Prepare yourselves! It is only a matter of time until Smart Grid technology invades your home. In 2013, U.S. electric utilities had installed 51,924,502 advanced (smart) metering infrastructure (AMI), of which almost 89% were in residential homes.
Smart grid technology involves a wireless, two-way flow of information between your home and the power company allowing the utility to charge more for electricity during peak hours of the day. This technology also allows the power company to ‘reduce’ your impact on the power grid by regulating your thermostat, television, hotwater heater, washer, dryer, or simply shutting off power to your home. And you thought all those EPA carbon regulations were for your health!
Figure you’re safe living in the country? Think again! The Department of Agriculture is funding its own smart grid investments through the Rural Utilities Service Program to “improve” [leftist speak for control] electrical service to rural communities.
Smart Grid meters being installed across the country are a key part of this new smart grid technology. The meters will allow power companies to measure your energy use in 15 minute intervals and reduce your energy use at will. While this may prove a boon for utility companies, according to a 2012 study in California, these “meters” pose a health problem, through the involuntary exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation,” emitted almost continuously, 24/7”. EMR has many sources and includes overhead power lines, radio broadcast towers, Wifi transmitters, cell phones and cell phone towers, television microwave transmission and computer equipment along with the wiring in your homes.
Although not a chemical, electromagnetic radiation has been linked with numerous health effects, including immune system problems. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), an international organization of physicians spanning 15 countries, went on record in 2012, opposing the “…installation of wireless ‘smart’ meters in homes and schools, based on a scientific assessment of the current peer-reviewed scientific literature.” In July of that year, the AAEM issued an alert to physicians that listed some 40 conditions for which they recommended the avoidance of smart meters. These included Parkinson’s disease, dizziness, depression, decreased pulmonary function, chest tightness, nausea, ocular burning, skin problems, Alzheimer’s, sleep disruption, headaches, ADD, anxiety, fetal abnormalities, pregnancy, cancer, fatigue, genetic defects, and more. The AAEM called for a moratorium on smart meter installations until these public health questions are resolved.
Children are at particular risk due to their thinner skulls and more rapidly dividing cells. With the already unprecedented amount of radiation we are inundated with from cell towers, WiFi, cell phones, cordless phones, microwave ovens and so forth, do we really need this new layer?
In addition to the radiation, a congressional report in 2012 raised questions about cybersecurity and privacy. Hackers have already proven in tests that smart meters are vulnerable to attacks on the entire power grid and could lead to massive blackouts. At the very least, the meters, which provide hourly details on your electricity usage, could give a criminal who hacks in enough information to know when you’re not home.
The FBI released a cyber intelligence bulletin in 2012 in which they reported seeing an increase of smart meter hacking which allows “power theft” by consumers who want free electricity. In fact, hacking smart meters does not require extraordinary skills, only modest hacking skills. According to the FBI insiders and individuals with only a moderate level of computer knowledge are able to compromise meters with low-cost tools and software readily available on the Internet.
The FBI bulletin said one tool being used to hack was an “optical converter” which could be found online for about $400. The optical port, meant to allow diagnostics, “does not require removal, alteration, or disassembly of the meter.” Yet another no-skills-required attack method involves strong magnets that interfere with measuring the actual electricity used. Those magnets are removed during daylight hours in case a power company technician drops by to inspect the smart meter.
Smart Meters have failed to win over customers in areas where they have already been installed, but the worst is yet to come. Consumers will see that these meters will not only destroy the average cost pricing that have kept rates stable for 100 years and substitute dynamic price rates that will serve to raise our electric bills but will allow utility companies to control how we use electricity within our homes.
“It’s important to realize that whenever you give power to politicians or bureaucrats, it will be used for what they want, not for what you want.” Harry Browne