Smart Meter Petition

For Burbank, CA, residents only: Please sign and share with other Burbank friends and family this convenient on-line Petition and Letter of Request, prepared by Burbank resident group Burbank ACTION.  Please also feel free to write Comments about why you don’t want smart meters at your home and community.  A copy of this Petition/Letter (including your name, address, zip code, and any Comments you submit below) will be sent to Burbank Water & Power, the Gas Company, our City Mayor and City Council, our County, state and U.S. Congressional officials representing Burbank residents, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the Burbank ACTION website administrator. We will also send you update(s) on Burbank’s smart meters.

Burbank Residents Oppose Smart Meters – Petition & Letter of Request

Dear Burbank Water & Power (“BWP”), The Gas Company, Honorable Mayor Jess Talamantes, and City Council Members:

I am a Burbank resident and am opposed to Burbank Water & Power and The Gas Company smart meters.

I request that you put me on the “last to install” or “hold” list, and that you not install smart meters at my property. In fact, I do not give you my consent or permission to install them at my property. I affirm the right to keep my analog meters at no additional cost. I affirm the right to buy or move into a residence in Burbank and to have its smart meters (at no cost) replaced with analog meters.

I request that our Honorable Mayor and City Council send a Letter to The Gas Company and the Calif. Public Utilities Commission asking that they halt any scheduled or proposed installation of gas smart meters in Burbank.

I also request, as a public service, that you post on the City and BWP and The Gas Company home pages phone numbers that Burbank residents can call, and steps they can take, if they don’t want smart meters installed.

I oppose smart meters at my home and the wireless smart meter related antenna installed on light poles in Burbank due to some or all of the following concerns and reason(s):

  • Privacy and Security: “Big Brother” smart meters are real-time 2-way communication devices that collect too much personal info. The meters also have the capability of allowing utilities to shut off my appliances and power remotely. In addition, I don’t like the utilities or third parties knowing how much energy and what appliances I am using; this info can also be hacked or potentially sold to or shared with others.
  • Fire Danger: Smart meters have exploded and caught on fire, and also shorted out and damaged home appliances.
  • Security and Interference: Smart meters interfere with home security systems, motion-sensor devices, baby monitors and other appliances.
  • Higher bills, and Rate Hikes: Smart meters are associated with time-of-use or dynamic rate schedules, and I can’t always shift my energy use to certain times of the day. Other residents in California and across the nation report higher bills due to inaccurate smart meters.
  • Civil Liberties & Democracy: The Federal government, including the Department of Energy, doesn’t mandate smart meters on our homes, and I didn’t vote for, approve, or consent to a mandatory smart meter program. I also should not be forced to evacuate, abandon, move, or flee, from my own home or city due to smart meters that were approved for deployment without my consent or approval. I should also not be forced to pay for any fees for keeping my analog meters (“opting out”) in order to preserve and protect my home and life.
  • Consumer Choice: I do not have a choice in utilities, and there is no consumer “choice” in mandatory installation. Traditional Advanced Metering projects were voluntary or optional, requiring Opt Ins, because consumers were not required to bear the costs and risks. Thus, I should not be penalized by being forced to pay any extra fees to financially support: (1) this costly smart meter program; (2) the right to keep my analog meters.
  • Real Estate Value: Because other cities are banning smart meters, I do not want smart meters to become a “point of sale” issue that diminishes the value of my home.
  • Liability: I cannot afford to pay for any appliance or home repairs, privacy and security violations, increased insurance costs, and/or medical bills and expenses, due to smart meters, and thus hold BWP responsible for any costs, losses, damages, claims or expense, due to smart meters and their infrastructure.
  • HAN and Smart Appliances: Smart meter programs may require a wireless “Home Area Network” (HAN) and/or new wireless “smart” appliances in my home. This type of setup can allow utilities to shut off certain appliances, and can tell the utility and third parties what appliances I am using and when.  BWP should never be permitted to mandate these add-ons, nor should it be allowed to charge me fees or a higher rate for not having these add-ons, due to privacy, security, health, and/or cost reasons.
  • Health and Involuntary Radiation Exposure: Smart meters produce artificial microwave radiation exposure, and I do not want me and/or my loved ones, pets or friends to get sick from smart meters and their related wireless networks.  On May 31, 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified non-ionizing wireless radiation as a Class 2B carcinogen, on par with DDT, due to studies showing increased risk of brain cancer in long-term cell phone users. Peer-reviewed studies show this radiation also causes DNA damage, and decreases male fertility. Smart meters emit this same type of radiation 24/7, and can exceed the FCC’s public exposure safety standard.  While I can choose to not have wireless phones in my home or turn them off,  BWP smart meters are mandatory, they are being installed without my consent, and I cannot power them off.   Dr. David O. Carpenter, a Harvard M.D. and a Director at the Univ. at Albany’s School of Public Health, warns that there are no human health studies on smart meters showing they are safe.  Reported health effects from smart meters include: ear ringing, heart palpitations, headaches, body aches, skin rashes, insomnia, and tremors.
  • Bad Business: BWP’s estimated smart meter program comes with a $60 million price tag. This is a bad use of our hard-earned money that would be better spent on preserving and protecting more worthy community services and programs, especially during these tough economic times.  In fact, Helix Water District in San Diego nixed their smart meter program due to costs, and because only 9% of its smart meter  customers used the smart meter website to check their energy usage. Meanwhile, consumer advocates have deemed The Gas Company’s $1 billion dollar smart meter program as unnecessary because its costs are higher than its benefits, consumers will end up with higher bills while The Gas Company profits, and 1,000 meter readers will lose their jobs.

Moreover, national consumer groups like Public Citizen oppose mandatory smart meters and call them “dumb” because there are more efficient and less costly ways to reduce energy usage and costs. Public Citizen and AARP warn that caretakers, seniors, disabled, the unemployed, those on fixed or limited incomes, and those who spend most of their day working or living at home, are unable to shift their energy use (for instance, turn off their computers, TV sets, air conditioners or heaters) to accommodate the smart meter “time of use” rate schedule, and won’t be able to afford the higher bills. We should not have to choose between paying our utility bill or putting food on the table. More than 45 local governments in CA representing a population of 2.6 million have already taken action to oppose or ban smart meters in their communities, and/or support a community or statewide no-cost opt out. It’s time for Burbank to do the same.

Thank you for signing the Petition.  Please click “Submit” above to send.

Please go to our Burbank ACTION companion website for more details about smart meters, how to get on the “delay” installation list, and other actions you can take to keep your analog meters and oppose smart meters at your home and community.

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Petition Signatures and Comments from your fellow Burbank residents:

1.  Brian Smith

2.  Claire Jacobs

3.  Kevin Owers

4.  Heidi Madzar

5.  Bretigne Calvert: I do not recognize BWP’s right to install equipment on my property that I believe may have harmful health consequences for myself, my husband or my children. Please allow residents who do not wish to have “smart meters” on or near their homes to opt out at no additional cost. Thank you.

6.   Kiku Lani Iwata: I don’t want the costly “Big Brother” smart meters because they infringe on my privacy, and will lead to higher rates that our family can’t afford. I also do not want my 5-year-old daughter’s health to deteriorate due to the artificial radiation of the smart meters and their related antenna right next to her school. Who decided to make these mandatory? Who will be liable for the damages they cause? Other cities and counties have already taken action to oppose or ban smart meters or support no-cost options. State regulators are exploring and deciding on statewide options right now. Burbank should offer no-cost opt options and also stop its smart meter program now to protect its residents from assaults to our privacy, security, safety and health, and so we ratepayers and taxpayers won’t be stuck paying millions for BWP to meet or match what the rest of the state will be doing in respect to rejecting mandatory smart meters in their communities.

7.  Jerry Day: Smart Meters are, by definition, surveillance devices which record and store databases of private activities inside homes without the knowledge and consent of the occupants. This violates Federal and State laws and sometimes local ordinances on stalking, wiretapping, snooping, unauthorized collection, storage and sharing of personal records, and invasion of privacy. Any person who supports, funds, assists or partakes in the installation of Smart Meters is liable for civil damages and criminal violations amounting to major monetary damages and five years in prison per meter installed. We have served notice of refusal of the Smart Meter to BWP and we are prepared to move forward against any attempted violation.

8.  Igor Voyevodin

9.  Sean Hale: I had the smart meter installed at my house there was a huge increase in my bill using the new smart meter. I had not changed my power usage in anyway, yet the first bill after the smart meter was installed was $100 more than any bill I had ever received. I have 6 people living in my house and in these economic times, I simply cannot afford such a sudden and dramatic increase in my cost of living.

I WANT MY OLD METER BACK. BURBANK, YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY USING THIS TECHNOLOGY TO PRICE GOUGE YOUR CITIZENS. PLEASE CEASE AND DESIST!!!

10.  Shane Gregory: I am gravely concerned about the adverse health effects that I am experiencing as a result of the smart meters that were installed on my residence on July 28, 2011.

I have been unable to tolerate the headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, insomnia, and difficulty in concentrating. I have literally been driven from my home and the city in which I have lived for 23 years.

I am also concerned about the health and welfare of other individuals in our city.

I am very disappointed in BWP’s failure to follow through with its promise to contact me in this regard, made at August’s monthly meeting during public comments.

11.  Anna Nersesian: I oppose smart meter at my home and the wireless smart meter related antenna installed on light poles in Burbank due to privacy, security, rates, choice, liability, health, and overall bad business.

12.  Martha Jordan

13.  Armine Chalabian

14.  Maurce Cordell: Elderly residents like myself require more electricity to run either the AC unit when warm or the fan blower for the furnace when cold.  I can not reschedule my life around off-peak hours.

I am on a fixed income and can not afford extra charges to maintain myhealth.

Allow those like myself who do not want to charge the meter to keep the exiting one.

Anything for a dollar I suppose.

15.  Jeff Brunello: My wife and I work in the film industry as sound editors. Our livelihoods depend upon our hearing, and we cannot compromise our hearing by being exposed to your smart meter’s high-frequency noise. Even at low levels, prolonged exposure to steady frequencies leads to hearing loss at that frequency. Also, we are expecting our first child in October. We do not want any interference with the baby monitor, and your smart meter is documented to do just that. This is not a mandatory installation, so please respect our wishes and do not install it at our house. Also, we suspect that you are installing these to–among other reasons–eliminate the need for a meter reader to go house to house. With the unemployment rate being what it is, do you really think that it is humane, or helpful to the economy, to put even more people out of work and therefore give the consuming public even less dollars to spend on goods and services? We do not wish to take the food off the table of yet another American family. (This is why we also do not use the self-checkouts at grocery stores. They encourage those stores to lay off human beings and replace them with machines.)

16.  Tom Bakas

17.  Jennnifer H

18.  Craig Steelman: Ever since you put the smart meter in my utility bill has almost tripled it’s usually between 90.00 and 170.00 amonth but since the smart meter has been in it went up to 300.00 the first month and then 440.00 amonth this is outrageous

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