New 'smart' meters a health, security and environmental risk
Did you know that energy ‘smart’ meters are being installed in homes in the USA, Canada, Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and South Africa — all in the name of energy efficiency? By the end of the decade, the USA and Europe plan to have installed the so-called ‘intelligent’ wireless transmitters in the majority of households, as part of a ‘smart’ energy grid. Many have already been installed, though many householders remain unaware of the significant dangers to health and the shortcomings of the technology.
What they tell you is that smart meters, that can work with remote wireless energy monitors, seamlessly transmit data about your energy usage to your energy provider. The utility companies promise customer benefits, such as more insight into energy consumption; revealing where savings can be made; remote meter readings; more accurate and predictable bills; previous usage tracking; messaging from the utility company, and even the ability to control your supply via your mobile phone. What they don't tell you is that they should carry a major health warning because they are transmitting data using microwave radiation. That's the same radiation that cell phone masts emit, but right from your home. And you could end up with two devices - the smart meter on the outside and the energy monitor inside, both emitting radiation!
An optional energy monitor for use with some smart meters
The world is waking up to ‘dumb’ meters
Despite the conclusions of the VaasaETT Global Energy Think Tank report, 2010, that benefits are mainly for the utility companies, rather than the environment or the customer, the technology has surged forwards. The report also states that customer benefits are dependent on supportive policy and regulation and that smart meters are inappropriate for low energy consumption households.
In US states where there are currently fairly aggressive rollouts of the technology, the utility companies are already encountering strong resistance and multiple legal challenges! Hardly surprising when people are not being given adequate risk vs benefit information or a choice. In short,
You wouldn't choose to house a cell phone mast in your living room, but they're asking you to fit a smart meter and not being honest about the health risks. Coal fires caused such thick 'pea soup' fogs in London in the first half of the last century that they were banned on the basis of safety. Smart meters will create a similar 'pea soup' electrosmog, but so much more dangerous as they invisibly affect us all 24/7.
It's extraordinary that smart meters haven't been stopped dead in their tracks given the World Health Organization's recent declaration that wireless technology is a cancer risk. There is already a reasonable consensus of concern about mobile phones, wireless devices and other sources of EMR, particularly where children are concerned. And further mounting evidence of the harm to health from such sources of EMR.
In the US, some utility companies are now allowing those that feel strongly to ‘opt out’ and keep their analogue meter, but only in return for a fee and regular ‘opt out’ payments. Sounds a bit like a protection racket when you have to make regular payments to keep the meter that's already installed in order to stay safe! In the UK, smart meters will not be mandatory initially, but unless mounting opposition grows swiftly, this could change.
Data security concerns
In addition to the serious health concerns associated with microwave transmitters, the transmission and storage of energy usage data by utility companies poses significant personal security concerns. Prior to the European rollout, the European Commission (EC) were required to submit their proposals to the ‘European guardian of personal data protection’, who published an extensive opinion.
An opinion that reveals the risk of your personal energy usage data being misused or ending up in the wrong hands, including those of criminals and marketing companies! So it’s back to the drawing board for the Commission, who now need to draft additional legislation to protect against these eventualities. But the best defence remains saying no!
Health first and foremost
Whilst it seems that many are sleepwalking into being part of the smart grid, others are waking up to the seriousness of the issue, and taking action. Utility companies may be facing increasing regulation of carbon emissions and looking to find answers that protect profits, but forcing smart meters on an unwilling public is not the answer.
Remember that smart meters use pulses of microwave radiation that spread hundreds of metres. That means that it's not enough for your household to say no, you need to ensure your neighbours say no too. Documented health problems as a result of having a smart meter installed include: heart palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, inability to concentrate, memory loss, fainting spells, headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, memory loss and an increased risk of cancer. Children are especially vulnerable to radiation and don't forget the effect on bees, birds and animals, including your pets. It's time to wise-up and get smart about saying no to 'dumb' meters whilst we still can.
Call to Action
Register your refusal to have a smart meter with your utility company and make a note on your property that you "do not give permission for a wireless smart meter to be installed"
Share the information on smart meters with your neighbours and ask them to do the same