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Sci Tech    H4'ed 9/25/15

Rules & Regulations About Electricity, Electronics, Wireless Devices, Electric & Telecom Infrastructure: A Study Guide

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As Levitt explains, a tower can be placed in a residential zone that has restrictions for commercial use "unless the town's regulations expressly forbid it."

Let's consider basics: how is electricity regulated at the federal level?

No agency regulates power under 1000 Hz, including 60 Hz electricity.

Once a home is built, no code requires periodic inspection for wiring errors or corroded ground (for examples).

Property owners should have their electrical systems checked by reputable electricians every five years. Karl Riley's Tracing EMFs in Building Wiring and Grounding is an excellent resource. For info about solar systems, see

What are "smart" meters, and how are they regulated?

"Smart" meters are wireless, transmitting meters that measure use of gas, water and electricity. A "smart" meter can be programmed to transmit data to your utility monthly, daily or every few seconds. Because electricity (say) is delivered most efficiently when it's distributed "evenly," utilities might eventually use the data to charge more for daytime electric use (when business use is high), and less for weekend and evening use.

These meters can transmit for a half mile or more. If you live in a state with "opt-outs" (that let you "self-read" an analog meter, perhaps for additional fees), you'd still be subject to transmissions from neighbors' meters.

Solar power systems can include transmitting "net" meters that track the unused electricity that is sent back to the utility.

Since every residence typically includes three meters, these might be our society's most ubiquitous deployment of transmitters.

"Smart" meters are not regulated. However, the devices they require to transmit data--i.e. text-messaging devices--are regulated by the FCC. For example, the FCC may require that the transmitting devices be kept a certain distance from people, or that they not be installed close to each other.

Eugene, Oregon's Water & Electric Board (EWEB) has created a model policy that will allow customers to "opt-in" (or not) to transmitting meters. EWEB also recognizes Paul E. Dart, MD's report that meters should not be programmed to transmit at night, when most people sleep. click here

Consider self-regulation

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Katie Singer works on public policy with the Electromagnetic Radiation Policy Institute. A medical journalist, her books include The Garden of Fertility; Honoring Our Cycles, and An Electronic Silent Spring: Facing the Dangers and Creating Safe Limits. 

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