Smart Meter Information Consumers Should Know
Catherine J. Frompovich, Guest
Over the course of a year that my electric power company in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been installing AMI Smart Meters on homes in my area, I have been able to keep one off my house by placing a “No Permission Granted to Install Smart Meter” sign on the meter along with a padlock on the meter latch. Early in February of 2015, I received what I perceived as a threatening letter to my health, safety, and well-being, that if I don’t give PECO permission to install a Smart Meter, my electric power will be turned off, and not because I’ve not paid my bill! No utility bill wherever my late husband or I have lived ever was missed or even made as a late payment! So, I’ve decided to tell my story of what’s been going on in the USA about Smart Meters.
Smart meters basically are licensed radio stations that transmit electrical usage, occupancy times, and other information out of homes on which they are installed, thereby, providing wiretapping without proper and legal search warrants.
As a result of that illegal activity, Smart Meters are illegal and cannot be forced upon anyone since they basically are breaking federal laws, even though they supposedly function within the purview of law, especially in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where there is no “opt out” provisions in the law. Furthermore, some U.S. Constitutional issues are involved.
Moreover, a Smart Meter basically is nothing more than “a search without a warrant every day,” hundreds of times during the day—24/7, due to the constant collection of information being transmitted out of the house. It’s nothing short of electrical, house-wiretapping! Wiretapping is illegal in all 50 states!
18 U.S. Code § 2511 – Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited (Source – Cornell Law)
Also, Smart Meters are a part of the United Nations Agenda 21?
“Smart Meters” are a tool or mechanism for Sustainable Development, which was first introduced to the world in the pages of a 1987 report (Our Common Future) produced by the United Nations World Commission on Environmental and Development, authored by Gro Harlem Brundtland, VP of the World Socialist Party. Sustainable Development was offered as official UN policy in 1992, in a document called UN Sustainable Development Agenda 21, issued at the UN’s Earth Summit, today referred to simply as Agenda 21. UN policy does not supersede U.S. sovereignty, or is it being implemented by state laws?
What supposedly gives Agenda 21 ‘authority’?
More than 178 nations adopted Agenda 21 as official policy during a signing ceremony at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Then U.S. president George H.W. Bush signed the “1992 Convention on Biological Diversity” document for the USA, which the U.S. Congress/government has refused to embrace, and the ongoing refusal by the American Senate to ratify the convention after President William J. Clinton signed the treaty in 1993. (Source)
So, how can any U.S. locality or state enact legislation that complies with, acquiesces to, or circumvents U.S. federal sovereignty and law? Any such laws, therefore, are considered null and void, and illegal, I contend and, therefore, are in contradiction to U.S. federal law and Constitution.
Smart Meters Malfunctions and Fires
Furthermore, regarding Smart Meter fires in Pennsylvania, there have been numerous.
According to PECO’s [electric company] spokesperson, Cathy Engel Menendez, ‘an extensive analysis of the meter data collected so far will be completed before the replacement work begins,’ was in response to PECO’s suspending installation of smart meters due to fires and overheating.
As a result of that assessment, PECO decided to install Landis-Gyr Smart Meters, a Toshiba company, which also have been responsible for fires. See this photo of the Thunder Hollow Apartments SM fire, with corresponding documentation. Landis+Gyr SMs do catch fire, but that’s not what PECO admits to in your March 9th letter to me.
Another Fire: Landis + Gyr Smart Meter Causes Apt. Blaze (posted July 7, 2014)
Thunder Hollow Apts. 2/6/14 Fire video online
Fox 5 Investigates: Smart meters spark controversy
Was the Upper Makefield, Penna. Meter fire a Landis +Gyr?
“I was walking to the seventh tee, when the pro came up and said, ‘Jump in the car. We just got a call. Your house is on fire,” Michael Capetto said.
“He lives in Upper Makefield, near Philadelphia, where the utility PECO this past summer reported at least 15 smart meters caught fire or got so hot, the meters melted. Similar fires have been reported in other states too.” Source: EMF Safety Network / Smart Meter Fires and Explosions
Furthermore, I cannot find the Underwriters Laboratories approval per se for Landis+Gyr Smart Meters on UL’s site. Can PECO please supply that exact UL number (i.e., UL Mark layout, serial or issue numbers — http://ul.com/offerings/manufacturers/) not just that “Underwriter’s Laboratories has tested the AMI meters based upon the UL-2735 standard.” Note that PECO has not supplied any information regarding Underwriter’s Laboratories UL number!
Apparently, fire hazards and safety issues still exist regarding PECO’s AMI meters versus analog meters, which were made entirely of mechanical parts with glass front covers and little insulation that does not allow for easy ignition.
Whereas, the new AMI digital Smart Meters are made of numerous electronics inside, which are flammable components, plus the meter ‘face’ is all plastic rather than glass like the analog. Once overheated or ignited, the plastic face contributes to rapid conflagration. I refer you to the 39-page report “Utility of ‘Smart Meters’” produced by the Office of the Fire Marshall, Fire Investigation Services, Midhurst, Ontario, Canada, dated June 15, 2012 whereon page 27 he discusses various issues that apparently were of concern to that official regarding Smart Meter fires in their/his jurisdiction.
From my research, all Smart Meters are constructed the same regardless of manufacture: Sensus, Landis+Gyr, GE, Itron. Their design and installation [retrofitting] into an existing meter socket is what causes the great potential for damage to a customer’s appliances, and worse, causing fire or explosion.
RF radiation emissions from Smart Meters can interfere with the function of Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter type sockets and the ARC-Fault Circuit Interrupter creating other fire hazards and potentials, which Underwriter’s Laboratory or any other organization has not certified for safety issues, as I understand. THAT also is a KEY fire safety issue that doesn’t seem to be addressed. Why? may I ask.
I’d like to know this regarding PECO’s Landis+Gyr Smart Meters:
- Is the thermal sensor adequate and approved for detecting heat elevation that results from poor contact between the SM and the meter box jaws? What components are provided in SMs for shut off when the thermal sensor detects heat elevation? Or, is it too late then, and even the shutting off of power will not prevent fire, which probably will have been ignited already?
- How well are PECO installers trained regarding replacement problems at the meter box jaws, which are tricky and subject to mechanical damage just from removing the old analog and replacing the new SM? Do PECO installers know the correct meter insertion sequence(s)? Please explain it, as I think I know how it should work.
- Is “hot switching” used to replace meters and does that result in damage to appliances that happen to be operating at the time the meter is replaced/installed? Are PECO installers telling homeowners to shut off appliances during the new install? If not; why not? Again, may I refer you to the Canadian Fire Marshall’s report pages 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, and 38. Those pages discuss that meter bases and meters react differently in fires.
- A “hot switch” can damage the receptacle jaws in the meter box with almost 100% certainly! What guarantee does PECO give of no “hot switch” occurring during installation? Furthermore, will PECO be financially responsible/liable for damage to any of my appliances: refrigerator, hot water heater, electric heat pump, etc.? How many PECO employees have been injured by or during a “hot switch”?
- Flickering lights frequently occur in Smart Metered homes. What causes that? From my understanding, apparently, more current demand results—higher electric bills or ‘phantom electricity’?—causing more arcing, more resistance, less power and voltage delivered to a light bulb? As a result of that happening and due to excessive heat and arcing, the insulation of the main feed line to the house can/will ignite. What is built in to SMs to prevent that from occurring?
- Does PECO plan to replace the currently-installed Smart Meters with another updated SM in five years? as I have heard. Those replacements only will rec-compound the above-mentioned fire risks.
Before I leave the fire hazard/safety issues of Smart Meters, I would like to bring to PECO’s attention a three-page report from Thermografix Consulting Corporation “Smart Meter Installations & Fires.”
On the first page, paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 are more than alarming, i.e.
The fact sheet left out the Smart Meter Routers, collectors, antennas that communicate with the meters. Those electromagnetic wavelengths are high speed frequencies hitting the building from top to bottom and going through the walls of the residence.
The ramifications are high speed vibration of electrical systems, structural components, fire separations and electromagnetically inducing Pacemakers as well as electrical systems. That puts the building in violation of Part 4 of BC Building Code. High speed vibrations billions of times per second equates to molecular earthquakes.
BC Medical Services puts in Pacemakers and manufacturer’s specifications tell the patient to stay out of an electromagnetic field. BC Hydro is taking the electromagnetic fields to the patient’s home.
That is a major concern for most people: The negative health aspects of Smart Meters!
On the second page, paragraphs 1 and 5:
Electrical failure of equipment can cause explosions, fire, injury, loss of life and insured loss including production losses for industry.
For BC Hydro or any utility to blame homeowners or wiring for fires after meter installation is ridiculous when their installers aren’t qualified to even understand the scope of work required.
Furthermore, the electrical wiring worked fine with analog meters. Shouldn’t power companies be mandated to install proper electrical wiring to accommodate SMs and not leave homeowners with faulty electric wiring that the utility company created by installing SMs thereby putting homeowners in jeopardy for fire, explosion, and other SM hazards?
On the third page, paragraph 1:
Electrical Meter Bases have wired connections as well as stabs. Qualified electrical professionals would check ALL connections when the meter is pulled. (safely and working with the home owner) Before installing the new meter any electrical problems would be identified and repaired, even replacing the meter base if required. There are no compromises electrically or there will be failure with consequences including fires.
My question is: How does PECO’s SM installation fit in with the above?
Who’s Responsible for Damage?
Therein apparently is another legal aspect to the entire Smart Meter matter, i.e., Product and professional liability problems. State legislatures, businesses, and corporations cannot demand consumers place their lives and properties in jeopardy or harm’s way, as all the data and information I’ve provided over the past month or so—documents that Smart Meters do—without providing safety measures to preclude such problems. When such malfeasance happens materially or by law, then that law must be opposed and ultimately changed or killed by legislative bodies that enact them. Pennsylvania is no exception.
Since fire is an ever-present possibility with Smart Meters that no one should be made to live with—we have smoke detectors for inside our homes to warn us—what kind of protection does/will PECO supply as Smart Meter fire alarms? After all, PECO and utility companies that install Smart Meters are providing the fire danger, so they must provide a safety measure alternative to protect against it. Legally, you have to, or hasn’t anyone mentioned that legal liability? That fire/safety issue alone, along with what I will discuss next, should be the very reasons that the Pennsylvania state legislature should see the folly of the law it enacted and remove it from the books in the current session, and as soon as possible.
Radiation Comparisons: Cell Phones and Household Devices Versus Wireless Smart Meters
I enclose two pages of charts.
Figure 1: Graph from CCST Report in μW/cm2—uncorrected for whole body exposure or duty cycle &
Figure 4: Comparison of Radio-Frequency Levels to the Whole Body from Various Sources in μW/cm2 over time [corrected for assumed duty cycle and whole body exposure extrapolated from EPRI/CCST Smart Meter estimated levels at 3 feet].
Smart Meter Health Problems
Now on to the REAL and SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS that Smart Meters effectuate
I enclose a five-page report by Ronald M. Powell, PhD in Applied Physics, titled “Symptoms after Exposure to Smart Meter Radiation” dated March 12, 2015.
The Introduction paragraph says,
People from coast to coast in the USA, and from one side of the world to the other, are becoming ill after exposure to the radio frequency radiation emitted by Wireless Smart Meters. Attached are the results of two surveys of the symptoms being reported.
USA Survey of 318 Individuals in 28 states in the USA
Notice the ‘laundry list’ of new or worsened symptoms reported
Victoria, Australia Survey of 92 Individuals
A correspondingly similar list of new or worsened symptoms reported
Notice that numerous body symptoms are disrupted by Smart Meter radiofrequency radiation.
The most frequently reported symptoms from exposure to smart meters were (1) insomnia, (2) headaches, (3) tinnitus, (4) fatigue, (5) cognitive disturbances, (6) dysesthesias (abnormal sensation), and (7) dizziness. The effects of these symptoms on people’s lives were significant.
The last sentence from the report’s CONCLUSIONS,
Interestingly, the vast majority of Victorian cases did not state that they had been sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS) prior to exposure to the wireless meters, which points to the possibility that smart meters may have unique characteristics that lower people’s threshold for symptom development.
The AAEM’s Recommendations
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine published “Recommendations Regarding Electromagnetic and Radiofrequency Exposures,” a two-page report.
You will note the listing of medical conditions and disabilities that would benefit from avoiding electromagnetic and radiofrequency exposures, plus the Bibliography. People have to live their lives without being electromagnetically harmed by a technology [electric power meters] that, prior to Smart Meters, and for generations, were safe!
March 2015 Study: RF fields Cause Tumors
Early in March 2015, Micro Wave News published a new animal (mice) study, “Tumor promotion by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below exposure limits for humans,” wherein this disturbing find was revealed:
Numbers of tumors of the lungs and livers in exposed animals were significantly higher than in sham-exposed controls. In addition, lymphomas were also found to be significantly elevated by exposure.
Consumers, homeowners, and children—especially autistic children—should not be forced by Pennsylvania law, any locality’s or other state’s laws—even federal law—to live in cancer-causing conditions pumped into their homes via Smart Meters!
Furthermore, numerous states [AZ, CA, FL, GA, HI, IA, LA, MI, ME?, PA, TX, VA, VT] have introduced or have provisions for opt-out from SMs. There are several bills in the current Pennsylvania legislative session regarding that issue. In the last PA legislative session, despite state-wide constituency protests, etc., Representative Godshall sat on the SM bills and would not move them in committee for vote—truly a ‘political crime and democratic injustice’ against the citizens of Pennsylvania.
Vermont’s Ideal Smart Meter Legislation
However, the people of Vermont have been blessed with their Smart Meters legislation:
5/18/12 Gov. Shumlin signed S.214 into law (Act 0170) allowing installation if utility company
(1) provides written notice to the customer indicating that the meter will use radio or other wireless means for 2-way communication between the meter and the company and informing the customer of his or her rights;
(2) allows a customer to choose not to have a wireless smart meter installed, at no additional monthly or other charge; and
(3) allows a customer to require removal of a previously installed wireless smart meter for any reason and at an agreed-upon time, without incurring any charge for such removal.
Questions for PECO
Regarding PECO’s answers to my questions, I have found numerous answers to be at total variance to the facts, especially No. 6: Have there been fires where smart meters have been installed?
No. The AMI meter that will be installed at your home is manufactured by Landis+Gyr. There are no Landis+Gyr meters that have experienced overheating issues. Some Sensus meters originally installed experienced overheating issues; however, PECO has replaced all Sensus meters with Landis+Gyr meters. The company no longer installs the Sensus meters and there have been no overheating issues reported with Landis+Gyr meters.
Well, I beg to differ, and have cited a Landis-Gyr SM meter fire. See the photograph of that fire earlier in this article. I found other answers in a similar disparaging vein.
My question 7 with regard to adverse health effects from RF/Smart meters, which PECO claims there are no studies of adverse health effects. I’ve cited and sent them to PECO.
Hopefully, there is a sensible way of working on this issue other than PECO’s turning off my electric power. I have given legitimate legal concerns for an illegally instituted and totally unsafe Pennsylvania law that Pennsylvania legislatures currently are trying to correct with several bills in this legislative session, and in view of that, I believe I am entitled to considerations, as are others who are in equally-challenging health-status conditions. Everyone believes in humanitarian reasons, or so I’m led to believe.
The analog meter that has been on my house since I’ve owned it, never has had a meter reader come to take a reading. But somehow by magic, PECO has been able to know how much electricity I use and, consequently, sends me a bill every month, which I have paid promptly. PECO knows what I use, and it’s very nominal, as I don’t have all the electric gadgets everyone has, including no TV or microwave oven! If everyone used as little electric power as I do, PECO would have to create some other business to make a go of it.
And, that’s the last thing I want to discuss: My energy bills increasing with a Smart Meter, to which PECO said, “No. Your energy bill will not increase.” That has not been the case for power company bills around the USA.
Electric Bills Increase after Smart Meters Are Installed
“Do you want an accurate, reasonably priced utility bill? Utility customers have noticed huge increases in their bill after a ‘smart’ meter is installed–in some cases hundreds of dollars more than usual. Utilities claim the meters are accurate, but unexplained over-billing has featured in many negative reports, all around the US.”
“Is it true that your bill goes up after getting a “smart” meter?
Many people have experienced hikes in their utility bill after a “smart” meter was installed. A recent survey published on EMFSafetyNetwork.org documented how many people have received higher bills—over one third of those surveyed. Here’s another account of the overbilling issues. Here’s another article.” (Source)
Apparently, instead of filing for utility rate hikes, Smart Meters automatically increase monthly power company bills dramatically. Furthermore, there’s something called ‘phantom electricity’ which consumers apparently are being billed for now due to SM metering/monitoring because every appliance has ‘phantom loading’ built in that power companies apparently want to access as another revenue stream, it would seem. Please see this:
A modern household is packed with appliances connected to the electrical power. Most consume some electricity regardless of whether they are actively used or not. The worst offender is the digital cable television box and digital video recorder. That is just the beginning. The world electricity consumption is roughly 20 billion megawatts per year, or 20 trillion watts. It is estimated that about 10 to 15 percent of that amount is just going up the chimney as the phantom loads. Namely, the civilization of the world consumes 2 trillion watts in electricity constantly in the phantom loads. That is a huge waste. There have been some effective policies to limit the phantom loads (one watt limit), however, the total number of devices is on the rise to offset the power reduction effort. The result is that total phantom loads are still on the rise.
In view of all the above, I feel I have every legitimate and legal right to ask and be given opt-out status. Please know that I value the services PECO supplies and delivers, but I am not in alignment with forced RF and electromagnetic radiation coming into my house and body through the electrical wiring in my house, that puts my life, health and property in constant jeopardy.
There has to be a way to work this out besides turning off electric power to a 76-year-old widow.
Here’s the reply that I received regarding several letters with ‘tons’ of printed and Internet link citations regarding Smart Meters:
If the company is not able to install the meter, your service will be terminated.
If you have any further questions regarding your right to “opt out” of the meter installation, I recommend that you contact the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. In the interim, since you will not give the company access to install the meter, your service can be scheduled for termination.
And that dear readers, is how I’m being treated regarding what apparently is an illegal law, not very carefully thought out, but enacted in Pennsylvania enforcing Agenda 21 Smart Meters.
San Antonio Smart Meter Awareness / Richard M. Powell, PhD
Maryland Smart Meters Awareness / Richard M. Powell, PhD
Symptoms Resulting from Exposure to Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation from Smart Meters
About the Author
Catherine retired from researching and writing, but felt compelled to write this article.
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)