What is all the fuss about SMART METERS? Those of you doing your best to pay attention have heard bits and pieces here and there. Some of you might not have even heard of a SMART METER. Then of course there are people out there like Cindy who have been researching, studying and speaking out about the indubitably serious concerns of Smart Meters. Part of Cindy’s ethical and scrutinizing work on Smart Meters is visible in her document below.
– SMART METERS –
What you NEED to know!
Brought to you by the creators of http://www.BanTexasSmartMeters.com
Invasion of Privacy • Overbilling • Damaged Appliances • Failed Security Tests
Remote A/C Power down • Fires upon Installation • Not Tested for Bio-Effects
Smart Meters have been approved by Federal and State law. However, they are NOT mandatory.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 section 3.1.1, very clearly establishes an OPTIONAL standard by which utilities are to offer “UPON REQUEST net metering service to any electric consumer”.
Why is it then, that Oncor’s spokespersons, Catherine Cuellar and Chris Schein, have both stated publicly that if a customer refuses to accept a smart meter, then Oncor would remove the analog meter, and the customer would effectively be disconnected? This policy, allowed by the PUC, is also practiced by the installation techs in the field. It is a blatant example of Oncor’s abrupt treatment of customers if they show any concern or resistance. I have heard many reports from customers who have been coerced with threat of illegal immediate service disconnection by field techs if customers refuse the new meter. This is clearly a violation of the TX PUC Substantive Rules Ch. 25requiring a written Disconnection Notice! If this has happened to you, please contact the PUC immediately!
Smart Meters Not Ready for Prime-Time
Smart Meters are Not Secure .
● Why did our Legislature and PUC allow the Utility Co’s to “Leap first, Look later?”
● Why was this very important step ignored?
● Did you know that there are no established standards for the security of these smart meters?
The reliability of the new meter’s security has been left up to the Utility Companies and manufacturers, and as a result they fall frighteningly short. Now that upwards of 8 million meters have been installed in Texas alone, TDU’s like Oncor have decided NOW it is time to test the meters for security. *One such company that was employed to test 3 different Utility Company’s meters’ security was ‘InGuardian’. Senior security analyst Joshua Wright, said his firm found “egregious” errors, such as flaws in the meters and the technologies that utilities use to manage data from meters. “Even though these protocols were designed recently, they exhibit security failures we’ve known about for the past 10 years!” Wright said. Even though, the meters scramble the data, they ‘put the keys to it right by the door’, according to Mr. Wright. [*Source – Mar. 2010, NBC-DFW, AP] If we can’t believe Oncor when they claim the meters are “secure”, how can we possibly rely upon other claims?
Violation of our 4th Amendment Rights
Invasion of Privacy
It is a well known fact that the purpose of the Smart Meter is to ‘monitor’ your electricity consumption, providing data to Oncor and/or your Electricity Provider. This data is not merely a usage total for the month, (which is really ALL the information needed to bill you), but it is recorded virtually in real time. Then it sends your data wirelessly every 15 minutes to a collection point. This consumption data, however, holds within it the imprint of a ‘digital fingerprint’ of every electricity-using device used in the home. Even though the utility company says they do not look at such ‘granular data’, nevertheless, it is retrieved. Consumers were never given the opportunity to consent to the collection of that data. In Texas, your data belongs to you. That begs the question, if it is MY data, then why have I not been asked permission by the PUC, Oncor or the Electric Co. to collect MY data? Do they think they are above the law? Why does the PUC allow them to get away with this? This violation of privacy is happening all over Texas, as well as everywhere smart meters are installed. Is there any wonder why there is a vast market emerging of corporations competing to get a hold of this private information with the intent on mining the data for profit that comes from these meters?
Is this ‘data collection’ or ‘monitoring’ actually surveillance?I believe it is, and here’s evidence as to why. The utilities industry documentation states that the purpose of the smart meter is to monitor consumers in order to change (control) consumer’s habits or usage patterns. In fact, without such changes, no real savings would be realized. So, I found it interesting that the Oxford English Dictionary defines “Surveillance” this way: “it is the monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting.” This makes the point clear that the monitoring of the smart meters is surveillance, thus violating our 4th Amendment rights, i.e. the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…”
Overbilling – Fact or Fiction?
In 2010, public outcry about outrageously high bills (2-3X and sometimes more), reached a fever pitch in the Dallas area where about a million smart meters had recently been installed. As a result, the PUC directed Oncor to test the meters for accuracy. Oncor contracted with Navigant Consulting for the testing. However, the PUC displayed their lack of concern for the consumer by allowing the continuation of the meter installation during the testing, despite public pressure to the contrary. Although, the Navigant Report found malfunctioning meters as well as other problems, Oncor spokespersons continue to simply state that the Navigant Report shows that the “new meters are extremely accurate”. How can that be a true statement when a number of meters were found to be in error, and were usually running faster than they should, resulting in overbilling? One particular type of meter was showing an event code of 2118, and at least 439 of these were quietly removed from service. I did not find evidence showing that Oncor remedied any overbilling. Additionally, the Navigant Report revealed Oncor’s lack of a proactive response, as they scolded Oncorsaying that if Oncor had responded promptly to the event codes when they first appeared, the problems that resulted could have been avoided. Oncor’s unacceptable conduct seems to be in keeping with behavior typical of the monopolies of the 19th century, showing very little concern for their customers’ abundant complaints. Despite testing, many customers are still experiencing extraordinarily high bills, and yet are just told their extremely high bills are due to weather.
What about Health Effects?Oncor’s stance is “We follow all the FCC guidelines.”
Side effects reported by people in our community:
● Ringing in the ears when trying to sleep in their bedroom which has the wall with the ‘smart meter’.
● Heart palpitations started when their neighbor got a smart meter.
● Brain-fog, agitated sleep.
● Started having insomnia.
It is no coincidence that all of the symptoms named fall into the category of symptoms of those who have EHS, which means that they may be electromagnetically (EMF) sensitive. Many studies point to the negative effects of EMF, and the potential negative long term effects! The FCC guidelines in over 10 years and do not take into account non-thermal effects of non-ionizing radiation. We need to demand that the FCC update EMF exposure guidelines! The meters, to my knowledge, have not been tested for how often or how much RF they produce within their mesh environment , which would likely have different results than the tests done on one meter inside the lab. Tell the PUC you want this kind of testing, as well as security testing before they install any more meters! Go to http://www.puc.state.tx.us and start with an informal complaint.
FOR MORE DETAILS, F R E E DOWNLOADABLE 100+ PAGE BOOK, AND TEXAS SPECIFIC INFORMATION on how to Preserve your Rights and Join the Fight!