On December 6, 2011, Channel 13, an ABC affiliate, reported that Nevada Energy’s Smart Meters were “slammed by customers.” The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the $300 million dollar program in July 2010. After the installation of 600,000 Smart Meters and thousands of complaints, the PUC decided to give customers the chance for input.
Nevada Energy claimed that Smart Meters would save them $35 million in operating costs per year. Customers countered that their cost in health and higher bills will be too high. Some were angry because there was no opt-out choice. Other customers claimed that the utility company did not inform them of the existence of a list of postponement. Smart Meters were thus installed without their consent and notices were sent out after installation.
Customers disagreed that Smart Meters were “safer than cell phones and radio frequencies emitted by Earth.” Sheila Z. Sterling said, “I think a lot of the science that they’re talking about has been skewed.”
Customers believed that data collected every 15 minutes would be sold or shared with other entities. Data could be captured by hackers standing outside homes and then sold to the highest bidder.
Many disputed the Nevada Energy claim of 90 percent customer satisfaction. Katrin Ivanoff said, “You answer yes or no to questions and all of a sudden they think you’re happy with the installation. Those are two completely different things.”
The AARP Director of Government Relations was particularly concerned by “dynamic pricing,” when customers cut their own costs by cutting back on power. He believed this feature would not remain voluntary and it was not practical, particular in hot summers for seniors and small children, when turning off air conditioning was not an option.
News 3, an NBC affiliate, reported that the Public Utilities Commission has misled the public by hiding the postponement list and telling customers that they cannot opt-out. Many were told that Smart Meters track their energy use and report consumption more accurately than traditional meters but customers were not buying it.
A doctor testified on behalf of PUC in reference to customers’ health complaints about electro- magnetic radiation and radio frequency exposure. The doctor dismissed their complaints as unlikely to be caused by Smart Meters.
Independent testing revealed that Smart Meter radiation is a Class 2B carcinogen according to the World Health Organization.
According to Channel 5 Fox News affiliate, some customers’ bills went up tenfold, while others went from $100 to $350 per month. Invasion of privacy and hackers were other concerns expressed by Nevadans.
Nevada Energy said their devices were safe. “The exposure in front of the panel outside the house is about one fifteen thousands of the FCC exposure limit.” The company insisted that radio frequency (RF) fields from the meters were about “5,000 times less hazardous than signals from the average cell phone.” “Frequencies are well below visible UV or other high energy electromagnetic fields.” “A lot of these are industry related reports that say that smart meters are o.k., well of course because they’re trying to sell us a product,” said Joyce Hazard.
Customers wanted to be able to opt out of the program. “Several states on the East Coast have either implemented opt outs or they’re considering opt outs, and I hope our commission will consider an opt out also,” said Mike Hazard.
The issues were not just privacy, accuracy, cost, security, and health. As Col. Robert Frank (USAF Ret.) indicated, the real issue was the “overall safety and integrity of the national electrical grid.” The possibility of a cyber attack and subsequent meltdown of the entire electrical grid from a terrorist hacker was a real possibility. It has happened at the water plant in Illinois in November 2011.
Michael Hazard reported that a workshop was held in response to pressure from a PUCN staff member in Carson City. Nevada Energy admitted publicly that there is no federal mandate for smart meters. However, they will continue to demand Smart Meter installation of all customers by the end of 2012. “Currently, NVE is at 99.67 percent completion in Southern Nevada and have just begun installations in Northern Nevada as of December 1.”
In the meantime, Mr. Hazard suggested that customers, who do not wish to have Smart Meters installed in their absence, should tape the following signed and dated message to their traditional electric meters. “Attention Utility Company: We refuse to allow you to install a Smart Meter on our premises. We object to this because of privacy and health issues.”
The Smart Grid accelerates energy costs; it does not deliver more efficient use of energy. It is a tool of UN Agenda 21 population control and energy control, enabling the energy provider to charge the highest rate possible and to shut down power during higher consumption periods. It is also a business plan for citizen surveillance without a warrant, extorting the public for corporate profits.
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Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, Romanian Conservative is a freelance writer, author, radio commentator, and speaker. Her books, “Echoes of Communism”, “Liberty on Life Support” and “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” “Communism 2.0: 25 Years Later” are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Her commentaries reflect American Exceptionalism, the economy, immigration, and education.Visit her website, ileanajohnson.comCommenting Policy
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