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Feb-17-2011

PG&E holding “SmartMeter Education” programs for residents, Feb. 22-24

Next week, PG&E will hold three public education seminars about the new SmartMeters they will be installing in the Richmond District, and elsewhere in the city, over the next few months.

The new meters are called “smart” because they can wirelessly communicate gas and electricity usage to PG&E, eliminating the need for the small army of employees that have to manually check meters each month. PG&E can also make that information more easily accessible to customers online, allowing them to monitor and curtail their energy usage. More on how SmartMeters work

According to the PG&E website, the SmartMeter system will be rolled out to all PG&E customers by mid 2012. Installation of each SmartMeter takes about 15 minutes.

Despite the stated benefits, this is one piece of technology that not everyone is jumping for joy about. The SF Examiner reports that “Since PG&E began installing the meters elsewhere in the state, it has received hundreds of complaints about accuracy and the potential impact on health.”

The counties of San Francisco and Santa Cruz even tried to halt the installations. But a state regulatory board rejected a petition from San Francisco in late 2010 to halt the arrival of SmartMeters, clearing the way for PG&E to begin installations in the city this year.

The Richmond District will be one of the first neighborhoods to get SmartMeters installed. To help address concerns and answer questions about the new technology, PG&E will host three education programs at the Richmond District YMCA (360 18th Avenue) on February 22, 23, and 24, from 4pm to 6:30pm.

It’s not a meeting format, just drop in anytime during the event if you want to learn more about SmartMeters. PG&E staff will be on hand to answer questions.

In addition to the public education programs, PG&E is also beefing up their customer service in anticipation of inquiries.

According to their press release, they have “dedicated 165 additional customer service representatives to improve customer service and help customers with billing questions, created a SmartMeter helpline dedicated to San Francisco residents at 1-866-743-0599,” and updated their SmartMeter website.

Sarah B.

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5:20 am | Posted under Events, Utilities | 8 comments
  1. Tweets that mention PG&E holding “SmartMeter Education” programs for residents, Feb. 22-24 -- Topsy.com said:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richmond SF Blog, David Jensen, Hawkes & Schlesinger, Jennifer Stuart, PG&E and others. PG&E said: RT @richmondsfblog: PG&E holding “SmartMeter Education” programs for Richmond District residents, Feb. 22-24 http://bit.ly/h8vfNv [...]

  2. Josh Hart said:

    It’s not just two counties- to date 27 CA cities and counties have formally demanded a halt to ‘smart’ meter installation. Three counties- Marin, Santa Cruz and Mendocino and four cities- Watsonville, Fairfax, Rio Dell and Capitola have actually criminalized the wireless meters.

    Why? Because many thousands have been sickened throughout the state by the powerful wireless radiation that has been shown to violate FCC standards, people are being overcharged and their private information is being stolen. Don’t allow PG&E access to your home. Refuse smart meters.

    Think they are an environmental solution? Then why did the Sierra Club’s SF Group just demand that the SF board of supes halt the installation?

    Get the details you need to know to protect your safety and health. http://stopsmartmeters.wordpress.com/why-stop-smart-meters/

  3. RobertWilliams said:

    PG$E EDUCATION OR MISINFORMATION.

    READ ORDINANCES OF SEVEN CITIES AND COUNTIES PROHIBITING WIRELESS SMART METER INSTALLATION and two dozen additional cities and counties requesting a halt to the Wireless installations.

    The seven counties and cities that have done the most investigation on this issue voted UNANIMOUSLY for the ORDINANCE prohibiting PG&E WIRELESS SMART METERS.

    Or just believe PG&E and allow more damage to your own children than neglecting their food, medicine, playmates, school and sleep and negating the time that you spend to give them their best chance in life.

    PG&E corporate is lying 100% regarding the WIRELESS meters and the program.

    PG&E Wireless smart meters do NOT give real time information so they are worthless to reduce your energy usage and bills, they don’t assist reducing the carbon foot print, the Federal energy program does NOT mandate WIRELESS meters and they JEOPARDIZE the implementation of a successful smart grid program.

    The Wireless Industry considers PG$E Corporate the liars and thieves in their industry.

    The middle managers at the “Education” (Propaganda) meetings may believe what they have been told. I don’t know if they believe it or are just willing to pass it on to keep their salaried positions.

    The Wireless PG&E meter comparisons to other wireless devices given to you at these “Education” meetings are misleading and FALSE.

    Since PG&E does NOT allow qualified people with accurate and documented information on these Wireless meters to speak at these meetings, PG&E can be very convincing and act soooo nice when innocent unknowing customers come in and only hear the well-orchestrated propaganda.

    But allowing PG$E to implement their wireless meter program (smart or otherwise) in your home is like allowing a child molester to baby sit or supervise your children.

    There are many problems with PG&E Wireless smart meters: accuracy, Wireless hacking potential, privacy of information concerns, interference with other electrical devices, health problems for humans, animals, birds, bees and even plants and trees.

    If PG&E wireless smart meters are “Safe,” then WHY WON’T INSURANCE COMPANIES INSURE HEALTH PROBLEMS DUE TO RF RADIATION FROM WIRELESS SMART METERS?

    VIDEO: Insurance Companies Won’t Insure Wireless Devices Due To Health Risks (3 minutes, 13 seconds)
    http://eon3emfblog.net/?p=382

    Watch the Julia Roberts ‘Erin Brockovich’ movie again to remember the willingness of PG$E Corporate to lie and cover-up even though PG&E Corporate knew it was causing children and complete families to get sick, have organ-removing operations and die terribly painful deaths.

    PG$E Corporate, the same ones who organize these ‘Education’ meetings for YOUR family.

    Best,
    RW

  4. November Alexis said:

    The complaints to PG&E and the CPUC are, actually, in the thousands, not hundreds. The FCC standards are from the 1990′s. They are seriously outdated and do not address, specifically, wireless SmartMeters. The reports/conclusions that PG&E provided are based on a SINGLE meter per 160 pound human. It does not take into consideration, the fact that most people will have one gas meter, one electric meter and the water meters will soon also be wireless SmartMeters….and that is just for single family homes. Duplexes, Triplexes, Apartment buildings, office buildings, skyscrapers, etc….will have banks of anywhere from four to hundreds of meters, depending on the size of the building and the number of separate billing parties in the building. They also have different strengths of the meters….the higher powered meters being used in both mountainous/hilly rural areas and congested cities/city centers with hills and lots of large buildings (like SF). The higher powered meters may need either higher powered dcu’s (digital collection units) or a higher quantity of dcu’s, or a little of both. These dcu’s are like mini cell phone antennas that are often attached to power poles throughout towns and cities. So you have the EMF’s/radiation from the meters themselves, as well as from the dcu’s. The outdated FCC standards also, do not take THAT into consideration.

    These wireless meters are NOT UL certified. Everything that needs power to run, whether hard-wired or wireless, even light bulbs, have to be safety tested and UL certified, the utility companies are EXEMPT from safety testing any of their devices!

    PG&E has 15 million (approx.) customers in California. This includes single family homes, multiple family dwellings, government buildings, movie theaters, banks, car washes, gas stations, parking garages, skyscrapers, preschools, high schools, elementary schools, middle schools, spas, supermarkets, health food stores, dentist’s offices, doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, 7-11′s, chiropractor’s offices, acupuncturist’s offices, yoga studios, hair salons, car repair facilities, shoe stores, clothing stores, car dealerships, etc, etc. Smart gas, electric and water meters will be placed on every single one of these buildings! Now, one customer may be a corporation who has a 30 story building and has to have hundreds of meters on it. Not one. Not two or even three, but hundreds….and that is just ONE large building. EVERYWHERE we go, we will, literally, be drowning in micro wave radiation! There will be no escape from it. Not even in our own homes.

    We did not vote on this. We did not approve this. We have the right to decide whether we want these wireless, radiation emitting devices on our homes, at the very least. We were not given that choice. They are being forced upon us when there are, indeed, other options available, such as our old, analog meters that worked just fine. This is a huge and direct violation of our very basic constitutional rights.

    The study done also does not take into consideration, long term cumulative exposure to EMF radiation. We will not just have millions and millions of these SmartMeters, we will also, still, have computers and televisions and washers and dryers and microwaves and cell phones and wireless routers and fridges, and cell phone towers, etc, etc.. It’s TOO MUCH! You get to decide whether you want to buy a tv or a microwave or a wireless router or cell phone and have them in your home. You get to choose and you can also turn them off, if you have them. We didn’t get to choose whether we want these meters and they CANNOT BE TURNED OFF.

    Also, part of the SmartGrid “plan” is to have ONLY Smart appliances and devices. So you will have to replace all of your appliances and devices with those. They will all be able to communicate with one another and PG&E can turn them all off with the stroke of a keyboard key or they can turn one or two of them off. All homes and businesses will be CONTROLLED by a computer. If that doesn’t alarm you, I can’t imagine what would!

    The information and numbers and statistics that PG&E give are inaccurate, grossly. Again, the info is based on ONE meter, 6 ft. away, per 160 pound person and the average RF output they give you is based on the information the meter collects every 45 seconds in a 24 hr. period, NOT the 6 times a day (approx.) it TRANSMITS or PULSES, which is when the frequency goes through the roof. They do not even know what the peak pulse numbers are! We have asked, repeatedly, for this information and have not received a response.

    There are numerous studies from various parts of Europe showing the harmful effects of EMF radiation. Right now…schools and libraries in France (and elsewhere in Europe) are removing wi-fi from schools and libraries and removing cell phone towers!

    Dirty electricity IS NOT GREEN! There is nothing green about saturating the atmosphere and our bodies with electromagnetic radiation! PG&E along with all the utility companies in the country, as well as major appliance manufacturers and cell phone companies, etc. stand to make billions of dollars in the first couple of years. THEY ARE CHARGING EACH CUSTOMER FOR THE SMART METERS. WE are paying for them in our rates. The reason they want real-time reports of power usage is so they can charge you more. They know whether you are using gas or electric devices and they know what times of the day, month, year, etc. you use the most energy. During your peak usage times, THEY HIKE YOUR RATES and there is NO REGULATION set forth by the CPUC to protect us from this!!!!! They can do whatever they want and charge us whatever they want.

    PG&E will lie, lie, lie. IF this plan doesn’t go through, they stand to loose, literally, trillions of dollars over the next several years! That is their motivation. They will not let anyone get in the way of this. Remember the San Bruno fire, remember Hinkley. Remember who it is that we are dealing with here!!! REFUSE SMART TECHNOLOGY! REFUSE SMART METERS!

    Peace~

  5. Jommy Cross said:

    Smart meters also cause infant autism. Yes, definitely.

  6. Betsy said:

    What about the Water Smart Meter that was just installed on the water meter for my apartment (without my knowledge). I just received the notice on my door when I returned home that it had already been installed. Isn’t the EMF radiation an issue with the Water meters being intalled in the Richmond District as we speak?

  7. November Alexis said:

    Betsy, wow! I didn’t know they had already started installing the water meters! Yikes! Could you email me and give me some details…I’d love to get an idea of when this started, etc. Let me know and I will post my email. Thanks so much.

  8. Richmond residents declining Smart Meter installations from PG&E contractors | Richmond District Blog of San Francisco (richmondsfblog.com) said:

    [...] you may have come home to find a pamphlet on your front doorstep, informing you that your new PG&E wireless smart meter has been installed. I just received mine this [...]

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