Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News
6 May 2010
'Smart Meters' Are 'Cunning Little Thieves,'
Another "Metered Service" Ripoff: Pacific Gas & Electric's 'Smart Meters' Are 'Cunning Little Thieves,' Critics Allege Phillip Dampier November 5, 2009 Editorial & Site News, Internet Overcharging, Public Policy & Gov't, Video 9 Comments
When utilities want to "charge you for what you use," it would be nice to trust the meter is accurately measuring your usage, California consumer advocates say.
In a growing controversy, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is now being accused of installing so-called "smart meters" that were smart for PG&E profits, but financially devastating for California consumers who face higher bills and growing questions about just how accurate those "smart meters" really are.
Customers across California who have had new meters installed, which are supposed to help consumers save energy by charging lower prices at off-peak usage times of day, report enormously higher bills from PG&E after installation.
State Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter (Kern County), reports he has seen bills from customers that don't begin to make sense.
California Senator Dean Florez (D-Shafter/Kern County) "One farmer was charged $11,857 for running a piece of equipment that was never turned on. A local attorney at the hearing clutched a $500 bill from July, a month in which she was visiting family out of state and almost every appliance in her house was shut off," he reports.
Florez quotes the woman — "My smart meter keeps reading these spikes in usage at noon. But no one was in the house," she said. "It's obvious to me that this technology is not ready for prime time."
Customers across the state with smart meters have reported similar stories, and are angry with PG&E's response to their concerns, which can be boiled down to, "the meter is right, you are wrong, now pay us."
PG&E claims that during its own internal reviews, it found nobody being overcharged. Spokesman Jeff Smith says "in all 1700 of those cases we have not found an instance thus far of the smart meter transmitting inaccurate information or incorrect usage information."
The California Public Utilities Commission doesn't think that's enough and has begun ordering an independent review of the "smart meter" program and accuracy of meter readings.
Liz Keogh spent 14 years collecting and analyzing data at the Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and now lives in Bakersfield, California. She has been pulling out her old PG&E bills and records showing her utility use all the way back to 1983. What she found since the "smart meter" was installed on her home was disturbing.
Her analysis was printed in the San Francisco Chronicle: My July, August and September 2009 bills showed the highest usage and cost in 26-plus years, even though I rarely go over "baseline usage." The dollar difference from 2008 to 2009 was $20 to $30 each month.
Billing costs are a product of usage multiplied by kilowatt-hour rates, which, like the federal income tax structure, is "tiered," so that the more you use, the more you pay – and at higher and higher rates.
Analysis of usage is the first step toward understanding fluctuations in cost.According to the smart meter installed on Sept. 12, 2007, the increase in my 2008-09 usage over 2007 was:
May +5.6% +28.6%
June +7.5% +32.6%
July +10% +50.2%
Aug. +3.1% +41.1%
Sept. -4.8% +67.9%
Oct. +4.9% NA
PG&E's own data show there was not a significant difference in temperatures for each comparable month. Why, then, did my "usage" increase range from 30 percent to 70 percent in 2009, while the 2008 increases were no more than 10 percent?
Simple answer: Meter malfunctioning, whether accidental and idiosyncratic, or, as some claim, intentional.
The suspicion that funny business is going on might be justified when considering Bakersfield residents have been through this all before.
"[Several years ago] Bakersfield is where PG&E first realized it had made a $500 million mistake, installing tens of thousands of inferior meters that would never live up to the promise. So the utility purchased a new generation of meters from Silver Spring Networks Inc. of Redwood City. PG&E insists that these new meters are glitch-free, though it concedes that it has tested only 50 out of 250,000 meters in Kern County," Florez said.
At a time when some broadband providers want to install their own meters to overcharge customers for their Internet service, the PG&E experience is telling. Independent oversight of any meter comes down to the enforcement mechanism available to guarantee accuracy. But broadband service in the United States is unregulated, and no such enforcement mechanism exists.
And just when you thought you could believe the rhetoric that utility customers who conserve their usage will save more money, another electric and gas utility in San Diego filed a rate increase request that will charge customers who have managed to cut their usage even higher prices than those who have not.
Follow this link for videos about Smart Meters
Mobile phone mast protester arrested at demonstration
A PROTESTER was arrested at a demonstration to stop a mobile phone mast being built.
Alan Cheetham, a member of the NO2O2 campaign group, was arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of obstructing a police officer as the group tried to stop workmen installing the 32-foot mast in Crewe.
Campaigners had gathered at the site, at the junction of Valley Road and Readesdale Avenue, from around 6am, as workmen from mobile phone giant O2 arrived.
Mr Cheetham from Valley Road, was last night being questioned by officers.
It is understood he was moving a caravan, used as a campaign headquarters that had been parked on the work site, into the road when he was arrested.
Campaigners remained at the site until around 4pm, but workmen managed to start digging to lay the foundations for the mast. Work is expected to continue today.
The campaign group has been fighting the mast since it was approved by Cheshire East Council in July last year.
Ernie Jones, a member of the group who lives in Dane Bank Avenue, said: "We are very disappointed they have started work. We have been fighting this for a long time and . We will continue to protest the best we can."
Campaigners say they are worried for the health of children, as the mast site is close to a number of schools and nurseries including St Thomas More Catholic High School, Vine Tree Primary School, Dane Bank Pre-school, South Cheshire College and St Mary's Catholic Primary School.
They say they were not properly consulted and their complaints, including a 300-signature petition, are being ignored by the council.
Protester Sarah Campion, aged 35, lives 50 metres from the site, in Valley Road. The mum-of-two said: "The council ignored our protests so residents decided we needed to try to stop it ourselves.
"They have been to install it four times, and on each occasion time we have stood in their way.
"It is in the middle of five schools and they haven't taken that into consideration.
"There are children sleeping within 200 metres of this site and they are the most susceptible to any radiation that might be given off.
"My children will have no escape from it because they live here and go to school here. They will be exposed to it 24 hours a day."
A Cheshire Police spokesman said: "A mobile phone mast is being erected, which is legitimate development work. A group of local people who are unhappy with it are conducting what is largely a peaceful protest.
"One man was arrested for obstruction because a caravan was being pushed into the carriageway and he failed to desist when asked to by an officer."
A spokesman for Cheshire East Council said: "The proposal was considered by the council's southern planning committee and was fully debated in public before a decision was made. O2 therefore have the necessary planning permission to proceed with this development."
An O2 spokesman said: "We are trying to improve communications for the people of Crewe, not only now but in the future.
"We don't conduct our own research into the health effects of masts and have to rely on advice from the Health Protection Agency and the World Health Organisation. They tell us there are absolutely no issues with health from mobile phone masts and that no more research will be carried out into it.
"They are more interested in the impact of handsets, which are hundreds of times more powerful.
"The children will be exposed to more electro-magnetic waves from their computers at school than the mast."
Interview with Prof. Dr. Erich
We have an important interview with famous German lawyer Prof. Dr. Erich
Schöndorf, regarding mobile phone technology and the hazards as well as victims online in 3 languages: French, English and German.
The interview which had been published last year in the most important juridical weekly magazine of Germany had sadly not been translated so far, thus didn't found the attention it deserves.
Alternative Short link:
Or directly right now on top:
Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | perl -pe 'y/a-z/n-za-m/'
Prof. Dr. Erich Schöndorf about mobile phone technology:
"Is is simply a question of time until the front breaks down."
Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 2 / 2009(New weekly judicial magazine 2/2009)
[About Prof. Dr. Erich Schöndorf: Being a famous German lawyer, he worked as leading attorney in Frankfurt (Main) during the 1990' in the well known wood preservative case against a BAYER AG subsidiary. Frustration made him leave his attorney job and he went on to teach as professor at the university of applied science (Frankfurt Main – (http://www.fh-frankfurt.de). He is an authority when it comes to product liability in Germany.]
NJW:Why have victims of radiation from mobile phone masts such a hard time to enforce their rights successfully?
Schöndorf:Mainly this is not a judicial but a political problem. For more then 100 Billion DM [German Marks] the licenses for UMTS (3G) had been sold by the federal republic of Germany and now the purchaser want to make cash. Nationwide successful lawsuits would interfere here pretty much. The authorities had already guessed that and set appropriately high official limits, which can't be justified medically. In case of doubt a justice committed to corporate interests executes these limits and dismisses any complaints.
NJW: What should be done as protection against Electrosmog?
Schöndorf:Firstly it's about to reduce official limits to the medicinal the limits on what is medically required.
Other countries have already done so. In Germany, the politic think to resign from doing do, simply to save the operators some costs. In addition a better public education about the hazards of electromsog would be imperative. Even with reduced exposition, the users of mobile phones remain are at high risks.
NJW:Is there a public duty to introduce protection areas for victims of radiation?
Schöndorf:Sure, with a size of 357 000 square kilometers, exactly the area of the BRD. With all seriousness: We don't want USA conditions, where endangered Indian tribes are confined to reservations, with the known consequences.
Michael Heiming - MESURES IN SITU - http://microondes.wordpress.com/ 1/2
NJW:In the U.S.A., a worker won in a labor court, who attributed her brain tumor on her cell phone usage at work. We'll see some processes in the lines also in Germany?
Schöndorf:Anything we encounter in the U.S.A will be with some time delay in Germany. Meanwhile the justice system rallys behind its repellent attitude.
But highly advanced organizations [NGOs] are on the way to connect the dots. They collect a massive amount of evidence, which persuasive power no court will be able to deprive from, sooner or later. It is simply a question of time until the front breaks down.
NJW:Is it possible to prove with today medicinal knowledge that a damage of health is caused by electrosmog?
Schöndorf:The proof of causality is the Achilles' of modern product liability. This is because relationships are quite complex, have much to do with natural sciences, which lawyers aren't that good about and that justice is kept in their own thinking:
Injury is done with fists or sticks, sometimes with a car, but never with a mobile phone. This is used for different things: Talking, taking pictures, writing SMS and checking the internet. All beautiful things nothing offensive. For large parts of the critical medicinal community the evidence of causation is fulfilled since quite some time. That is, it seems proven to them, the technology makes large numbers of people sick!
(A Podcast version of the interview (German) at: http://tinyurl.com/ca5zph )
Homepage, Prof. Dr. Erich Schöndorf:http://www.schoendorf-erich.de/
Translation: Sibylle Gabriel & Michael Heiming (http://microondes.wordpress.com/)
Thanks for telling me about the ear tags for cows and deer in NZ. We have the same requirement here. I measured the EMF ouput of an ID transponder ear tag at Michigan State and it emitted 3 milliGauss. If 1 mG is about 79.5 milliamperes that's 240 mA, quite a burden that could elicit Electropathic Stress in some cows. It exceeds the threshold 200 mV /500 Ohm = 0,48 mA that Mark Epson noted in NZ. If the cow's R is 200 ohms then the current flowing through the cow would be 200 mV/200 ohm = 0.001 A or 1 mA
Wisconson agr. Engineers and dairymen found that exposure of cows to 1 mA, front to rear feet for two weeks, caused changes in blood cortisol, Immunoglubins, and Interleukins-1, and -2 plus others.
I have no data about the effects of eartag transponders, but would like to see it studied.
Further information about the ear tags - http://www.nait.org.nz/
BRAG™ Antenna Ranking of Schools
Some of you may want to listen in on the Teleclass Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.
Here are the instructions. Please join us--and spread the word! Best, Camilla
BRAG™ Antenna Ranking of Schools Parent and School Teleclass #1, Friday, May 7th, 2010 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern
Dial-In #: (712) 432-1000
Note: If there is any background noise on your end, please press *6 to mute, and *6 again to un-mute should you wish to ask a question during the Q&A period. This is especially important if you are on a speakerphone, using an internet-based phone service such as SKYPE or a cell phone. To exit the call press *3.
To learn more about this teleclass before the call or afterwards, please visit the Facebook page for Campaign for Radiation Free Schools or use this link:
The phone number and password provided above gives you the ability to ask questions during the Q&A period. To ensure that your question has not already been answered in the Media Teleconference about the BRAG™ Antenna Ranking of Schools held on April 28th, we encourage you to listen to the recording which is available here:
We look forward to having you with us for the teleclass this Friday, May 7th, 2010 11:00 a.m. Eastern, 8:00 a.m. Pacific.
Thanks again for your interest!
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