Tin Foil Hat Crowd is Missing the Real Danger 

The Union has a story about an effort to ban smart meters in Nevada City. Some details are in The Union.

In other business, council members received a presentation from the local group Stop Smart Meters in Nevada County, which includes local residents who have concerns about the potential health effects related to the use of PG&E smart meters in the area.

Led by the group’s director Joshua Hart, the PowerPoint presentation highlighted significant health impacts the group claims smart meters have on residents that use them.

Hart also focused on alleged corruption PG&E officials have performed in an attempt to get people to use smart meters.

“Health studies show that wireless radiation is causing molecular and biological changes to our bodies,” Hart said. “… The time has long passed where we should take precautionary measures. I do urge you as local government to ban smart meters in the city of Nevada.”

Smart meters are used to collect and transmit a customer’s electric and natural gas usage data to PG&E’s central data systems through radio frequency transmission.

If any of these people have WiFi routers in their homes or business, then they are subject to the same radio frequency radiation, as the smart meters, they both use the same radio frequency bands.

If they have a wireless security system, they are exposed to the same radiation as their smart gas meter. Perhaps even more so, as the security system is in the house and the gas meter is outside the house. If they have a wireless weather station, it uses the same frequencies to transmit data as the gas meter. Their worry about smart meter radiation is misplaced, as the same radiation is all around them.

What they are missing is that the smart meters can connect to appliances in the house. The meters being installed locally include a zigbee module, that when turned on can communicate with appliances in the house and form a mesh network. 

We keep getting letters from PG&E offering to replace our HVAC thermostat, for a $75.00 reward.  This PG&E thermostat has a zigbee module that can communicate with our smart meter, which is connected to the regional PG&E communications network. It would give PG&E the ability to control out heat and cooling remotely if mandated AB-32 alternative energy is not producing enough energy, they just turn off consumers appliances to balance the load. 

Electric water heaters can also have a zigbee module allowing PG&E to turn it on and off it they need to conserved electrical energy. There are over a hundred companies that have joined the zigbee alliance, (list is here) and a longer list of companies that have adopted the technology. 

All of your devices and appliances with zigbee modules, when powered on, seek to connect with each other and form a mesh network.  That network is connected to your smart meter and to the PG&E control center. PG&E then has the ability to determine what devices you have on and when they are turned on.  Big screen TVs are power hogs.  

This is an evasion of your privacy, and you are totally unaware of the networks existence.  That is the real danger of smart meters, a mechanical camel with its nose under you rug. If you are worried, then the right place for the tinfoil is to wrap it around the meter, not around your head.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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