If you haven’t watched it yet, TV Producer and Burbank resident Jerry Day’s video commentary on smart meters has been a big hit. The idea of his “No Consent” form has been equally popular, and residents across the globe are now sending it or versions of it to their utilities.
Mr. Day joined other Burbank residents, on August 30, 2011, in voicing concerns and complaints about BWP’s smart meter program. BWP’s General Manager Ron Davis responded by telling the Mayor and City Council how safe the smart meters were. You can watch video of this as well as responses by our Mayor Jess Talamantes and City Council Members, at 2:15:35 (or click Item N: Public Comments to advance to that portion of the meeting): http://burbank.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=3909
Mr. Day has responded to Mr. Davis’ comments by writing and sending this Letter below on Sept. 2 to Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes and City Council Members. Mr. Day gave us his permission to share it with others.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subj: Ron Davis Has Attempted to Mislead the Council
Dear Mayor and Councilmembers,
Below are my responses and corrections to Mr. Davis’ dubious claims about the Smart Meter Program in Burbank. This is in reference to his comments to City Council on Tuesday, August 31, 2011. I would have preferred this be far more brief, but the misinformation presented at the Council meeting was extensive.
1) Mr. Davis claimed that the meters BWP is installing have been “vetted fully” for health effects and found to be safe. That is not only false, it is impossible. The Smart Meters being installed in Burbank are upgradable by hardware, firmware, and software by automated remote transmission so nobody even knows exactly what the meters may be doing tomorrow or anytime in the future. The manufacturer of the meter, General Electric, are happy to say that the meters can be upgraded to do things that are not, at this time, even known. The amount of EMF energy emitted can be dialed up and down remotely at any time by central control, so claims of current energy emission levels are meaningless. The question is not how much EMF pollution do they cause, but how much COULD they cause. That has not been disclosed.
2) Mr. Davis claimed the meters are “incredibly safe”. That is plainly false. There are complaints and protests nationally based on the very carefully and competently measured EMF pollution and the clinically documented symptoms of headaches, insomnia, cognitive impairment, cancer, rashes, and other symptoms which are directly associated with proximity to the operating Smart Meters. They are a liability time bomb for any municipality.
3) Mr. Davis stated, actually four times in his presentation, claims to the effect “They do not broadcast into the home.” This is apparently a deliberate lie. Not even the manufacturers (GE, Trillient, Siemens) of Smart Meters make any such claim. I have been told by reliable engineers who work in the field of Smart Meter technology that they emit radiation in a perfect sphere, like turning on a light bulb. There is no mechanism in a Smart Meter to “direct the beam”. It is not possible that Mr. Davis could have any reliable information on “beaming” of energy from Smart Meters because it is not done and cannot be done with current designs. The “directed beam” claim sounds like pure fantasy and only serves to impeach Mr. Davis’ credibility. The meters will be installed in every conceivable position and orientation next to people and structures so “beaming” would have to be done per installation to mitigate human exposure, and could never be done perfectly on any installation. The meters do not have facility for adjusting or directing emissions in that way, and if they did it would take a college degree to know how to sculpt the beam pattern to the particular surroundings. Ask Mr. Davis to show you how in the world the EMF radiation from a Smart Meter can be “directed” accurately away from people and toward pick-up receivers. For one thing, the data is relayed from house to house, meter to meter before transmitting to the collection receivers. How do you do that without GOING THROUGH THE HOUSE?
4) Mr. Davis claimed “We will not need to raise rates”. What does that mean? Burbank will send us a tax bill for the 60 million dollars? Did GE give them to us for free? Obviously the People of Burbank will be paying the 60 million one way or another. And by the way, Smart meters are circuit-based, not analog, which means that instead of lasting 20 years, the meters will become obsolete or fail in about 5 years, and then what, we spend another 60 million? What’s the plan? How is this being paid for?
5) Mr. Davis claimed that 51 people have opted out of Smart Meters. One of the speakers stated privately to me that in communications she believed she had been designated as somewhere around the the 500th opt-out by the power company. There are billions to be made in this program by a handful of companies, that money has apparently somehow influenced Mr. Davis to push hard for this program to the point of flatly misrepresenting the facts. His declaration of opt-out numbers should be independently verified.
6) Mr. Davis stated there would be “cost savings” and “no rate impacts” from the program. He also said that only nine jobs would be eliminated and those nine people would not be let go, but reassigned. That sounds like we are 60 million in the red. The “cost savings” comment was absolutely groundless, and most utility customers in other markets who report any change in energy costs from Smart Meters report skyrocketing costs and irrational billing errors. Mr. Davis needs to put some real numbers on paper and put a sworn oath on those projections.
7) Mr Davis claimed that “at 3 feet no radiation is felt”. This is an idiotic statement from a technical viewpoint. If you can “feel” the radiation you are getting cancer and having your reproductive DNA disintegrate in real time. If you can’t “feel” it the cancer and DNA damage may simply be happening a little slower. Young girls are born with their lifetime supply of eggs in their ovaries. Those eggs are especially susceptible to mutations and DNA damage from EMF radiation, and the birth defects those eggs are permanent an irreversible for all subsequent generations. Details are presented in videos of Barrie Trower, Physicist and microwave weapons expert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ao4Z5-RYTQ&feature=player_embedded
8) Mr. Davis claimed hardship if billing systems must be maintained for analog and digital metering. First, that does not seem like a major cost. BWP already has the analog system and is still using it, and has invested in the digital system and is using that as well. The savings of de-commissioning one of the systems would be negligible and if both are maintained for opt-outs Burbank will save millions in liability, protests, 5-year replacement of digital equipment and failure costs of the less reliable meters by those opting out.
9) Mr. Davis claimed “We have no appliance control or monitoring”. That makes no sense. Why are we buying meters designed to do that? To save 9 Meter Reader jobs? The appliance control and monitoring is how they recover the cost of the new meters. Notice that Mr. Davis has carefully avoided disclosing ANY POSSIBLE WAY the meters will be paid for. Well, they have to be paid for somehow. Customers will be penalized on their bills for “bad energy-use behavior”, “over-consuming at peak hours”, etc. That is the whole idea behind Smart Meters, to reduce consumption and use a “green” con job to jack up our bills. That is what is coming and if Mr. Davis does not admit that he is playing dumb. He’s supposed to have a grip on the fiscal mapping of the program. Okay, HOW WILL THE NEW METERS BE PAID FOR and why hasn’t he made that clear?
10) Mr Davis claimed that Smart Meters emit “one hundredth” the energy of a cell phone”. That is false. The Burbank meters are one watt, and the energy is emmitted in a pulse configuration like weaponized microwaves. That pulse pattern causes maximum damage to biological tissues. And contrary to Mr. Davis’ deceptive claim that “they only emit for 45 seconds a day”, The health risk of Smart Meter emissions is hundreds of times, some engineers say thousands of times more health risk than cell phones. The claim that the meters “only transmit for a few minutes a day” is only stated by those who wish to mislead the listeners. The pulse is two thousandths of a second, every two seconds, all day long. The “few minutes a day” idea is reached by adding up only the duration of the pulses. It’s like only counting the time a hammer actually is hitting your skull. Who cares how short the pulse is? Pulsed energy ruptures the blood-brain barrier in infants, it fragments DNA in all ages, it produces immediate debilitating symptoms in a defined segment of the population, it is known to cause cancer, it adds to the gross EMF pollution levels in the urban environment, and after installation and calibration, if the power company has a hard time reading the wireless data, the emissions and exposures can be jacked up remotely without anybody knowing it.
11) Councilmember Gordon asked Mr. Davis point-blank if more meters together, such as in an apartment house, would not compound the exposures to nearby residents. Mr. Davis came up with the preposterous idea that they would not. Of course, Mr. Davis had absolutely no logical explanation, much less technical reference for such a comment, and he should have been physically removed from Council chambers at that point. That arrogant fraud is simply abuse of the dignity of the Council as a deliberating body. As inexcusable as his statements are, the fact that Mr. Davis expects to actually get away with that puts him in question as a person who should, in any way, be allowed to apply his questionable judgment to public energy policy.
12) Mr. Davis claimed “These meters do not monitor inside the home”. Again, this is misleading in several ways. The meters do record energy use and current draw throughout the day. The dataset being collected and stored is very revealing with regard to internal activity. Further, a simple and inexpensive upgrade can easily configure the meters for appliance monitoring and control any time in the future. If Appliance monitoring and control is not in the Meters now it just means they are saving the cost of the upgrade until people have the chipped appliances in the next few years. I believe Mr. Davis knows this and deliberately
misled the Council.
13) Councilmember Gordon asked Mr. Davis if there would be an “opt out” program of any kind and Mr. Davis indicated there would not. Mr. Davis seriously thinks that regardless of injury, illness, death, unlawful privacy invasion, excess EMF pollution and exposures, equipment failures and frequent replacement costs and every other unforeseeable catastrophe or evidence that may arise, every last man woman and child in Burbank are to be forced to accept these devices attached to their personal living spaces. Pardon me, but that sounds insane. They should not be installed at all, much less on the entire population by force.
In short, Burbank City Council needs some alternative technical input on Smart Meters, EMF exposures and Constitutional Law. A good 30-minute technical overview of Smart Meters by Engineer and expert Rob States, M.S. can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLeCTaSG2-U&feature=related
On June 29, 2011 I sent a sworn and notarized affidavit to BWP informing them that they may not install a Smart Meter on my property, and anyone who so attempts will be charged with trespass, Federal wiretapping offenses, and I will add to that, endangering the public and my health with EMF exposure levels that are, for instance, prohibited by the EPA. I feel lucky to understand this issue before I am subject to the installation. There are going to be some very angry residents and business owners as these meters become better understood. This is not the first time BWP has tried to pass off some new and questionable policy without proper consult with ratepayers and customers. I believe it is time for a serious review and revision of BWP leadership.
Thank you for your efforts to ensure fairness, safety, health and rights on the Smart Meter issue.
Actions you can take: Sign our Petition, and write/send your Letter of Complaint about BWP’s smart meter program to Burbank City Manager Michael Flad (MFlad@ci.burbank.ca.us), Mayor Jess Talamantes and City Council (the Mayor and CC members can be e-mailed at CityCouncil@ci.burbank.ca.us), and BWP General Manager Ron Davis (RDavis@ci.burbank.ca.us). You can also cc the Burbank Leader Editor Dan Evans at: Dan.Evans@latimes.com
Also include in your Letter any suggestions and recommendations you have (solutions).