by Cathee Courter with Peter MacGill
"Smart meters" are electricity meters that chatter—about you. They broadcast microwaves to each other, which form a "smart grid." Smart grid systems do tremendous damage to all biological life and the earth's ability to communicate with itself.
The number of smart grid systems around the world is rapidly growing, despite huge opposition. A smart meter is—or likely will be—attached to your home. (Already, a quarter of the electricity meters in the U.S. are smart meters.) Their capabilities exceed their purported functions.
We've measured electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in homes and businesses for a decade, and helped clients lessen them. We've seen the tragic sickening effects of these fields. But smart meters are downright strange. Unlike cell phones and wi fi, they give you little if any benefit for the tremendous trauma they cause.
Thirty-nine municipalities in the Canadian province British Columbia have banned smart meters.
The utility company in the Canadian province Saskatchewan—SaskPower—has been required to remove all 105,000 smart meters around Saskatchewan because of safety concerns. This will cost $15 million.
In the U.S., there have been several huge class action suits against smart grid utility companies and manufacturers. They include a large section of southern California and Chicago, and focus on the widespread health problems the meters have caused.
According to the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, the smart grid rollout is an "opt in" program. But in some cities, if customers have tried to opt out and keep their non-transmitting meters, police have escorted a meter installer and forced smart meter installations. They've even arrested the protesting customers.
But smart meter installations have been criminalized by the California counties of Santa Cruz, Marin, and Mendocino, and the cities of Watsonville, Fairfax, and Rio Dell. Twenty-six other local governments have moratoriums. To see a county or city need to criminalize its own utility's procedure to stop it is bizarre!
Around the world, more than 1 million homeowners have refused a smart meter installation. There are no legal requirements in any country or region to accept one.
Their main stated purpose is to measure electricity usage throughout the day, so that customers can be encouraged to use electricity during times of low demand. This is supposed to save money for the customer, and conserve resources for the utility so that it doesn't have to buy higher priced supplemental resources to supply electricity during peak usage times.
In practice, these benefits have not materialized. In many areas, people's electricity bills have soared with smart grid. The meters themselves are expensive: $250-$500. And like most wireless devices, they corrode and so last only a few years. The analog meters they replace cost about $50 per meter and can last for decades.
Some smart grid programs promote the use of smart grid appliances, which the utility company can turn off in your home. I don't want my electricity company to turn off my washing machine mid-cycle—only to turn it on for me at night when the power loads are lower—do you? These appliances emit harmful radiation even when you're not using them.
Studies have shown that the vast majority of customers don't change their usage patterns with the advent of smart grid. And there are more efficient ways to encourage people to use their appliances during off-peak times. For instance, appliances can be put on timers to run at night, keeping the controls in the owners' hands. Further, the average household in the U.S. could save $15 a month on their electricity bill—and conserve energy—just by unplugging their remote control devices when they're not in use. These are "on," waiting for you to punch the button, even when they're "off." What am I implying here? Yes, you'd have to get up off the couch to unplug your TV, rather than expecting some omniscient grid to read your mind and do it for you. Think of it as an exercise program.
Common smart meter health complaints include nausea, agitation, migraines, dizziness, tinnitus, auto-immune problems, insomnia, seizures, arrhythmia, nosebleeds, pacemaker defibrillation, rashes, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, eye problems, increased blood pressure, physical weakness, impaired motor function, worsening concentration, "brain fog," flu-like symptoms, urinary problems, hair loss, blackouts, birth defects, burning sensations, cancer, fatigue, heart attack, and reproductive problems. But whether you feel these yourself or not, your body has been put under severe stress.
In our experience, the above are the kind of symptoms people often try to mask with booze, caffeine, Prozac, tranquilizers, fast action movies and video games. The long-term associated problems like Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, lymphoma, diabetes, ALS, birth defects, etc. can take time to develop—but then it's too late.
Most people can better tolerate high EMF environments in their workplace or school if they can come home and sleep in a healthier place. Your sleep time is your body's crucial repair-and-restore time. But your new meter robs you of your rejuvenation. (A friend discovered her smart meter is within a foot of her head where she sleeps.)
Smart meters put higher wattage on a building's electrical wiring than most homes were designed to handle. They've caused many fires. If your meter is not certified by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), if a fire started by your meter burns through your house, the damage will likely not be covered by your homeowners insurance. See if your meter has the UL symbol with the words "CERTIFIED" and "SAFETY," geographic identifier(s), and a file number. You can also search the UL website to see if your manufacturer is certified, using the code for electricity meters POCZ.
Your "implied consent" by allowing a smart meter to be put on your home (even if you didn't know it was) applies to the surveillance capabilities of these devices. Police can tell someone might be growing pot by their grow lights' heavy usage of electricity. They can track a person's daily habits, seeing if they were home and what they were doing on a given night by what appliances (even non- "smart" appliances) were used. And the criss-crossing lines of neighbor's microwaves can be used almost like radar to detect where someone physically is located in a building. Yes, these are legal uses.
Burglars with a little hacking skill can tell if you have valuable appliances, and when you're usually home. In fact, a hacker could close down a whole area's access to electricity.
Some California utility companies have admitted to providing smart meter data to the U.S. government, and to corporations for their marketing purposes.
The stated benefits of smart meters are miniscule compared to the damage they cause. And their features don't make sense. Let me use our mountain hamlet's meters as an example (in Pinewood Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.)
Our meters are through Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA). They spray microwaves twice a minute at a density of up to 9 microwatts/cm2 in all directions. That level exceeds limits of allowed exposure in parts of or all of Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, Switzerland, and China. Associated health effects at that level include leukemia, skin melanoma, bladder cancer, dizziness, impaired motor function and memory and attention, and other conditions. (Camilla Rees and Magda Havas, Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution, 2009, p. 55.) I presume that research was done with only one source transmitting. You can imagine how the effects are compounded with every home in town transmitting.
In comparison, a typical wi fi modem emits around 5 microwatts/cm2—a little more than half the strength of a smart meter. Modems spray continuously whereas smart meters pulse, but both rhythms sicken you in their own way. We recommend not using wi fi, but at least it gives you benefits. Smart meters rob your health with absolutely no benefit to you, and little benefit to your utility.
It gets weirder. Smart meters don't try to connect with just a signal receiver, like cell phones do. The meter on your home is designed to connect with your neighbors' meters in all directions. (In part, this may be to boost their signals around obstacles to the receiver. But when PVREA puts a few routers on poles and entrains the meters to them, that problem is easily solved without needing homes to broadcast to each other.)
The criss-crossing signals create a grid as your home is inundated with signals from your neighbors' meters from all directions. Each home's meter shoots out microwaves 2,880 times a day. These waves fan out, and so become less measurable with distance. But like light, they go on forever across the universe unless blocked. So collectively, the forty or so neighbors' meters within geographical reach of mine assault me with microwaves—even through the walls of my house—at least 115,200 times each day. That's more than once a second, close to the natural tiny-voltage-induced pulsing rate of the human heart.
It gets much weirder. PVREA told us that this system, with all that pulsing, gives too much information for even their equipment to handle! So this signaling goes through our and our neighbors' homes thousands of times a day, creating an intense electrosmog. And then a receiver (which is located on a pole by our mailboxes) sends our electricity usage info to PVREA's main station only once day, at midnight. This makes no sense. One pulse a day from your meter to their receiver is all they need—not thousands of signals going through your and your neighbors' homes and bodies in all directions.
In our previous system, our electricity usage info went back to PVREA's station through radio frequencies on their wires. That makes more sense, doesn't it? Why should a utility that has an infrastructure of wires spray toxic energies in all directions from each home through the air? Wouldn't you think it would be much more efficient to use their existing direct line infrastructure—especially if you factor into "efficiency" the health of the whole environment, including your body?
So let's recap. Statistically, a percentage of the good people of my mountain village known for it's lack of pollution will suffer from leukemia, skin melanoma, bladder cancer, impaired motor function/memory/attention, dizziness and other conditions, in order for their electrical usage to be billed them once a month without a meter reader walking by. Sound unbelievable? The phrase "undeserved torture" comes to mind.
At least in our community, the only benefit you're getting from this craziness is to be billed once a month. That's it! Our utility's website mentions only power outage location and billing as benefits, but the rep tells me power outages are found through the wires—not through meter broadcasts. And that makes sense, given that the utility only receives meter broadcasts once a day, at midnight.
Electricity itself is toxic to the body. The product is bad enough. Why add to it frequencies that are even more sickening, that you can't turn off like you can the fuses in your fusebox, and that penetrate not only human homes but forests, rivers, and other planets?
One of my favorite places is in a national forest bordering a dirt road that has a few old cabins alongside. It's in the high mountains, and the road is snowed in for most of the winter. Electricity users there would have to ski or snowshoe in (and no one does). But the electricity meter on each of those cabins continues pulsing microwaves into the surrounding miles of otherwise pristine forest 2,880 times a day.
Bees, moths, ants, and other creatures communicate with each other through subtle frequencies that are easily overrun by the unyielding broadcasts from electronics. Microwaves also interfere with the capillary action that pulls water up from a tree's roots to its crown. They reduce shoot and leaf growth in aspen trees (and cause brown spots in golden leaves), and inhibit the trees' fall storage of nutrients. They kill vital microorganisms in the soil, making it sterile. In mammals, they create dysfunction in systems that are electrically influenced: cell metabolism, heart beat, nerve transmission, brain waves, cell division, wound healing, enzymes, and bone growth. They also cause DNA damage, which is passed on in a species' lineage forever.
Weakened trees are more susceptible to beetle attacks. I've noticed there are far more dying trees close to this forest road than in the deep woods. Colorado has lost huge forests to beetles, and I'm not saying microwaves from smartgrid systems are the only reason. But I am saying that microwaves do tremendous harm.
In summary, every winter smart meters broadcast frequencies in all directions that trample my favorite forest. And once a month, someone from Estes Park Light and Power measures from a distant road how much electricity it took to run those meters on uninhabited cabins. It's unconscionable to me, if not diabolical. But the smart meter on your home or business—if you have one—is no less so in its effects on your plants, your kids, your body, your mental health, and your ability to feel a part of anything non-human. And I dare say, the hope for our planet depends on your ability to be able to feel a part of anything non-human, because the human has gone berserk.
Smart grid systems offer an ideal medium for brain frequency entrainment and the implantation of hypnotic "hooks" to control behavior. See our forthcoming book How Nature Sees Us for the lurid details on how this appalling mind control works.
I've given you just a taste of the subject here. Please see our more thorough article, The Effects of Electromagnetic Fields: What is Penetrating You? on science, health, culture, nature, etc., related to these fields.
Please, get that thing off your house. Or if one isn't there yet, be proactive and encourage your electric company to not go that direction. (Better yet, get off the grid altogether—but you'll still have your neighbors' meter broadcasts penetrating you.) We've found that many public utilities will tell you that they don't have smart meters, when they do. Whether these reps are uninformed or lying, electricity meters that broadcast radio frequencies are smart meters. Broadcasting meters are being increasingly used not only for electricity billing, but for gas and water billing as well. You could have a triple exposure of sickening microwaves from the meters on your home (and from hundreds of meters on your neighbors' homes) so that your utility companies can keep meter readers unemployed. It's tragically ridiculous. You might consider moving to a parallel world that doesn't have tragically ridiculous public policies. If you want to live in a viable, sustainable world, that may be your only true option.
One more tip. Some utilities use radio frequencies sent over their electric lines to measure your usage. Such radio frequencies that come into your home on electricity and run through your wiring are often called "dirty electricity." (Dirty electricity can also come from other homes and businesses that share your power line and have large appliances.) Studies have associated dirty electricity with cancers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, etc. You can plug filters into your outlets to greatly reduce this hazard.
When our utility switched from a system that uses radio frequencies through the line to a system that uses broadcast meters, the dirty electricity coming into our home quadrupled, making it more than five times the level that's considered safe. But the non-radio-frequency meter we received when we opted out seems to entirely block dirty electricity from coming into our home from the line. Therefore, if everyone in our town opted out so that there were no broadcasts through the air, we would all have healthier homes than we did even with the frequencies-through-the-line system.
A last technicality. We "opted out" and were told an analog meter would be installed on our home. But the meter our utility installed looks exactly like the smart meters in other towns. The rep told us that it could have modules put in that would make it a smart meter, but there are no modules in it now. Peter and I have no way of checking whether there are modules in it that could be turned on later. We've tested it, and it isn't transmitting radio frequencies now. And a human does come to read this meter once a month. But we would be happier if it were a genuine analog (non-digital) meter.
By now you may be considering opting out—which in our town takes two minutes, but in other places can take some stamina. Please don't base your decision on the health risks of your smart meter alone. You are, even as you read this, being penetrated by a multitude of sources of EMFs (cell towers, wi fi, cordless phones, GPS, lasers, radar, satellites, AM and FM radio, RFID chip readers, security systems, etc.). Most of them you can do nothing to stop.
Often the body makes a heroic effort to compensate for a toxic environment, but one additional physical or emotional stress puts it over its capacity—and a person's health crumbles like a house of cards. Common sense suggests to turn off every source of exposure that you possibly can, since there are so many you can't. Smart grid could be the deal breaker on your longevity—or your neighbor's.
Yes, I know it's unfashionable in a culture that prides itself on its narcissism to mention neighboring people and everything else. There's a growing industry that produces gizmos to wear, or put on your cell phone or in your home, to protect you while you go ahead and irradiate everyone else. But let's just stop polluting! If your electricity comes from a public utility—well, you're the public. Claim your rights. Opt out.
We're seeing the first cracks in the microwave liability dyke, which could easily let in a flood of lawsuits. And since corporations know how to pass on liability, we could someday see people winning lawsuits against their neighbors for the health damage done to them by their neighbors' smart grid meters, especially in condo complexes. Conversely, I predict that property values will rise in smart-grid-free towns as people flee from these dangerous devices.
Start with Take Back Your Power's excellent suggestions.
If you're a member of our electricity cooperative in Colorado, PVREA, you have it easy. You can have your smart meter replaced by a non-transmitting meter with no charge to you, and there is no charge for someone to come read your meter each month. Just send an e-mail to PVREA's rep Dennis Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 970-282-6471, and request a non-transmitting meter. We're extremely grateful that PVREA makes it easy to opt out. Now, whether someone actually shows up reasonably soon to switch out your meter is another issue! PVREA apparently may need a collective nudge, so please let us know if you've opted out. Call Cathee or Peter at 303-823-6108, or e-mail Prescott Knock at prescottrk at hotmail.com with "opt out" in the subject heading.
There are many great reasons to opt out, and no good reason not to, unless your dog or tarantula bites meter readers. Rarely in life does it get this good—all gain, no pain. It's the opposite of smart grid's "all pain, no gain." We can't imagine why anyone would want the excessive levels of stress that smart meters cause!
We wish you vibrant happiness.
Please see our popular article The Effects of Electromagnetic Fields: What is Penetrating You?
See also our Suggested Reading and Viewing on the Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs).
Also on our website is our free book on how to "leap" to a more viable parallel world, as this one is like a sinking ship for many people. You can read about another parallel world that died that looked alarmingly similar to ours. See The Parallel Worlds Handbook: Leap to a Joyful Parallel Life!
Our forthcoming book, How Nature Sees Us, discusses EMFs from nature's perspective.
See also the links at the end of the smart meter article on The Collaborative Community website.
We highly recommend the documentary Take Back Your Power: Investigating the Smart Grid by Josh del Sol.
© Cathee Courter and Peter MacGill, photos and text. All rights reserved.
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