2016-05-21 At least 15 US states allow opt out of smeters, several more considering

1)   NDP in Saskatchwan blames faulty smeters for rate increases. I wonder why the meter company didn’t have to pay the costs? Defective product, just like ITRON.


2)   BC Hydro and FortisBC say that everyone must have a $$meter for the grid to work effectively, whether the transmitter is working or not. This really doesn’t make any sense. If the transmitter isn’t working, how is it any different from the utility’s point of view than an analog? BC Hydro says it can get valuable information anyway. How valuable is outage info, for example, that is several weeks old? Why is it that many US utilities are able to function just fine with people able to keep analogs, often with no penalty fee (extortion)?

A chart with info about places offering options with costs, if any, is at:


According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 15 states allow customers to opt out of smart meter installation, although many permit utility companies to impose a fee on customers who don’t want the meters.

This year, lawmakers in Maryland, Massachusetts , Ohio , Pennsylvania and Texas  are expected to consider bills that would allow consumers to keep their existing analog meters; require customers to opt in to smart meter programs; or allow them to refuse the devices, sometimes at no cost.”


3)    More on the bill going through the New York legislature in which people would be allowed to opt out without penalty.

The proliferation of smart meters creates significant privacy concerns. The data collected can tell anybody who holds it a great deal about what goes on inside a home. It can reveal when residents are at home, asleep or on vacation. It can also pinpoint “unusual” energy use, and could someday serve to help enforce “energy usage” regulations. The ACLU  summarized the privacy issues surrounding smart meters in a recent report.

“The temptation to use the information that will be collected from customers for something other than managing electrical loads will be strong – as it has been for cell phone tracking data and GPS information. Police may want to know your general comings and goings or whether you’re growing marijuana in your basement under grow lights. Advertisers will want the information to sell you a new washing machine to replace the energy hog you got as a wedding present 20 years ago. Information flowing in a smart grid will become more and more ‘granular’ as the system develops.”


4)    In Australia, there is a call for an investigation into the overbilling by $$meters. BC Hydro insiders have told me that Hydro knows the smeters are running fast, but “only” a little, a couple of dollars a month for each meter. There are nearly 2 million smeters. $2 a month overcharge means $4 million a month or $48 million a year of unearned income which is grand theft in the real world.

“Mr Dawson told the ABC that an independent ombudsman investigation was needed because of a rise in billing complaints by residents and businesses in the Pilbara and the Kimberley….

“Recently we’ve had a lot of over-reads on accounts [and] they’re not small amounts,” Mr Maslen said.

“I mean, we’d normally use around $150 a month on average of power. The last bill we had was at $1,200 and a second one was $800, so they’re quite substantial over-reads.””


5)    The spread of smeters around the world continues, this about Romania.

“Enel plans to install similar meters for all of its 2.7 million clients in Romania, in a move designed to pave the way for smart cities and infrastructure.”


6)    In the UK, the companies are trying to reassure the public that smeters are secure so they will accept these devices, even though top security experts have demonstrated how the grid is vulnerable via the smeters. In this article, it seems that some security measures have been taken (more than we’ve been told about here). But still not terribly reassuring that “only” the system of the hacked supplier could be brought down.

Setting out the smart security behind the system Dr Levy explains that right from the start it was assumed that vulnerabilities would exist in the various components that make up the system. Not everyone engaged in delivery are cyber security experts and to go beyond commercial best practice for each component would make the system unaffordable. This acknowledged, security of the system has been focused on resilience and the proposed communications architecture was tested against a number of models, including trust and threat models, to keep vulnerabilities to a minimum. This has meant that the architecture of the system is designed with proportionate and practical security controls, so that no single compromise can have a significant impact. If an attacker did gain access to a meter they would only gain enough information to compromise that specific meter and not any other party on the system. In the event an attacker did manage to get further and compromised the system of a supplier they would still not have access to the grid. They would only be able to talk to the meters owned by that individual supplier.



Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

“You will observe with concern how long a useful truth may be known, and exist, before it is generally received and acted on.”
~  Ben Franklin


One thought on “2016-05-21 At least 15 US states allow opt out of smeters, several more considering”

  1. Additional note from Ted
    I did a search on the Ben Franklin quote and found the letter from which this quote is taken.
    The letter was to a friend and the topic was lead poisoning in the early days of the printing press.
    He and others observed major health effects from lead and the fact that no agency investigated this fact at the time and for many decades later.

    I believe that this is similar to the problems related to RF radiation in that no official agency has investigated and found a direct connection. They pretend to investigate but find no connection because of major political and economic pressures. We shall look back on this time and wonder why no action has been taken.

    See the letter here. from website of
    Environmental Education Associates http://www.environmentaleducation.com

    The Famous Benjamin Franklin Letter On Lead Poisoning

    Phila July 31, 1786 (To Benjamin Vaughan)
    Dear Friend,
    I recollect that when I had the great Pleasure of seeing you at Southampton, now a 12 month since, we had some Conversation on the bad Effects of Lead taken inwardly; and that at your Request I promis’d to send you in writing a particular Account of several Facts I then mention’d to you, of which you thought some good Use might be made. I now sit down to fulfil that Promise.

    The first Thing I remember of this kind, was a general discourse in Boston when I was a Boy, of a Complaint from North Carolina against New England Rum, that it poison’d their People, giving them the Dry Bellyach, with a Loss of the Use of their Limbs. The Distilleries being examin’d on the Occasion, it was found that several of them used leaden Still-heads and Worms, and the Physicians were of the Opinion that the Mischief was occasion’d by that Use of Lead. The Legislature of the Massachusetts thereupon pass’d an Act prohibiting under severe Penalties the Use of such Still-heads & Worms thereafter. Inclos’d I send you a Copy of the Act, taken from my printed Law book.

    In 1724, being in London, I went to work in the Printing-House of Mr. Palmer, Bartholomew Close as a Compositor. I there found a Practice I had never seen before, of drying a Case of Types, (which are wet in Distribution) by placing it sloping before the Fire. I found this had the additional Advantage, when the Types were not only dry’d but heated, of being comfortable to the Hands working over them in cold weather. I therefore sometimes heated my Case when the Types did not want drying. But an old Workman observing it, advis’d me not to do so, telling me I might lose the Use of my Hands by it, as two of our Companions had nearly done, one of whom that us’d to earn his Guinea a Week could not then make more than ten Shillings and the other, who had the Dangles, but Seven & sixpense. This, with a kind of obscure Pain that I had sometimes felt as it were in the Bones of my Hand when working over the Types made very hot, induc’d me to omit the Practice. But talking afterwards with Mr. James, a Letter-founder in the same Close, and asking him if his People, who work’d over the little Furnaces of melted Metal, were not subject to that Disorder; he made light of any Danger from the Effluvia, but ascrib’d it to Particles of the Metal swallow’d with their Food by slovenly Workmen, who went to their Meals after handling the Metal, without well-washing their Fingers, so that some of the metalline Particles were taken off by their Bread and eaten with it. This appear’d to have some Reason in it. But the Pain I had experienc’d made me still afraid of those Effluvia.

    Being in Derbishire at some of the Furnaces for Smelting of Lead Ore, I was told that the Smoke of those Furnaces was pernicious to the neighboring Grass and other Vegetables. But I do not recollect to have heard any thing of the Effect of such Vegetables eaten by Animals. It may be well to make the Enquiry.

    In America I have often observed that on the Roofs of our shingled Houses where Moss is apt to grow in northern Exposures, if there be any thing on the Roof painted with white lead, such as Balusters, or Frames of dormant Windows, &c. there is constantly a streak on the Shingles from such Paint down to the Eaves, on which no Moss will grow, but the Wood remains constantly clean & free from it.–We seldom drink Rain Water that falls on our Houses; and if we did, perhaps the small Quantity of Lead descending from such Paint, might not be sufficient to produce any sensible ill Effect on our Bodies. But I have of a Case in Europe, I forgot the Place, where a whole Family was afflicted with what we call the Dry-Bellyach, or Colica
    Pictonum, by drinking Rain Water. It was at a Country Seat, which being situated too high to have the Advantage of a Well, was supply’d with Water from a Tank which receiv’d the Water from the leaded Roofs.
    This had been drank several Years without Mischief; but some young Trees planted near the House, growing up above the Roof, and shedding their Leaves upon it, it was suppos’d that an Acid in those Leaves had corroded the Lead they cover’d, and furnish’d the Water of that Year with its baneful Particles & Qualities.

    When I was in Paris with Sir John Pringle in 1767, he visited La Charite, a Hospital particularly famous for the Cure of that Malady, and brought from thence a Pamphlet, containing a List of the Names of Persons, specifying their Professions or Trades, who had been cured there. I had the Curiosity to examine that List, and found that all the Patients were of Trades that some way or other use or work in Lead; such as Plumbers, Glasiers, Painters, &c. excepting only two kinds, Stonecutters and Soldiers. These I could not reconcile to my Notion that Lead was the Cause of that Disorder. But on my mentioning this Difficulty to a Physician of that Hospital, he inform’d me that the Stonecutters are continually using melted Lead to fix the Ends of Iron Balustrades in Stone; and that the Soldiers had been emply’d by Painters as Labourers in Grinding of Colours.

    This, my dear friend, is all I can at present recollect on the Subject. You will see by it, that the Opinion of this mischievous Effect from Lead, is at least above Sixty Years old; and you will observe with Concern how long a useful Truth may be known, and exist, before it is generally receiv’d and practis’d on.

    — I am, ever,
    Yours most affectionately
    B. Franklin

    (Benjamin Vaughan was a youthful admirer and close friend of Franklin, who was 80 years old when he wrote to Vaughan. The letter press copy of Franklin’s communication is in the Library of Congress, the holograph not having survived. The letter is reproduced here with the original capitalization and spelling.)nd,

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