San Francisco in PG&E’s Crosshairs for Exposure to “Extra Strength” Smart Meter Radiation

Widespread deployment of 'smart' meters is imminent in San Francisco.

More cities and counties every week are moving to criminalize ‘smart’ meter installations in response to people who are being sickened by the powerful bursts of rf radiation (now up to 25 local governments have officially demanded a halt to the program). The town of Rio Dell in Humboldt County is the latest to ban the devices outright, and Mendocino County will consider a ban on Tuesday.  Four women have been arrested at two separate protests in the North Bay over the last month for peacefully blocking installations of the meters.  And questions are now being raised about the make up and scientific objectivity of the CCST panel whose report was widely reported to give the ‘all clear’ on health matters last week.

Nevertheless, amidst all the controversy, and despite the SF Board of Supervisors formal opposition to the meters, PG&E tells the Chronicle they are preparing to install in the City within the next two weeks.  As the company admits in their internal documents obtained through a freedom of information request, San Francisco poses a special challenge to the ill-fated wireless smart meter program (beyond the City’s history of civil disobedience).  Many utility rooms (with sometimes hundreds of meters) are underground, downtown urban canyons interfere with wireless communications, and a lack of utility poles in many areas means they have to install their data collector units (or DCU’s) under grates and other awkward locations closer to the public.

So you would think they would be sensible and use fibre optic cable or something.  But the first thing you gotta learn if you’re a piggy feeding from the ratepayer and taxpayer feeding trough is to always make things more technically complex and expensive than they need to be.  Thus, of course they just make the wireless signal STRONGER.  That’s right PG&E has developed a secret weapon to deal with the pesky problems posed by the City and its residents– a powerful transmitter called S.U.N.D.S:

These extra strength wireless devices will be used to send utility usage data to the surface from underground utility rooms- rather like killing an ant with a sledgehammer. This is set to be rolled out in SF on a massive scale despite thousands already sickened by the emissions from the regular meters.

The SUNDS program (Subterranean Network Deployment System) which in practical terms- combined with the density of the land use in the city means that RF from the smart meter system is likely to be considerably stronger in SF than elsewhere.  An anonymous source at PG&E tells us that the SUNDS program involves boosting the antenna power from 1 to 6 watts- which would mean another potential violation of FCC limits.  This really is the wild west with regulators and legislators asleep at the wheel, drugged by donations as the car accelerates toward the cliff.

Wireless antenna are being installed under utility grates throughout the city. Did PG&E obtain permission from the city for these? Homeless people sleep on top of these grates to keep warm in the winter- what about their health?

How many thousands of people will be sickened and sleepless after these are installed?

Exposing the population to wireless radiation from these 625,000 meters packed into a 7×7 square mile city- the densest city west of the Mississippi- on top of all the pre-existing radiation- is a human experiment of unprecedented proportions.  We’d be tempted to just let them do it and allow the program to collapse in on itself- if we didn’t have friends and loved ones living in the City who are going to be hurt.

PG&E plans to start smart meter installation in SF within the next 1-2 weeks, potentially starting in the Marina district where people have already received notification letters.  Please take a minute and write an e-mail to your friends who live in SF with some links to anti-smart meter websites like this one, and encourage them to write their supervisor and mayor to demand the city enact an ordinance prohibiting installation.

People throughout the state have stood their ground against the utilities– in Santa Cruz, Marin, and Sonoma Counties, and the truth is that this direct action has achieved results.  We wouldn’t be shocked to find out that the fleet of white Wellington trucks elicits a response from the people of San Francisco.  Send us reports of any protests and please include written accounts, photos, and video so we can post on the site.

I like the quote sent in by Nina Beety- a tireless opponent of ‘smart’ meters from Monterey County:

“It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires of freedom in the minds of men”

-Samuel Adams

Thanks for all of you who continue to make those brush fires rage.

Everyone knows advertising is used to sell us on things we don't really need. PG&E has a multi-million dollar promotional campaign to 'sell' us something we certainly don't need. Don't buy their lies.

Stop Smart Meters! is able to continue doing what we do in part due to the many small donations from people like you!  Our donate page is here.  Thank you.

This entry was posted in Citizen rebellion, Democracy, PG&E, San Francisco. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to San Francisco in PG&E’s Crosshairs for Exposure to “Extra Strength” Smart Meter Radiation

  1. RobertWilliams says:

    GET USED TO IT.

    PG&E has already killed people in Hinkley, California and San Bruno California and other places less well known.

    Why are you people complaining about Wireless smart meters? Do you think you and your children deserve better than those adults and children that have already been killed by PG&E?

    PG&E Corporate has a record of lying, covering up, killing and sickening people throughout the state and that’s not going to change.

    I don’t understand you people trying to protect yourselves and your children. Why don’t you people just accept it, like the rest of us.

    It is obvious that PG&E lies for money. But PG&E is the official word and if I go by that and something happens to my wife or children, no one can blame me.

    Stop these dam scientists from reporting damage and breaks in DNA chains in human cells and breaches in the blood/brain barrier of lab rats from the wireless smart meter type of radiation and stop talking about it entirely.

    Just accept it, like the rest of us.

    • onthelevelblog says:

      Thanks Robert. I guess you’re right- we should just give up and accept our fate. If PG&E and the CPUC wish to expose us to 24/7 micro pulses of radiation throughout every neighborhood in California, breaking apart our DNA and disrupting our sleep, who are we to question them? I mean it’s not like this is a democracy or anything…..

  2. Will S says:

    Let’s take a deep breath and look at this rationally – most of us have wifi in our house or use cell-phones held up to our brains, both of which are far higher in erlangs impacting you than the very low data rate smart meter transponders. And how do you think DishTV gets to people’s homes?

    The amount of data that smart meters transmit is tiny, unlike your neighbor who is pushing many gigabytes of data through the air (into your home) each time they download a Netflix movie to their TV, or spend hours watching many mindless YouTube clips.

    Smart meters help to smooth out demand peaks and allow us to use higher levels of wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources that are intermittent.

    • onthelevelblog says:

      Hey Will- I’ve taken lots of deep breaths and looked at this issue as rationally as I can. The way that smart meters are being rolled out in CA and other places are jeopardizing the entire smart grid project. The strength of the wireless signal is significantly stronger than the other devices you mentioned- potentially 40x the strength of a wifi router. The utilities should have chosen a wired platform but they messed up. Now thousands of people are getting sick and they are trying to cover it up.

      With Electro-hyper sensitivity increasingly being suffered by the population, the smart meter program represents a HUGE increase in electro-smog. Where are people supposed to live if they can’t live or sleep around these devices?

      This is the first mandatory installation of a wireless technology on people’s homes and we have scant evidence that these are safe, and quite a lot of evidence that wireless tech hurts living things.

      That’s not the type of climate change solution I support.

      • Will S says:

        Do you have any reliably documented references that support the 40x spectral power density claim? If so, I’d like to see it, along with the frequency domains it will employ.

        Again, you have to look at the amount of energy pushed through the meters, as well as the frequency. With the very tiny amounts of information being exchanged and the distance from residents, it will be hard to make the case that these units pose more risk than a wifi router, much less cell phones held up within an inch of people’s brains. BTW, do you use a cell phone? Wifi router? Cordless phone?

  3. onthelevelblog says:

    Hi Will,

    The “40x a wifi router” comes from the CCST study- which has many flaws but if you look at the chart on page 6 you will see the comparison. See: http://www.ccst.us/news/2011/20110111smart.php They essentially conclude that we don’t know what the non-thermal impacts of the technology are but they take the attitude of ‘hopefully it will be okay’ which I think is pretty reckless given the scientific evidence.

    These wireless meters send out pulses that are intense and brief- 4-15 times per minute 24 hours a day. These pulses have been shown to be the most biologically damaging, relative to constant sources of rf.

    About nine months ago, I started having pain in my temple whenever I was on my cell phone. I got headaches when around wifi. I thought I was going crazy and then started reading all of the studies that show that even low levels of wireless radiation can cause health damage. I’ve given up my cell, we don’t use a microwave, cordless phone or wifi in our home. Why should a utility be able to force something on our home that makes us sick? It’s just not moral.

  4. Oscar says:

    I’m not sure what part of this PG&E had a problem with, but I posted this on their facebook page responding to another posting and they deleted every single post I had ever made. Guess I struck a nerve… Here’s the banned post…

    Hi XXXX, I’m in agreement with you. One watt at ten feet (900 MHz) would have a field strength of .1 uW/m (1900 uV/m) which would would start to blend in with the normal RF radiation that surrounds us. If you are closer than ten feet, I believe prolonged exposure would begin to effect tissue over time. We are exposed to various metals daily, however mercury and lead are also metals. We are exposed to seen and unseen form of light from the sun. While unseen infrared light doesn’t present a risk in low levels, humans are prone to skin damage from prolonged exposure to very low levels of ultraviolet light.

    Considering 900 MHz as being just like any other frequency is looking at it as light or metals being all the same. Different frequencies have varying effects on different physical elements. The 915 MHz frequency has an effect on molecules of water. It is a resonant frequency of water and when it begins to resonate (vibrate) in response, the molecules heat up from colliding with one another. Considering the body consists of more than 60 percent water and the brain over 70 percent, being in close proximity of anything using 915 MHz will have this effect. Can you feel confident of the safety knowing that there is a possibility of even slight water molecule vibration?

    Are there safe installations? Sure. If your meter is on the adjacent wall of a garage or in a utility area of a building clear of a living space, I don’t see a problem. But if your meter is adjacent to a bedroom or clusters of meters outside of an adjacent apartment, I believe it will have an effect with long term exposure within a ten foot radius.

    As fara s your question about PG&E killing off it’s customers. PG&E is immune from liability with the smart meter. As part of a nationwide mandate, the creation of the smart grid requires these electronic meters to be deployed nationally. The CPUC (PG&E’s regulator) mandates PG&E to install smart meters for all residential and business utility points of entry. Because they are following a government mandate, they are immune from liability just as the state would be if a bridge or levy collapsed where property is destroyed or people injured. Unlike other branches of government where representatives are elected, the CPUC members are appointed and the current board is made up of primarily previous power and telecommunication executives.

    Why this smart meter? Simply put, Greed. PG&E is driven by profits. The farm I grew up on in the Midwest has had a smart meter for nearly ten years. It was a major investment requiring their infrastructure to be upgraded to allow the meters to communicate through the power distribution system instead of over the air. To do the same thing in PG&E’s service territory would have required replacing most of everything in place to support this communication method. But the majority PG&E’s electrical distribution system has been in service for two ,three and up to four generations. So instead of upgrading a dilapidated, obsolete system, PG&E opted for just throwing these radio controlled meters on homes and businesses instead.

    Think about the natural disasters you hear about in other parts of the country. Ice storms, thunderstorms, tornados, flooding… you don’t read about tens of thousands losing power. In this area, rain or a little wind and thousands are left in the dark for days as 30, 40, 50 plus year old equipment fails. As consumers, we really needed a modern electrical and gas distribution system but instead, we got the smart meter. Profits got in the way.

    While other parts of the country have 5, 6 and 7 cents per kilowatt hour electricity with smart meters that communicate over the power lines, PG&E customers have their 12 cents per kilowatts hour electricity until people actually start using it, then it’s 14, 28, 39 cents per kilowatt hour on our very own smart meter.

    PG&E has addressed solar. Under state law, you cannot disconnect from the power grid within incorporated areas. If you go solar, you have to put any excess power on the PG&E system which they will sell to other customers. The best you can do is zero out your power usage, but you will still be billed for power distribution, taxes, tariffs and local franchise fees which average about 20 bucks even if you provide more power than what you use. PG&E got the laws regarding small power producers changed 8 years ago.

    PG&E is about as far as you can get from being an energy provider. They have nearly 100 internet domains ranging from electric vehicles to proposition support sites designed to lobby politicians and customers into signing on for another money grab. Little of what you pay in power consumption is actually used for generation and delivery. The bulk goes into huge executive compensation packages and lobbying efforts to create even more wealth in the future. PG&E is not your friend nor do they care about the people they serve. They are a corporation pursuing growth of profit by any means possible.

    • onthelevelblog says:

      Hey Oscar- this is way too much truth for the PG&E smart meter facebook page. They also censored my comments and systematically removed every post I have ever made. So much for ‘listening to the customer’ eh? I like your comment about the greed for profits taking precedence over a reliable energy supply. Absolutely right on. Check out a friendlier place on facebook that won’t censor your comments whatever your point of view: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stop-Smart-Meters-Now/146643745375104

    • Shucks the Explorer says:

      This is a fantastic post. Thank you for preserving it and putting it here.

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