Attention Sedona! You have until April 1, 2015 to opt out of a smart meter and request a non-transmitting analog meter from your electric utility company APS and avoid a $50 installation fee. After April 1, the Arizona Corporation Commission (FCC) has approved APS charging anyone who opts out of a smart meter a $50 installation fee plus a $5 monthly service charge. If you opt out before April 1, you can avoid the installation charge but you will still have to pay the $5 monthly fee. If finances are a hardship, thanks to the generosity of concerned Sedona residents, there is now an “RF Free” program that will match you with a sponsor who will reimburse your $5 monthly opt-out fee if you are unable to afford it. This program is available to anyone living within the Sedona city limits. For details, visit sedonasmartmeterawareness.com.
HOW TO OPT-OUT TODAY
Call APS at 1 (800) 253-9405. Be persistent but polite and follow up on your phone call by completing these steps:
- Completing the “notice of no consent“;
- Copying it and;
- Mailing it to APS via certified/return receipt for your records.
WHAT IS A SMART METER?
‘Smart’ (aka ‘automated,’ aka ‘digital meters than can be upgraded’) meters have two antennas that broadcast radio frequency microwave radiation at 900 MHz (the same as mobile phones) and 2.4 GHz in approximately the same frequency range as a typical cell tower. They produce pulsed and modulated radio frequency signals.
However, depending on how close the meter is to occupied space in the home, a smart meter can cause much higher Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) exposures than cell towers.
If a smart meter is located on a wall shared with a bedroom or kitchen, the RFR exposure can be the same as being within 200 to 600 feet from a cell tower with multiple carriers.
Unlike a cell phone which exposes just the head and neck to RFR, smart meters and cell towers produce microwaves that go out in all directions and immerse the body in RFR which increases the risk of overexposure to sensitive organs such as the eyes and testicles.
Depending on how it is programmed, smart meter emissions can reach several hundred feet to a mile or more.
This means that your neighbor’s smart meter may be affecting you and your family and pets as well. If you live in an apartment complex, there might be a bank of smart meters affecting all residents.
WHY YOU SHOULD OPT-OUT OF A SMART METER RIGHT AWAY
No real cost justification
In January 2014, Northeast Utilities in Massachusetts filed a statement to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities which concluded: “There is no rational basis for AMI (smart meter Advanced Metering Infrastructure). …. there is ample evidence that this technology choice will be unduly costly for customers and that the objectives of grid modernization are achievable with technologies and strategies that rank substantially higher in terms of cost effectiveness. …. the costs associated with AMI are currently astronomical, while the incremental benefits for customers are small in comparison. …. There is no cost justification that can support the implementation of (smart meters). … consider the results and experiences of recent and ongoing pilots before blindly moving forward with an AMI mandate”.
Three U.S. Attorney Generals (Connecticut, Illinois, and Michigan) have independently stated they oppose smart meters on the basis of high cost and little or no benefit. Germany rejected EU smart meter advice on cost concerns based on an Ernst & Young study (Bloomberg News, 08/01/2013). Smart meters have not been saving consumers money but have caused sky-rocketing utility bills, resulting in class-action lawsuits in California and Texas. Maine’s Public Utility Commission is now conducting an audit of Central Maine Power after CMP’s promised $363M in savings became a $99M costs in only three years.
“Smart” meters and digital meters are made to communicate directly with your electric power company. Certain models transmit pulsed radio frequency (RF) radiation, at microwave frequencies, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That radiation travels through homes and businesses cumulatively, and penetrates the unborn, the children, and the adults alike, disrupting health. With a reach of anywhere from several hundred feet to a mile or more, every transmitting meter in a community irradiates everyone in that community. So does every community-based transmitter/receiver that the electric power companies have erected to communicate wirelessly with those meters.
This radiation affects different populations differently. Unborn children, infants, seniors, the disabled, those with certain genetic predisposition, pets and wildlife, as well as plant life, are at greater risk than others. Just because you are not directly affected by your smart meter on a palpable level does not mean that your smart meter will not have a cumulative effect on your health, or is not directly harming someone else in your neighborhood.
Thousands of peer-reviewed research publications (Bioinitiative 2012; January 16, 2014) show adverse health effects from pulsed microwave frequency radiation at exposure levels well below FCC limits. Low-level microwave exposure has been shown to reduce fertility and sperm viability, alter immune function, increase the numbers of breaks in DNA, increase permeability of the blood-brain barrier (making it more susceptible to toxins), increase oxidative stress, and increase cancer rates in animals. Studies have also shown it to have detrimental biological effects on birds and bees.
Possible human carcinogen
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified microwave radiation, specifically including that emitted by smart meters, as a possible human carcinogen.
Invasion of privacy rights
Many meters capture and transmit very highly time-resolved information about electricity consumption. That detailed information can reveal much about personal activities taking place inside our homes and businesses, including revealing when residents are home or away. Smart meters are an open portal into every home – an unacceptable intrusion into customers‘ privacy. There is also a plan for the utilities to eventually be able to control major household appliances. That means it will impose forced limitations on when one can wash dishes, take a hot bath, wash clothes, or run your heater or A/C.
Some types of meters can accept incoming wireless commands that may come from unauthorized sources. Many of those meters can respond to wireless commands to shut off the electrical power to a home or a business entirely, or to accept new software programming. That new programming can alter the functions of the meters without the knowledge of home and business owners. The FBI, a former CIA director and industry experts have all expressed great concern over the hacking and cyber-terrorism vulnerability of a smart grid.
Fire, explosion and appliance risks
Certain meters have been associated with increased fire and explosion risk, as well as damage to appliances.
Thanks to those who have already opted out of the smart meter program (approximately 33% of APS residential accounts in zip code 86336), many local residents working as APS meter readers have been able to keep their jobs and avoid unemployment. Opting out of the smart meter program saves local jobs!
TAKE BACK YOUR POWER
Watch this trailer for the movie “Take Back Your Power” to learn more about the risks associated with smart meters:
The full movie is available at the library in the towns of Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Prescott, Prescott Valley and any library affiliated with the Yavapai County Free Library District. You can also rent it online: $4.99 – 3 day rental online.
While the Sedona City Council voted to request the Arizona Corporation Commission allow the City of Sedona to opt out of smart meters without penalties, the ACC did not honor the request. It is now up to each one of us in Sedona and surrounding areas to do our part, take back our power, and opt out as individuals. Together, we can honor the sanctity and beauty of our town and keep all living beings residing in and visiting Sedona safe.
BRIEF HISTORY OF SMART METER CONTROVERSY
Smart meters have been the subject of intense controversy since electric utilities have started rolling them out across the country several years ago. Cities across California and other states have experienced protests that have resulted in arrests of housewives and every day people concerned about the health, privacy, and fire risks associated with this pulsed EMF technology. Their concerns have been strong enough to motivate them to physically block electric utility workers from entering their property to install a smart meter, risking arrest. Smart meters caused controversy in Sedona as well. The City Council held a meeting on February 20, 2014 to discuss the issue before APS was scheduled to install them citywide last year. Hundreds of residents turned out to voice their concerns. You can hear some of them here:
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN APS AND THE ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSION (ACC)?
The Arizona Corporation Commission regulates APS. It was reported earlier this year that APS’ parent company, Pinnacle West, donated $425,000 to help elect Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Brnovich recently declared that an independent investigation to look into “a whistleblower’s claim that APS was too cozy with a certain corporation commissioner while it was seeking a rate increase” is unnecessary and that his staff can head that investigation. There have been other reports of alleged covert campaign activities. How this affects the smart meter program in Arizona, we don’t know for sure. But there are enough claims of shady behavior to raise our eyebrows, for sure. One thing we do know; we are not powerless! Even if the ACC is not willing to step up and protect our residents, we still have the power of individual consent and can all make that phone call (and follow up in writing) to APS requesting a smart meter opt-out. The time of waiting for our government and external bodies of authority to pass legislation to protect our health is over. It’s time to take personal action and take back our neighborhoods from vested interests that would have our health, privacy, cyber-security and personal safety risked for the sake of corporate profits.
APS TOLD ME THERE ARE NO MORE ANALOG METERS
If you called APS to opt-out of your smart meter and they told you there were no more analog meters, that is not accurate. Sedona Smart Meter Awareness has reported in their latest newsletter that at least two companies are refurbishing removed analog meters or even remanufacturing them:
- TMD Waco, TX texasmeter.com/products.html
- Hialeah Meter in Hialeah, FL hialeahmeter.com/siphwame.html
You can (and should) file a complaint with APS and the Arizona Corporation Commission if APS employees are supplying you with inaccurate information in order to avoid receiving your opt-out request. You can also complain to the ACC commissioners.
Susan Bitter-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Forese email@example.com
Doug Little firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Burns email@example.com
Bob Stump firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced thanks to all Sedona residents and businesses who have stepped up to the plate and requested APS let them keep (or re-install) their analog meter. With all of the unanswered questions about long-term health, cyber-security, personal safety and privacy issues, intentional ignorance is just no longer an option! Please share this information or request a free tri-fold brochure from Sedona Smart Meter Awareness to share with all of your neighbors before the April 1 deadline to avoid opt out fees. Remember: it’s not enough to opt out yourself; the whole neighborhood must be free of smart meters for you and your family and pets to avoid the health consequences.
Please note: Some of the above facts were taken directly from the SedonaSmartMeterAwareness.com website, with permission.