A worldwide movement is building to stop the spread of so-called ‘smart’ meters into our homes and workplaces.  Innocent looking, yet with potentially disastrous consequences for health and privacy, ‘smart’ meters may become as controversial as genetically modified (GM) foods.  Last weekend, Stop Smart Meters! UK (SSM! UK) held its first annual Get_Wired event – and we were there.

‘Smart’ meters: the next GM?

Here’s one for you.  What do smart meters and GM foods have in common?  “Not a lot!” you say?  Well, consider this: they’re both unnecessary, largely untested and potentially deadly technologies that governments appear determined to force on unwilling citizens.  And if the push for ‘smart’ meters is going to be repelled, an awakening of public opinion on a grand scale is required – with the closest parallel being GM foods.  That’s where SSM! UK comes in.

A worldwide movement comes to the UK

Mike Mitcham began SSM! UK in January 2012 after becoming concerned at the disturbing reality behind ‘smart’ meters, such as the government recently changing the rules so that ‘smart’ meters cannot be replaced with old-style analogue meters once fitted.  “Governments and power companies tell us that ‘smart’ meters are going to save us money, make our lives easier, help the environment – that they’re an all-round wonderful thing,” he says. “But the truth is almost exactly the opposite.  Put one of these in your home and you can kiss goodbye to any semblance of privacy, and possibly your health and that of your children.  Plus your bills are likely to go up by at least 30%!  If people knew the facts, it would kill the proposed rollout stone dead – overnight.”

‘Smart’ meters are a health disaster waiting to happen

Get_Wired 2013 kicked off with a presentation by Dr Elizabeth Evans, a former general practitioner (GP) and the co-founder with Mike of SSM! UK.  She pointed out that the level of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by wireless technologies in our cities is up to 1 billion billion times greater than the background level.  Because these pulsed microwave EMRs are an entirely new form of EMR exposure, we humans haven’t had the time to become evolutionarily adapted to these frequencies – if, indeed, such adaptation is even possible.  As a result, the health risks posed by RF-EMRs are both numerous and significant – but governments and power companies worldwide insist that ‘smart’ meters are safe. 

Take Back Your Power!

Get_Wired was the venue for the UK premiere of Canadian film-maker Josh del Sol’s as-yet unfinished feature on smart meters, Take Back Your Power!

Here’s a few gems from this must-see movie:

  • ‘Smart’ meters are intended to form part of home networks in which everyday appliances, such as kettles, toasters and refrigerators, will be microchipped and transmit detailed usage data to the power companies
  • Spy agencies, such as the USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) currently saturating the news, will be able to use your own appliances to spy on you – and they will do so
  • Usage data from ‘smart’ meters are being sold to third parties
  • Power companies tell us that ‘smart’ meters communicate with ‘base’, i.e. the power companies, only several times per day.  However, measurements show that most ‘smart’ meters emit around 14,000 powerful RF-EMR spikes per day, and some up to 109,000 per day
  • Like GM crops, ‘smart’ meters have never received adequate safety testing, and are usually installed by non-electricians who have done a 2-hour training course
  • Whatever anyone tells you, ‘smart’ meters are NOT mandatory, but power companies assume ‘implied consent’.  In other words, you must tell your power company that you don’t want one in your home – get it in writing!

Here’s to a short-lived meeting!

We must congratulate SSM! UK for pulling together such a fascinating and information-packed meeting at a mere 6 weeks’ notice.  That said, we’re crossing our fingers that Get_Wired doesn’t become a regular fixture on the calendar – the sooner we’re rid of these Trojan Horse-like ‘smart’ meters, the better, in our opinion!  We reckon the meeting will be with us for a while yet, though, and ANH-Intl will be in the front lines supporting Get_Wired and SSM! UK.  We implore you to get involved using some of the ideas in the list below.

Call to action

  • Wherever you are, please get involved with the campaign to stop the rollout – or ‘deployment’, to use the power companies’ favoured militarised term – of smart meters in your country.  Here’s a list of some of the operative campaigns:

– UK: Stop Smart Meters! UK
– USA: Stop Smart Meters! – a list of contacts by US state can be found here
– Canada: Coalition to Stop Smart Meters (British Columbia), StopSmartMeters.ca (British Columbia), Refusons Les Compteurs (Quebec)
– Australia: Stop Smart Meters Australia
– New Zealand: Stop Smart Meters NZ
– For more groups around the world, check out the Take Back Your Power! worldwide directory

  • If your country isn’t in the list shown above, and your power companies are planning a smart meter rollout, why not start your own group to campaign against it?
  • Wherever you are, the first thing to do is to let your electricity provider know that you don’t want a smart meter installed.  It’s vital to remember that ‘smart’ meters are not mandatory, despite what some power companies are saying.  UK readers can use SSM! UK’s handy online tool
  • More than most, these campaigns will depend on people getting out into their communities and talking to people.  Remember, even if you refuse permission for a smart meter to be installed in your own home, it won’t be enough if your neighbours have them installed.  RF-EMR is no respecter of bricks and mortar!  SSM! UK, for example, will send you 25 free leaflets for you to spread around, and you can get a batch for 250 for a £27 donation
  • Consider a donation so that Josh del Sol can complete and distribute his film Take Back Your Power!
  • When using computers in your own home, remember the watchword: GET WIRED!  Connect your computer to the Internet and your home network using hardwired Ethernet cables instead of Wi-fi
  • Further tips for reducing your EMR exposure can be found here, here and here
  • You may wish to consider arranging for someone to perform an EMR survey of your home to determine how best to reduce your exposure
  • For further information, watch the documentary Resonance: Beings of Frequency

 

ANH-Europe Homepage
ANH Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR) campaign page
 

Comments

  1. Just got home after being away for a few weeks and my answer machine was full. All messages from british gas, sometimes 3 messages a day to tell me that according to their records my meter is due to be replaced because of its age with a smart meter, and could i get in touch asap as my existing meter is potentialy hazardous. I phoned them back and told them I dont want or need a smart meter and that Im under no obligation to have one fitted. They agreed to stop contacting me about replacing it and miraculously my existing meter, that they claimed could be hazardous doesnt need replacing. In my case it seems scare mongery was the tactic they tried to use with regard to my meter

  2. Have just received a ‘phone call from EDF energy (my wife actually answered the ‘phone). When she told the (quite belligerent) caller that we had no intention of having a smart meter fitted she was told “it won’t be your decision to make”. At this point I took the ‘phone as my wife assumed this to mean that as it was my name on the bills that it was my decision. Apparently not! It was implied by the caller that I had no choice in the matter either and that I would have to be in when theory decided on a date to fit the meter. I then pointed out that I was under no legal obligation to have a smart meter fitted and that until I was required by law to have it fitted then that was the end of the matter. We await developments!!!

  3. Water company recently started rolling out meters in our area . We have a shared pipe , so it can take be fitted outside . We sent an email to the company telling them that our main stopcock is in a back porch , covered by carpet with a drawer unit on top of it ,and a microwave on top of that ( which is used once in a while ) , but is being replaced soon by a tumble dryer ( the only place it can go ). We also pointed out that we had serious concerns about smart meters anyway , and wouldn’t want one in our house even if it were possible to have one fitted. Got a letter the other day saying that we had to make an appointment to have a meter fitted . Called them to explain yet again , and was threatened that we would be put on an ‘ a no access tariff ‘ , and that it would cost more if we didn’t agree to a meter being fitted . I said I wouldn’t be threatened , and was hastily put through to someone else who was even worse , and threatened court action if I didn’t let a surveyor / plumber / technician ( all different words used by them ) into our home . Under duress I made an appointment with them , but then sent them an email saying that I would not let a surveyor / plumber/ technician in , but would allow a company representative in to prove that we are telling the truth . No response back so far .

    1. ello Susan

      Thanks for commenting and letting us know what’s happening with your water company. According to Ofgen smart meters aren’t compulsory (https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/understand-smart-and-other-energy-meters/smart-meters-your-rights) and you can choose not to have one. You can state that whilst you will accept an analogue meter you are not prepared to accept a smart meter. That way you are not refusing a meter just a specific type of meter. If they do not respond to your requests, then submit a complaint with a date you expect a response by. If you are not happy with their response you can then escalate the complaint (including the increased cost) to the Consumer Council. In previous communication with the Consumer Council re Thames Water they said they “would expect Thames Water to consider a mechanical meter”

      There is lots of information on the Stop Smart Meters website http://Www.stopsmartmeters.org.uk along with the Haringey site
      https://stopsmartmetersharingey.wordpress.com/, which you may find helpful.

      WHAT CAN I DO?
      1. Put “Do not install smart meter” sign in your window.
      2.Send notice of non consent to energy suppliers. An easy way is to fill in a pre written letter that will automatically be sent here:
      http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/dont-smart-meter-me-notice-of-non-consent-for-smart-meter-installation/ or post a letter or email to customerservices@thameswater.co.uk and martin.baggs@thameswater.co.uk
      3. Contact your local councillor & MP- write a letter. We are happy to supply example http://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx
      4. Inform the neighbours
      5. Contact local group. https://stopsmartmetersharingey.wordpress.com/helpus/

      I hope this is of help, but if you need any further advice or help please email us on info@anhinternational.org

      Warm regards
      Melissa

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