Here are some stories about what's happening with "smart" meters here in Georgia. Of course, the latest news is great: Georgia State Senators voted for an opt out option for "s'meters," and made it absolutely free! That bill is now in the House. We'll lead with that one, and add others underneath. Please feel free to write us with any other "smart" meter stories you see. We need to keep on top of this, and can only do that with your help!
Please check out our home page for how to help get Georgians a free opt out option from the dangerous "smart" meters. Thanks!
Fight Against ‘Wireless Smart Meter Assault’ Spreads Over Health Concerns
by Liz Klimas
Smart meter protest in California. (Photo: StopSmartMeters.org)
Citizens campaigns against the use of smart meters by electric companies is growing. Some of the most recent anti-smart meter news comes from Georgia where legislation is moving forward that would give customers the option to opt out programs with these devices, which have been said to cause health problems. While other areas are looking into opting out of the programs as well, some citizens are taking action to “protect themselves” in the mean time.
But first, here’s a recap on smart meters and the controversy surrounding their installation. About a year ago, we reported that some people who had smart meters installed in place of analog devices to measure electrical use were experiencing symptoms like headaches, insomnia, tinnitus and DNA breakdown. What’s the alleged association between these devices and negative health impacts? Electromagnetic fields associated with the wireless transmitters. Transmitters such as these, which are similar to those used in cellphones and other wireless electronic devices, have been reported as effecting those who are “electrically hypersensitive” before.
When the Blaze wrote about smart meters in March 2011, a group in California appeared to be leading the charge against the devices that not only seemed to cause health complications but were also invading privacy when it came to monitoring electrical use habits. StopSmartMeters.org was founded in 2010 as an advocacy group but now also provides ”consultation and advice to dozens of local groups sprouting up who are fighting the wireless ‘smart’ meter assault.”
There are now 26 states that have groups or advocates associated with stopping smart meters. One of these is Stop Smart Meters Georgia, which started up this year and has been chronicling activities in the state regarding citizen defense against the devices and proposed legislation. To the group’s relief, legislation that would allow Georgia Power customers to opt out of having the smart meters installed was passed in the state Senate earlier this month. Some cities and states have opt out programs but it can be associated with an additional tax. Georgia’s S.B. 459 opt out would be free of additional charge. Georgia Power opposes the legislation, which is not in the House for review
With the opt out not yet a done deal, Georgia residents are taking action themselves. CBS Atlanta reports one woman even put a lock on her analog meter to ensure it wasn’t taken by the power company. Watch the report:
But the jury on the meters even among scientific groups appears to be out. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this year stating that its own review of existing medical literature found the devices are not safe. It wrote, “Chronic exposure to wireless radiofrequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.”
Posted: March 9, 2012 - | Updated: March 9, 2012 -
By Mary Landers savannahnow.com
March 9, 2012 -
Smart meter opt-out moves forward
The Georgia Senate passed a bill late Wednesday that would allow consumers to opt out of smart meters, such as those currently being installed by Georgia Power in and around Savannah.
For S.B. 459 supporters, the bill was improved at the last minute when Majority Whip Cecil Staton, R-Macon, amended it to allow consumers to make the opt-out for free. Previously, the bill required the Public Service Commission to set an opt-out fee.
New bill allows an "opt out" for Georgia Power Smart Meters
Posted:Feb 21, 2012 6:44 PM EST Updated:Feb 21, 2012
By Don Logana, Reporter - bio | email
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
"We have had numerous concerns about the health related effects and the personal intrusion into people's lives so I did sign on to give people a choice on whether or not they want to allow Smart meters on their homes," [Georgia State Senator Buddy] Carter[, a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 459, for a "smart" meter opt out option] said.
Along with Sen. David Schafer, who presented the bill, and Sen. Greg Goggans, Carter thinks people should decide if they want a smart meter instead of being told they have to.
It's a choice some say they should have had from the beginning.
"They told us we don't have a choice and that's when I got my Irish up," Shannon Kelleher told WTOC.
Kelleher really got worked up last month when she saw someone "tinkering" with her Georgia Power meter.
She called Georgia Power and told them she didn't want a Smart Meter. Kelleher claims the power company representative told her if she didn't have a new meter installed, they would shut off her power.
"I have huge concerns about the privacy, about the cost, they cause fires and I also huge health concerns," Kelleher said.
Seiler says Georgia Power does not tell customers their power will be shut off, and contractors not affiliated with the power company are installing the meters.
*USE OF THIS SITE DEPENDS ON AGREEMENT WITH OUR DISCLAIMER: This website is intended to help advance knowledge and stimulate further research. While all reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the validity of the information given, no warranty is given towards its accuracy. It is not intended to substitute for medical or legal advice nor as a final statement with regard to possible prevention and avoidance recommendations or potential biological effects. No liability is accepted by the authors for damages arising from its use or misuse and interpretation by others. All references to smart meters refer to wireless devices, which may vary in their emissions.