Adoption of Berkeley Cell Phone “Right to Know” Ordinance

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CPUC Decision Regarding Smart Meter Opt Out Provisions

Here is the link for the CPUC decision regarding the Smart Meter Opt out program, which just came into my e-mail http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?docformat=ALL&DocID=143904205

They are still providing the opt out option.  The fees are the same ($75 dollars initial fee to opt out and $10 dollars monthly), but (this is a good) there will be a “cap” (three years) on how long  those fees will be charged.

Page 42 of Decision:

“The monthly charges will be collected for three years from the time a residential customer chooses to opt-out of the smart meter program.  We find the three year period to be reasonable, as it is a sufficient duration for the utility to recover a portion of the utilities incremental costs in setting up services associated with accommodating the request of the opt-out customer and to integrate the meter reading function in its normal operations in order to further reduce the incremental expense of supporting opt-out service.”

2. SoCalGas.

I’m reading over the SoCalGas section which provides service to parts of LA, Orange and San Diego counties.  Southern California Gas was incredibly greedy in their opt out fee proposal. They wanted opt out customers to pay $179 for the initial opt out fee and $24 dollars monthly.  They lost that proposal. Their fee will be the same as the other utilities ($75 initial fee, and $10 monthly). Unfortunately, however, for those of us who are both Edison and So Cal Gas customers, we will have to pay double:

Page 47: “For those customers served by two utilities, such as SCE customers who also take gas service from SoCalGas, they will pay opt-out fees and charges to each utility that serves them.  As described below, the costs of alternative meter reading practices where one utility reads the meter on behalf of two utilities is likely to increase the overall costs of the opt-out program.”

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CPUC Issues Two Proposed Decisions Regarding Smart Meter Opt Out Fees

This just came in my e-mail and I want to post the link.  There are two proposed decisions, one by Administrative Law Judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa and the other issued by CPUC Commissioner Peevey which is called an alternate.  Here are the links.

http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?docformat=ALL&docid=131173965

http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?docformat=ALL&docid=131173964

It looks like they are proposing to maintain the opt out fees for smart meters (75 dollars and then 10 dollars monthly). However, one bone they are throwing (in the alternate proposal) to opt out customers is they say that the fee will expire after three years and any left over costs  will be absorbed from general revenue. However, they say all of that would need to be reviewed.

Judge Yip-Kikugawa’s proposal also ruled against local governments having the authority to collectively opt out of the smart meter program as well as those who challenged the opt out fees based on the Americans with Disabilities Act:

“This decision also determines that local governments may not collectively opt out of smart meter programs on behalf of residents in their jurisdiction. Similarly, multi-unit dwellings with homeowner and condominium associations may not collectively opt out of smart meter programs on behalf of individual residents who are members of the association. Finally, this decision determines that charging an opt-out fee does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act
or Pub. Util. Code § 453(b).” 

See  EMF Safety Network  and Stop Smart Meters! for further information.

 

 

 

 

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Google Glass Alert: Potential Health Risks from Wireless Radiation

by Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D

The Google Glass emits more wireless radiation than most cell phones on the market, but unlike cell phone users, Glass users may be wearing this device on their heads for more than 12 hours a day putting their health at risk.

The Google Glass emits both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radiation. Although the Glass official web site, http://www.google.com/glass/start/, contains information warning consumers about the device’s potential interference with radio or television reception, the site provides no safety information to consumers.

As a body-worn, microwave-emitting device, Google is required by Federal law to test the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR of the Glass. This is a measure of the maximum microwave radiation absorbed by the user in 6 minutes averaged over one gram of tissue. Although Google did not post the SAR information on its web site, the Glass test reports can be found on the FCC’s web site at https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/GenericSearch.cfm by entering “A4R” in the Grantee Code field. The FCC ID for the current version of the Glass is X1.

The official test report indicates that the SAR for the Glass is much higher than the SARs for the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S5, or most cell phones on the market.

During the last year, Google improved the antenna on the Glass which resulted in an increase in the SAR from 1.11 to 1.42 watts/kilogram (W/kg). In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a head and body SAR of 0.57 and 0.64 W/kg, respectively. The Apple iPhone 5 has a head SAR of 1.17 and a body SAR of 1.18 W/kg.

In the U.S. no personal wireless device can have a SAR that exceeds 1.6 W/kg. The SAR standard, however, was developed several decades ago in the U.S. primarily by physicists and engineers to protect users from the acute effects of the heat generated by microwave radiation. The standards do not protect users from the non-thermal effects of cell phone radiation which have been associated with increased brain cancer risk among long-term cell phone users and other health problems in the short term including electrosensitivity, sperm damage and infertility, and reproductive health risks in children.

Just because these devices are legal does not mean they are safe

Although many health researchers, including myself, have questioned the utility of assessing only a device’s SAR, currently that is all governments measure and regulate. Governments want consumers to believe that all legally marketed wireless devices are safe, and that the SAR level does not matter as long as it meets the legal standard. Yet no study has proved that exposure to low-intensity microwave radiation is safe, and thousands of peer-reviewed, published studies have found biologic effects from such exposures. The research suggests that governments need to adopt more stringent, biologically-based, standards to protect consumers’ health.

Medical and public health professionals should call on Google to end this experiment on Glass users or at least fully inform consumers of the potential long-term health risks from wearing this device.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

For more information about wireless radiation health risks: http://www.saferemr.com/.

 

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Dr. Devra Davis: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation

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Dr. Martin Blank: Our Cells Make Stress Proteins When Exposed to RF Radiation

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Louis C.K. On Cell Phones’ Impact on Children’s Social and Emotional Development

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