Smart Meter News

The following newsletter is being distributed by, a Vermont organization with a mission “to educate the general public about the adverse health effects of microwave radiation and the health and privacy impacts of wireless smart meters.”

StopSmeters: Nightmare in Maine, Electrosmog, WiFi

To follow up on the outrageous news from Maine; Central Maine Power’s  (CMP) “Smart” Meter project calculations were a tad off. Instead of $25 million in projected savings, through “efficiencies” etc…  there’s a deficit of approximately $80 million (that’s the low estimate…) Maine’s PUC is initiating an audit to get to the bottom of this debacle. CMP would like to pass the buck to customers with an 8% + hike in rates each year for the next five years. 

From DEBORAH RUBIN Jun 19 01:22PM -0500  

According to the order docket, in its 2010 application CMP projected that the AMI project would provide approximately $25 million in net savings to ratepayers over 20 years, not including the benefits from demand response and other supply side programs that would be available to customers once the project is in place.However, in May 2013, the updated AMI revenue requirement had shifted from a net saving to a net cost, estimated by the PUC at approximately $80 million.

“While this calculation is only a preliminary estimate, this apparent shift from a net ratepayer benefit at the time AMI was authorized to a substantial net increase in costs now that the project has been completed and CMP is seeking to reflect AMI costs in rates, is of great concern to the Commission,” states the docket.

In addition the docket refers to concern about the lack of capability to deliver customer benefits on the electricity supply side, stating that these are not being realized, in part, because programs cannot currently be accommodated by CMP’s AMI and related systems.

According to the PUC order, a competitive RFP process which will be initiated to select an auditor. The target date for completion of the audit is December 31, 2013.

In Vermont, the sales pitch included customer savings and emphasized knowledge gleaned from electricity consumption data. We were told our rates would not go up as fast as they would otherwise. Hardly a glowing endorsement but justification for utilities to grab the money and run. 

Even in areas of low population density, which tends to be most of Vermont, recorded RF radiation measurements are exceedingly high. In utility speak the emissions are “robust” which translates into a big blanket of toxic electrosmog.

As mentioned before, the Elster meters deployed by GMP have two transmitters. One transmits continuously, including data, from meter to meter and thence to utility. The other is a two-way communication ZigBee component that allows remote control of appliances, electricity shut offs etc..  According to GMP’s Brian Otley, the ZigBee transmitters will be turned off by the end of June. They weren’t supposed to be on to begin with. Oops. All that gratuitous radiation spewed into our environment… 

If a customer buys “smart” appliances (in time, everything may be “smart”, creating a secondary market for “dumb” appliances), the ZigBee chip is designed to interact with these new appliances. Ultimately, utilities want to control your major appliances; thermostats, refrigerators… This is about energy harvesting, skimming, dimming, trimming, controlling, with the aim to reduce peak load. At what price? Our health, privacy, and, if Maine’s any indication, our pocketbook.

Speaking of electrosmog, take the time to listen to Blake Levitt on the subject. In her words:

“Below is a link to a 1/2 hour radio interview on the Living Well show in Colorado. (I appear to have unconsciously decided to become a Valley Girl and talk in question-mark sentences — not my normal speaking style).  Part 2 of the interview will air next week. Devra Davis was also interviewed there and a link is available at their website.”

Also, the dangers of WiFi, as illustrated in this short video. Heads up, customers of Vtel. Vtel is installing new fiber optic connections and providing new modems. The modems are installed with the wireless function on. Many people don’t want wireless and prefer to use ethernet cables. Customers need to notify Vtel to have the wireless disabled.

One Vtel customer said:

“A Vtel tech came to my house yesterday and turned off the wifi part of my new fiber optic modem.  He was not the guy who installed the modem, who didn’t  know that the wifi could be turned off.  The woman in the business office was similarly clueless, saying something like, “if you turn off the wifi you won’t be ableto get internet”, apparently not realizing that you can hard-wire your connection.

I think Vtel should be required (by the PSD?)  to notify people that they can opt  out of the wifi.  Many people who already have wifi don’t need it (and could benefit by unplugging their wifi personal systems when not using them).  Other folks, like my elderly neighbors, have no use for 24/7 wifi because the don’t even have a computer!”

The Dangers of WiFi Radiation: See It Measured

We continue to get reports of health problems linked to smart meters. I’m including two flyers you can print for hand outs. “Reasons to Opt-Out” includes utility #’s and both include common health complaints associated with smart meter radiation. The 2nd flyer list contact #’s to report complaints. Also included is a comparison chart of wireless devices.

Unfortunately, many people experiencing health problems may not connect their symptoms to smart meter emissions. It’s time to step up our efforts to reach all Vermonters – let’s aim for the next 5% opt-out!

Referenced Links:

Comments | 15

  • Many people are complaining

    Many people are complaining of symptoms which they are convinced are the result of Wi-Fi. While it looks from a reasonable scientific perspective as though they are wrong about the source, the symptoms remain. (Google: “nocebo”)
    Rather than simply measuring emissions and comparing them to scientifically accepted levels, one group of researchers in London decided to “test whether people who report being sensitive to mobile phone signals have more symptoms when exposed to a pulsing mobile signal than when exposed to a sham signal or a non-pulsing signal.”
    Their results, which were published in the British Medical Journal in March 2006 (based on research conducted between 2003-2005) concluded, “No evidence was found to indicate that people with self-reported sensitivity to mobile phone signals are able to detect such signals, or that they react to them with increased symptom severity. As sham exposure was sufficient to trigger severe symptoms in some participants, psychological factors may have an important role in causing this condition.”
    120 subjects were included in the study, half of whom were “sensitive” people who reported frequently getting headaches within 20 minutes of using a mobile phone, and 60 “control” participants who did not report any such symptoms. The study showed that a virtually identical proportion of “sensitive” participants believed a signal was present during real exposure (60%) to GSM cellular signals, as did when no signal was present whatsoever (63%).
    Since Wi-Fi equipment emits less intense radiation than do mobile phones, it does give a strong indication that the source of reported symptoms may lie somewhere other than the nearest WLAN.


    • but . . .

      Nice piece of research, Tom. Thanks for posting it.

      One of the European renewable energy experts who was in Brattleboro a couple months ago told a story of a woman who complained severely about noise from a small hydropower installation in the community where she lived. He researched the situation and discovered that her father had recently died and her boyfriend had just broken up with her. A few months later he checked back again and the problem seemed to have disappeared, and she’d found a new boyfriend.

      At the same time, WiFi signals are continuous while cell phone signals are present only while someone is on the phone, right? And hasn’t cell phone use been linked to brain cancer? Nocebo research aside, this doesn’t really answer my questions about EMF’s and their health effects.

      • Pla-Si-Bo, No-Si-Bo---sounds like a calypso song!

        There’s a lot more to this than anybody really knows. It’s possible that there are harmful health effects from EMF at any level. It’s possible that there’s a lot of hype, much of it from well-meaning people who haven’t done much research. It’s also possible that corporate and government types are lying through their teeth.
        They did a study recently in Australia about “Wind Turbine Syndrome”. It seems that outbreaks were concentrated in places where a significant local opposition was active. A conclusion was that WTS was real, it was caused by a virus, and the virus was spread by word of mouth.
        I was listening to Ted Talks on NHPR this afternoon. One of the speakers was an Indian PhD student who wanted to debunk shamanic healing. He had himself apprenticed to a shaman and learned the techniques, all of which were based on illusion and sleight of hand.
        As part of his training, he had to practice these on “charity” patients without any cost.
        Much to his surprise, he found a very high cure rate, nearly 100 %, though he knew the treatments were bogus (but his patients didn’t).
        Something similar was done in the US involving a fake electronic device to treat Parkinson’s tremor. The machine worked nearly as well as proven medications, with the exception that the machine treatment only persisted for about 1/4th of the duration of the medicine.
        My feeling is that truly independent research by disconnected organizations with no skin in the game is seriously needed.

        • Research

          Did you click the link to the Comparison document at the bottom of their newsletter? There seemed to be a lot of research cited there. I also wonder if it would be possible to test some real world scenarios such as apartment buildings with lots of meters, duration of exposure (hours/days/weeks), and maybe even certain populations such as children, old people, or people with certain health conditions (cardiac, epilepsy, Lyme, for example). Although it’s harder to be empathetic when you’re not having any problems, there seem to be quite a few people who claim negative health effects, and it seems only fair to look into their reports and do some fair and honest research, as you suggest.

          That said, the story about Maine’s significantly higher costs (when they were expecting a savings) was interesting in itself. Are these higher costs permanent, I wonder?

          • "Did you click the link to

            “Did you click the link to the Comparison document at the bottom of their newsletter? There seemed to be a lot of research cited there.”
            I did, and much of it can’t be said to be truly independent.

          • Determining what's independent

            I would be willing to grant you that the research cited is not independent if you could be more specific about which ones are not independent and how you know that they aren’t. To me, it just looked like a list of names of researchers with the dates the research was done. Do you have inside information? if so, please share!

      • Bright Light causes breast cancer!

        Quote: “And hasn’t cell phone use been linked to brain cancer?”

        On a completely unrelated project, I came across an interesting statement in a scientific paper on lighting by one of the most respected names in his field:

        “Some have expressed concern that bright light at night or dim light during the day may disrupt the circadian system, desynchronizing biological systems and leading to immune deficiencies or even breast cancer .”

        Stevens RG, Rea MS. 2001. Light in the built environment: Potential role of circadian disruption in endocrine disruption and breast cancer. Cancer Cause Control 12(3): 279-287.

        Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA 12180

        It’s out of context, but interesting. Under certain circumstances, almost anything may cause cancer.

  • Clusters of meters

    As far as I can tell, Vermont tested a single meter on a house and found it to be within FCC limits, which are based on a healthy adult male’s exposure.

    From GMP:

    The FCC establishes maximum permissible exposure limits to prevent thermal effects of RFR using units of power density: watts per square meter (W/m2), milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm2), or microwatts per square centimeter (μW/cm2).

    Measurements taken directly in contact with a smart meter on the exterior wall of a residence in Colchester, Vermont ranged from 50 to 140 μW/cm2 compared to the FCC’s maximum permissible exposure limit of 610 μW/cm2 for a member of the public. Measurements at a distance of three feet or more from the smart meter were at or near background. A mobile phone used at this location and time was also measured using the same instrument. Transmission of RFR from the phone at the time of measurement was 490 μW/cm2.”

    Being amongst renters and close to other homes, we have about 8 of them within 100 feet of us. We’ve done testing with a Research Electronics CPM-700 that seems to show the meters vastly exceeding FCC limits in our house. And we opted out! We’ll have more tests done, but it would seem that while perhaps an individual meter might be safe, but a cluster of them may be exceeding FCC limits.

    There’s a class action suit in California over smart meters and negative health effects that will be interesting to follow.

  • RF? Radiation?

    A logical person can only sit by and let the superstitious and unscientific nonsense go by for so long.

    RF (radio frequency) transmission is not ionizing radiation and there is no real science that shows any real danger to any part of the human body or other living things from non-near-field RF transmission.

    RF from smart meters in our houses is very low-power; similar to the transmissions of the local radio station.

    We have lived in a constant and unending sea of electromagnetic radiation since we crawled out of the slime. Our sun and the interstellar traffic emits it; our bodies emit it and the bodies of nearly every living thing on earth emit some form of it. Yes, our brains also emit low level RF… are they harmful? (I mean, apart from the occasional evil idea…)

    The only real difference between the radiation emitted from a smart meter and the RF emitted from natural sources is that the smart meter’s RF contains encoded data.

    So is it the data itself that you fear? The content buried in the radiation? Then shut down all radio stations and shut down the internet too.

  • Health, Privacy, Security & Fire: Pick your Poison

    The sheer scope, volume and seriousness of the hazards of ‘smart’ meters are an indicator of the power and money behind the deployment of 40M of them in the U.S. since the stimulus (ARRA) of 2009 with an estimated “61.8 Million By End of 2013” < >

    The ex-director, CIA regarding security said “it’s a really, really stupid grid.” < >

    The Congressional Research Service said, among many disturbing things that ‘smart’ meter “Detailed electricity usage data offers a window into the lives of people inside of a home by revealing what individual appliances they are using, and the transmission of the data potentially subjects this information to interception or theft by unauthorized third parties or hackers.”

    The Ontario Fire Marshall posted “…incidents of smouldering fires and/or explosions involving either the electrical smart meter or the meter base to which it is mounted”

    Pick your reason for saying ‘NO!” to these insidious devices that are actually constructing the slippery slope that has never existed before.

    If your focus is health, please read on. I received this email in April. I have spoken to Marguerite many times and she is assembling her medical records to corroborate the time frame she outlines. Due to her experience many people in her town are paying the extortion/protection required in Maine so that she can survive. How is this even possible?

    “My name is Marguerite LaChance and I would like to tell everyone about the health problems I had after the so-called smart meter was installed on my house.

    In May of 2011 the meter was placed on my house without my authorization and with no notice or warning of all the health hazards. Around that same time, I remember that I started feeling tired all the time, getting very dizzy, I started passing out and was having chest pains. I started getting very weak and needed a cane to walk around so I would not fall; but I fell, many times.

    My Doctor started treating me for vertigo, with no results.

    In March 2012 I passed out again and fell to the ground, because I was so weak and dizzy; the paramedics brought me to the hospital. I was in the ER for a day then transferred to the intensive care for a day, and then I was another day in patient care. They did all kinds of test and blood work but found nothing wrong, except that my heart rate was low; but attributed that to lack of oxygen. So they sent me home with oxygen bottles, which I had to use day and night, but it didn’t help.

    The chest pains were getting worse, no one knew why. I was in and out of the doctors’ office as well as the hospital, having test after test and endless blood work. They could not find anything wrong; at this point the pain was going up to my neck and making my left arm numb.

    Then my Dr. did some very intrusive test, and found no answers about what was wrong with me and finally suggested I go to see my cardiologist. They ran more tests and did more blood work but all they could tell me was, my heart did not cause the pain.

    I felt like I was dying, but no one had any idea why. I had no life in me, dizzy, headaches, chest pains, weak, couldn’t breath, and I needed oxygen all day long. Every living moment of my life was agony, I really though it was over for me, and there was no help.

    At this point my son Robert started doing research on the Internet and discovered that other people were having the same health problems. Robert printed many articles for me to read that were written by professionals and Doctors all around the world. These articles are telling people about the problems other people are having from the smart meters.

    My son called CMP and asked them to remove the meter and they did so with in two hours, after he told them I had a pacemaker. CMP told us it would cost us $40 to put back the old meter, even though they took it for free in the first place. They also said, “we would have to pay an extra twelve dollars a month for that.” I understand approximately half the state is not on smart meters and they are not paying an extra twelve dollars a month; for the old fashion, safe meters.

    I am so very happy to say 3 days after that meter was gone, I stopped having chest pains, and within a week I didn’t need the oxygen all the time. My energy started coming back to me and I was walking without the cane. After about a month, I started sleeping nights, no more headaches, no more chest pains, and no more dizziness or passing out falling to the ground. My life is pleasurable again, and I truly enjoy living, Thank the Lord.

    I called CMP several times and spoke with at least six different people about all of the issues I experienced. Not one person at CMP seemed to care or even believe me. They are still making me pay extra to live free of the awful effects of their terrible new meter. But I would rather pay them their wrongful fees and live then save twelve dollars a month and die.”

    • ?

      “They did all kinds of test and blood work but found nothing wrong, except that my heart rate was low; but attributed that to lack of oxygen.”

      If one’s blood oxygen saturation level (O2) is low, the lack of oxygen typically increases the heart rate, as a compensatory mechanism to correct the situation, unless there is a reason that the heart can not kick in and provide this compensatory function? Then you may have a low O2 sat level. So it would be a bradycardic heart rate that is the cause of low O2 levels, requiring oxygen administration; not low 02 levels causing a low heart rate?

      I think if one was O2 deprived enough to have a resultant drop in heart rate, they would be well on their way to the “humming shock of the golden light”?

      Any cardologists or cardiology nurses out here?

    • post hoc, ergo propter hoc!

      post hoc, ergo propter hoc!

      • One good anecdote deserves another

        In the early ‘80s, I was living in Wardsboro. Some of us started a “cable club” to improve TV reception. We received the 3 networks & PBS over the air, amplified it, and distributed it by wire to about 100 households.
        After a while, it became possible to get Cable channels by installing a large (10 feet) dish.
        We bought one, plus the electronics necessary to integrate it with our system.
        Well, the dish arrived, and we erected it in a field in the town.
        Shortly thereafter, one of the residents began complaining of an illness which she attributed to our new dish. She got headaches, started feeling tired all the time, getting dizzy, weak and needed a cane to walk around. Very much like the abovementioned Ms. LaChance.
        I don’t think she was passing out and having chest pains, but the symptoms were similar.
        Well, the dish was only a receiver. It didn’t emit any radiation at all.
        But that didn’t even matter. We hadn’t yet received the electronics. The dish wasn’t connected to anything! It was just a great big piece of plastic sticking up out of a field.
        Go figure.

    • RF exposure

      If you’re trying to avoid exposure to radio frequency radiation, the hospital is a terrible place to go. The internal networks, the courtesy network, the cell phones everyone is using, the televisions in every room, fed by cable, the intense amount of electrical wiring, and all those computer components, all grinding way with fluctuating electromagnetic fields….

      I would expect any symptoms of exposure to be much worse in such an environment than in a residence with a smart meter, a Ghz cordless phone, a cell phone, standard wiring, and a gigantic, malfunctioning electromagnet in the basement.


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