Saturday, May 7, 2011

$1,400 refund from PG&E / a bad idea / faulty SmartMeters / parents' permission before installing Wi-Fi / Different types of Radiation / more radiation than X-rays / stiff opposition to AT&T

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News 

7 May 2011


Mountain View couple expected to get $1,400 refund from PG&E for SmartMeter glitch

Then they did something none of the thousands of other PG&E customers who have complained about their SmartMeters have done -- they proved it.

The case is likely to open a new wave of complaints about SmartMeter accuracy and inflated utility bills. Just this week, PG&E acknowledged that 1,600 SmartMeters, mostly in Fresno and other inland cities, need to be replaced because of a "rare defect" that causes the wireless devices to run fast and raise customers' electric bills.

Sokolova and Kacharovsky's challenge to PG&E was not based on one of those 1,600 defective meters. In their case, the SmartMeter triggered a motion detector that turned on a floodlight and caused their electric usage to surge.

After months of complaints, the Russian-born couple argued their case before an administrative law judge with the California Public Utilities Commission in December. Judge Victor Ryerson ruled in their favor, ordering PG&E to grant Sokolova and Kacharovsky a $1,400 refund, which, if approved by the full commission, would mark the first time state regulators have approved a customer refund because of a SmartMeter.

Ryerson said the couple presented a compelling story.

"Vera was the one who prepared the case, and she basically called her husband as the expert witness," said Ryerson, who chuckled as he recalled Kacharovsky, in a thick Russian accent, earnestly explaining the differences between analog and digital meters and the physics behind them. "PG&E was outmatched. These folks put on a convincing case."

Kacharovsky, an engineering technician at Dolby Laboratories, previously worked at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He kept scrupulous records of his energy usage.

"I knew that I was right, but I had to prove to PG&E that they were wrong," said Kacharovsky, 54. "It was an insult to my intelligence."

Letting a judge decide

Sokolova and Kacharovsky filed a formal complaint with the PUC in March 2010. According to documents on file with the PUC, PG&E tested the SmartMeter at the couple's home in March 2010 and found the digital device to be working accurately, but replaced it in June 2010 after it stopped transmitting electricity usage to PG&E's billing system.

The utility also installed a traditional electromechanical meter to conduct a "side-by-side" performance comparison with the second SmartMeter on a weekly basis.

By September, the second SmartMeter had also stopped transmitting electricity usage to PG&E. The utility sought to replace the second SmartMeter with a third, but Sokolova and Kacharovsky had had enough. They refused to allow PG&E to replace the second SmartMeter and insisted on keeping the electromechanical meter in place. By then, their bills were back to normal.

PG&E, according to documents, speculated that use of an electric space heater in the winter months could have contributed to higher bills and suggested that Kacharovsky may have covered the SmartMeter with a "tin pot" to disrupt its ability to transmit electric usage -- allegations Kacharovsky denies.

Kacharovsky says that at one point during the numerous discussions, PG&E offered to credit his bill by $1,400. He refused, saying that because he had filed a formal complaint with state regulators, the ultimate decision rested with an administrative law judge.

"I am a U.S. citizen, and I wanted the judge to decide," said Kacharovsky. "I don't want anyone to be cheated, and this way the whole process is more in the public eye."

Questions remain

Why the bills tripled remains something of a mystery. The two parties agreed that the SmartMeter activated a motion detector on the side of the couple's house, causing it to turn on a floodlight that increased the household's electric usage. But it is unclear whether that is the sole reason for the spike in the couple's bills.

"The weight of the evidence demonstrates that the increase was not caused by any actions of the complainants," wrote Ryerson in his decision. "Based upon the historical level of their billing, we will grant their request for a $1,400 adjustment."

Final approval of the refund was on the agenda for a PUC meeting Thursday, but PUC President Michael Peevey on Wednesday ordered the item held for further review.

"I haven't had a chance to read this, and I want to take a look at it," Peevey told this newspaper, adding that it would likely be on the May 26 agenda.




Viewpoint - Smart meters are a bad idea

By Contributed Opinion - Gulf Islands Driftwood By DULCY WILSON I am very concerned about BC Hydro installing smart meters all over Salt Spring Island. I think it is a very bad idea for many reasons. As I see it there is no real benefit for us, ...




700 Valley PG&E customers have faulty SmartMeters (press release)
May 3--Nearly 700 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties are getting new SmartMeters to replace faulty ones the utility said have caused some inaccurate bills. PG&E's announcement that it would replace around ...


Schools should ask for parents' permission before installing Wi-Fi

To the editor:

First off, thank you to those who persevere not be disregarded, silenced and ignored by school administrators and those individuals who sit on the school board. We too do not want Wi-Fi in our children's school.

We would have thought that we would be consulted about this by our children's school. We rely on the 'Communication Bag' that comes home with our children each day. We have yet to receive a note home in the bag requesting our opinion on this issue.

After all, we see how highly sensitive the school is to children that are affected by peanuts. We see how permission forms are required for field trips. We receive surveys to fill out and return on what we think of the head lice checking policy.

We had thought we would get a note home with the question: "do you want Wi-Fi in your children's school?" with a box next to 'yes' and a box next to 'no' to be thoughtfully replied.

I am now thinking the school boards do not ask parents questions if they in advance know that they will not like the parent's response.

We are not the only parents that are now looking at other schooling options for our children. We are reminded by a common expression used in places of work where senior management says "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission" when wanting to get something done that would otherwise never be granted approval.

It is a haunting expression when placed in the context of the school board implementation of the Wi-Fi in our children's schools.

Thus far, the individuals that are on the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board are choosing to ask for the parent's forgiveness at a later date rather than their permission now.

Wanda Hogan and Nathan Bender




Different types of Radiation ( ELF, RF, EV EMR) from cellphones .

In addition to the Radio Frequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from Cellphones there are also Low Frequency Electric and Magnetic fields which are emitted from the cellphone during transmission.
In this clip we will try to show the rough levels of extrema low frequency (ELF) Electric and Magnetic fields from several G2 phones.
As you can see these levels are not low and should not be ignored.

Please feel free to forward this video.

Thanks and best regards.

No Rad

St. Louis American
An X-ray or radiograph uses electromagnetic radiation to make images of a part of the ... The biggest risk from large doses of radiation exposure is cancer. ...
Nebraska City News Press
Currie said their concerns are not uncommon, but assured the group that there is greater risk from holding a cell phone to your ear than there is from ...

Cell phone tower causes furor in Westerleigh neighborhood

Thursday, May 05, 2011
Times Record
By Seth Koenig, Times Record Staff BATH — The city of Bath on Wednesday night became the first municipality in Maine to preliminarily approve a moratorium on the installation of so-called "Smart Meters." A divided City Council gave first passage to an ...

The Sudbury Star
By JONATHAN JENKINS, QMI AGENCY TORONTO -- Local power distribution companies are balking at installing smart meters across the province, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Wednesday. "PowerStream, the secondlargest hydro company in Ontario ...

Councilmembers send a letter to Edison asking for a thorough vetting of the devices.


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