I was only one of four consumers who turned out to give evidence against my local utility (Delmarva Power) company's proposed rate increases at a public hearing in Kent County Maryland the other week. We were almost outnumbered by the number of "suits' representing the utility company!
If consumers weren't bothered about another price rise (already up 40% since 2007) then they should at least have been concerned if they had recently got a letter from their utility provider informing them that like millions of Americans across the nation they are about to have a "Smart Meter' installed to replace their existing analog device.
The letters are totally misleading and fail to inform consumers of the following facts :-
- Smart Meters do NOT save money or energy -- only consumers can do that. The utility companies certainly save money by firing meter readers
- Smart Meters have not been independently safety tested for adverse health effects - they constantly emit high frequency wireless microwave radio signals.
- Non-industry funded scientists have issued warnings about non-ionizing radiation.
- Smart Meters violate your personal privacy & compromise security -- they are in effect an unauthorized surveillance device.
- Customers bills often rise after their installation - they are just the first step in TOU (Time-of-use) pricing which will subsequently be introduced nationwide to charge consumers more during "peak' daytime usage hours.
- Smart Meters enable the utility company (or any skilled hacker, or government authority for that matter) to turn off your electricity supply at will from a distance. Currently, they at least need to send out an operative to your property to cut off your power. Now, really think about that changing dynamic for a moment -- without electricity you just can't function in our society!
- Data from Smart Meters can easily be hacked by thieves (or others) who may want to know when you go to bed, go out, or are away on vacation.
- Your private data can be obtained by manufactures & marketers who want to sell you their products/services based on your power usage
- The letters fail to inform consumers they can actually
opt-out of the installation process and keep their current analog meters.
Op-Ed readers don't have to believe articles from cranks like me, they can do their own research on Google, YouTube, www.marylandsmartmeterawareness.org , www.StopSmartMeters.org , www.CaliforniaCoalitiontoStopSmartMeters.org , www.EMFSafetyNetwork.org , etc to find out why tens of thousands of people from Maine to California are saying "no thanks!' to the so-called Smart Meter.