Tuesday, February 28, 2017

For the Record...

This is my rebuttal to DTE Energy Vice Chairman, Steve Kurmas, who gave his verbal testimony to the Michigan Energy Policy Committee on February 21, 2017, regarding "smart" AMI meters.  His verbal testimony starts at about 1:15:00 in the above video.  He also submitted written testimony here.  

Mr. Kurmas wrote that over 65 million AMI (smart/electronic) meters have been installed across the US with no issues of health or security.

Regarding Health...

Of course utility companies are going to tell you that their new equipment is safe.  That is what they have been told by the manufacturers.  The manufacturers claim the equipment is safe because it falls within certain FCC guidelines.  They don't mention that the FCC is not a health regulatory agency, they are not protecting the public's health, and the FCC guidelines have been under attack for a number of years.  

Mr. Kurmas also did not mention that the United States is one of three countries that allows about 100 times more outdoor pulsed radiofrequency radiation than most the rest of the world, and that never before in recorded history have over 2 million transmitting public utility meters been installed in Michigan.  So we, and other states fitted with electronic public utility meters, are literally functioning as test markets on health effects.

Image from the Environmental Health Trust

Mr. Kurmas also did not mention all the people who testified to ill health effects after smart or electronic meter installation, at the 2014 Michigan OversightCommittee Hearing.  

Since then, many more Michigan citizens have come forward, testifying to adverse health effects after electronic meter installation, including myself.

Mr. Kurmas also wrote, "the average cell phone produces as much as 100,000 times more RF than an AMI meter."  What he did not tell you is: That statement has been challenged by a Professor of Nuclear Policy, Daniel Hirsch.  Hirsh states that when corrected for duty-cycle and whole-body exposure, "the cumulative whole body exposure from a Smart Meter at 3 feet appears to be approximately two orders of magnitude higher than that of a cell phone, rather than two orders of magnitude lower." 

As of February of this year, the World Health Organization updated its "Cancer Fact Sheet" page to include non-ionizing radiation as a risk factor under the category "Reducing the Cancer Burden".  Electronic "smart" meters emit pulsed non-ionizing radiation continuously.

Traditional analog meters do not expose us to pulsed non-ionizing radiation, a possible human carcinogen.

Regarding Security...

In March of 2016, Computer Weekly (dot) com posted an article written by Bryan Glick, titled "Government warned of smart meter security threat back in 2012."  The article concludes with a call for the "smart" meter project to be "'halted, altered or scrapped' immediately to avert an expensive IT failure."

Another article, from Security Week (dot) com, written by Eduard Kovacs in January of this year, is titled "Smart Meters Pose Security Risks to Consumers, Utilities..." and begins with, "Serious vulnerabilities in smart electricity meters continue to expose both consumers and electric utilities to cyberattacks."

In his verbal testimony, Mr. Kurmas admitted that the information gathered from a smart meter is akin to the information you would get if you stood in someone's yard right next to their analog gas, electric, and/or water meter.  He did not say that by doing so, you would be able to tell if someone got up in the middle of the night, slept-in, or even if someone was home, late getting home, or on vacation.

Traditional analog public utility meters do not make our homes and our privacy vulnerable.

Regarding Canada...

Mr. Kurmas also stated that in 2012, Canada attained 100% AMI installation.

What Mr. Kurmas did not tell you was that in 2014, SaskPower of Canada pulled 105,000 smart meters after "eight unexplained fires associated with the units."

And, in 2016, Canada had to "pull the plug" on over 36,000 rural smart meters because of signal issues.  At that time, Hydro One of Canada reported that 6% of their one million customers were having billing issues.

Canada's auditor-general stated there are "few benefits for the hefty cost" of smart meters.

In his 14 years of being with the Fire Department, Fire Chief Duane Roddy of Oscoda Township, had never himself witnessed a traditional analog meter fire.  Yet, as he testified in front of you (Michigan's Energy Policy Committee) on February 21st, within 36 hours of installation, the smart meter on his cabin "arced" and almost caught his cabin on fire.  

"Thirty-six hours after installation, I had a fire myself," testified Fire Chief Roddy, 
"we're seeing... the fire is at the meter."  

Was that a blessing of disclosure in disguise?

Availability and maintenance... 

Mr. Kurmas also stated that analog meters were not manufactured any longer.  There are a couple of different websites I know of where anyone can order an analog electric meter.  So they are available.  And if the law of supply and demand is true, the supply will follow the demand.

Mr. Kurmas also stated that traditional analog meters needed to be maintained.  However, he didn't mention that traditional analog meters have a life expectancy of double (or more) that of AMI smart meters.  So they will either be checking traditional analog meters, or totally replacing AMI smart meters, every few years.  Is that more "green", or less?


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