Smart Meter Opt-Out Update 7/26/12

People are reporting glitches in the SDG&E opt-out program, available since May 9, 2012.

Smart meter opt-outs are available, after at least three years of many thousands of health and safety complaints filed with the California Public Utilities Commission and a drawn out battle with both the utilities and the CPUC. Smart meters are the "new" SDG&E pulsed microwave RF (radiofrequency) radiation-emitting wireless digital meters that you likely have on your property, for both gas and electric. Opt-outs are the ability to force SDG&E to remove the meters. Glitches in the opt-out, available since May 9th, 2012, are the following, from reports we have received:

1. The opt-out isn't free, utilities are allowed to charge for the privilege of having a non-radiation emitting analog meter. $75 to enroll in the program and $10 a month for the meter reader; ($10 and $5 for CARE customers).

2. Many customers who wanted opt-outs can't afford the opt-out or aren't willing to pay. Some feel it is comparable to extortion. Note: CPUC approved the fees and directed the utilities to charge them. Utilities requested to charge higher fees, though, before that permission was obtained.

3. Many disabled customers and those with medical conditions that must avoid RF radiation don't feel it is fair, just, or legal to have to pay. In fact, they feel that it violates discrimination laws.This is being fought out at the CPUC, with multiple Parties to the opt-out proceeding, in its second phase, filing legal briefs on the topic of whether the fees violate Americans with Disabilities Act and Public Utility Code Section 453. Learn more at: Opening Briefs on Discrimination Laws & Opt-out Fees at CPUC

4. Many non-disabled customers and those who are in good health say they don't feel they should have to pay to remain healthy. 

5. Most people know nothing about smart meters or the medical or safety risks. To learn more go to www.electrosmogprevention.org.

6. We have learned from a secondary source that less than 1,000 people have opted out in San Diego Gas & Electric's service area. This is out of 1.4 million customers.

7. We have been told that people with inaccessible analog meters are no longer being allowed to send in self-reading cards, that they are being told they must be home for the meter reader under the "new program". (We know of no such arrangement in the smart meter opt-out program language, however.) Since this is inconvenient for these people, we are told they are getting upset and may have to get a smart meter. That's one way to make them want it.

8. The CPUC refuses to discuss health as an issue with smart meters. They waived the environmental testing normally required. No matter how many people are sick, CPUC, loaded with past utility employees and administrators, ignores the health issue, calling it "outside the scope" of each smart meter proceeding. The state of CA, including the legislators and governor, have done nothing to help.  This is corruption at its worst.

9. La Mesa's Center for Electrosmog Prevention and other organizations throughout the state are Parties to the second phase of the opt-out and are fighting the fees as well as requesting that entire communities be allowed to opt-out, including apartments, condos, cities, or counties. We know of numerous people stuck in multi-family housing with banks of many smart meters right by their homes, sick, and trying to raise the funds to pay for their neighbors to opt-out. This is appalling.

SDG&E isn't done exposing the public to radiation, not by a long shot. In fact, they told the San Diego Union Tribune in March (2012) that SDG&E plans on turning on the SECOND radio inside the smart meters, a "Zigbee", in late 2012 or early 2013. The frequency of that radio is 2.4 GigaHertz (GHz), which is nearly identical to the microwave oven frequency of 2.45 GHz (except this will not be shielded). We have only been irradiated thus far with the first radio, which is set at a frequency very close to that of a cell phone (915 MegaHertz). Both frequencies are associated with health and biological effects. The emissions (from the signals) are like a constant rapid strobe, up to thousands of times per day, every second or two.

The Center for Electrosmog Prevention and other organizations have called for a halt to the turning on of the second radio, for public safety reasons. These requests have been ignored by the state and SDG&E. This is like waiting for a train to come as we are tied to the track. No one has any idea (except those of us already sick from "radio one", how this will impact the community, healthwise. We know it can't be an improvement, that is certain.

On July 12, 2012, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued its third warning about smart meters and RF radiation in the past six months. This latest warning concerns those with medical conditions and disabilities.


We ask that the general public help us take action. Demand that the Zigbee radios not be turned on. Opt-out today, fee or not, if you can. Smart Meter Opt-out Forms & Fliers. We are working to see that it is refunded. File complaints with the CPUC, US Dept. of Justice, US Dept of Energy, and the utilities. Take legal action. Learn more at www.electrosmogprevention.org and take a look at the Media section of this article for more on the fees, discrimination rights, the Zigbee frequency, and more.



Recent reports[1][2] from 40 independent experts Smart Meters: Correcting the Gross Misinformation and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine decry the use of smart meters for everyone, as a very serious public health risk, directly related to the development or exacerbation of medical conditions and/or disabilities. The AAEM recommends that smart meters should not be placed in locations (homes or businesses) that could affect persons who are disabled or with a wide variety of medical conditions such as, but not limited to:

• Neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis),

• Neurological conditions (Headaches, depression, sleep disruption, fatigue, dizziness, tremors, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, decreased memory, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, visual disruption),

• Fetal abnormalities and pregnancy,

• Genetic defects and cancer, and

• Liver disease and genitourinary disease.

• Neurological conditions such as paresthesias, somnolence, cephalgia, dizziness, unconsciousness, depression

• Musculoskeletal effects including pain, muscle tightness, spasm, fibrillation

• Heart disease and vascular effects including arrhythmia, tachycardia, flushing, edema

• Pulmonary conditions including chest tightness, dyspnea, decreased pulmonary function

• Gastrointestinal conditions including nausea, belching

• Ocular (burning)

• Oral (pressure in ears, tooth pain)

• Dermal (itching, burning, pain)

• Autonomic nervous system dysfunction (dysautonomia).

(and more)...

[1] http://www.electrosmogprevention.org/usa-smart-meter-news/smart-meters-correcting-the-gross-misinformation/

[2] http://aaemonline.org/AAEMEMFmedicalconditions.pdf


Susan Brinchman
Director, Center for Electrosmog Prevention
P.O. Box 655
La Mesa, CA

Smart Meter Dangers http://www.smartmeterdangers.org/
Southern Californians Against Smart Meters
American Coalition Against Smart Meters www.causes.com/acasm No2SmartMeters@Twitter.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Chris July 29, 2012 at 02:01 AM
The long list of conditions noted by a national medical association is noteworthy and should put fear into everyone. I bet we all know someone with these conditions. So many people are at risk with exposure to RF radiation and probably don't even know that their problems are because of the so called "meter upgrade" the utilities installed. And all of this is being done so the utilities can give themselves more profits. Wake up people before they destroy us all!
Komfort July 29, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Is it true that commercial and solar are not allowed to opt out? I remember hearing that, but I cannot find it on sdge's website. All these ads on the radio say to get solar because smart meters will start charging "time of use" and it will be very expensive. Rather than drilling a bunch of holes in your roof to screw in your rented eco-power, I would think it would be much cheaper to get rid of the smart meter and go with one that can't transmit "time of use." Malaprop, what do you think?
Chris July 29, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Time of use is just another way to gouge the public for unreasonable profits. Most of us use power at the same time because we tend to all carry on our lives during the same portions of the day. I don't really think I can stay awake to do my laundry at 2 am to avoid time of use charges. Educating the public on conservation is the best way to save power and drop our power consumption. If we want to conserve power in the US, we should look at educating other states as well. I have visited many states in the south, northwest, northeast, and southeast and have found an appalling lack of conservation in other states in the union.
Susan Brinchman July 29, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I have been talking about time-of-use (TOU) rating that will double or triple your gas & electric bills for a year now, with many trying to disparage that information. You will shortly find out it is not imaginary, then too late to stop it. The analog meters cannot charge for TOU rating without an implanted chip in them so definitely, if that is your reason to opt-out, go ahead and do so! It will be cheaper in the long run. If you have a medical condition, or someone in the family does, that appears on the AAEM list, you may also qualify in the future for free opt-outs. That is what CEP (our nonprofit) is fighting for, along with no fees for anyone, due to the medical risk. We have filed additional briefs on that, will add these shortly to Media, above. Commercial accounts are NOT being allowed to opt-out, and should start agitating for that right. CEP has, from Day 1 (a year ago) advocated that both residential and commercial customers be allowed to get the smart meters off their properties. We can't do it alone. I encourage any interested entity such as a business or business consortium to join the Opt-out Proceeding Phase 2 as a Party in order to participate in the proceeding and advocate for no fees, and community and commercial opt-outs. To learn more go to www.cpuc.ca.gov and join Application 11-03-014, Application 11-03-015, Application 11-07-020 as a Party or Information-Only Subscriber (no input there though). The only way to succeed is to have MANY VOICES.
Susan Brinchman July 29, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Off-the-grid type solar is best as you don't have to deal with SDG&E. When they make that affordable, we'll all leave SDG&E, the CPUC, and their ilk in the dust, richly deserved, too. There ARE analog meters that people used for solar before the smart meters, and people were told for awhile that smart meters couldn't go backwards for the solar energy credits, etc. Then they developed a smart meter that could and started telling people (according to our sources) that to go solar you "have to" have a smart meter. Bottomline - there were and are analog meters for solar customers and you must demand that. If denied, let us know on this discussion and email me at director@electrosmogprevention.org. I will file help bring that to the judge's attention. Any residential customer is allowed to opt-out, no exceptions, according to the CPUC ruling. That includes solar customers. But again, if you want to wash your hands of Big Brother and its Corporations, go off-grid. BTW, putting solar panels on the roof is asking for EMF's to come into the house from the panels. Off the house and away from it is healthier, according to our sources.
Alan Stuart August 03, 2012 at 06:09 PM
It sounds like SDG&E is black mailing its customers. "Give us more money or we will keep radiating you." Blackmail is illegal.
Shalamee August 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM
I just moved to Chattanooga and discovered that I am living in smart meter land. I am emf sensitive and have already begun feeling horrible. Please give me guidance in how to address this with the electric company and protect myself from this misery. I am renting and unable to move again in the near future so I must stand up for myself and find a solution. Your thoughts and assistance would be greatly appreciated.
JennR August 21, 2012 at 06:12 PM
My daughter, has been suffering from nightmares & migraines for almost 2 years. I strongly believe these are a result of the meters, as i have been suffering from headaches & insomnia as well. I live in a condo complex & our living room exterior wall holds at least 9 meters. I feel as if my only option is to move, however we own & cannot afford to sell at this time. What should i do??? Like Shalamee above, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Susan Brinchman August 21, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I know of people who are organizing their condo associations and residents to encourage all to "opt-out". One single mother is working extra hours, paying for herself and 8 others to opt-out for the year, to protect her daughter's health, who is 7 and suffers from RF radiation exposures. This is deplorable, reminiscent of the Nazi's as they bore down over the years on the Jewish people, finally herding them into cattle cars to their death. Our organization, CEP, is still working on the issue legally with the (corrupted) CPUC, fighting the fees legally and to allow communities such as condo associations to be allowed to opt-out. Only when large groups of people, cities and counties really raise heck about these meters in Southern CA, will we see an end to this outrage.
Chris August 22, 2012 at 12:09 AM
The vile CPUC and the utilities have put mini cell towers on our homes and have absolutely no testing or proof that it is safe for everyone. In fact, they are very aware of the fact that many people could suffer tremendously from these dangerous dumb meters. They don't care about the harm they do because it is all about money. What kind of unholy power must an industry have that would allow it to EXPERIMENT on the public to see how much harm actually occurs just so they can make more money? People need to wake up. It is too late after your child is sick or a family member dies from this toxic exposure. You need to remember that know one "feels" cancers growing until the final stages and then it is too late. We have alternatives that have worked well for many years. The utilities all testified that smart meters are NOT necessary for a smart grid. So why keep poisoning people? These are the powers and principalities that the Bible warns us we must fight against. Utilities that do harm in order to serve their god of money. Evil can only prosper when good people remain silent.
Susan Brinchman August 22, 2012 at 03:43 AM
What I recommend is to read How to File an Accommodation Letter / Discrimination Complaint Associated with RF Radiation from Smart Meters http://www.electrosmogprevention.org/take-action-against-smart-meters-ca/file-a-discrimination-complaint-with-us-doj/ and write the utility and your state PUC, request to opt-out based on your medical condition and/or disability, hopefully with a letter signed by your physician. On the same page cited above, see the following links: Take the American Academy of Environmental Physicians (AAEM) position statement and letter to CPUC about smart meters to your physician or health care provider. AAEM: Advise Immediate Caution Smart Meters (April, 2012); AAEM Calls for Smart Meter Moratorium (Jan. 2012). Also: Austrian Medical Association Calls for Smart Meter Halt (Jan. 2012) International Experts’ Perspective on the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) If you are in an apt building nearby a bank of smart meters, move away from them. Tell the landlord what is happening, in writing, is what I would do, and request a distant apt. If this does not work, you may have to make some hard choices. Staying in the exposure meant, for me, that my heart is now impacted and I am now reacting very strongly to WIFI, which is being installed in public places everywhere.


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