Are “smart” utility meters a false solution being deployed in the name of climate action? Josh del Sol’s award-winning documentary Take Back Your Power uncovers the shocking story behind why hundreds of local governments are standing against the multi-billion dollar rollout. Take a journey of revelation, examining evidence of in-home spying, systemic over-billing, extortion, health & environmental harm, fires and unprecedented hacking vulnerability. And be inspired by emerging solutions.
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More information about ‘smart’ meters: What’s at stake?
Utility customers around the world are choosing to take a stand against the installation of smart meters for a variety of reasons, summed up below:
Whenever a smart meter is installed, the bill usually goes up. Your bill will increase in three ways: 1) upon installation, 2) with planned usage rate increases – happening everywhere, and 3) later, with “time-of-use” billing.
Bills immediately increase due to systemic accuracy issues with most types of digital smart meters – which have been demonstrated in the UK to show electricity usage even when power to the home is shut off.
President Obama stated in 2008 that, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket.” So, the rate increases seem to be moving according to that plan… and it’s not just limited to the United States. However, there are no demonstrated energy savings – in fact, it appears that energy is being wasted by smart meters and related infrastructure.
The bottom line is that smart meters do not save energy, and you will be charged more for your electricity, water and gas.
Utilities are spending billions of dollars to deploy smart meters. In addition, governments such as the United States have funneled billions from “economic stimulus” funds to provide incentives for utilities to deploy smart meters. (Time Magazine reported that the U.S. allocated $11 billion of stimulus funds to utilities deploying “smart” grid.)
In the U.S., utilities get government funds – up to $200M per utility – only if they install smart meters. This huge financial incentive is a huge reason why utilities are still attempting to continue installations despite an array of problems, legal violations and ratepayer pushback.
Whether it’s billions spent by utilities or government – it all ends up being paid for by the people.
Smart meters are designed to collect and report data of in-home activities, with corporations set to capitalize on your private data. The value of this data is considered to be likely worth more than the entire electric utility industry.
According to my research over the past 3 years, the plan involves achieving a greater and greater level of granularity and extraction of in-home data over time. Unless stopped by the people, a centralized smart grid will mean total eradication of privacy – even within your own home.
While the former CIA director admitted his intentions to spy on all Americans through their household appliances, even the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has confirmed that data harvested by smart meters and smart appliances will be very detailed and invasive. From the DOE report:
“Such information could reveal personal details about the lives of consumers, such as their daily schedules (including times when they are at or away from home or asleep), whether their homes are equipped with alarm systems, whether they own expensive electronic equipment such as plasma TVs, and whether they use certain types of medical equipment.”
So as far as privacy and surveillance go, even the reports from utilities and governments admit that smart meters are a trojan horse.
It does not take much digging to see that there is a corporate intention to effectively colonize your home. And your utility assumes that you comply, unless you notify them that you do not consent.
If your privacy totally falls into the hands of the morally corrupt and power-centric, your ability to make choices about how you live would be the next domino to fall.
Property rights violations
Utilities are actually wanting to use all of our private property to serve as relay stations for their for-profit data-collection network.
They have an easement to come onto your property to read and to service the utility meter. They do not have an easement to install unproven 2-way communication systems which send microwave pulses to the next meter over, about what you do in your own home.
Smart meters emit microwave radiation pulses at levels more than 1,000x stronger than an active cell phone. The pulses are each several microseconds, and each pulse is typically spaced out by several seconds to a minute.
There’s a growing stack of published scientific evidence indicating a significant risk of adverse biological effects of this type of low-level microwave radiation… but we’re being told it’s safe.
The reason the utilities will tell you the amount is miniscule and attempt to claim safety, is because 1) government “safety” standards are outdated, based only on tissue heating, and actually ignore most peer-reviewed published science; and 2) utilities average the radiation output over time.Watched the film? SUBSCRIBE to Take Back Your Power for solutions, research, and up-do date news:
In the real world, there are now thousands of published scientific studies which indicate that the proliferation of smart meter (and tower) radiation could potentially be catastrophic for all organic life. With scientific evidence mounting, finally in 2011 the World Health Organization classified this type of radiation as a Class 2B possible carcinogen.
Thousands have already reported serious health problems since smart meter installation. Reported symptoms include: sleep problems, anxiety, irritability, headaches, ringing in the ears, mental difficulties, fatigue, physical weakness, dizziness, heart palpitations, chest pain, hyperactivity or changes in children’s behavior, and recurrence of cancer. (see full list of reported symptoms)
In the UK, the Institute of Directors (IoD) recently released a report, stating that smart meters are an IT distaster waiting to happen, and that the program should be “halted, altered or scrapped” to avoid an “unjustified, over-engineered and expensive mistake.”
Even in the media, it’s becoming common knowledge that the entire power grid will be at risk to be taken down by hacking. In July, 2014, an article was featured at Bloomberg.com regarding hackers finding an open back door to the power grid. According to the article:
“Adding wind farms, solar panels and smart meters to the power distribution system opens additional portals through which hackers can attack the grid, according to computer security experts advising governments and utilities.”
“… electronic meters that send real time power usage to consumers and utilities are providing new back-door entry paths for computer hackers to raise havoc with the grid.”
Smart meters are bad news for your home security – and for the entire power grid. It’s insane that one of the reasons they are being deployed is supposedly “grid resiliency”.
There have been thousands of smart meter-caused fires, including several fatalities. Smart meters are typically not UL- or CSA-approved (or equivalent). They are a plastic device designed to only function for several years before needing replacement or “upgrading.” Traditional safe analog meters are made of glass and metal, are more accurate, and last 40 years or more.
On March 30, 2015, hundreds of smart meters simultaneously exploded in Stockton, California, when a truck ran into a utility pole. There have also been several other incidents of simultaneous explosions, each causing fires or damage on between dozens and hundreds of homes.
Following a string of fires, utilities in Saskatchewan, Portland OR, Lakeland FL and other regions have removed smart meters. When a fire happens, utilities everywhere are removing the meters before firefighters can conduct proper investigations. This is a negligent, criminal act.
The utilities lied when they said smart meters would make the electricity grid “resilient” and “self-healing.” Nothing could be further from the truth, and this long, long list of incidents is more proof of the failure of “smart” meter programs everywhere.
Rolling out: The smart meter deployment agenda
What is perhaps even more disturbing than any particular issue listed above, is the way in which smart meters programs continue to be supported by public officials and implemented by utilities:
• in corporate secrecy instead of visibility – even in many cases laws being arbitrarily changed to facilitate rollout;
• without heed to personal privacy rights;
• without heed to personal property rights;
• without heed to published science;
• without heed to credible experts from a variety of industries;
• without any due process of testing to make sure devices are safe; and
• with PUNITIVE OPT-OUT fees in many cases for people who do not want a so-called “smart” meter.
While hundreds of cities and regions have now voted against mandated smart meters, utilities continue to steamroll the agenda forward –totally ignoring most of the ordinances and moratoriums passed. How is this possible?