11/2/11 Wednesday, (From My Desk: Watched Video Feed)
A curious thing happened at the 11/1/11 Tustin City Council meeting. An Edison representative, Pat Buttress, spoke during the “public comments” section, that part of the council meeting where usually residents, rather than representatives of large utility companies, are given three minutes to speak. She spoke after the father who expressed concerns about the ten “Smart” Meters installed on the wall of his home where his baby sleeps.
Ms. Buttress said there was “misinformation” out there which she wanted to clear up, but she didn’t mention the words “radiation,” “RF,” or “health” even once in her seven minute talk.
She said that Edison was “required” to put “Smart” Meters on all of our homes by 2012 and this program was “implemented at the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission.” Customers who “disagree with an issue” regarding “Smart” Meters may contact the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) whose contact information is on the back of every Edison bill.
Question: I have heard various people say that “Smart” Meters were “not mandated” but were only recommended. Edison apparently believes (unless this is a case of good cop, bad cop) that they have no choice, that they must obey the CPUC and install these meters.
It’s a little confusing, though, because during another part of her talk, Ms. Buttress said, “the U.S. government does not control investor owned utilities and cannot turn off your power.”
What I and probably many of us just want to know, though, is, if someone is sick or a parent has legitimate concerns about his baby’s exposure to pulsed radiation from ten Smart Meters 24/7, who’s going to help these people out?
Ms. Buttress talked about the energy savings we can achieve via this new “Smart” Meters system. However, there is nothing about the “Smart” Meter, in itself, that is inherently green (it’s actually the opposite as the radiation our neighborhood will now be awash in creates electrosmog). Instead, what Ms. Buttress described is what Elizabeth Kelley and others have said. The multi billion dollar “Smart” Meter system is actually a simple (and not very fun) behavioral modification program.
But according to Ms. Buttress, we customers will be “empowered” by having this forced against our will “Smart” Meter–even if it’s making our dog sick, the same dog who slept by our bed for years and whose face is now turning white–affixed to our house.
There will be “new pricing plans” and “options for earning rebates.” So, it sounds like if we don’t use the air conditioner on a hot summer afternoon–but use it instead at a time when we actually don’t need to use it–we will get rebates and/or penalties depending on our usage.
There will be, Ms. Buttress said, “environmental benefits,” and she shared impressive analogies. If we all conserve (and they’re going to make us aren’t they-because we won’t be able to afford not to), then, Ms. Buttress said, the reduced “peak power consumption” will be equivalent to the “approximate output of a major power plant” or it will be like “removing 79,000 cars from the road.”
I’m definitely for conserving and I will do my best, even if Edison now reminds me of some relative who wouldn’t let me leave the table until I ate all my peas, but I’m still waiting for that “em-powered” feeling.