsanluis says:

          zaphod: Thank you, a very good link. As is most cases in dealing science, the report did state that “more research” is needed to study possible long term effects that may or may not show up. The credentials for the CCST are impeccable, they appear to have no real ties to industry that could lead to a possible “tainting” of their findings. I am not quite convinced that the technology is completely safe still, and to that end I do have to ask why it is that the meters that apparently being installed do not have a “UL” (Underwriters Laboratory) tag or marker on the meters; is there another potential problem, say the possibility that they could burst into flames? You may come back and accuse me of attempting to redirect the dialog to another potential problem and walk back my concerns about the safety of the RF transmissions of the smart meters because the report you linked to tried to calm everyone’s fears, but even they do not claim that they “know” that the technology will not harm anyone. The report makes a great case, but it is not a guaranteed assurance that no one will have any health issues due to the technology.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          • zaphod says:

            bfsl: are sure your existing meter has a Underwriters Laboratory rating? Smart meters are needed as we adapt to electric plug in vehicles UL is all over it.

            and finally a Snappy answer to … electromagnetic spectrum basics

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

            • zaphod says:

              “If you’re worried about thermal effects from a smart meter, try this experiment: Stand really close to your wireless router (that’s the box in your house that makes your wireless internet go) until you feel warm. A smart meter would expose you to about four times as much energy if it were constantly transmitting, which it isn’t, but you can figure that you would feel thermal effects in about a quarter of the time. Go on, we’ll wait.

              (Do not, incidentally, put your scrotum right on the router, for myriad reasons but especially because sperm are particularly susceptible to thermal effects. You’re probably not going to have any problems from just normal amounts of radiation, but don’t push it, unless you’re deliberately doing your part for zero population growth.)” snippet from that last link:-D

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

            • bobfromsanluis says:

              zaphod: In reply to your link to Grist with the “snappy answer”, did you read to the end of the article where they (in all seriousness) suggested that having customer given the ability to “opt-out” of the wireless part of the smart meter technology ? I for one would sign up for the ability to have a smart meter installed IF it was hard wired.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. brook says:

    Interesting. Nobody shows any concern for the people who will be unemployed when
    the meters are installed. Instead of contributing to the tax base, these people will
    be draining it through no fault of their own. Oh. I forgot. Corporations ARE people.
    And they don’t get any tax breaks. Meh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    It gets to the point of who do you believe in trying to make their case? If you don’t like something you will link it to death. Of course I could link to death the opposite arguement to.

    Also if someone figures they don’t want or need something, of course they will argue all day. But what if they wanted or needed something.

    Look at how things go back and forth. Eggs are bad, no wait good, no bad, maybe good. Where are we in the yes no cycle? How about coffee. Bad, good, bad, good. I remember reading in the early ninties (I swear this is true) in a six month span that they thought water might cause cancer. Also that they thought sex might cause cancer. Hmm don’t think a lot of people are rushing to link an arguement in favor of the latter.

    Not saying we shouldn’t check into things but sometimes we as a society can whip ourselves up into a freenzy. Remember what FDR said, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

    • bobfromsanluis says:

      So as a reply to “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”, would you say that “ignorance is bliss”? I for one would prefer as much information as possible. The “filter” that I use to choose which information to consider is who is presenting it, who has paid for that information to be gathered, who benefits from that information and what are the alternatives. I don’t usually give “blogs” much credence unless they are written by someone who is a specialist in that field and they have credentials to back up what they are asserting. If they are being supported by the industry that they are reporting on, that usually raises suspicion in my view, if they are touting their own technology only I keep that in mind, and if they point out alternatives that they do not seem to be linked to then I give their view more weight.
      PG&E is a corporation and as such is mandated to make as much profit for their shareholders as possible and no one should forget that fact when questioning their motives. They have done real good in a lot of areas, one such instance is the “rebates” for buying CFL light bulbs because they are so much more efficient. The state of California has mandated that companies in the business of generating electricity have to have more of the power feed into the grid generated by alternative sources and PG&E is doing a good thing by trying to keep up with that mandate. As for the smart meter technology goes however, they are only doing what will give them the most benefit for the least investment possible and any possible health risks will be secondary to their goal of maximizing profits, IMO. To keep investigating what smart meters can or cannot do, what possible health risks they may or may not pose is only prudent and I cannot trust company with a monopoly to “do the right thing” without public pressure to make sure that any truth about possible health risks is completely uncovered and discussed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  7. RobertWilliams says:

    IF RADIATION FROM WIRELESS SMART METERS ISN’T HARMFUL, THEN WHY WON’T INSURANCE COMPANIES INSURE THE HEALTH RISKS FROM WIRELESS SMART METERS?

    VIDEO: Insurance Companies Won’t Insure Wireless Device Health Risks (3 minutes, 13 seconds)
    http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=382

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • zaphod says:

      LMGTFY

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • SLORider says:

      Because you’re a nut case.

      Smart meters use radios just like your cell phone, laptop, and zillions of other devices that are around you by the hundreds every day. Get a life, and read a science book! And quit trying to whip up fear.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 10

    • willie says:

      Good thought or point.
      In the early 1980′s when the IBM computer monitors were discovered to cause hair loss and miscarriage, industry DID NOT take product liability, instead they profit by selling screens and filters over the monitors until a greener monitor was developed.
      I tinker as a hobby (electronics) using high power transformers, but it is “by choice and with precautions” whereas the Smart Meter is not i.e. it is forced upon us or cast into us.
      People are gradually winding down from the use of electronics (microwave ovens, computers ect al) as they become more informed of the chronic pitfalls and addictions.
      Anything anyone force on another should take responsibility but they cleverly will not. But any good CEO if they believe in their own product (without lying) would show it as assurance.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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