Smart Choices About Smart Meters: Critical Issues to Consider in Deciding Whether to Opt Out

A public service brought to you by the Smart Meter Safety Coalition

Now that the Maine Public Utilities Commission has ruled that it is “unreasonable” for Central Maine Power to force every customer to accept a wireless meter, and that it is “in the public interest” for customers to opt-out, here’s a candid look at the information you won’t find in CMP’s promotional materials.

It’s information you need to decide whether the purported benefits of a smart meter outweigh the documented risks to health, safety, privacy and cybersecurity.

Here’s why people, communities and governments around the world are rejecting smart meters:

Click on image for printable informational flyer.

  • Radiofrequency interference causing malfunctioning of wireless equipment such as Wi-Fi and Netflix
  • Radiofrequency interference causing malfunctioning of medical equipment such as pacemakers and wireless insulin pumps
  • Radiofrequency spikes causing appliances to break
  • Health effects like migraines, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, heart palpitations and sleeplessness caused by intense bursts of radiofrequency radiation that has just been classified as a “possible carcinogen” by the World Health Organization — in the same category as lead, engine exhaust and DDT
  • Cybersecurity breaches
  • Excessive billing
  • Interception of personal identity information
  • Electrical fires

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Breaking News: CMP Threatens to Sue City of Bath Over Smart Meters

Leaked Letter Reveals City Councilors Pressured to Change their Votes

Add another notch to Central Maine Power’s bullying belt. Two weeks after Bath City Councilors passed an “opt-in” ordinance preventing CMP from installing a smart meter on someone’s home unless that customer wants one, CMP hired a prominent Portland law firm to write a letter threatening legal action unless city councilors back down.

If CMP does, in fact, take the city to court, the Spanish-owned company would earn itself the dubious distinction of First Utility in the World to Sue a Municipality for Trying to Protect Residents.

Even in California, where 40 communities have halted smart meter installation, utilities there have been respecting and accommodating those official statements of concern and requests for more time, rather than taking towns to court for taking a stand.

The letter from the law firm of Pierce Atwood to Bath’s City Attorney was leaked to the Smart Meter Safety Coalition, and states:

CMP requests that the Council rescind the ordinance immediately. If not, CMP is prepared to take necessary legal measures in federal and/or state court to challenge the legality of the Ordinance.

Read the letter in its entirety.

The Bath City Council passed the ordinance to protect residents’ health, safety, security, privacy and pocketbooks. Across the state and across the world, documented reports are pouring in of malfunctioning pacemakers, malfunctioning Wi-Fi, overbilling, electrical fires, heart failure, vomiting, insomnia — and the list goes on. Thankfully, despite CMP’s best efforts to cover up the issues of concerns and force every customer to accept a wireless smart meter on their private property, the Maine Public Utilities Commission recently ruled that CMP must let people keep their current meter — for a price.

While paid opt-outs are better than no opt-outs at all, one reason Bath city councilors passed the ordinance is that they don’t believe people should have to pay to protect their health, safety, security and privacy.

Especially now that the World Health Organization puts wireless radiation in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as engine exhaust, chloroform and DDT, it seems fair and reasonable to want to protect one’s family from exposure to a possible carcinogen.

That’s why the Bath ordinance makes so much sense. Everyone who wants a smart meter gets one. They just have to ask. Which means, hopefully, they’ve looked at the critical issues and have made the very personal, very individual decision that the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.

It’s precisely why the Smart Meter Safety Coalition is kicking off a series of discussions and Q&A sessions called “Smart Choices About Smart Meters: Crucial Issues to Consider in Making an Informed Decision.” The first one’s happening June 29th at 6:30 pm at Scarborough Town Hall. All are welcome.

Meanwhile, Bath residents who don’t want a wireless meter won’t have to pay $40 up front and $12 per month to keep a piece of equipment they already have.

Or will they?

It seems, in addition to threatening to sue the city, CMP is also threatening to skirt the ordinance by charging every resident the opt-out fee if they don’t accept a smart meter. So says the letter, which informs the city that the ordinance is “not in the interest of CMP’s customers in Bath who, as a result of the Ordinance, will be required to pay the opt-out fees unless they affirmatively ask to have a smart meter.”

For nearly nine months, the Smart Meter Safety Coalition has tried to work with CMP to find reasonable solutions. At every turn, the company has not only disregarded and disrespected legitimate customer concerns, but actively sought to dismiss and discredit those concerns. CMP hired the same firm that represented the tobacco and asbestos industries in cancer cases to try to “prove” smart meters are safe. When that didn’t work, CMP submitted reams of paperwork to the PUC, trying to “prove” opt-outs were technically and economically unfeasible. When that didn’t work and the PUC staff issued a recommendation for opt-outs, CMP filed exceptions to that recommendation, trying to “prove” why the PUC should not only reject the recommendation of its own staff, but reject opt-outs altogether.

It didn’t work.

The threatening letter is another hired scare tactic — an attempt to “prove” why the Bath ordinance wouldn’t hold up in court. Whether it would or it wouldn’t is not the point. Bath councilors have stepped up and taken a stand to protect residents from the actions of a company with a clear disdain for its customers.


Winning Opt-Outs, Setting the Record Straight about Wireless Smart Meters

We did it!

The Smart Meter Safety Coalition sends out a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped win this landmark fight for opt-outs.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission has officially ruled in our favor, rejecting Central Maine Power’s arguments and giving each customer the right to choose whether a wireless smart meter is worth the risks to health, safety, privacy and security.

CMP will be contacting customers about various opt-out options and costs associated with each option. Our favorite is the “existing meter” option, for $40 up front and $12 per month. While we do not believe that anyone should have to pay to maintain their health, safeguard their privacy, prevent overcharging or protect their electronics from malfunctioning, the reality is that without this charge, everyone would be forced to have these devices, which are causing headaches, nausea, insomnia, heart palpitations, skyrocketing electric bills, broken appliances and electronic interference with pacemakers, security systems and Wifi.

Trying to decide whether to opt out?

The article below is a must read. Find out everything you won’t learn in CMP’s promotional materials, including why you’ll be forced to buy all new appliances if you want to take full advantage of your smart meter.

Wireless Smart Meters: Setting the Record Straight
About Health, Safety, Security and Privacy

A former New York Times science/medical writer tells you everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision about whether to let CMP install a wireless meter on your home.

Read the article, “The Problems with Smart Grids,” by B. Blake Levitt and Chellis Glendinning.

Prominent Public Health Physician Warns of Wireless Smart Meter Dangers, Stresses Need for Keeping Analog Meters

The Smart Meter Safety Coalition  recently caught up with Dr. David Carpenter, a Harvard Medical School-trained physician who headed up the New York State Dept. of Public Health for 18 years before becoming Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Albany, where he currently directs the Institute for Health and the Environment.

Here’s what he had to say about Central Maine Power’s claims that wireless smart meters don’t pose a health threat, and about the importance of customers keeping the meter that’s already on their home:

World-Renowned Expert Shows CMP Smart Meter Info ‘Misleading’ at Best

Dr. Magda Havas, Ph.D., world-renowned expert in the field of  RF health effects, highlights how information, distributed by CMP attempting to show that its smart meters are safe, is inaccurate and misleading.

Of the myriad statements presented as fact in a CMP document, Dr. Havas says only one is partially correct.

“This type of information is being doled out to an unsuspecting public who are not nearly as unsophisticated and ignorant as those working in public relation firms on behalf of the Smart Meter and utility industries would like to believe,” says Dr. Havas.

Read Dr. Havas’ article about CMP’s misleading and factually incorrect information in its entirety.

What CMP Isn’t Telling You About Wireless Smart Meters

Developed by the Smart Meter Safety Coalition
in consultation with engineer Mikel Miller, Ph.D.

CMP and its “independent experts” claim that the human body emits more radiofrequency (RF) than a wireless smart meter does. The truth is, the human body does not emit any RF. None. RF covers a high-frequency band used for radio communications. Humans are not radio transmitters.

The natural, low-frequency field emitted by humans is vastly different than the manmade, high-frequency field that compose RF. Smart meters and associated equipment operate at frequencies of 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, which fall into the radiofrequency (RF) range.

The human field (~7Hz) comes nowhere near that range. This is a misleading statement put out by CMP to minimize and downplay legitimate health concerns. Incidentally, CMP’s “independent experts” are from Exponent, the science-for-hire firm that has represented the tobacco and asbestos industries in cancer cases. A simple Google search for “Exponent” and “hired gun” will tell you all you need to know.

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‘Maine Public Advocate: CMP Bullies Customers into Installing Smart Meters’ (The Forecaster)

From the March 15, 2011, edition of The Forecaster:

The Office of the Public Advocate has filed a letter with the Maine Public Utilities Commission alleging that Central Maine Power Co. is “bullying and intimidating” its customers to install controversial “smart” electric meters on their homes.

Read the Forecaster article.

Has an installer tried to bully/intimidate/pressure
YOU into accepting a smart meter?

Have you received a CMP letter threatening “action” on your account?

Report it to the Public Utilities Commission, 18 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0018, or fax 207.287.1039, with email CCs to the PUC’s Consumer Assistance Division,, the Public Advocate,, and the Smart Meter Safety Coalition,

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