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What Happened When We Got Rid Of Our Smart Meter? The Results Are Amazing--You Can Do It Too!
UPDATED DECEMBER 2023: We recently had another smart meter removed. This one was in Texas, the last one was in California. I'm happy to report that it wasn't that hard--it did take a little effort and I'll be paying a small fee for meter reading every month. However, if you care about EMF Protection, switching to an analog meter is one of the top things you can do. Especially when you see the reduction in EMFs. And guess what? It took the technician less than 3 minutes to do the whole job!. Check out this short video and then check out our definitive guide on Smart Meters below. How they work, the symptoms they can cause you and your family and most importantly, how to get your electric company to come over and take it out!
Utilities around the country are installing smart meters as fast as they possibly can.
Usually, you won't even know that your safe analog meter has been switched out to an EMF Radiation powered smart meter. But you should know.
Not only are you going to be saying farewell to your meter reader guy, you'll also probably be paying more for power every month—some people say it's a LOT more because the utility can closely monitor your usage many times during the day, and charge you accordingly.
But here at Tech Wellness, we're also concerned about the potential health and privacy effects of technology. Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) levels are continual and high.
What is a smart meter?
It's a connected smart device. If you've been reading about The Internet of Things, this is one of those things. It's a small computer with enough power to monitor and control your home's power and then send messages back to the utility. Our friendly utility company describes their smart meter program this way . . . From Southern California Edison (a California electric company)
“The SmartConnect digital meters and two-way communications system enable customers to better understand their energy consumption and more effectively manage their electricity use, thus helping them save energy and better manage their overall energy bill. SmartConnect meters are also equipped to support a home area network (HAN) on the customer’s premises. The HAN enables the meter to provide information into the home and to communicate with HAN-enabled devices (such as smart thermostats and in-home displays).”Isn't that sweet? They want you to understand your energy consumption!
How Does a Smart Meter Work?
Smart meters can use a variety of Radio Frequency (RF) systems, the most popular being what they call a mesh network—one meter sends information to the next, to the next, etc., and then is collected in a centralized hub. That’s a lot of wireless energy going on.
You can also cover your Smart Meter!
It works to reduce home exposure
But, you should know . . .The problem we see is that the meters use a cellular technology that is basically attached to your house. Also, some reports indicate that these radios are far more powerful than what the FCC typically allows. While your meter chats with the mothership on and off, all day and night long, some pretty big-time EMF's are spitting out too. Depending on where your meter is located (e.g. close to bedrooms), you and your kids could be unhealthfully near a device that is shooting intermittent strong bursts of EMF radiation at you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More on the potential health effects a bit later.
What if I live in an apartment?Well, if you're unlucky enough to live near that big bank of meters that many complexes have, you're being blasted by all of them together, all of the time! Yikes!!
And then, there's the issue of privacy
If the utility knows in granular detail about your energy usage, it would be very easy for them, or some other actor, to figure out when you're home and when you're not. Imagine a car quietly driving down your street that can pick up the Smart Meter transmissions and use that to decide which homes to break into!
Here's an easy way to be aware of your radiation intake and exposure.
This easy EMF Meter is available in our shop.
How Powerful Is the Radiation?
Whoa—this energy is sent 288 times a day!
Q: Aren’t smart meters as safe as cell phones and WiFi routers? SEE Which States Let You OPT OUT Below!
...Ah, that's a good question. Smart meters use radio frequency microwave radiation similar to WiFi and cell phones. At Tech Wellness, we think exposure to this type of RF energy should be managed and limited. I've got a quick WiFi Video Demo and the BEST switch to turn it off quick and easy while keeping a healthy distance.
The safety of all wireless devices is really questionable. In 2011, the World Health Organization placed this frequency range in the “possible human carcinogen” category. We believe there is a cumulative effect of exposure so be aware, unlike your cell phone or WiFi router, you are not able to turn off a smart meter, or your neighbor's meter, or the related neighborhood utility wireless antennas that communicate in the smart network. Moreover, the RF radiation from some wireless smart meters is a concern because the radiation is so persistent and powerful. California court documents indicate that each of these meters issues RF radiation pulses averaging about 10,000 times per day, and up to a maximum of 190,000 times per day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! That power level places wireless smart meters among the most powerful RF emitters likely to be present in a residential home.
Turns out, Some People Found Out Smart Meters Don't Make Them Feel So Good
We came across this research report by Ronald Powell, Ph.D. I reached out to Mr. Powell and he was kind enough to share his up to date research, “Symptoms After Exposure to Smart Meter Radiation.” Dr. Powell is a retired career U.S. Government scientist. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard. During the government career, he worked for the President, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. When it comes to meters, he’s an incredible wealth of information, as well as someone we fervently trust and honor.
Now, many do not have any noticeable symptoms when exposed to RF radiation from wireless smart meters. The full health disclosure that everyone should be aware of is that there is growing evidence about the biological effects of being exposed to RF radiation.
Covering Your Smart Meter Blocks All Radiation - Try It IF You Can't Opt Out.
It makes sense that organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics have expressed concern regarding radiation standards relating to wireless devices. Many in the medical field believe that pregnant women and their unborn children, very young children, teenagers, men of a reproductive age, seniors, and anyone with a chronic health condition are those who are an especially high risk of harm from exposure. Electric fields can affect the electrical communication in your body, such as your brainwaves, or the ability of your neurons to fire and communicate. It can also impede intercell communication anywhere in your body. Health problems that can manifest as a result of this type of exposure include...
- Neurological and behavioral changes
- Altered cell growth
- Cell mutations
- Chronic fatigue
Then There's the Dirty Electricity That Spreads Through The Wiring in Your Home
Warren Woodward worked with Paul, who brought in RF meters,Grahm Stetzer and ossiliscopes to measure the not just radiation but also the dirty electricity using meters and to detect high voltage transients which travel on the wire. He claims the energy can radiate 6" to 8' from the wiring, though Larry Gust tells us it's usually only inches from the perimeter of wiring.
That's why, if you have a smart meter you want to distance yourself from wall wiring and outlets to avoid dirty electricity exposures.
Hey, aren't we protected by the FCC?The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for the regulations that set the Maximum Permitted Exposure (MPE) limits for RF radiation. Unfortunately, the current regulations are based primarily on outdated 1980s thinking, when only the heating effects of RF radiation on the body were considered. Since then, the biomedical research community has demonstrated, in hundreds of published studies, that there is an enormous number of biological effects of concern, entirely aside from heating, and the number of discovered effects continues to grow. So, the concern is that the current FCC regulations are out of date and are too permissive. There has been legislation proposed in the US House of Representatives to address this issue (H.R. 6358). But even if that legislation becomes law, it will be years before more protective regulations are developed and issued. In the meantime, each of the states in the US is on its own to protect its residents.
How are states and communities handling the smart meter issue? Well, here's this from the Golden State:In California, which got Wireless Smart Meters early (2010), 57 towns, cities, counties, and other jurisdictions have opposed the mandatory installation of Wireless Smart Meters. Of these jurisdictions, 15 of them have banned the installation of Wireless Smart Meters altogether The Attorneys General of three states have opposed Wireless Smart Meters because they find that the costs outweigh any claimed financial benefits to the customers. Here are some excerpts from the State of California Public Utilities Commission regarding Smart Grid Deployment of Smart Meters.
From State of California Memo from Public Utilities Commission San Francisco To the Commission March 2011, For, Edward Randolph Director office of Governmental Affairs Sacramento, Regarding Smart Grid Deployment of Smart Meters.
In January, the California Council of Science & Technology released a report assessing the health impacts of RF exposure based on a review of published health studies. It found that the FCC standard provides a significant factor of safety against thermally induced health impacts of smart meters and that there is no clear evidence that additional standards are needed. For nonthermal effects, it found that “[g]iven the existing significant scientific uncertainty,” no standards are needed at this time.
Item 37 (10166), Page 5 However, it suggested that additional research is needed to better understand the potential health impacts of nonthermal effects.
By July 1, 2011, the utilities are expected to file their longterm smart grid deployment plans in response to a CPUC order in the smart grid proceeding. Much of that smart grid, and the associated benefits, is expected to rely on wireless infrastructure extending beyond smart meters”
What can I do about my smart meter?
Common sense may dictate that you keep away from smart meters. Like WiFi, the energy is strongest at the source and then dissipates as you get further away. So, since we really can’t be absolutely sure how this energy affects our minds and our bodies, I think it's a good idea to relocate furniture, especially beds and cribs, away from the smart meter if you’re worried about being exposed to non-ionizing radiation. If you want to give it a go, we offer some amazing EMF meters. They'll give you accurate readings, as well as a sense of what you're working with/if there's any need for improvement.
We also recommend you employ the services of a good EMF consultant or Building Biologist as another Smart Meter concern is the dirty electricity they create in the wiring of your home. A certified EMF Expert will come to your home and review and mitigate your home of all types of EMF. If you're an expert and would like to be a part of our growing list, please email us Hello@techwellness.com
For me, Smart Meter was a dumb idea and I got rid of ours!
You can try to opt out of having a smart meter and use an older non-wireless meter (which gives off almost no energy). I wrote an email to SDGE, my provider, and told them I wanted to opt out. They first sent a letter explaining the safety of smart meters. I replied that I still wanted mine removed because I'm EMF sensitive and I didn't think the smart meter was a healthy choice for my family. It's been 7 blissful years of NO Smart Meter, and I've never looked back! However, I think that they should not have charged to remove it..
Here's a link to my communication with the power company. There was a one time charge to get the analog meter back and a monthly meter reading service fee. Check with your utility company. This may or may not be an option in your state.
STATES THAT ARE KIND AND SMART ENOUGH TO LET YOU OPT OUT OF INSTALLING A SMART METER:
The following opt-out information was published by the National Conference Of State Legislatures as a guide to the policies in many states regarding whether or not you can opt-in to having a non-smartmeter or analog meter installed on your wall:
Opt-out programs vary among participating utilities. One-time fees range from $38 to $50, while monthly charges range from $5 to $26. At least one utility company prohibits solar customers from opting out while allowing other customers to take part in the program
The Illinois Commerce Commission currently allows Ameren and Commonwealth Edison customers to opt out for a roughly $20 monthly charge. However, the Commission ruled that Commonwealth Edison’s opt-out and deferral program will end in 2022, at which point the utility’s customers will be required to have smart meters installed in their homes
The Public Service Commission approves opt-out programs on a case-by-case basis, though the Commission has stated its general opposition to these programs in the past. The Commission has approved an opt-out program consisting of a $100 one-time fee and a $25 monthly charge. Customers notifying the utility company of their decision to opt out prior to installation can have the one-time fee waived.
Following the passage of Maine Rev. Stat. 35 §3143, which provided for the deployment of smart meters, the Public Utilities Commission ordered utility companies to offer opt-out provisions for customers. The opt-out programs are standardized across all IOUs and include three options for customers electing not to have smart meters installed in their homes:
- A $40 one-time fee and $15.66 monthly charge to retain an analog meter;
- 2. A $20 one-time fee and $13.98 monthly charge to install a smart meter with the two-way transmitter turned off;
- 3. Ratepayer-covered installation fees for smart meters requested to be installed off-site.
At least one opt-out program is in effect, with a $150 one-time fee and a $45 monthly charge.
The Public Utilities Commission has approved one opt-out program, which includes a $52 one-time fee for reinstalling an analog meter and a $9 monthly charge.
Ohio Administrative Code 4901:1-10-05 (J) requires that utility companies offer opt-out programs and includes a process for how utilities may assess any associated fees.
Some utility companies offer opt-out programs with associated service fees. The Public Service Commission implemented a new standard of tri-annual meter reads, resulting in a $9 monthly charge for customers electing to opt out of smart meter installation.
Act 129 of 2008 requires the largest utility companies in the state to deploy smart meters across their entire service territories and does not permit customers from opting out of installation.
The Public Utilities Commission has approved an opt-out program including a $27 one-time fee and a $13 monthly charge.
The Public Service Commission approved an opt-out program that required participating customers to pay a $150 one-time fee along with an $11.75 monthly charge. The utility’s program went into effect in November 2017.
While no opt-out programs are currently offered, any utilities wishing to implement an opt-out program for a fee in the future must first receive approval from the Public Service Commission.
The Public Service Commission considers smart meter opt-out programs on a case-by-case basis.
(May change by 2020 – deadline for PUC to determine whether to mandate programs)
The Board of Public Utilities approved an opt-out program offered by Rockland Electric Co., which includes a $45 one-time smart meter removal fee and a $15 monthly charge.
State statute (30 V.S.A. § 2811 (b)) requires that utility companies give customers written notice prior to installation and allow customers to remove an existing smart meter or opt out at no
Standardized opt-out fees were implemented by the Public Utilities Commission for all the state’s IOUs. The fees consist of a $75 one-time fee and a $10 monthly charge, which is limited to three years. For qualifying low-income customers, these opt-out costs are reduced to a $10 one-time fee and a $5 monthly charge.
Utilities can choose whether to allow opt outs. However, if a utility company wishes to impose additional opt-out charges, it must receive approval from the Public Service Commission. The Commission has approved several opt-out plans, with one-time fees ranging from $89 to $96 and monthly charges ranging from $13 to $21.
The Public Service Commission leaves the decision to offer opt-out programs up to the discretion of the utility companies, but any associated fees or charges must first receive Commission approval. The Commission has approved at least one opt-out program with a $19 monthly charge.
Most IOUs allow customers to opt out at an additional cost, which typically consists of a one-time fee around $50 and a monthly charge of $15.30 or less. The Hawaii Electric Light Company began offering an opt-in plan in 2017.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved an opt-out program with a $75 one-time fee and a $17.50 monthly charge. The one-time fee is waived if customers notify the utility company of their intent to opt out prior to installation.
In February 2019, the Iowa Utilities Board ruled that Interstate Power and Light’s residential customers must be allowed to opt out of smart meter installation on at no extra charge, keep their analog meters until the meters need replacement, and receive non-transmitting digital AMI options upon request. The ruling does not preclude the company or any other utility providers from submitting opt-out fee proposals for the board to review in future rate cases.
The Public Service Commission has approved an opt-out program for Entergy Louisiana. Customers choosing to opt out pay a $14.35 monthly charge, with an additional $12.42 monthly charge levied against ratepayers in New Orleans.
In 2013, the Public Service Commission ruled that utility companies must offer opt-out provisions. The Commission established a standardized $75 one-time fee and authorized monthly fees ranging from $11 to $17 depending on the utility.
The Public Utility Commission directed all electric distribution companies in the state that plan to install smart meters to present opt-out program proposals for the Commission’s approval. The proposals would need to detail any associated opt-out fees as well as the utility’s plans for implementing a customer communication program.
The Public Service Commission has approved opt-out programs with one-time fees between $67 and $124, and monthly charges of around $9.80. One utility offers a reduced one-time fee for customers who give notice of their decision to opt out prior to installation.
New Hampshire Rev. Stat § 374:62 establishes an opt-in policy, requiring utility companies to obtain written consent from home- or business-owners prior to installation. There is no fee assessed on customers who choose to keep their analog meters.
The New York Public Service Commission allows utilities to decide whether to implement opt-out programs with any associated fees, subject to Commission approval. The Commission approved an opt-out program for Commonwealth Edison customers, consisting of a one-time fee around $105 and a $9.50 monthly charge.
The Public Utilities Commission authorized an opt-out program which includes a $150 one-time fee and an $11.75 monthly charge. In June 2018, the Commission ruled to waive these fees for customers with notarized doctors’ notes confirming health issues related to the smart meter technology.
The Public Service Commission approved an opt-out program consisting of a $110 one-time fee and a $28 monthly charge.
In 2013, the Public Utilities commission adopted the Non-Standard Metering Service Rule, which authorized opt-out programs and associated fees. The fees vary by utility.
(customers can request 2-way transmission be turned off)
The Utilities and Transportation Commission issued a policy and interpretive statement in 2018 regarding customer choice for smart meter installation, indicating its preference that utility companies offer opt-out programs. However, the statement is a non-binding, unenforceable rule, leaving the decision on whether to offer programs up to individual utilities. The Commission has approved various opt-out programs, with one-time fees ranging from $50 to $90 and monthly and bimonthly charges ranging from $5 to $15, respectively. The monthly charges can be waived for income-qualified customers.
All have different opt out policies and fees, but at least you get to make the choice. Here's a government link to every state in the United States Opt Out Policy:
What if I can’t opt out?
Check with anti-Smart Meter coalitions to see what your options are. I linked a few below for a head-start, but I honestly don't know the impact they've had. In the meantime, keep your beds and main working/living areas at least 10 feet away (20 or more is better!) from any smart meter. The amount of RF energy emitted drops significantly the further away you are from the source. We all want our family and friends to be as safe as possible, right? I think if you take the "better safe than sorry position" we will all be healthier and happier. Please share this article with someone you love.
And if you're concerned about WiFi radiation, you're probably interested in these Anti Radiation and No EMF headsets.
Be Well! XO August
Here's a link to more research!