Update: Irvine City Council Meeting Tonight, Joshua Hart’s Article, Opt Out Issues

If you can, please come to  Irvine City Council Meeting tonight, 12/13/11:  Public Comments could be any time after 5 PM.  I agree with author B. Blake Levitt that we need to hold all our elected officials accountable.

See Joshua Hart’s new piece on StopSmartMeters.org: PGE Shuts Off Power to Sickened Families 2 Weeks Before Christmas.  The illustration will make you chuckle, but the article says if there is a ruling that residents cannot keep their analogs (even if feisty residents chase installers off their property; see “Smart Meter Man Chased off Property“),  the utility companies will shut off your power.
This is why it is important to speak up now  (http://smartmeterhelp.com/) about the extremely flawed “opt out” proposal, which serves the utility company’s interests, but not rate payers.


Problems with the Currently Proposed “Opt Out” Option

Here are two links to filings by the City and County of San Francisco (they protest the “one sided” aspect of the ruling and also find the fees “arbitrary,” intended to “dissuade” customers from opting out); and the County of Lake (which discusses health issues, no accommodation for persons who are disabled, findings that the Smart Meters violate FCC standards, fees, etc)

In addition, many residents are sending in comments to the CPUC regarding Commissioner Peevey’s Opt Out Proposal.  The  following letter written by a college professor  is helpful as it bullet points many of the flaws of the proposal:

Subject: CPUC Application 11-03-014 Smart Meter Opt-Out Comment:

The CPUC opt-out options do NOT respond to the objections of the California residents, cities and counties that requested the opt-out.

1. The RF radiation transmissions are NOT eliminated by either of the two meter options proposed by the CPUC.  Both the digital meter and the smart meter, even with its transmitter shut off as proposed by the CPUC, emit RF Radiation.

2. The analog meter is the option requested by most requesting the opt-out.  The State of Maine has allowed keeping the analog meter.  That analog meter option should also be allowed in California since California has no conditions or intentions to offer any less freedom of choice or quality of life than the State of Maine.

3. The Federal Government in its Energy programs and all other programs does NOT mandate digital meters or smart meters.  The US government specifically says to “OFFER” these smart meters to customers, NOT to mandate or force on customers as the CPUC and utility companies often incorrectly state or imply.

4. There is no current mandate at this time for Time-Of-Use billing.  Analog meters continue to read energy usage as is required.

5. The World Health Organization has placed RF – non-ionizing radiation, the type emitted by digital meters and smart meters (with wireless transmitter on or off), on their class 2b carcinogen list.

6. The National Institute of Health has identified biological changes in the brain from RF-non-ionizing radiation the type emitted by digital meters and smart meters (with wireless transmitter on or off).

7. Highly qualified independent laboratory scientists have observed
(1) Cell damage,
(2) DNA chain breaks and
(3) Breaches in the Blood-brain barrier from non-ionizing radiation at levels considerably lower than emitted by the meters proposed by the CPUC.

8. Any and all devices in the home that can emit RF non-ionizing radiation, other than CPUC proposed meters, are voluntary and can be turned off at the occupant’s discretion.  Forcing these proposed meters onto homes is similar to continuously forcing cigarette smoke into the living space of homes where the occupants cannot control it or stop it.

9. There has been NO proof or conclusive demonstration of any reduction in energy use, of any conservation behavior or of any other quality irresponsibly proclaimed for these digital or smart meters by utility companies and other financially vested interests.

10. Financial officers in other states have determined that the total cost/benefit of the digital and smart meters is a net loss.

11. The digital and smart meters result in a transfer of funds from customers to utility companies and meter manufacturers.

12. Digital and smart meters (with wireless transmitter on or off) read details of energy usage that reflect specific detailed activities within the home that are NOT required or mandated by any Federal or State law or requirement.  Many people do not want such detailed activities in their home revealed to their utility company.  So an analog meter should be available as an option for them on their homes.

13. The $90 initial fee and the monthly fees for opt-out are inappropriate at this time because the opt-out proposal is inappropriate and not responding to the objections of the meters by California residents, cities and counties that requested the opt-out.

Please reject the CPUC opt-out proposal and order that safe proven analog meters be an option at this time.


Please extend the comment period into February or March.

The CPUC released the opt-out proposal the day before Thanksgiving holiday when people were already busy with their holiday plans and unaware of the opt-out proposal.  Cities and Counties were also on holiday schedules and not in regular session.

The comments being due between Thanksgiving and Christmas keeps most people, cities and counties from commenting.

This is NOT the inclusion of the people of California that is expected in such an important issue.

The CPUC President Peevey’s strategy in this case is as sleazy and inappropriate as has been PG&E’s similar strategy to fool the people and exclude legitimate comments and analysis on this smart meter program issue.

Thank you.
Professor Glen Chase
Santa Cruz County, California

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