“Smart” Meter Basics

Smart Meter Panel
Smart Meter Panel in a residential building, East Harlem, NY

Utility companies throughout the U.S. are replacing safe analog meters with digital “smart meters” which operate on WiFi and radio frequencies (RF) to communicate your energy usage electronically to the utility. The utilities call these meters an “upgrade” and say they benefit consumers by determining the sources of our energy usage. Con Edison has been installing smart meters throughout the NYC metropolitan area. Most consumers have been receiving a notice. At the very end is a number to call to opt-out, which is what we highly recommend. Here’s why:

The Health Issue

Thousands of peer-reviewed studies show serious health harms caused by RF and smart meters. Clinical studies point to hazards caused by EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies) which include radio frequencies (RFs). The World Health Organization has called “RF radiation in the frequency range 30 kHz-300 GHz, is a Group 2B, i.e., a ‘possible’ human carcinogen.” The industry claims smart meters are safe, and this is reflected in research that they have funded themselves. There are no peer-reviewed articles that say radio frequencies cause no harm to health. Utilities are large corporations mainly concerned with profit. Similarly, the tobacco companies claimed cigarettes didn’t cause cancer until proven wrong after millions of lung cancer deaths.

Smart meters emit pulses lasting milliseconds as many as 190,000 times per day. They also have an “antenna effect” which transmits the high-level radio pulses through the wires into rooms as far as 150 feet away. This contributes to “dirty electricity” which is unhealthy and debilitating at high levels. It can change heart rhythms and cause insomnia, brain fog, memory lapses and tinnitus.

The Privacy Issue

Smart meters track a lot of details about us in our homes such as what appliances and devices we use, and detect our behavior patterns. This data can then be sold to corporations for marketing purposes. Since smart meters are part of a giant digital grid, they can be “hacked” either by petty thieves or through cyber-terrorism Utilities can even shut off our power or appliances remotely should they choose to.

The Safety Issue

There are hundreds of reports of smart meters catching fire. Some fires have been fatal.

Insurance Issue

No major insurance company covers harms from electromagnetic frequencies emitted by smart meters, cell phones, small cell wireless antennas, routers, towers, etc.!

Why this is a Community Issue

Smart meters communicate with each other before data is sent from a hub into the utility. This adds greatly to the electronic signals penetrating our bodies. In New York City, Con Edison has manipulated policy such that only tenants with the electric account

in their name can opt out. Owners of rental properties including multi-family homes and

commercial properties are not allowed to opt out. This means that even small businesses are forced to expose workers and shoppers to pulsed radio frequencies.

What YOU Can Do

You can opt out and refuse the installation of smart meters. Call 800-576-2005. Ask for instructions on how to opt out. As of now, Con Edison charges $9.50 per month if you opt out. Residents need to organize to oppose this. In the meantime, you can pay your regular bill, then separately pay the $9.50 by check and write “PAID UNDER DURESS” on the check. Do not delay because after receiving a notice, it could be less than 60 days before they are installed.

Also, you must request that Con Edison leave your existing analog meter intact. If they say they will need to replace it, demand that any replacement be analog. Otherwise, they may install meters which still transmit data digitally.

If you already have had a smart meter installed, you can request to have it removed. If you received a notice but failed to opt out, it’s likely you’ll have to pay a fee of roughly $105. However, health is worth far more

Why Communities Must Work Together

If your neighbors have smart meters, especially if they’re placed on exterior walls of the house, the pulses are being emitted openly as people pass by. The same holds for public areas of apartment houses. This is why it’s vital to work with everyone on your block or in your building to opt out. Also, people need to show the powerful corporations and their allies in the various state agencies that we are informed, we’re organized, and will take action to preserve our health, our right to privacy, and right to be safe in our property.

Legislation In the Public Interest

There have been efforts in the NY State legislature to regulate smart meter policy since 2013!Currently, the effort must be renewed in earnest. NewYorkers4WiredTech has a comprehensive bill to offer. We now need a concerted effort to contact NY City and NY State legislators to present our research and solution, then lobby them to pass it into law.

Get Active

Con Edison has established smart meter policy for the state without adequately informing the public. This deceptive maneuver enabled the utility to effectively establish law without the public’s knowledge and outside of the legislative process. Now we must take action to support proposed legislation to rectify this unfair situation.

Learn More

Watch the award-winning free documentary called “Take Back Your Power” at http://www.takebackyourpower.net. Watch “Generation Zapped” and “5G Apocalypse” on YouTube.

Here are a few recommended web sites:




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