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The Smart Meter Conspiracy

By James Donahue

We first heard about smart meters through an acquaintance in California who complained that after one was attached to his home by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., his electric bills skyrocketed. He then had to pay an additional monthly fee to get the meter removed.

Since then we have noticed stories from various parts of the United States blaming house fires on newly installed smart meters.

So what are smart meters and why are they being considered a problem?

They sounded like a good idea at first. The smart meter contains computerized device that reports monthly power usage by radio to power company offices, thus saving the cost of sending someone to the home each month to personally read numbers on the meter. The savings in manpower and the trouble involved in wading through deep snow and fighting off aggressive dogs seemed to make computerized meters that radioed the information to headquarters was a logical move for power companies to be making. It was the power company keeping up with modern technology.

But complaints about inaccurate readings, increased electric bills and overheated meters that start fires alarmed enough customers that a national movement has been launched against smart meters. People say they just don’t want them installed on their homes.

While the issue has been totally ignored by the corporate media, as of June, 2012, over 56 cities and counties in California alone have demanded a moratorium on smart meters. Thirteen governments have criminalized their installation.

In Michigan the state’s Public Service Commission in September, 2012, issued an order reopening a ruling by the Court of Appeals giving state power companies the authority to pass the $37 million cost of installing smart meters on to the consumers.

Opposition groups argue that the smart meters are untested and dangerous. Not only do they give inaccurate readings, they overheat and start fires, they are a health hazard by adding even more "radio sensitivity" to neighborhoods already blasted with cell phone, radio, television, electric line and other signals that are making people sick. They do things like disturb pacemakers, cause headaches and insomnia among other problems.

Don Baker, a former AMI engineer in Alabama, was fired from his job after he blew the whistle about problems with the smart meters. He said they were never properly tested, they often overheated to temperatures of up to 200 degrees, and sent faulty readings to the main office. Baker has since filed suit against the smart meter company and AMI.

Opponents also worn that smart meters are just one more way that corporations and government officials are keeping track of everything we do.

It has been argued that smart meters do not result in energy savings. A Reuters News story recently suggested that these meters may even increase energy consumption because it takes energy to make them work. There is also the argument that the wireless non-ionizing radiation emitted may be harming wildlife, damaging trees and even affecting the bee population.

The other glaring problem created by the smart meters has been the loss of jobs for all of the people once employed to read the meters. Consequently electric companies can raise profits by laying off the meter readers while at the same time, if they can get away with it, pass the cost of installing the smart meters on to the customers.

A story on the Natural News website suggests that the advent of smart meters is part of a global plan to create a worldwide "smart" grid, or a converging group of interlocking technologies designed to ensure enough power for everybody in a more eco-friendly world and eliminating threats of brownouts and blackouts.

With master computers watching the power usage by industry and urban areas throughout each day, power companies believe they can modernize and develop a connected grid system that will offer better service to everybody and keep prices fair for everybody. Is this not an answer to the call for building a new and improved electric grid system?

It could be exactly what the world needs if the technology used is developed correctly, and if power companies also move away from coal-burning and other carbon fuel-based electric generating systems. Construction of plants using wind, solar and other renewable energy sources plus the replacement of outdated transmission systems designed to withstand storms, toppled trees and other natural disasters has to be part of the solution.