Smart meter emissions graph

Smart meter emissions graph

Ed note:  In the spirit of an image being equal to one thousand words, please look at the graph below.  The graph was created using data supplied to Auckland City Council (prior to the advent of the “super city” Auckland Council) by Mighty River Power.

Mighty River Power owns the smart metering business “Metrix” as well as four electricity retailers, namely Mercury Energy, Tiny Mighty, Bosco and Globug.  (The latter company provides a pre-pay electricity service in which customers have both a smart meter plus a second RF producing device (known as a Globug) installed in their home; you can read more about this system HERE.)

As a general rule, Metrix has been installing Elster gREX mesh network smart meters in its customers’ homes. These are a type of radio mesh meter.

 

New screenshot of smart meter emsisions graph

As you can see from the graph (which you can enlarge by clicking on it), at close range to the radio mesh network smart meter, the exposure from the meter when it is transmitting is very high.

Please also note that the limit for RF at 900 MHZ, according to NZ Standard (NZS) 2772.1:1999 is approximately 450 µW/cm2 (450 microwatts per centimetre squared).

However, under normal operating conditions, smart meters do not emit RF constantly – they emit RF in brief bursts.  Some smart meters produce RF every fifteen minutes; others may emit RF more or less often.  Testing of a smart meter in operation will show its emission profile.)

The graph above shows that during these brief emissions, the intensity of RF within a few centimetres of the smart meter is between 100 and 200 times 450 µW/cm2. But this is still legal, because if you average the meter’s emissions over six minutes (during most of which time the meter is not emitting at all) you come up with the answer that the average emission is practically zero.  (Time-averaging over six minutes is specified under NZS 2772.1:1999.)

To put the emissions into perspective, the report compiled by a coalition of scientist available at www.bioinitiative.org, just 0.1 microwatts per centimetre squared is recommended as the upper limit for human exposure. (Yes, that it just one tenth of one microwatt per centimetre squared.)

Fortunately smart meters are not compulsory in NZ so no one needs to put up with this type of unnecessary exposure to this type of radiation which is classified as a possible carcinogen (type 2B).

 

A note about units of measurement: Most of the posts on this site use microwatts per metre squared as a unit of measurement.  Using this measurement, the upper limit under NZS 2772.2:1999 is approximately 4.5 million microwatts per metre squared while the upper limit recommended in the BioInitiative Report is 1000 microwatts per metre squared.

Other posts on the site that discuss the emissions of different types of smart meters may be found HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE (under the Technical FAQs section).

 

NB:  If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

 

Takaka Fresh FM smart meter interview

Last week Katherine Smith (founder of  www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz) was interviewed by Sage Forest for the Fresh FM in Takaka.  The interview ran on Friday May 6 and focuses on the health problems reported after smart meter installations.

It will be available as a podcast on the website  at this link http://www.freshfm.net/Podcast.aspx (Scroll down and it will be listed on “Fresh Start Friday with Sage and Grant”.)

The interview will be repeated on the following dates on the Health Views show in mid June.

The dates are 11.40am Tues 14 June, replay 2.40 Friday 17th.

This will be able to heard live by going to the website for the radio station:

http://www.freshfm.net/Shows/

You will see a “Listen Live” icon on the left side of the site.

 

Thank you to Sage and Fresh FM for the opportunity to discuss the smart meter issue on this radio show.

 

 

NB:  To keep up to date with smart meter news in NZ, please sign up to the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz 

Cell phones don’t cause brain tumours. True or False?

A new study by Professor Simon Chapman et al which was published by Cancer Epidemiology has just been trumpeted in The Conversation and the Daily Mail as showing that cell phones don’t cause brain cancer.

But is this really the case?

The text of abstract alone gives rise to some observations and pertinent questions:

  • Why was 10 years chosen for a cut off point for the Chapman study?

The new Chapman study was designed to detect a 50% increase in incidence in brain cancer assuming that this excess risk should show up at 10 years of cellular phone use.

By comparison, world renowned Australian neurosurgeon Charlie Teo (whose surgical skill has saved or extended the lives of many brain tumour patients) has been quoted (in 2008 as saying:  “If you look at the science on mobile phones and the link with brain cancer, it is quite compelling … we know that [ionising] radiation causes cancer, but it takes about ten years for it to develop, so we know that electromagnetic radiation [from phones] is going to take at least ten years to create brain tumours and possibly longer fifteen, twenty years.” [emphasis added]

Moreover, a major study by Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg published in 2014, showed a significant increase in glioma (a common, and unfortunately often fatal, type of brain tumour) for people who used both mobile and cordless phones.

The 2014 study (published in the journal Pathophysiology) showed that the brain tumour risk was highest after 25 years of mobile phone use and after 15-20 years of cordless phone use.

See:  https://lennarthardellenglish.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/new-study-confirms-increased-risk-for-glioma-associated-with-use-of-mobile-phones-and-cordless-phones/

According to the Chapman study, mobile phones were introduced into Australia 29 years ago. Given that the Hardell study shows that it takes 25 years (or more) exposure for the maximum increase in cell phone-related brain cancers to be detected, it is perhaps not surprising that the 2016 Chapman study did not find a significant excess risk.

According to the Chapman study abstract, cell phones were introduced into Australia in 1987 (only 29 year ago). While today over 90% of Australians are estimated to use a cell phone, at the time of the introduction of this technology to the country in 1987, only a small minority of people actually used a cell phone.  (Even by 1993 only 9% of the population was estimated to use a cell phone.)  On this basis, relatively few Australians would have had 25 years of exposure to cell phones over the period examined by the study and this would have biased the study towards a “no effect” result.

Was the Chapman study designed to reach the conclusion that cell phones don’t cause cancer?

There is no information about any of the authors’ possible conflicts of interest on the study abstract.

However, Professor Simon Chapman appears to have (or have had) links with the cellular phone industry.

He is the co-author of a paper that examined the impact of cellular phones in emergency situations. (The paper showed that cell phones can be of assistance in helping people get help quicker in emergencies such as car accidents or being lost in the bush.)  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457598000347

The full text version of this paper acknowledges that funding for the study was provided by AMTA (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association).

Simon Chapman is also the author of a book called Lifesavers and cellular samaritans : emergency use of cellular (mobile) phones in Australia.

In the worldcat.org listing for the book Simon Chapman is listed as the primary author, WN Schofield and the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) are listed as being the second and third authors, respectively.  AMTA is listed as being the publisher of the book. (See;  http://www.worldcat.org/title/lifesavers-and-cellular-samaritans-emergency-use-of-cellular-mobile-phones-in-australia/oclc/225258977)

It is interesting, given this publication record, that Simon Chapman does not declare any conflict of interest in the relevant section of the paper.  He could for example, have included a statement to the effect that he has received funding from a telecommunications industry body (AMTA) for a previous paper.  (On the other hand, I do not know the disclosure policy for the journal; perhaps authors are required to disclose only funding specifically relevant to the particular paper rather than sources of funding for past work.)

Conclusion:

Regardless of whether Professor Simon Chapman does or does not have any telecommunications industry links that may (or may not) have biased his new paper, in my opinion, the media coverage of his 2016 paper is potentially extremely destructive to public health.

It is apparent from the Hardell studies that cellular and cordless phone risk are similar to cigarette smoking in that it can take decades of heavy smoking before lung cancer develops – and of course not all heavy smokers develop lung cancer, although they may suffer from other smoking-related conditions.

With an estimated 90% plus of Australians using cellular phones (and a similar proportion of people in NZ), twenty five years from now we could easily be looking at a significant number of people developing brain tumours that could have been avoided had there been clear public health messaging to avoid cordless and cellular phone use – except in an emergency.

As it is, the publicity given to Simon Chapman’s 2016 study means that most people are likely to believe that cellular phone use is safe.  On the basis of the messages in the media relating to Simon Chapman’s 2016 study, they may even allow their children to use cellular phones, even though Hardell’s Pathophysiology paper showed that the risks from mobile (and cordless phone) use are higher in people who begin using these wireless phones prior to the age of twenty.

Today virtually everyone knows that smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer. (Based on US insurance statistics a white male who smokes has about 10 times the lifetime risk of developing lung cancer as a non-smoking white male.)

However, while the smoking-lung cancer connection is now so well known it is practically taken for granted, this was not always the case.  For decades, as genuine research on smoking and disease was being published, so too was tobacco industry funded research also published.  This industry sponsored research (aka “tobacco science”) caused confusion in the public and resulted in many people continuing to smoke because they believed that it was safe – and consequently caused many, many unnecessarily early deaths.

A failure by mainstream media to inform the public about the research that demonstrates links between cellular and cordless phone use and cancer could have the same tragic consequences.

Ed note: If you think that this article is important, please share it, thank you!

 

Cellular phone use safety tips:

I realise that many people do have jobs that require them to use a cellular phone.

There is information to help you reduce the risks of unavoidable cellular phone risk at this link: http://www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/childrens-health-and-development/how-to-reduce-your-exposure-to-emr/

Please note that ideally, cellular phone use should be minimised, because the more cellular phones are used, the more cellular phone infrastructure is need to support the phones’ use – and living close to cellular phone base stations has been associated with increased risk of cancer in several studies, for example, the one that you can read HERE.

Links

Link to Daily Mail article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3576681/Mobile-phones-DON-T-increase-risk-brain-cancer-30-year-study-concludes.html

Link to abstract of Prof. Simon Chapman et al’s 2016 study:

http://www.cancerepidemiology.net/article/S1877-7821%2816%2930050-9/abstract

 

More info

if you are interested in receiving newsletters from www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz (mostly about smart meters but occasionally about other technologies that produce miocrowave radiation) there is a free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz )

Newstalk ZB smart meter discussion April 2016

There was a Newstalk ZB smart meter discussion in April 2016.

One of the hosts for the talkback radio station Newstalk ZB had a discussion of smart meters on air on April 5, 2016.

You can hear some of the discussion at the links below, along with some commentary.  There are a lot of different perspectives expressed by people who call in to speak to the host, Marcus Lush.

Newstalk ZB on smart meters April 2016

 

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FErPRZ5QKQs&nohtml5=False
Part 2: https://youtu.be/Q9X4_dEq7VU
Part 3: https://youtu.be/B0ovuRO1rtI
Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYW1BvJH5TI
Part 5: https://youtu.be/ADu6RAaCW0M

Please note that if you want to keep up to date with the smart meter news in NZ, you can join the free email list at www.stopsmartmeter.org.nz

Retired nurse succeeds in having smart water meter removed

Website editor’s note:  The piece below was contributed by a retired nurse, who had previously reported how a smart water meter had been installed outside her home without her permission.

Her latest contribution to this site shows the power of a simple letter refusing a smart water meter. 

If everyone in Waiuku were to refuse to participate in the smart water meter trial this could have a big positive impact for the Auckland region.

 

Retired nurse succeeds in having smart water meter removed

 

Earlier this week, I saw Watercare personnel in the street. [Ed note:  Watercare is the “Council Controlled Organisation” that provides water and waste water services to most people who live in the Auckland region.]

 

On enquiring what they were doing, three Pacifica/Maori guys said they were changing all the [water] meters to “smart” meters.

 

When I said to the men that I didn’t want one and said why, a Pakeha older man “flew” out of the truck and proceeded to tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about – the meters were akin to cell phones. He just about had an apoplectic fit when I remarked that cell phones are not safe either. [Ed see this link for a discussion of some of the research on cell phones and brain and other cancers.]

He calmed a little when I explained the two cards in my mail box within four days, the first saying the water meter outside my fence didn’t need to be changed, the second saying that a “smart” one had been fitted as part of a trial.

He told me that the meter wasn’t mine and it wasn’t on my property. I replied that it served my property; also that Counties Power’s meter wasn’t mine either, but it served my property, and the outcome of my letter to them. [You can read about how this contributor successfully avoided the installation of a smart electricity meter at this link.

I emphasised that smart meters are not compulsory, and those of us who are knowledgeably informed about them shouldn’t have them forced on us.

On his advice to contact the PTB immediately, I proceeded to write my letter – using your template for refusing a smart water meter at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FORMAL-NOTICE-OF-NON-CONSENT-FOR-SMART-WATER-METER.docx

[Ed note:  Please note that since this template letter was posted, the email addresses for the Minister of Health and some other people have changed;  these will be updated as my time allows or you can google them.]

I found that most of the politicians/email addresses are now outdated – had to find the relevant ones. The Auckland Council’s CEO’s email [was] nowhere to be found and I told someone at Council that such info should be on the website and easy to find. I was given Stephen Town’s email address.

I received acknowledgments from Auck. Council people within 24 hours – nothing from any of the politicians.

I included in my letter a copy of most of my letter to Counties Power in 2014 (which may be read at this link), including their subsequent intimation that my address had been removed from their installation list.

Yesterday, hand-delivered to my mail box was a letter from Watercare Project Mgr, Waiuku Smart Meter Trials, confirming that the smart meter has been removed.

 

Ed note:  This is a great example of how one person is making a difference. 

A successful trial of smart meters by Watercare in Waiuku could potentially lead to smart water meters being foisted upon everyone in the Auckland region. 

This retired nurse has paved the way for successful refusal of a smart water meter, please share this link with everyone you may know in the Waiuku and encourage them to do likewise.

More information about smart water meters (including reasons to refuse their installation) are at this link: www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/category/smart-water-meters-2/

 

To stay up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Value your privacy? You may want to refuse a smart meter…

Editor’s note:  The article below is a guest contribution to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz sent in by Andrew from Nelson.  If you would like to contribute an article or share a personal experience related to a smart meter. you can contact us via this link

 

Information risk

There’s been a lot of concern about these proposed ‘smart meters’ and the microwave radiation they produce. It’s not been proven dangerous but not proven entirely safe either.

[Ed note:  There is published research on adverse health effects reported following smart meter installations; please see this link for more information: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/peer-reviewed-journal-publishes-article-on-smart-meter-health-effects/ ]

The only certain thing about it is that the risk – whatever it may be – is to customers, for the benefit of power companies, who are promoting the things.

There is another undeniable risk. These meters collect and send away a disturbing amount of information about every household’s habits. A normal meter adds up the total you use and the reader comes once every two months. There’s not much you can find out about a customer from that, except the intended thing, namely what their bill should be.

But these smart meters measure how much your family uses every half hour of every day, and hand it to your power company, via the network company. This is called ‘time of use metering’. And it’s completely new for household users. A few years ago these meters measured the power you use each half-hour down to the nearest 1/000th of a unit. To put this in perspective, if you get up at night, turn on one lightbulb and are not back in bed within 36 seconds, it’s got you logged. Electronics will only have got more powerful since then.

Whether your particular meter has a radio modem or the meter reader comes at the end of the month with a ‘smart’ reader and hooks it onto your ‘smart’ meter so it can suck out the whole month’s half-hourly readings, the data collected is much the same.

When the network company came to promote ‘smart’ meters they were asked “Who owns the information you intend to collect, what will it be used for and who might it be handed on to?” The answer was “That’s a good question. You’d better consult your power company’s terms and conditions.” So here’s a selection from various power companies’ terms and conditions. Look it up if you don’t believe it!

“We may, at any time, replace the meter on your premises with a smart meter or install a remote meter reading device on your existing meter.

“You agree that we own all metering data and any other data collected by the meter.

“We will use any personal information collected …for the purposes of…
* conducting data analysis to identify particular products and services that may be of interest to you;
* to avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution and punishment of offences

Welcome to 1984! Of course nobody’s going to look through your time-of-use power bill to see what they can sell you. But they will use specialist companies who program computers to do exactly that – to the whole customer base. It’s called ‘data mining’ and it’s routine.

Time of use data can already suggest when you’re on holiday, whether there are school kids in the house, when you get up and go to bed, how much TV you watch, whether you cook at home or buy fast food, and what you do at the weekend. Think about it a bit and you will see how. And it’s only going to get worse as our houses fill up with ‘smart’ appliances that talk to each other.

What about the security of your data? It’s probably protected by ‘128 bit encryption’ which nobody hacks by brute force, and your power company will hold it in accordance with the Privacy Act. Sounds reassuring. Except accidents with huge amounts of people’s data are all too often in the news. And there’s always a criminal element lurking. It could be high-tech hacking but it doesn’t have to be. Bribery and blackmail work just as well in ‘big data’ as anywhere. Your time-of-use data could slip through the internet unseen, and it would be a godsend to burglars.

It’s worth stating the blindingly obvious: the purpose of having an electricity meter is to calculate our bill, not to target advertising at ourselves. And the last thing we need is to have our metering data taken from us, analysed, and turned back on us insidiously to make us dissatisfied with what we have so that we buy more stuff.

In Silicon Valley they say ‘SMART’ stands for ‘surveillance marketed as revolutionary technology’, and they have a point. Once again, the only certain thing is that the risk – whatever it may be – is to customers, for the benefit of power companies, who are promoting the scheme.

In the end, what is in it for us customers to have a ‘smart meter’ in our house? We’ve used electricity and paid our bills according to normal meters since forever, and it works. If you have a huge solar panel that generates for the grid, you may need a high-tech meter. But for the rest of us – and that’s nearly everybody – the best way to know our time of use data is not being abused is not to create it in the first place.

Just tell your power company that you do not consent to having any kind of ‘time-of-use’ meter or ‘smart’ meter. If necessary, change to a company that doesn’t insist on one. They’ll get the message pretty quickly.

 

Value your privacy?  You may want to refuse a smart meter…

Smart meters are NOT compulsory in NZ and many NZers are refusing smart meters- and not just because of the privacy risks.  You can find a good summary of some of the other reasons that people are refusing smart meters at this link.

Please note that if you would like to receive email updates on the smart meter issue for NZ, you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Latest smart meter fire updates

The website www.takebackyourpower.net (from which you stream or purchase a copy of the award-winning smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power has a comprehensive new report and also a video on smart meter fires and explosions.

 

The link to the report and video is below:

 

Smart Meter Fires: Burning meters, burning questions, shocking answers (video)

 

Smart meter fire information for New Zealand

Information about smart meters and fires in NZ may be found at this link:

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/are-smart-meters-causing-fires-in-new-zealand/

 

Ed note: Please note that smart meters are not compulsory in NZ and many NZers are successfully refusing smart meters for a variety of reasons, some of which are detailed at this link.

If you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter situation in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

High readings from smart meter in Hikurangi, Northland

Website editor’s note:  The following report has been contributed by Whangarei journalist Clare Swinney. 

High readings from smart meter in Hikurangi, Northland

A woman in Hikurangi, Northland had concerns about the radiofrequency radiation, (RFR) emissions from the smart meter installed on her family’s home and asked her power provider if it could be removed.  She was advised by an unsympathetic employee that it would not be removed, as the emissions were no different from those emanating from other RFR-emitting devices around the home.

The homeowner decided to get the meter, which is a Landis + Gyr E350, tested.

In order to test the smart meter’s RFR emissions, a Cornet ED78S Electrosmog meter was used and held approximately one foot away at about midday on Monday the 28th of March, 2016.

A few seconds after the Electrosmog meter was turned on a reading of 230milliWatts/ meter squared, (mW/m2) was witnessed.  This was a few seconds before a video camera was turned on, and this emission was then quickly followed by 5 other high emissions, which were recorded on video and were as follows: 240.0 mW/m2, 205.0mW/m2, 230.1mW/m2,  230.1mW/m2 and 219.7mW/m2. There were about 5 second intervals between each of these emissions of radiofrequency radiation.

According to the science-based conclusions in the Bioinitiative Report 2012, bioeffects are clearly established and occur at very low levels of exposure to RFR.   Thus, the comparatively low level of 0.1mW/m2 and below is regarded as safe for during the daytime and 0.01mW/m2 ideal for the night.  Clearly, these repeated bursts of levels over 200mW/m2 were unsafe, particularly at a family home.

The homeowner contacted Nova Energy Limited the next day, as she had heard that this company was considerate of those who did not want a smart meter.    This was confirmed as a Nova agent* advised that they will do what they can to try and get the smart meter removed, but this will be at a yet unspecified cost to the homeowner.   This may be in the vicinity of between $120 and $160, based on other recently received reports.

Here is the video: https://youtu.be/r4c4zIciLPc 
 

*Note: Nova recently organised the installation of a new Ferraris analogue meter at a home in Christchurch using the services of a company called Legacy Metering Group; please see this link for details.

Smart meters are NOT compulsory in NZ

If you do not want to be exposed to unnecessary microwave radiation from a smart meter, you can say no to a smart meter.

While some staff from some electricity retailers have reportedly made claims to the effect that smart meters are compulsory or some sort of government requirement, it is NOT compulsory to have a smart meter in NZ.

If you already have a smart meter you can ask your electricity retailer to organise for the smart meter to be removed. Another possible option is for the modem and any ZigBee chip in the smart meter (these are the parts of a smart meter which produce pulses of RF radiation*) to be removed.

You can read about this option at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/

 

Many people in NZ are saying “NO” to smart meters

If you do not already have a smart meter, and do not want to expose yourself to the potential risks of smart meters, which include health and fire risks, as well as higher bills, you may like to read this link to find out about how other New Zealanders are successfully preventing smart meters from being installed at their homes and businesses.

You can read a summary of why many people are saying no to smart meters HERE.

 

NB: If you would like to keep up to date with information about the “smart” meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz. Thank you

Northland Woman Successfully Stopped Company From Installing A Smart Meter

Website editor’s note: The following report comes from Whangarei journalist Clare Swinney. (To find out more about Clare’s recent work on the smart meter issue, including measuring smart meter emissions, please type “Clare Swinney” (without the speech marks) into the search box at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz.)  

 

Northland Woman Successfully Stopped Company From Installing A Smart Meter

 

I have been hearing repeatedly that Meridian insists that their customers must “upgrade” to a smart meter, or find another power provider.  This evidently is not true in all cases.

An elderly lady who lives in Tutukaka, Northland phoned and advised the following on the 25th of March, 2016:

She got a letter from her power provider, Meridian on the 5th of February, 2016, which is attached.  It was a standard letter, sent to advise customers that Meridian was “upgrading” meters in the area and that hers was scheduled for replacement.  It mentioned that this “upgrade” was to improve service and ensure that her meter was “certified and compliant.”

As she did not want a smart meter, she contacted Meridian and asked if the new meters were mandatory.  The Meridian agent whom she spoke to told her that they were not, so she replied that she did not want one.    The Meridian employee then tried to sell the virtues of the new meters, also referred to as “advanced” meters, and advised that her current meter may not be read monthly, but only once every 2-3 months if she didn’t get a new one.   She told the Meridian employee that this was quite acceptable to her.   The Meridian employee also advised that a “smart” meter would be installed anyway when the current meter’s certification lapses.

She checked on her meter box and to her jubilation she saw that it was last certified in December, 2014, meaning that the certification would not expire until 2029.   She advised Meridian.

(Ed note:  If your meter box is not easy to access, sending an email to the Electricity Authority is another way of finding out when your meter’s certification is due to expire.  You can find out more about this by clicking HERE.)

She recently noticed that her neighbors had had smart meters installed, but fortunately, she still has her old analogue meter.

She said she was upset that “smart” meters were putting hundreds of meter readers out of work and when it was mentioned to her that the radiofrequency radiation emitting from them may affect bees, she said that her son, who lived on an adjoining property, had had two hives, but one had died.   She did not know if this had anything to do with the “smart” meter installed on his property or not.
 

Smart meters are not compulsory in NZ

While some staff from some electricity retailers have reportedly made claims to the effect that smart meters are compulsory or some sort of goverment requirement, it is NOT compulsory to have a smart meter in NZ and  if you already have a smart meter you can ask your electricity retailer to organise for the smart meter to be removed. Another possible option is for the modem and any ZigBee chip in the smart meter (these are the parts of a smart meter which produce pulses of RF radiation*) to be removed.

You can read about this option at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/comparing-analogue-ferraris-meters-with-smart-meters-which-have-had-the-modem-removed/

 

Many people in NZ are saying “NO” to smart meters

If you do not already have a smart meter, and do If you do not want to expose yourself to the potential risks of smart meters, which include health and fire risks, as well as higher bills, you may like to read this link to find out about how other New Zealanders are successfully preventing smart meters from being installed at their homes and businesses.

You can read a summary of why many people are saying no to smart meters HERE.

 

NB: If you would like to keep up to date with information about the “smart” meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz. Thank you

Smart meter data a “goldmine”

The website http://smartgridawareness.org has reported on how companies consider the data that smart meters can generate to be a “goldmine.”

The story quotes Miles Keogh, director of grants and research at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners as saying:

I think the data is going to be worth a lot more than the commodity that’s being consumed to generate the data,”

(Full story at this link:  http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/12/31/smart-meters-generate-gold-mine-of-data/)

 

Smart meters and privacy in NZ

The NZ electricity industry doesn’t say much in public about smart meter data, but as www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz reported back in 2014, even at that time, two electricity companies (Genesis and its subsidiary EnergyOnline) claimed to own the data obtained by “smart meters” in their customers’ homes and to have the right to supply this data to “third parties”.  (See this link for details: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/is-your-smart-meter-spying-on-you/

Perhaps more NZ companies are also taking this attitude now.  If you value your privacy, check the terms and conditions in your electricity supply contract – and/or insist on a type of meter that simply measures the electricity you use and cannot collect or store data.

 

Editor’s note:  Privacy reasons are not the only reasons why increasing numbers of New Zealanders are refusing smart meters; please read this link for more info: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/why-people-are-saying-no-to-smart-meters/

If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for email updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

Assertive approach foils “aggressive” smart meter installer

Website editor’s note:  The account below was contributed by a business person who has chosen to remain anonymous.

The events described below show how a calm and assertive manner can result in a successful outcome – even if a smart meter installer acts in an unprofessional and unpleasant manner.

 

I am a retailer who opposes smart meters.   I have a sign on the shop’s power meter stating: “NO SMART METER!”

I share the meter with an individual who lives above the shop.   Unfortunately, he gave consent to his power provider to install a smart meter, and consequently, a contractor arrived looking very official and somewhat self important, ready to install one.   He showed  me his name tag and announced that he was installing a smart meter.    I asked him if he had read my: “NO SMART METER!” sign and then I informed him that he would not be installing a smart meter.     He replied: “It’s for the household upstairs” and I replied: “Give me a minute to talk to him and I promise that when I have finished he also will not want a smart meter”.

The contractor then became aggressive and said: “You don’t own the meter!”   and I answered: “Neither do you!”

The contractor demanded explanations and told me that I represented .02% of the population and asked why don’t I just go along with everything and why do I have to be difficult.   He then said that the amount of the emissions from the smart meter was no more than what comes off one cell phone.

His manner was aggressive and threatening.

I asked him why he was raising his voice and getting upset and told him that I was not obliged to give him any reasons as to why I did not want a smart meter.   He once again mentioned that I was in the .02% of the population.

I  reminded him that it is not a law to have a smart meter installed, that we are still allowed to think for ourselves in New Zealand and if I represent .02%, my thoughts and opinions  still count.   I asked him to change his tone and attitude and asked him to please leave my premises.     As he was leaving I called out to him and said “Excuse me mister,  just thought I’d let you know that I don’t care what you think.”

I did not enjoy my experience and phoned Northpower to complain about the aggressive man trying to bully people into having a smart meter.  Northpower did a track for me and were able to verify that he was not one of their employees, as their employees are instructed to respect the wishes of the householder.   They realized that this particular man was a contractor and suggested to me that he would be upset because each meter was worth money to him.   Northpower suggested I ring Genesis Energy, as this was the company that had a contract with him.   This I did and I filed my complaint and asked for an explanation concerning the bullying behavior of the contractor.  I  asked that the contractor never come into my shop again, because next time I would ring the police.

I later received a letter of apology from Genesis.

I would also like to mention the resident upstairs from my shop has changed power companies and now fully supports my stand against smart meters.

 

Editor’s note:  Some of the many reasons why increasing numbers of New Zealanders are refusing for smart meters to be installed may be read at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/why-people-are-saying-no-to-smart-meters/

If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for email updates at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

NB: If you wish to report a smart meter related problem (for example new symptoms after a smart meter installation or a fire or bullying behaviour on the part of a smart meter installer or staff in any electricity company, you may do this through the contact form at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

All correspondence is treated in confidence and information received is not posted on this website unless permission is given for this to be done.

Smart meter education campaign at Whangarei Farmers’ Market

Smart meter education campaign at Whangarei Farmers’ Market

Everyone who has ever been to Whangarei for more than a day or two knows that the place to be on Saturday morning is the amazing Whangarei Famers market where you can buy great fresh produce and other treats grown and farmed in Northland.

It’s the perfect place for a smart meter education campaign to reach lots of people.

Below you can see photos of the Whangarei activists’ new initiative:

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

The eye-catching signs (some of which had previously been on display in Betty Hooper’s garden) allowed people to engage with the message in their own time and became a focus of interest and discussion.

The photos of the smart meter education campaign at Whangarei Farmers’ Market were taken on February 27, 2016.

 

 

NB: If you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you

 

 

Nelson Lady Feeling A Lot Better After Smart Meter Modem Removed & Wifi Turned Off

Nelson Lady Feeling A Lot Better After Smart Meter Modem Removed & Wi-Fi Turned Off

Website editor’s note: The text below was contributed by a lady from Nelson.  It is adapted from an account she wrote on her experiences and share on Facebook.  The editor of www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz has no financial interest in the products mentioned in this contribution. 

I didn’t think I was sensitive to radiofrequency radiation, but I started feeling really tired and fatigued not long after Contact, my electricity supplier, installed a smart meter on my home. I didn’t know they had until the night I arrived home and saw the lights flashing on it.

I had been feeling so irritated and grumpy from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep, all day, every day for a few months now and it was getting worse. I had headaches more than I have ever done before and felt really exhausted, so much so that I couldn’t do much at all and this feeling was intensifying.

A friend suggested I watch this talk, which I dare others to watch: “Smart Meters” & EMR: The Health Crisis Of Our Time – Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. It made me realize that the fatigue and headaches I had been suffering from were probably attributable to all the radiofrequency radiation I was being exposed to, including from the wifi when I used my computer, and the smart meters at both my home and work.

I contacted Contact Energy and asked them to remove the smart meter.

Today Contact Energy removed my smart meter chip and modem for $120, so it is now a readable meter emitting no radiofrequency radiation. It was very interesting talking with the young electrician who removed the modem, as he told me of a conversation he had with an ex-US military man who said he would never get a smart meter, because they use that technology to get people out of buildings, as the people in them get sick and leave.

(Ed note: Some types of smart meter are capable of producing an amount of microwave radiation that may exceed the national standard if the meter were to transmit continuously, instead of intermittently.  Please see this post for details)

I talked with another friend who got me what is called a Nu-me pendant – I confess I didn’t really believe it would work, but was willing to try anything. Wearing it lifted my mood. It was quite amazing. By the time I got home from work I had more energy than I had had for a long time. I still feel good – back to my old self – the irritated feeling has gone, so has the fatigue – I have energy. You can contact her via her FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/orgonizelife/?ref=ts&fref=ts

My house is also now Wi-fi free, as I have turned the Wi-fi off and am using an ethernet cord on my computer instead. Wi-fi emits radio frequency radiation also, as smart meters do. WiFi Radiation – Dangers of WiFi – See It Measured – How To Remediate WiFi Radiation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICA19oKPi5I

It was such a subtle shift in my health that took place, that I didn’t notice at first – what got me, as it was so persistent and I couldn’t shake, was the feeling of irritation.  The meter was in for about 4 months.  The change in my health was so subtle and it built up until I felt in a manner of speaking, overloaded.

I don’t think I should have to pay the $120 for the modem’s removal and will look into this further, as I was not provided with informed consent prior to the installation of this so-called “smart” meter.

 

Ed note: In most cases of which I am aware, people who have needed to have the modem removed from a smart meter because they have become ill after its installation have unfortunately had to pay to have this done.

 

NB: If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up for the email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz

This link also includes a search facility to allow you to search the website for topics of interest.

Are you a landlord? Find out how a smart meter could impact on your investment

Important information for landlords

 

“Smart” meters (also called “advanced” meters) are NOT compulsory in NZ even though some electricity company staff have made claims to this effect.

 

As a landlord, unless you pay the electricity bill for the property, you are unlikely to get prior notice that a smart meter is due to be installed at your rental property – even though a smart meter installation has the potential to impact adversely on your investment.

 

Many New Zealanders are refusing to have smart meters installed because of the problems with health issues, fires and higher bills that have been reported after smart meter installations.

 

A brief summary of some of the potential problems with smart meters are detailed below:

 

 

Reported health issues:

If your tenants became ill…how would this impact on their ability to pay their rent?

Smart meters produce microwave radiation (also called radiofrequency or RF radiation) which has been classified as a “possible carcinogen” (type 2B) by the World health Organisation’s International agency for Research on Cancer. (Please see this link for more information about smart meters and health.)

Many people have reported unpleasant symptoms after moving into a home with a smart meter, or after a smart meter has been installed at their home.

NB: Two examples of how NZers have been adversely affected by smart meters may be read at this link and this link.

The website www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz has received reports of symptoms after smart meters installations which have been sufficiently severe as to require medical attention and medical investigations, including heart function irregularities. The symptoms that have been most commonly reported in NZ to date are sleeping difficulties and headaches.

Potential for higher bills

If your tenants’ electricity bill doubled or even tripled (with no change in their electricity use) how would this impact on their ability to pay the rent?

While a smart meter installation does not always lead to an increase in electricity bills, many people have reported higher electricity bills after a smart meter has been installed.

(If you go to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz and type “bills” into the search box you will find a few articles about this aspect of smart meters.) Some people have reported doubling or tripling of electricity bills.

NB: There are a few different ways by which smart meters may increase electricity bills.

These include the fact that electronic meters measure electricity differently from the traditional electromechanical (Ferraris) “analogue” meters. (You can read about this here.)

Smart meters can also allow for Time of Use pricing which electricity companies may use to charge more for power at times of the day when it is most needed (like winter afternoons and evenings.) This can result in an increase in bills with no change in electricity use. (Please see this link for details: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/what-is-time-of-use-tou-pricing-and-how-could-it-affect-you/ )

Smart meters can also measure a contaminant on the electricity lines known as “reactive power” or “reactive energy” and although it cannot be used by lights or appliances, a request for information made to the Electricity Authority under the Official Information Act shows that companies are legally allowed to charge for this useless electricity. If useless reactive power is added to bills, bills can increase significantly.

 

 

Possible risk of fire and reported electrical problems

If your rental property burned down as a result of a faulty or poorly installed smart meter, do you know if your insurance coverage would be adequate?

There have been problems with fires and reported electrical problems after some smart meter installations in NZ. For more information about this, please see the following links:

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/are-smart-meters-causing-fires-in-new-zealand/

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/smart-meters-causing-electrical-problems/

 

A smart meter may make your investment in a heat pump virtually worthless when it is most needed

If you have just spent up to three thousand dollars or so on a heat pump (or plan to purchase one) please read this first….

A smart meter at a property that you own has the potential to make the investment that you have made in a heat pump pretty well worthless to tenants when the heat pump is most needed.

How?  Some smart meters on the NZ market contain what is a called a “ZigBee” chip which is another microwave radiation emitting device in the smart meter. This ZigBee can be used communicate with some appliances in a home.  Some heat pumps have what is called “demand response” functionality which means that they are designed to be able to controlled by other electronic devices such as a smart meter.

In cold weather, a smart meter that contains a ZigBee could be used to take command of a heat pump that has “demand response” functionality and turn it down to its lowest setting. This could be done remotely by the electricity retailer or lines company (or whatever company could interface with the smart meter.)

If your tenants’ heat pump were remotely turned down (by their electricity retailer or lines company) to its lowest setting at a time when the weather were at its coldest, it’s likely that your tenants will simply assume that their heat pump has developed a fault and call you (or the agency that manages their tenancy) to complain.

You can read more about this issue below, including which type of smart meters have ZigBees and how to tell whether a heat pump has “demand response” functionality.

However, there is a very simple way that should ensure that your investment in a heat pump is not wasted  – and that is to refuse for smart meters to be installed at properties that you own.

 

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/smart-meters-heat-pumps-and-demand-response-functionality/

 

Many New Zealanders are still unaware of the potential risks of smart meters

Your tenants may be unaware of the potentials risks to their health, finances and safety.  They may therefore agree for a smart meter to be installed, or a smart meter may be installed at the property that they are renting by their electricity retailer or lines company (or other company) without prior notification.

If you would like to raise the topic of smart meters with your tenants to protect their health and safety and your investment, this link sums up many of the common reasons that people are refusing to have smart meters installed.

 

Please note that recent “Settlement Agreements” between the Electricity Authority and companies in the electricity industry shows that that the Electricity Authority supports companies offering an alternative type of electricity meter to people who refuse smart meters. (This link has more information about these settlement agreements.)

Some electricity meters in NZ do need to be replaced for regulatory reasons.

However, there are a variety of alternatives to smart meters on the NZ market including electromechanical meters (Ferraris) meters (the type where you can see a  horizontal metal disc rotating as power is being used) and electronic meters that have analogue displays.  There is also a new a company (Legacy Metering Group) that specialises in installing alternatives to smart meters for electricity retailers whose customers do not want smart meters.

 

NB: If you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you

 

NB: If you would like to keep up to date with the smart meter issue in NZ, please sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz Thank you

 

URGENT Smart water meter alert for Nelson and Waiuku

Documents on the website of the City of Nelson and also on the Auckland “Council Controlled” organisation “Watercare” show smart water meters are under consideration for parts of NZ.

 

Smart water meter alert for Waiuku

In the case of the Auckland region, a trial of smart water meters has been announced.  The meters are claimed to transmit once a day (compared to other smart water meters which have been trialed in NZ which transmit as often as every eight seconds – See;  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/) However as the Watercare website does not disclose the name or model of the smart water meter there is no way to independently confirm this claim.

Waiuku is in the part of the South Auckland/Franklin region where Counties Power has been installing Landis+Gyr smart meters which may provide another means of collecting data from smart water meters.

The smart water meters are claimed to be as safe as a cell phone which is not terribly reassuring given the link between cell phone use and brain tumours.

https://www.watercare.co.nz/COMMON-CONTENT/WATER-METERS/METER_REPLACEMENT_PROJECT/Pages/Waiuku-smart-meter-trial.aspx

Please note that in other parts of the country where smart water meters have been trialed, people have refused to be part of the trial.  If you wish to refuse to be part of this trial, there is a document that you may like to consider for use at this link.

www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FORMAL-NOTICE-OF-NON-CONSENT-FOR-SMART-WATER-METER.docx

Please encourage your neighbours to refuse, too.  If everyone who was offered the opportunity to be part of a smart water meter trial refused, then this could potentially stymie efforts to impose this unnecessary technology on people.   

The letter at the link below describes some of the health and privacy concerns about smart water meters and may be useful in educating your neighbours.

Letter sent to Mayor and Councillors of the Waikato District Council

 

NB: If you live in  Waiuku  and can offer any more information that may be helpful about the smart water meter issue for your town, you may contact www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz in confidence via the contact form at this link:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

Smart water meter alert for Nelson

 

A document on the website of the City of Nelson shows that smart water meters are being considered for the city and the brand and model of meter under consideration.

From the document, it appears that the meter being considered is the Neptune E-CODER R900 smart meter.  This type of smart meter transmits on 910-920 MHz band and produces pulses of microwave radiation every fourteen seconds.

You can see a youtube of this meter being tested below.

If you are offered a trial of this type of smart water meter (or any other type of smart water meter, for that matter), you may like to refuse to have it installed.

UPDATE on NELSON SMART WATER METER ISSUE (MARCH 4 2016)

The coordinator for www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz has received an email from a Nelson resident who has been informed by a Council staff member that the type of smart water meter that will be used for a trial of smart water meters in Nelson is a Sensus 640MC smart water meter.  As more information about this type of smart water meter is available, this website will be updated to reflect this.

In other parts of the country where smart water meters have been trialed, people have refused to be part of the trial.

If you do not want to be part of a smart water meter trial, there is a document that you may like to consider for use at this link.   www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FORMAL-NOTICE-OF-NON-CONSENT-FOR-SMART-WATER-METER.docx

If you are in an area where smart water meters are being trialed, please encourage your neighbours to refuse the installation of these meters, too.  If everyone who was offered the opportunity to be part of a smart water meter trial refused, then this could potentially stymie efforts to impose this unnecessary technology on people.   

 

The letter at the link below describes some of the health and privacy issues with smart water meters and may be useful in educating your neighbours. You may also like to recommend the smart water meter archive of our site at this link.

 

Letter sent to Mayor and Councillors of the Waikato District Council

 

If you live in the Nelson area and can offer any more information that may be helpful about the smart  water meter issue for your region, you may contact www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz in confidence via the contact form at this link:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

Thank you.

 

 

You may read about Nelson’s smart water meters plans at this link: https://nelson.civicweb.net/document/22492

 

NB: If you are in NZ, to get updates on the smart meter issue you can sign up to the free email list at  www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz