Marin County: meter plan not smart

There are 56 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Oct 27, 2010, titled Marin County: meter plan not smart. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

Marin County supervisors, asserting that proceeding with a "smart meter" project is a dumb idea before health issues are reviewed, dispatched another letter asking the state Public Utilities Commission to suspend the program.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

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Robert Williams

Danville, CA

#1 Oct 27, 2010

1. Customer information from Smart Meters is less effective and less accessible than a magnet on your refrigerator with energy costs of different appliances and at different hours, etc.

In order to even attempt to analyze the so-called "Smart Meter" information by going on line, people would have to spend thousands of dollars to purchase new appliances that are wirelessly compatible with these new and radiation emitting WIRELESS METERS.

The meters cannot identify from which appliance the power use is coming from without new expensive appliances that would create an unnecessary and undesirable wireless communication within your home, not to mention the thousands of dollars to replace your existing air conditioner, refrigerator and all other appliances.

Once PG&E has information on what hours we use the most power, they will raise rates during those times and 99% of our bills will increase, not decrease as PG&E pretends.

Also, who wants to go on-line and analyze bar graphs and then try to toast your bread less at 2:00am in order to save $1.31 per month, but to have your over-all bill increase by 40% anyway once the new rates go in. And we are paying for these new meters every month within our bills.

2. In California, there have been tens of thousands of complaints of sudden dramatic increases in utility bills immediately after installation of these so-called "Smart Meters." And most people whose bills have skyrocketed are not even on that complaint list.

3. 1000's of skilled jobs will be lost and some will be replaced with phone center operators that will read a script to frustrated and dissatisfied customers.

Reduction of trained people in the field and reduction of human customer contact is extremely dangerous as the deaths in San Bruno, California confirm where Smart Meters were installed.

4. The Smart GRID involves moving energy from region to region as needed. It does NOT require dangerous radiation emitting WIRELESS METERS on homes.

5. There are 53 Peer Reviewed Scientific Studies that show that even low levels of RF radiation, which comes from these WIRELESS meters, are extremely dangerous to people, particularly children.

These electronic radiation-emitting meters are going 24 hours per day, so there is no recovery time for adults to rejuvenate from the previous day. For children, the night time sleeping hours are when their bodies are sending millions of delicate electronic signals from the brain to cells and amongst cells for proper growth and development of their bodies, organs and systems. Children do not need electronic interference or electronic "noise" traveling through their bodies while they sleep. Because the electronic interference is invisible does not make it any less harmful.

6. If something is 99.999% sure, Science does not say it is "Proven." That is how the $3.7 Trillion telecommunication industry says no "Proof" of danger. But 99.999% is sufficient for you and I to not allow our children and families to be subjected to it unnecessarily.

7. 20 cities and counties in California have requested stopping the installation of Smart Meters. Each has done their own research and come to the same conclusion.

8. So-called Smart Meters transmit to, receive from, and repeat the other meter's signals in your community. PG&E calls it a "MESH NETWORK." The millions of repeated and redundant signals look like a dense window screen, but three-dimensional and invisible, and YOU AND I AND OUR CHILDREN WILL BE IN IT 24 HOURS PER DAY. This saves the utility company the cost of sending the signals through shielded cables.

9. "Green" is great, but in attempting to do something green, lets not allow something "Brown" to be put on everyone's face.


Watch this short video on wireless radiation - it might save your kid's life:
Too late

San Rafael, CA

#2 Oct 27, 2010
Typical....a dollar short a day late.
A smart meter is already installed at my home.
Might explian the new headaches I have.
Has anyone's bill gone down with a smart meter reading vs a human reading?
Mill Valley resident

Hayward, CA

#3 Oct 27, 2010
My hands hurt, I think its my smart meter.
West Marin Native

Richmond, CA

#4 Oct 27, 2010
The BoS has no idea what they are talking about and the CPUC does not have the jurisdiction to rule on the complaint. They might try the FCC but, for the record, these meters have already been extensively tested and approved for use.

McGlashan and company - including his MEA cronies and the similarly-minded city councils (e.g. Fairfax, Mill Valley, Ross, etc.) that kowtow to McGlashan's maligned leadership - are just banging on the same old "David v. Goliath" drum against PG&E.

Six months ago they were up in arms about PG&E's smartmeter rollout because of alleged problems with the meters, asking to suspend further installations pending the outcome of a third-party meter test and validation report.

Guess what: the report was issued and, surprise surprise, there were no substantive flaws found with the devices.

"Overall, Structure found that the AMI technology deployed by PG&E appears to be 1) consistent with industry standards, based upon the goals of the AMI implementation and upgrades approved by the CPUC, and 2) accurate from a metering and billing perspective. Structure identified gaps in Customer services and processes related to high bill complaints, and determined certain PG&E practices to be partially noncompliant relative to industry best practices." Ref:

"Ops" thought the BoS. "We better find a different tactic to resist PG&E." Suddenly, there was a surge in "complaints" of the meter's EMF impacts on the public health and, with that, a new round of pronouncements and complaints against smartmeter deployments. Go figure.

Time and time again, McGlashan is showing is capacity and versatility in brining a fight to PG&E. In a time when we need to be connecting ALL of the dots in our energy policy, we need to be working TOGETHER to develop, test, deploy and administer sustainable programs that serve our citizenry - in Marin, California, the United States and beyond! Smartmeters - a tried and true but small component of our future energy infrastructure - are here to stay. Instead of sticking one's head in the sand and reacting from fear of the unknown, McGlashan and all smartmeter opponents might stand to benefit from a bit of education. Better still, BoS and other public service officials should stick to what they do best and not working to impede progress with our nation's energy policy.

Unlike what McGlashan would like you to believe, Smartmeters are NOT a PG&E initiative much less one that is targeted only at Marin. Guided by the Department of Energy and with the assistance of ARRA stimulus funding, more than 150 million smartmeters (or 50% of all US meters) are scheduled to be deployed across the country in the coming years.$Nearly 40 million are already in place, 6 million of which are in PG&E's service area. Europe and Asia are leap-years ahead of us with their smartmeter deployments... and they're using essentially the same technology!

As a ratepayer who is never happy to continually shell out so much $$$ to PG&E, with my company I happen to collaborate with them on an array of ground-breaking initiatives in the renewable energy, energy storage, research and energy policy development areas. My attitude is that if a freight train is coming down the tracks, it is better to jump on, work diplomacy with the engineers and achieve a greater measure of success for us all. Instead, McGlashan and those of his ilk only impede progress and serve the limited few that have inflated their "David v. Goliath" ego at the expense of fomenting fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst their constituency.

Sorry McGlashan, you still haven't proven that your anything more than just another politician full of hot air.

Agreed: PG&E needs to do a better job with their communications, deployment planning and customer service, but smartmeters are here to stay.


BTW: VOTE NO ON 23!!!!
West Marin Native

Richmond, CA

#5 Oct 27, 2010
Too late wrote:
Typical....a dollar short a day late.
A smart meter is already installed at my home.
Might explian the new headaches I have.
Has anyone's bill gone down with a smart meter reading vs a human reading?
I have a smartmeter and, yes, my bills have gone down since it was installed just a few months ago!
West Marin Native

Richmond, CA

#6 Oct 27, 2010
Robert Williams wrote:
Conspiracy theorist. I bet you think Obama is a muslim too.

Fear nothing but fear itself.

Wake up.

Since: Apr 09

Marin County, CA

#7 Oct 27, 2010
My poop was blue today.

Can someone tell me how my smart meter caused this?

Thank you.

“Big Green & Little Red”

Since: Oct 08

Scottsdale Pond, Novato

#8 Oct 27, 2010
Rational approach wrote:
My poop was blue today.
Can someone tell me how my smart meter caused this?
Thank you.
The emissions screwed up the rods and cones in your eyes?
Yeah right

San Francisco, CA

#9 Oct 27, 2010
West Marin Native wrote:
<quoted text>
Conspiracy theorist. I bet you think Obama is a muslim too.
Fear nothing but fear itself.
Wake up.
Just like 11 terrorist under the age of 30 pulled off 911 - yeah right!

San Francisco, CA

#10 Oct 27, 2010
The gates to my estate won't open anymore when I pull up to them in my Mercedes, is my Smart Meter interfering with the signal?

Since: Dec 09

Pleasanton, CA

#11 Oct 27, 2010
Anybody have the specs on the frequency and mW output of these devices? Just curious anyway...

San Rafael, CA

#12 Oct 27, 2010
To get the purported benefits of smart meters, consumers must purchase their own communications devices, computers, high speed internet, special thermostats, appliance chips and other automated equipment. The cost of retrofitting or replacing existing appliances alone will be astronomical.

Without the expenditures, consumers will not see any difference from the new meters except higher electric bills.

Millions of these devices have already been installed in California, and thousands of consumer complaints are pouring in to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and to the media forcing the CPUC to conduct an investigation. A class action lawsuit has already been filed in Bakersfield.

All the Comic Book Conservatives that immediately leap to the defense of any corporation, please feel free to have on of these installed in your house.

San Rafael, CA

#13 Oct 27, 2010
West Marin Native wrote:
<quoted text>
Conspiracy theorist. I bet you think Obama is a muslim too.
Fear nothing but fear itself.
Wake up.
No, most anti-environmentalists are also high school drop out comic book conservatives.

Thanks Mr. Williams:

Why should we be concerned?

Constant radio-frequency radiation (RFR) emitted by these mesh-networked meters from every house, apartment, clinic & business will add a massive additional layer of man-made RFR to our environment that will pulse radiation every minute throughout the day and night; repeaters on utility poles will also be transmitting RFR for the "smart meters" and re-radiating; RFR will infiltrate all other home wiring.

No FCC Safety Standards exist for chronic long-term exposure to RF radiation or from multiple sources.

Adverse health effects from electromagnetic pollution include sleep disorders, irritability, short term memory loss, headaches, anxiety, nausea, DNA breaks, abnormal cell growth, cancer, premature aging, Alzheimers, heart palpitations, etc.

Untested technology - international scientists, environmental agencies, advocacy groups and doctors are calling for the use of the precautionary principle for wireless technologies that are already causing illness in many people.

Skyrocketing utility bills - sometimes 2 to 3 times higher than before the "smart meters" were installed, even for vacant homes.

Privacy violated - government and corporations want to buy the data gathered from constant monitoring of your electricity usage. Allows utilities - or hackers - to shut customers off remotely

Security issues - easily hacked and easily monitored by burglars. Risk of private data being lost, stolen or accessed

Fire hazards, risk of electrical shock and frying sensitive electronic equipment.

Waste of our money -ratepayers will pay for these meters through rate increases -$2 billion is being spent.

Loss of jobs at a time when job creation should be a top priority.

Undemocratic process - PG&E is telling people that they have absolutely no choice.

San Rafael, CA

#14 Oct 27, 2010
Those of you that have had one of these foisted off on you, consider enclosing the meter on all sides with an enclosure lined with copper bug screen with a ground clip to the nearby ground rod. It will prevent the signals from being broadcast through your walls and into your house. Might also force PG&E to send a meterman out to your house to read it. TT.

They have to be able to see it from the street, not broadcast it throughout your house.

Since: Mar 10

Novato, CA

#15 Oct 27, 2010
Rational approach wrote:
My poop was blue today.
Can someone tell me how my smart meter caused this?
Thank you.
And now your eyes a brown...

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#16 Oct 27, 2010
In an area where I have a house, Wellington Energy came through 2 weeks ago installing the new meters for PG&E. This a semi rural area, and there are no tranceivers installed anywhere within miles.
Two of my neighbors have wooden enclosures around their meters that have been there for years, so the Wellington boy could not install new electric meters, and I told the boy that I did not want a new meter.
So far, one of my neighbors who refused the new meters has not been contacted at all by PG&E, but myself and another neighbor received a letter from PG&E asking us to call to schedule an appointment within 30 days, and mentioned that they really want to continue to serve us. I take that as a subtle threat.
Next they called and left a message saying some thing about my gas and electric meters, well, I don't have a gas meter, so I am ignoring PGE, and so is my neighbor. He is a retired broadcast engineer, used to working on 500kw transmitters, but he doesn't want any stinkin SmartMeters on his house either.
So we are ignoring PG&E, and I am in touch with others who have not allowed new electric meters to be installed.
Please, anyone in the same situation post updates on what is going on with PG&E's failed attempts to installed new electric meters, I will also.
We need to be an informed opposition, and who knows ?. PG&E has already charged us for the new meters and installation too with the help of all the taxpayers from across the nation through TARP funds. So they have been paid, let the meters sit down at the corporation yard, thev have already been sold.
RESIST !!!!!

San Rafael, CA

#17 Oct 27, 2010
Just what you want around you developing infants and children:

This is of great concern because the exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation from these meters is involuntary and continuous. The transmitting meters do comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "safety" standards. However, those standards were initially designed to protect an average male from tissue heating (cooking) during a brief exposure. These standards were not designed to protect a diverse population from the non-thermal effects of continuous exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation. Therefore, these "safety" standards were not designed to protect the public from health problems under the circumstances which the meters are being used. The transmitting meters most often being used transmit continuously, every few seconds. This is picked up by a receiver and logged by the utility. You are exposed to the transmissions from all the meters within transmitting range. The meters often have a range of over 2 miles. Thus, the exposure is continuous and the "safety" standards the meters comply with are irrelevant to the situation. Please read this letter from the Radiation Protection Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the limitations of the FCC standards....
The objectives of the Smart Grid Program can be accomplished without transmitting meters and without using other technology such as high frequency communication over power lines, which are also harmful to human health. It simply requires that meters be selected that are properly engineered to meet the needs of the program without using dangerous technology. Multi-rate billing and other sophisticated metering options do not require that the meter transmit. Models are available that download periodically on phone lines, dedicated communication lines, or are read by a reader the meter reader carries. Dedicated communication cables can be used to shut off or allow on certain power consuming electronics such as air conditioners. It is essential that only meters that do not transmit or put high frequency signals on building wiring are approved for the Smart Grid Program.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08


#18 Oct 27, 2010
MarinCitizen wrote:
Anybody have the specs on the frequency and mW output of these devices? Just curious anyway...
They bought the 33 cemtimeter band, and are now the primary Users of the allocation, Amateur radio Operators were always secondary Users, so it was a given that the FCC had full intentions on selling the band.
They are now the primary Users of the 902-928MHz spread, although the meters tend to hop around in frequency, they generally stay on the top-end of the band.
The meters around my area are almost always around 926MHz.

The power-output claims are numerous as I've found out, but they claim it's supposedly 250mWs'(1/4W), but I've found meters that exceed that almost 4-fold.

San Rafael, CA

#19 Oct 28, 2010
they snuck one of these onto the batcave yesterday when i was out in the batmobile and the attack kitties were inside

wrap them in tinfoil and they wont be able to communicate

go ahead liberals
take that tin foil hat off and put it to use
Lower bills

San Rafael, CA

#20 Oct 28, 2010
So how many have a lower bill since a smart meters install?

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