Is the Texas Government Poisoning Residents With Smart Meter Radiation?

There is a petition that has been submitted by Devvy Kidd and John Kidd that takes on Texas smart meters because of the health hazards of RF and EMF radiation that come from these devices.

Many people with elderly heart conditions, aging body tissue, and Texas smart meter radiation dangers differences in body fluids compared to younger more healthy individuals feel that they are being sacrificed for the sake of technology. Even people not so frail feel scared by the potential high levels of RF radiation that is being emitted from Texas Smart Meters. Most states did little research on these radiation dangers and what research that was done was later found to be originally created by the industry that would profit from these new meters. You would think a little more thought  would have gone into it before mandating almost all Texans get one installed. Geniuses made microwaves safe before they went on store shelves and even then people had a choice to buy it or not.

For those that have been worried by the health hazards associated with Texas smart meters it has really become a mini-Fukushima for those concerned about radiation dangers. The idea that radiation from radio frequency and electromagnetic field energy is sending in daily waves of small X-Ray level radiation bodily exposure is a very frightening prospect. You can’t compare RF radiation to X-ray radiation as they are two totally different things. RF radiation is non-ionizing radiation and does not come with the cancer risks associated with X-ray radiation. There may still be dangers especially at higher dosages but lets not get ahead of ourselves and make the comparison with X-ray radiation as it just isn’t the same thing.

For those looking at this petition from the outside it seems a little much ado about nothing. We know most of us these days have microwave ovens in our houses and yet the smart meter is very small and on the outside of a home. Both of these devices emit RF radiation but there are some differences. For instance, the microwave is regulated by the FDA to allow for only a very small amount of RF radiation to come out of the device for the entire life-cycle of the microwave oven. The FDA has no regulation or criteria for how much RF radiation can be emitted from a smart meter. When looking at my Texas smart meter I could not find any shield or device preventing the release of unwanted amounts of RF radiation into the home and surrounding area.

Comparing Safety Levels of Microwave Ovens and Texas Smart Meters

So lets compare the two to start off with to see how a microwave oven’s danger compares with a Texas smart meter’s possible dangers. A microwave uses non-ionizing radiation which does not have the cancer risks associated with it as do X-rays. This radiation is however still harmful to some low degree and so there are rules about how much radiation leakage can occur in a microwaves life-cycle. Only 5 milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the surface of the oven is allowed by the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Doing a search on the FDA’s radioactive emitting product search database for “Smart Meters” it came back with nothing. It turns out that Smart Meters also produce the same type of non-ionizing radiation known as RF radiation. This radiation is much much safer than X-ray radiation but it is still potentially dangerous and so precautions are recommended and followed by many product manufacturers with the regulation of the FDA behind it.

The potential health impacts of smart meters. The California state legislatures asked for an independent review of the safety of smart meters to be conducted in order to have an unbiased report to look at that was an independent science based study. The California state legislatures were hearing from PG&E that there was nothing to worry about so they wanted to get confirmation on this from a clear scientific review that had no ties with PG&E or any company that would benefit by the sell of smart meter technology. California Council on Science and Technology did not go forward with an independent review but instead reproduced the same claims that the Electric Power Research Institute had made. The problem with this is that the same group PG&E used for their report (Richard Tell Associates) was in charge of producing the report for the Electric Power Research Institute as well. There was a table in the EPRI report used by the California council comparing the RF radiation doses from a smart meter, a cell phone, and a microwave oven. The issue with the table and report is that they were comparing apples and oranges.
Smart Meter RF Radiation
They looked at whole body exposure from a smart meter and compared it to the dose of an ear from a cell phone. Rather than comparing the whole body dose of a cell phone and comparing that with the whole body dose from a smart meter they did it much differently with resulted in a significant skewing of results. Richard Tell Associates assumed a 100% duty cycle for the smart meter and a 1% duty cycle for a smart phone because you only uses the cell phone for less than an hour during a day on average. They never corrected for the enormous comparative difference in usage of 45 minute total cell phone exposure next to the continuous use a smart meter would be on for. They did not look at cumulative exposure which would make sense because the smart meter is usually attached to your house near a major room and running 24 x 7. So in the study they assumed 99% of the time the cell phone was not producing radiation but 100% of the time the smart meter would be which is a good assumption and correct for the most part but cumulative exposure was completely left out of the study. They did adjust the smart meter number to 50% exposure as a reasonable adjustment but even still this doesn’t come close to solving the problems with the study. When you correct the two major blunders in the study, the whole body and the cumulative aspect of it rather than a cell phone being 100 times more exposure than a smart meter a smart meter shows to be 100 times more cumulative exposure than a cell phone.

Corrected Graph Using Daniel Hirsch’s findings in the EPRI Graph

Corrected Smart Meter Graph

These inaccuracies were exposed by Daniel Hirsch who teaches Nuclear Policy at the University of Santa Cruz. He spoke to the California legislature and asked for them to revise the numbers based on these new findings regarding whole body exposure and cumulative exposure.

What is the Smart Meter Risk to the Public?

At the moment no one really knows what the risks could be even with these corrected findings on radiation exposure from smart meters. The health risks from RF radiation are uncertain but consider that your microwave oven also uses non-ionizing radiation just as the smart meter does. The United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health regulates the RF radiation of a microwave and I believe they should do so for the smart  meter. A spray on coating and shield backing may be all the retrofits that are necessary to offer the same protection you currently receive against RF radiation exposure as you get from your microwave oven. The health dangers could be found to be harmless but it could just as easily be found to be extremely severe. The main issue is that currently knowing nothing about the long term health risks of smart meter RF radiation exposure the government is conducting a very large experiment on millions of the population. A big part of this experiment is completely involuntary as most Texans don’t remember ever being asked if they are okay with  the new smart meters being installed on their homes and paying that extra $5 a month for the luxury of continuous 24 x 7 RF radiation exposure.

Like many of us I choose to still use my cell phone although I use a hands free set and keep that thing as far from my head as I can. When I live in my Tyler Texas home I had no choice on if I would use a smart meter but yet I have one permanently attached on my outside kitchen wall.

Consider that tens of millions of people have smart meters on their homes with potentially 100 times greater cumulative full body exposure from RF radiation than they get from their smart phone. In several years we may find this has led to a sharp increase in cancers but it could also mean we find that it actually produced no cancers and is perfectly safe. Regardless I am still paranoid about smart phone cancer risks and this is only a 45 minute per day exposure risk.

What do I recommend? I would like to keep my smart meter but I would like a retrofit similar to what already comes on my microwave oven. I want to be able to in case or spray on something to my smart meter that keeps RF radiation exposure to 5 milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the surface of the smart meter. If a cheap $30 microwave can meet those requirements I  don’t see why we can’t easily make that happen for a smart meter. A word of warning about assuming the risks are not great when it comes to non-ionizing radiation: It took years to understand that with ionizing radiation that comes from disasters like Fukashima there is a latent long term danger from cumulative long term exposure that always results in terminal cancer. We do not yet understand what these latent long term cumulative dangers are for non-ionizing radiation that come from devices like the smart meter which is an always on device. There is always a low ball estimate of risks from governments in order to get the mass public to not worry and accept new policy. If you think the smart meter experiment is a big gamble in Texas consider that China will install over 300 million smart meters by the end of 2015. If there is a cancer risk with smart meters it looks like we will all go down with it at the rapid rate these things are being installed. These risk estimates always go up over time after the public has already accepted the magic device. Go ahead and do what you need to do to protect yourself from exposure by buying an after market product that can assist with this. The good news is that a retrofit is likely very inexpensive and easy to install to block out the radiation although it may require a little sweat.

The Smart Meter Website: Irving, Texas Customers Path to Better Electric Management

irving texas electricity pricesIf you are one of the millions of electric customers in Irving, Texas with a smart meter, you can access the smart meter website. The website, SmartMeterTexas.com, is designed to allow customers to manage their electric bills with more precision. If you do not have a smart meter yet, contact your service provider about having one installed. Smart meters are digital meters that replace traditional electric meters. Smart meters have proven to be more accurate than traditional meters.

By combining a smart meter and the smart meter website, you can view your electric usage as often as every 15 minutes. In the future, you will even be able to register certain devices in your home and monitor how much electricity each one uses. You can do all of the monitoring from the comfort of your home or office. All you need to access your private information is your most recent electric bill so you can provide indentifying information.

The smart meter website will allow you to see how much electricity you use. You can then use the information to save money. You can save money by reducing your electric consumption. You probably do not realize just how much electric you use every few minutes. Now, you can see your usage, monitor it, and make changes to save money.

If you want to save even more money, use our comparison chart to compare the electric rates of providers in the Irving, Texas area. You can view the current rates of competing providers. You may even decide to make a switch. Our comparison chart will help you every step of the way. Combined with a smart meter, you can save more money than ever!

Do You Have a Smart Meter in Harlingen, Texas?

harlingen texas electricity pricesThe Public Utility Commission of Texas conducted a study on smart meters. The results were simple: smart meters clearly outshined traditional meters. The study revealed that smart meters were shown to be 99.96% accurate. Compared to an accuracy level of 96% in traditional meters, this is quite a change. Customers also gave positive feedback on the use of smart meters. The question remains: do you have a smart meter in Harlingen, Texas? Or are you still stuck with an outdated traditional meter that might be costing you money?

If you still have a traditional meter, check with your electric service provider about smart meters. In today’s tough economy, every little bit saved helps. A smart meter can make a big difference in the accuracy of your electric usage. Your electric usage is the number used by service providers to calculate your bill. Why pay for electricity if you are not using it? Request a smart meter and see what a difference it might make.

If you already have a smart meter and still want to save money, use our comparison chart to help. Our comparison chart displays the Harlingen, Texas electric service providers. It compares the electric rates of the providers and gives you a chance to evaluate your provider. You may or may not be getting the best rate on your electricity usage. It costs nothing to use our comparison chart and you are never obligated to switch providers. Give it a try and see where your provider stands in comparison to the others!

How to Use The Google Smart Meter in Texas

Google PowerMeter DeviceGoogle PowerMeter is a free energy monitoring tool that helps you save energy and money. Using energy information provided by your Texas electric utility smart meters and energy monitoring devices, Google PowerMeter enables you to view your home’s energy consumption from anywhere online.

Benefits of Google PowerMeter

  • Find What Devices and Appliances Are Always on
  • Predict Your Energy Costs
  • Plug in Your Fixed Electric Rate per kWh to customize your data
  • View How Others Have Used Google Power Meter
  • Track Energy Usage Over Days, Weeks, and Months

You will be able to quickly see patterns of electric usage during certain times of day and pinpoint what devices are using most of your energy. You may have never even thought about what appliances in your home causes you to spend the most on your electricity but the data available from Google smart meter will allow you to plan and budget to plan how you use your energy and how to lower costs.

Even if you are not the type of person to budget nd plan the Google Smart meter application that is available online keeps track of all the data for you. The application even automatically creates the graphs and shows you the patterns for where you can save the most money.

This online application is perfect for me and considering Oncor electric utility which is agressively impleneting smart electric meters in their service area is my utility I will not have to wait long to use this app.

If you are in the Dallas Fort Worth area chances are you already have a smart electric meter installed by Oncor Electric Delivery. If so I encourage you to go to the link below and sign up with Googles application.

http://www.google.com/powermeter/about/about.html

One of the neatest things about the Google smart meter app is the dark green area of their chart. The dark green area shows you what applianxes in your house are always on. Many people do not realize it in Texas but many of the appliances we use suck energy out of the electric outlet even when you turn off the device.

The Google Power meter will help you pinpoint those devies and retrofit the outlet or device so that it no longer takes energy from your usage while not being used. If you do not want to spend money on retrofits you can atleast begin unplugging those devices from the wall as an alternative.

If nothing else this app is very cool and interesting to play around with and review even if decide not to implement in changes in your electricity usage consumption and behavior.

Oncor is not currently listed as a PowerMeter partner but you can easily purchase a cheap device to use with this application in correspondence with your smart meter. Below are a couple of devices that can be purchased that are compatible with the Google PowerMeter application.

http://www.currentcost.com/powermeter/

http://www.theenergydetective.com/store/

TDSP Meter Surcharge Being Felt by Texas Energy Consumers

The TDSP Smart meter surcharge is being felt by Texas residential electric customers as the Oncor utility area has rolled out the meter fee on all residential electric service customers in the Oncor Electric Delivery utility area. The below TXU Energy customer filed a complaint with the Public Utility Commission about the meter fee but is a little confused about TXU Energy’s role in the fee.

TXU Energy back in 2008 actually tried to work to have the PUCT reconsider the meter fee or atleast how the PUCT and ERCOT charged the customer for it. At the time TXU was objecting, the issue raised was how the public would perceive the additional charge. The meter fee would have a large impact on their core business. Most of TXU Energy’s customers are in the Oncor Utility area. A majority of Oncor Electric Delivery’s customers are located in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Most of TXU Energy’s customers are also in the Dallas and Fort Worth Texas areas. The TXU Energy customer quoted below did raise a valid point about TXU Energy’s electric rate being quite high. There are actually much cheaper Texas electric rates out there than what TXU electric company is currently charging and you can check these out on the top left of this page or click below on our Dallas electricity rate comparison link:

Dallas Electricity rate comparison

What many energy consumers are just not aware of is the fact that the advanced meter fee is not a product child of TXU Electric Company. This meter fee also known as a smart meter fee is also not the product brain child of Oncor Electric Delivery even though Oncor will be rolling it out. Oncor is not TXU and TXU is not Oncor. Oncor Electric Delivery maintains and services the pole and wires as well as reads the meters for all retail electric providers and electric service customers and several years prior to deregulation went under the name TU ELectric as did TXU Energy. Oncor and TXU are seperate companies that cannot favor one another although they are owned by the same holding company, Energy Futures Holdings. Recently as of 2009 Oncor was mandated to pass these smart meter TDSP charges onto the retail electric providers like TXU and Reliant Energy. TXU and Reliant are not responsible for these charges but they get blamed for them because they have a large customer base in the areas that have been hit by this meter fee. Oncor Electric Delivery is also known as the Dallas and Fort Worth area TDSP company. TDSP stands for transmission and distribution service provider.

To Whom it May Concern
I am writing this letter to protest the “Monthly TDSP Meter Surcharge” of $2.21 that appeared on my TXU Energy bill (Invoice #054200111455) for May 2009. I believe the charge is for the new type of digital meter that when installed allows the utility company to read the usage amount each month automatically, a huge benefit for the utility company, but not for the customer. The customer can also use the digital meter to determine how much electricity each appliance in his home is using. Big Whoop…I don’t care. This type of meter has not been installed at my apartment complex; however, I am being charged for it. Since when, is it allowed to charge for a utility’s capital expenditures before the benefit has been received by the customer? In the future, are the electric utilities going to be allowed to charge the customer for each individual pole replaced?

According to news reports, Texans pay the highest electric utility rates in the nation. My bill states that I pay13.95 cents per kWh excluding taxes. That’s way too much. It appears that the PUC simply rubber-stamps any rate increase or new “made up” category that utilities such as TXU requests. In the recent past, utilities such as cable companies were not allowed to provide “additional” services, such as high speed internet, to only the affluent sections of a city (this is called “cherry picking”). All sections of the city would receive the new services, and customers would only be charged for new services when new services were available to the customer. I do not have access to the new digital meter technology and therefore, I should not have to pay for it. In addition, the rate charged by a utility should include all capital expenditures it makes to deliver its product.

The “Monthly TDSP Meter Surcharge” is unjust and I refuse to pay it. The PUC is supposed to represent the public, not the electric, telephone, and cable monopolies. Just because Energy Future Holdings paid too much to acquire TXU is not a justification for the PUC to grant special rate increase for bogus surcharges that have never been charged in the past.

What course of action should the PUC take? Eliminate the TDSP Meter Surcharge and reduce the electric utility rates paid by customers, especially residential customers. These charges are unjust and excessive.
Sincerely,
Charles
Dallas Texas 75220

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