By B.N. Frank
Opposition to privacy invasive and unsafe utility “smart” meters – electric, gas, and water – has been increasing in the U.S. and worldwide for over a decade due to ongoing issues associated with them including
- billing errors and higher bills (see 1, 2),
- cybersecurity risks (hacking and disconnection)
- fires and explosions (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- installation mishaps (see 1, 2)
- harmful radiation emissions (see 1, 2, 3)
- mechanical problems
- privacy concerns and
- short lifespans
“Smart” meters are so controversial they inspired a documentary film! Nevertheless, utilities as well as other proponents continue to promote them as being beneficial to consumers, essential for “energy efficiency”, and safe despite articles, reports, research, and testimonials proving otherwise (see 1, 2, 3, 4).
From Westview News:
Electrical Engineer Explains How “Smart” Meters Can Lead to Higher Bills
Jill McManus Interview with Bill Bathgate
My grandchildren Teddy and Sofia complained about the jump in their electric bill. And Dusty provided them with the following article. – George
To get more information about the inner workings of “smart” meters, we spoke with professional electric and mechanical engineer William S. Bathgate. [Bathgate worked at Emerson Electric as Senior Program Manager for Power Distribution Systems in charge of RF and IP based digitally-controlled high power AC power switching system products that sold worldwide. He has also served in the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, NASA, and Homeland Security. He is certified as a Building Biologist and Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist by the Building Biologist Institute, and an IEEE Certified Radio Frequency Safety Officer. He has testified on behalf of Resident Customer groups in Michigan and Iowa that have worked to prevent rate increases and installation of low-quality meters. He has two companies, has conducted many tests in his own lab and has test results from over a thousand homes. https:// buildingbiologyinstitute.org/find-anexpert/ certified-consultants/buildingbiology- environmental-consultants/ william-bill-bathgate-bbec-ieee/] While some details may appear very technical, the central theme here is that smart meters emit excessive levels of EMF radiation, harm the environment by consuming energy unlike analog meters, are programmed to overcharge consumers, and are vulnerable to cyberattack. Now here’s the breakdown. Bathgate’s information was eye-opening.
To illuminate the laxity of the FCC guidelines, Bathgate offers this example: intensity of electromagnetic radio frequency (EMF) in sleeping areas is 10- 100 microwatts per meter squared (10μw/m2). Most smart meters are mounted near a bedroom wall. Their range extends to 1,400 feet. Readings that exceed 100 μw/m2 enter a range of ‘extreme concern.’ Based on the Letter of Authorization from the FCC, granted in what is called an equipment grant and which for many smart meters includes antenna gain, the present digital meters can emit up to or over 14,000 μw/m 2. That would be 140 times over the Building Biology standard! “Some smart meters use other frequencies such as 2.4 GHz, but 99% of them use 900MHz. The FCC’s ‘safety’ guideline allows 2,000 μw/m2 (2W/M2), which by our standards makes the present meters operating at 900 MHz unsafe. “The industry uses the environmental excuse that we will save the polar bears from rising oceans by saving CO², but none of this is provable as true,”Bathgate says. “Yet they are allowed to collect 10% a year as ‘Return of Investment’ on the money they spend on smart meters until the terms of return of investment get changed. The energy that digital meters need to compute and send their frequent signals adds to energy use by about 2.75 KWh’s (kilowatt hours) per day. This, multiplied by millions of meters, wipes out any benefits of using a ‘smart grid.’ And this can add up to over $120.00 per year in your individual power bill.There is no evidence that AMI meters save CO², kilowatts or money unless they ration it. Collecting data once every 15 minutes will not ever accomplish the goal of being able to match capacity to demand in real time.”
Further, he says, “There is no direct ground connection in the meter for a zero EMF reference (i.e. as a base reading). Electronic circuits in the AMI meters have multilayer circuit boards where one of those layers is a “Relative Ground” reference, which refers to ground currents or voltage that may exist on the site where the house stands. In over 1,000 house surveys I’ve done more than 50% have serious wiring errors which can contribute to an unstable Relative Ground reference and affect the accuracy of the AMI meter reading.The analog meter is not affected by this characteristic. “With the AMI meter, when a light or appliance is first turned on there is a high but extremely quick surge of power, and that level is what is recorded until the next cycle begins. For example, if you open a fridge door and you cause the compressor to turn on you will be billed at the peak consumption rate of that appliance from that moment for the next fifteen minutes, or until the next measurement. This alone can add hundreds of dollars a year to your bill.” Claims that AMI meters are more accurate than analogs are false. Says Bathgate, ”The smart meter is populated with dozens of electronic components that have tolerance swing of up to 10% which varies with temperatures and humidity. The analog meters must meet the same ANSI C12 (American National Standards Institute) specs as AMI meters, but there are no electronic components. The AMI meter does not meet the same specs as analog meters in many ways. In fact, they don’t synchronize the clocks of an electronic opt-out meter with Universal time so the calibration of measurement within certain time periods is not always accurate, and there is ‘drift.’ The analog meter has precision gears that directly convert to KWh‘s and there is no need for a clock reference. How does a device which calculates KWh‘s do that accurately if the clock drifts? “Also, light bulbs vary in power use by plus or minus 10% and LED bulbs combined with dimmer switches lead to greater inaccuracy in readings.” An exampl was testing at the University of Twente in 2016 that showed very high smart meter inaccuracies of 582% (https://www.utwente.nl/en/ news/2017/3/313543/electronic-energymeters- false-reading s-almost-six-timeshigher- than-actual-energy-consumption) with current transformers.
“AMI meters are generally accurate to within ±10%.That is a 20% range. So, claims by utilities that the AMI is more accurate are highly suspect. This is only true in a very tightly controlled setting such as ten 100-watt incandescent bulbs in a temperature-controlled room, not with electronic appliances, motors, CFL’s, LED’s etc. (Note – a 100-watt light bulb can vary 5%).The only way to have an accurate load is with a large carbon pile which is unaffected by temperature and humidity.” Personal privacy with AMI smart meters is also a key issue for Bathgate. Your information is collected and sold to third parties, whoever they may be. And there is no security. If you’re away from home, it can be detected by hackers. Wireless networks, which use software and offer so many connection points, are easy to hack. Many in the U.S. Government, and others such as former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, agree and are aware that 5G wireless technology is a national security issue.
What about meter shielding and filters? Bathgate doesn’t believe most of the products offered online actually work, and full metal shields may cause the radiation to reflect back. He has developed a product that he feels can lower the RF emissions, called the Iron Maiden. “You can shield the front of the smart meter with metal screens or other special materials to block the RF up to a point, and that can be helpful,” Bathgate says, “but they don’t block the electromagnetic emissions. There’s no way to fix this without earth grounding of the smart meter, which means redesign.” He thinks the utilities should shield the back of the meters where emissions go through the wall, and also shield the electric closets and nearby rooms in apartment buildings where banks of smart meters are placed. But “they will fight tooth and nail about this adaptation for millions of meters, he says, “and they will complain they can’t read the meters. It will be left to property owners.” Bathgate concludes: “We need a law that says the emissions from a smart meter should not exceed 100 microwatts per meter squared.That would make present AMI meters unusable.” Finally, there is subterfuge. Says Bathgate, “Staff for the utility companies make statements like the AMI meter is less than a cell phone. This is provable as untrue and was concluded from a clearly biased study done by the CCST, where they compared the emissions of a smart phone at the ear but not for the whole body, but they used the whole-body measurement for the AMI meter (See CCST Study chart in our smart meter story on p. 9.) Bathgate calls the comparison “totally apples and oranges. And, he says, “Those that state this lie should sleep with a smart meter under their pillow every night and get ready for the diagnosis of cancer very soon.”
Bathgate suggest that readers check out the scientific studies such as the Bio-initiative Report on cancers and tumors from exposure in rats: https://bioiniitative. org/category/new
Everyone who pays electric bills need to understand this information and demand that smart meters are replaced with traditional analog meters. Let your state legislators know today.
Need more reasons to refuse “smart” meters? Utility providers install them (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) so they can remotely control and/or ration utility use (see 1, 2) and collect consumer usage data 24/7 to sell and/or share with 3rd parties (see 1, 2). Adding insult to injury, many utilities have been providing dangerous digital meters to consumers who “opt-out” instead of safer traditional analog meters. If you’re an American who is ready to tell your legislators that you don’t want “smart” meters or digital “opt-out” meters, Children’s Health Defense has made it easy for you to do so right now.
Activist Post reports regularly about “smart” meters and other privacy invasive and unsafe technologies. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Children’s Health Defense
- Stop Smart Meters.org
- Smart Meter Harm
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Smart Meter News
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Take Back Your Power
- The People’s Initiative
- Environmental Health Trust
- Physicians for Safe Technology
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