Should You Have a Say about What Goes On in Your Home?

smart-meterMonopoly utility companies across the country are installing radio frequency “smart meters” in your home. If you don’t want them, too bad: it’s take them or live without electricity. Meanwhile, RF is being investigated as a carcinogen.

Smart meters (including the SmartMeter, a trademark of SmartSynch, Inc.) are digital meters that have been increasingly in use since the 1980s. The new radio frequency (RF) smart meters include a small one-watt radio that allows two-way communication between the customer’s home and the utility company. A smart meter transmits non-ionizing radio waves, just like cell phones, baby monitors, microwaves, and Wi-Fi.

There are a number of health concerns with the smart meters. The California Council on Science and Technology, the FCC, and the FDA all claim this technology is safe. However, as early as 1972, there were already over 2,000 studies showing negative health effects from RF radiation.

Most of the research has centered on cell phones. There have been multiple reports, mostly out of Europe’s premier research institutions, of cell phone use being linked to brain damage, early-onset Alzheimer’s, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs (many men, after all, keep their cell phones in their pants pockets or attached at the hip).

In 2008, scientists from thirteen European countries reported that after a decade of cell phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumor—specifically on the side of the head where you use the phone—goes up as much as 40 percent for adults. An independent study in Sweden last year concluded that people who started using a cell phone before the age of 20 were five times as likely to develop a brain tumor. Another study reported a nearly 300 percent increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the acoustic nerve.

Louis Slesin, who has a doctorate in environmental policy from MIT and in 1980 founded an investigative newsletter called Microwave News, suggests that much of the comfort of our modern lives depends on not caring, or refusing to recognize the dangers of microwave radiation. “We love our cell phones. Americans are not asking the questions, maybe because they don’t want the answers.”

Certainly the government does not seem to want any answers. Early on, it exempted cell phones from any FDA review, principally because the telecommunications industry asked it to do so.

As for smart meters, there have already been thousands of reports of negative short-term health effects where the meters are already in place. Complaints range from dizziness to heart palpitations, migraines to sleep disturbances, exhaustion to forgetfulness and confusion, nausea and vomiting to constant thirst, increased blood pressure to anxiety and an overall decrease in functionality. These reports, like drug or supplement adverse event reports mentioned in our other article in this issue, represent correlation rather than causation, as scientists say. But clearly more investigation is needed. One should also consider the cumulative effect of radiation exposure from the other wireless technologies coupled with this new wave of radiation.

The World Health Organization previously claimed RF technology posed no threat, but recently reversed its stance, classifying cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic.” President Obama’s Cancer Panel also recently issued a cautious recommendation of limiting exposure to RF wireless technology, calling cell phones a possible carcinogen. While both WHO and the Cancer Panel are careful to say that the technology was only “possibly” dangerous or carcinogenic, it is significant that such important bodies should—in the face of RF’s widespread use—say anything cautionary at all about it.

Radio frequency radiation is also currently under investigation as a carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. Children are far more susceptible to the effects of microwave radiation than adults due to their thinner skulls and developing DNA. The science is at best inconclusive. If scientists worldwide cannot agree about the safety of these meters, surely that is reason to give pause before their mass deployment across the country.

There are other concerns as well. Smart meters are vulnerable to hacker attack. A sophisticated hacker might use the data to figure out when you’re away on vacation and your house is vulnerable to burglary. And if a hacker were to infect smart meters with malware, it could disrupt the electric grid and cause widespread power outages. According to CIA director Leon Panetta, hacking into the Smart Grid “brings down the financial system, brings down our government systems. You could paralyze this country. And I think it’s a real potential.”

Moreover, smart meters may suffer from problems with billing accuracy. Two major utilities in Texas have confirmed that some customers received inaccurate and sometimes inflated bills after turning to SmartMeters to measure their energy usage. And PG&E, which provides gas and electricity to two-thirds of California, also admitted to inaccuracies with the meters.

The Maryland utility company PEPCO has announced plans to install smart meters in Prince George’s County and Takoma Park beginning this summer. At present there is no opt-out option in Maryland for the smart meters.

Even if one were able to opt out, however, one could still be sickened by a neighbor’s device, at least in the confines of an apartment building. Of course, if you refuse to allow the smart meters, the company will threaten to turn off your power completely.

The extent of this issue depends where you live in the country. In many areas there is only one power company. In others, options may exist, but because there is only one infrastructure—one set of power lines—even if you purchase your power from an alternate company, the power still travels down the lines of the primary power company to your home and is metered by that power company. So if you purchase 5 kwh of power from a wind farm, the wind farm will pump 5 kwh into the power grid, which is operated by your vertically integrated power company (PEPCO, PG&E, etc.). Either way, there is a monopoly company that can shut off your power.

In Virginia, for example, the power company Dominion Resources Inc. plans to install smart meters to all their customers’ homes—and they have already installed half of the Smart Grid meters in Charlottesville. If you choose not to use the smart meters, you choose to have no grid power at all—and that is not a viable choice for most people.

This situation can be changed! Every state in the US has a public utilities commission (PUC). The exact powers and authorities given to a PUC vary from state to state, as each PUC was created by state legislation, but most PUCs are to some degree under the control of the state legislature, in the sense that their mission is to enforce state code as it relates to utilities. Legislation at the state level can be written to ban or, at the very least, allow customers to opt out of having a smart meter without losing their access to power altogether.

Maine residents have secured the right to opt-out of smart meters, but they must pay a penalty surcharge.

Many local jurisdictions in California have banned or issued moratoriums on smart meters, but the electric utility claims the bans are not legally enforceable and smart meter installation continues in much of the state. An opt-out plan for California will be voted on by the California PUC later this year. We will keep our eye on this and will issue an Action Alert at the proper time.

A plan to install smart meters throughout Maryland was killed last summer, but as we noted above, a new plan is now moving forward with installation in Prince George’s County and the incorporated city of Takoma Park (both of which border Washington, DC). And further north, Baltimore Gas and Electric will begin installing smart meters in all the homes, businesses, schools, and clinics in its jurisdiction beginning in October, 2011, and plans to have the Smart Grid “fully operational in mid-2014.” Maryland Residents Against Smart Meters (MRASM) has been organized to oppose the installation.

If you are a Maryland resident, please write to your legislators and the Maryland Public Service Commission today. Ask them to mandate an opt-out provision for the installation of smart meters.


Click THIS LINK to go to the Action Alert page. Once there, fill out the form with your name and address, etc., and customize your letter. We have a suggested message for you, but please feel free to add your own comments to the letter.
We’d also love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by our ANH-USA readers and not by the Maryland legislature.


  1. I really appreciate the information you make available. It seems that we are under attack from so many directions… This is almost unbelievable. If it is already known that those meters can be inaccurate, why are they installing them? Maybe there’s even more to it. Maybe it’s intended that we all get sick, or maybe there is a possibility that we can be monitored by these devices…. I’m ready to go live with Winnie the Pooh!

    1. Love the Winnie the Pooh remark I think I will take Tigger with me and go after these gestapo fascists

  2. More research needs to be done before installing these carcinogenic meters to peoples homes and an opt out option should be a right of citizens.

  3. More ways of controling the People to opression. Since the nanny state has done thiis it won’t be long till they are in all the States. These need to be Out Lawed ASAP. People need to start on their Local levels of elected & work on up the ranks hitting from all sides. I’m sick to death of them thinking they know whats best & that we have no Brains to think for ourselves.
    Exemption has to be Out Lawed in every State so that they have to do as we do. Watch things change in a hurry for everyone if this happens….. Are the Elected Officials outfitting them in their Homes…….”NO” thought so………..Exemption is forbidden for Elected Officials their families & corporate Buddies., Your Expected to Live as the rest of the Population.

  4. How is 1984 working out for you so far? Remember that this is what comes from putting power into the hands of the private companies. This is the power of the Corporate greedy people that want total control from conception to the grave.
    There are people facing over $2,000.00 water bills now that many of the water companies have been sold to private companies. There are Republicans members of the Tea Party taking jobs from working Americans and making inmates do those jobs but you can be sure that the “private” prison system is making money.
    This time is smart meters but what is next? Cameras installed in your home to make sure you don’t over feed or mistreat your children could be next, even if you don’t have children.
    Take the time to read or reread 1984 and then look around, now tell me if you seem much difference.

  5. You’re damn straight we should have a say about what goes on in our own abodes!! Verizon and Comcast already overtaxe us on our bills and retro bills us, not to mention their idiotical phone answering systems; I’m still disputing billing inaccuracies with those morons. And now this? And you, Alliance for Natural Health, expect me to be calm about this. Sirs & Madams, the government is trying to take our social security and medicare away from us; and, too, have you seen the price of gas lately? Now you are stating that smart meters are vulnerable to hacker attack. Have we entered the Twilight Zone? All I can convey is this, everyone will be answering to God someday for we are all accountable for the things we have done here on our earth; our home. Our ‘home’ is falling apart around us and we’ve been silent for too long! I’m disgusted with them all! Enough said!

  6. My home has a wireless telephone and a wireless data network. Many homeowners utilize wireless intrusion alarms. Microwave ovens use some of the same wavelengths as wireless phones and some worn microwaves radiate far more than the typical cell phone. If one lives in an appartment or condominium, it matters little whether these devices are in ones home or a nearby home. Why the outrage against a smart meter in your home?
    Quantum theory says energy of a photon is inversely related to its wavelength. Photons with wavelengths longer than soft UV lack the energy break atomic bonds. Albert Einstein won his Nobel prize for this in 1921 and I learned it in high-school physics over 50 years ago. Since then quantum theory is continuously tested in everything from chemistry to semiconductors to medicines to sunscreens.
    The hypothesis has already been tested and has failed. Exposure to gigahertz radiation is ubiquitous and would have already yielded statistically significant differences in cancer rates if fears were true.
    Medscape recently interviewed Nora D. Volkow, MD, about the implications of the recent Lancet and WHO statements as well as her own research showing that cell phone usage affects brain glucose metabolism.
    She says “no matter how much imagination I use, there is no way of relating our finding to the issue of carcinogenicity. Our data just show that the brain is sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phones.” She adds “If there are no negative effects, this could then be a very interesting technology to evaluate as a potential therapy, for example, in cases in which you need to rehabilitate an area of the brain and want to stimulate it.”
    While this open-minded scientist is researching the matter, there is a real danger that the technologically ignorant would build their own self-importance by manufacturing fears. They will succeed as long as their audience is at least as ignorant.

  7. Your article on RF equipped electric meters does a great disservice to all who read it. Why couldn’t you find out what frequency this system operates on before you complain? You mix it in with talk about cell phones which are known to be microwave devices (greater than 1000 MHz) and are of concern to some people especially if you hold it up to your head. Nobody worries about the safety of AM and FM radio or TV stations, all of which operate at lower than microwave frequencies, nor should they. I suspect that the meter reading system operates at much lower frequencies to allow the signals to follow the electric wires.
    If the utility companies can reduce their costs by using remote metering, that’s fine. If some customers want to opt out, they should pay the extra cost of sending out a meter reader.

  8. And yet the PUC’s and Legislators dont care. Ive been trying to get Virginia to be able to be atleast opt-out-able. Ive writen Dominion Virginia Power, The SCC which is our version of a Public Utilities Commision and the Legislators and the same response of its safe and you have no choice. Either no power or a microwave transmitter stuck to your house. I for one will not go along. I will resist even might let them take the power. I will take a stand and at the very least cover the meter till no signal can go or come and they will have to come out anyways. My concerns arent just the health aspects either. the privacy is a huge issue that this meter can and will be monitoring what you turn on and when you turn it on and will be able to recreate what your doing all day long. We need 100’s of people across the state to demand no smart meters and I think we would be able to stop these money wasteing devices.

    1. ” the privacy is a huge issue that this meter can and will be monitoring what you turn on and when you turn it on and will be able to recreate what your doing all day long.”

  9. thanks for this alert!! I wasn’t aware of it. We need to challenge this as it is slowly creeping into being acceptable…that’s how these things take root. Aren’t we being exposed to enough disturbing frequencies…they have to add another? Besides the health issue involved, we rely too much on technology nowadays. We really have to keep things simple, so that we can still be a society that can think and observe for ourselves, without assistance.

  10. RF energy is seriously dangerous stuff. When cop rdars were first used to ticket speeders cops, hiding benind sign boards, Ect, would turn on thier radars and pace an aluminum pie plate in front of the emiter so that drivers with detectors couldnt tell they were there. Then with the victim wel in range, they’d pull the pan and catch the victim befor the detector could warn thehem in time.
    Nobody thouht much of it untill it was disovered that the RF energy, deflcted into the patrol cars, actually steriized the cops.. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch. The sneaky buggers got their due. There was rumors of a sharp increqse in cancer among the cops, but I never got any documented reports confirming that.
    D. J. Sadler.

  11. Leave it to good old America to do anything that harms the health of Americans, and to try to put a stop to anything that helps Americans, like supplements.

  12. PG&E supplies natural gas to us and installed SmartMeters in our neighborhood recently. The unit is situated on the wall outside our living room area. Since then, I’ve experienced elevated tinnitus, sleep disturbance and increased chronic fatigue. I cannot watch TV, relax or read in my living room because of this. I want this unit removed and would like to know what stepsI can take to make this happen.
    Now, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) who supplies our electricity intends to install SmartMeters as well. Our electric meter is located just outside our bedroom walls. I have refused to allow them access to our yard and notified the installation contractors that I don’t want to have this type of meter installed. I have also placed signs indicating that I do not want this unit at my home. I received a call from SMUD asking me to call to set up an installation date and to discuss any questions I have regarding the meter. Can anyone please offer guidance on how to handle this and prevent them from endangering my health further?
    I also believe that our water is metered the same way by California American Water, but at least the meter is at the back of the yard, a good 25-30feet from our house.
    This is insanity!

  13. FYI, PG&E in California is installing smart meters as fast as they can in San Francisco, often without notice to customers, and without the customer’s permission to enter their property. They’ve already blanketed a large area of the Bay Area and Northern California with meters. PG&E is also running a blitz of TV ads with happy people touting the joys of being able to track their energy use online so that they can save energy. Of course, the goal of having these meters for PG&E is that they will now be able to charge more for peak energy periods (Time of Use and Tiered Pricing) since they’ll know when we’re using electricity/gas. Also, PG&E got a rate increase on low energy users (on their CARE program), while simultaneously getting a rate decrease for high energy users, which seems to refute their claim that smart meters are for our benefit to help us reduce energy use and costs. PG&E will be able to get information about what we are doing in our homes (since it tracks what appliances, electronics, and lighting we are using) that other people would love to have (insurance companies, marketing firms, law enforcement, etc.).
    My next door neighbor got a smart meter ahead of schedule for our area, so it’s the only one in the neighborhood. Since then I have experienced all of the symptoms mentioned in this article, and have developed electrosensitivity, making me reactive to all wireless. It also causes interference on my AM radio (960) all the time, and caused such horrible interference on my cordless phone (900 mHz) that I’ve switched landline phones only. I have no other wireless devices in my home now because my electrosensitivity.
    These meters are dangerous on so many levels, and I’m irate we are being forced to have them against our will.

  14. This is another possibly even greater threat than the rf radiation. In this four minute video, British Columbia, Canada lawyer and media personality discusses the threat of a smart meter as a 24/7 illegal spying device, which may be the real reason these meters are being implemented.—Personal-Surveillance,16,1123
    Remember that conventional light bulbs will soon be illegal, and the fraudulently labeled “Green” ones will the only choice, even though they emit toxins just from being turned on. Will some bean counter be monitoring our power usage and note that we might be using 100 w regular bulbs instead of these fake “Green” ones? Will the power company demand the right to search our homes to inspect our lamps? Is this an exaggeration? Twenty years ago, who would have guessed that the government would institute full sexual assault searches or being bombarded with massive radiation devices just to fly.

    1. That seems like the whole point of the new and improved technology all across the board.
      Including the Smartphones and related equipment.
      Some will say “why worry if you have nothing to hide?”
      I say “whose business is it what I do as long as I am harming no one and breaking no lwas>”

  15. So called “Smart Meters.” are hazardous to the public’s health and infringe on the public’s property, whether they like it or not! THIS MUST BE STOPPED!! The government does not care if it kills household, by household! There motto is……there are too many people in the world anyway! It controls the shows we watch, the news we read, it is a monoply and we the citizens of the U.S. have to sit back and take it!! Well, enough is enough! “WE DON’T WANT SMART METERS!!’ Just so the meter readers do not have to get up off their ass and actually go out and read the METERS!! This society has become extremely lazy! Any short cuts for them and they will take it! “SMART METERS” are dangreous with carcinogens. Please put the people of the U.S. first and not just another new toy and easy way out for the government!!

  16. I got my electric bill the other day and it seemed to have increased since the the Smart Meters are being used in our area here in So.California. I’m keeping my eyes open to check my electric bill against older bills of the same month last year, the thing is there seems to nothing we can do about it’s use on our meter, who can you call or write to have a problem checked out to see if there is a problem with the Smart Meter or the original meter?

    1. It has been my experience in several states (Okahoma, Pennsylvania and Maryland) that you can monitor your own power meter and note the date time and reding of your meter and contest any which you consider inaccurate. Generally the utility company will come out and check the meter and make repairs or adjustments to your bill in case they were in error. This has been my experience. Smart readers keep meter readers from injuring themselves between the street and yuor meter from falling, tripping, dog bites and other animal attacks, locked gates or other types of devices designed to prevent theft or unauthorized entry. Your alternative is to take the reading yourself and send it in and if they need to verify it to be there when they come.

  17. People need to realize that the politicians will NOT save us. They are sponsored by the globalists and ultimately answer to them alone. Its not a matter of putting the right politician in there to represent the people because politics is a lie. The government is not ours. Its been infiltrated by corporate fascist elites who have a eugenics agenda like Hitler only call it transhumanism now. They are poisoning us not because of greed but because they want to. They could make much more money on selling us the organic foods and supplements. Its only about greed with those whom they are using but not at the highest levels. At the highest levels its about the religion of eugenics and the beautiful thing ( to thier sick minds ) they are doing in fast tracking evolution and evolving the species to a super race: them! They are purifying the earth of the rabble and offering a blood sacrifice to gaia. This is how they justify their actions. They also justify themselves in that most people are so ignorant and easily fooled that they accept these poisons with vigor and will even defend them. In the words of Huxley: they love their slavery!
    Yes its sick and twisted but so was Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao etc. These people funded them to a large degree. They are sick and twisted and people need to get over their naivete and see the bigger picture.
    Only then will they be exposed and defeated because there is only one thing that trumps absolute power and that is the universal sense of justice at the heart of every human being.

  18. As far as the danger of radio frequency devices what citizen can really say unless they have a mastery over the scientific field related to such.
    Science is far from perfect and their are studies proving and debunking a whole lot of things that through experience are useful and or harmful to people.
    Smarter to err on the side of caution and assume danger until more proof of safety.
    And it may save the utility companies money but they are not passing the savings on to customers so what is the use. Just like our companies our outsourcing to save money yet still want Americans to pack for their overpriced products and services.
    Lastly, this stuff can easily be used to spy on people. And pretty soon the tech will be perfected to watch everything you do all day without having to install anything in your house. Think Google Earth with thermal imaging and then where they can see through structures. Which means they can view you bathing your kids, using the restroom, or making love to your spouse. And believe me they will be keeping tabs.
    Big Brother.

  19. Great article. However, these issues are surface issues to the real agenda. I encourage all to dig deeper beyond the surface issue and learn why, especially since 9/11 we see more invasions into our privacy and inreasing limits on the choices we make. 9/11 IS the catalysing event here. As long as people are silent about the true perpetrators and why they did it, we will continue to experience the encroaching hold of the police state. Once these smart grids are in place, the carbon cops can monitor you more effectively and mete out punishment for your overuse of electricity that you are paying for. Once people begin to protest they will be labeled terrorists under the Patriot Act which most people have failed to read. Once they are labeled enemies of the state their citizenship is revoked and they have no rights. Once this happens a few times it will have a chilling effect on the majority of the population and suppress dissent.
    Remember those who said if you don’t commit a crime you have nothing to worry about? Well now they are being proved naive and overly trusting because in a totalitarian regime, oppressive laws are created daily to make criiminals out of those who want to live freely and with dignity.

  20. Joseph has it right. The “patriot” act effectively stripped us of our civil rights. Most Americans never saw a copy, much less read it. I’m still mad at every single member of Congress who voted Yes for this outrageous, un-American piece of legislation. I’m still furious at the people who put everything in place to make September 11 happen – so that the drastic loss of personal freedom afterward could be engineered. At least 80% of the people in this country are living their lives asleep and have no idea what’s happening. They just notice when they lose money or something becomes inconvenient.
    Do you realize that, if our Founding Fathers were alive today, they’d be branded as terrorists instead of heroes? They would never tolerate the state of our country as it is now. That just makes my head spin.

  21. I cannot help but believe the health dangers of smart meters are being grossly exaggerated. As I understand it these meters transmit a low power radio signal when queried by a passing meter reader truck, which carries a digital signal containing the current reading of the meter. At current rates of data transmission this transmission probably lasts only milliseconds, if that long. And with the meter outside the house, radiation reaching people inside should be negligible. You would probably get more radiation from a cell phone across the room in one second than you’d get from a smart meter in a year.
    As for the hacking concerns and inaccurate readings, I cannot say. I would think the power company would have sufficiently strong encryption and password protection to prevent hackers from getting into meters and tampering with them electronically, and besides, even if they did succeed what could they do with your current meter reading more than they could do by walking by and reading the display on the front? As for inaccurate readings, I would think if someone suspects a bad reading they could call the power company and have a meter reader come by and optically read the display on the meter and take it from there.
    If you have any questions about health issues or hacking, call your power company and ask them about it. They should be able to answer any questions you have.

    1. I called them. Believe me, if you have any questions about health issues or hacking, your power company either doesn’t have a clue what your talking about or they will definitely lie to you…and they WILL imtimidate you telling you you have no choice in anything they choose to do. I urge you to send a certified letter of refusal other wise you have given implied concent. The “smart” meter is a cell phone substation ( a cell phone tower). The intended use is to force people to buy “smart” appliances which can be controlled remotely by you or the utility company or a hacker. You will have to buy a smart appliance because you won’t be able to afford your utility bill if you don’t. “Smart” appliances have chips imbedded in them which interact with the “smart” meter like cell phones interact with cell phone towers……………………….. Again, “smart” meters are cell phone substations. You wouldn’t want a cell phone tower in your neighborhood much less on every home in the neighborhood. “Smart” meters have an operating system (computer and software) ….they can tune up the radiation should you try and block it. Yes, “smart” meters are tunable, the radiation can be turned up or turned down..remotely…isn’t that comforting.. This is fleecing the nation of their homes, lives, health, finances, stability … Not to mention the erosion of our civil liberties, invasion of privacy that amounts to warrantless searches and the right to defend your home against invasion of corporate tyranny, and the greased palms of local authorities. Oh, and since these kill switches contain a computer you have to buy new ones about as often as you do a computer….The utility company and GE and Cisco etc…says $$$$$$ slurp burp …..feed me more $$$$$

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