There are about as many reasons why people are saying “no” to smart meters as there are people who oppose smart meters, however some of the more common reasons are listed below:
1) Health reasons, including a possible increase in the risk of developing cancer.
Smart meters produce microwave (also called radiofrequency or RF) radiation which has been classified as a “possible carcinogen” (type 2B) by the World health Organisation’s International agency for Research on Cancer. (Please see this link for more information about smart meters and health.)
2) Many people have reported unpleasant symptoms after moving into a home with a smart meter, or after a smart meter has been installed at their home.
Two examples of how NZers have been adversely affected by smart meters may be read at this link and this link.
3) Many people have reported higher electricity bills after a smart meter has been installed.
(If you go to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz and type “bills” into the search box you will find a few articles about this aspect of smart meters.)
There are a few different ways by which smart meters may increase electricity bills. These include the fact that electronic meters measure electricity differently from the traditional electromechanical (Ferraris) “analogue” meters. (You can read about this here.)
Smart meters can also allow for Time of Use (TOU) pricing which electricity companies may use to charge more for power at times of the day when it is most needed (like winter afternoons and evenings.) This can result in an increase in bills with no change in electricity use. (Please see this link for details: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/what-is-time-of-use-tou-pricing-and-how-could-it-affect-you/)
Smart meters can also measure a contaminant on the electricity lines known as “reactive power” or “reactive energy” and although “reactive power” cannot be used by lights or appliances, a recent request for information made to the Electricity Authority under the Official Information Act showed that companies are legally allowed to charge for this useless electricity.
If useless reactive power is added to bills, bills can increase significantly.
4) Reported fires and electrical problems
There have been problems with fires and reported electrical problems after some smart meter installations in NZ. For more information about this, please see the following links:
5) A smart meter may jeopardise your ability to keep your home warm in winter
A smart meter may interfere with your ability to keep your home warm in winter.
The link below explains how this could occur:
5) Smart meters may adversely affect your privacy
Many people who are concerned about privacy oppose smart meters because the data collected by smart meters can be “de-aggregated” by computers to provide information about what appliances in a home are in use and when. (For more information about privacy and smart meters, please see this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/category/privacy-2/ )
In NZ smart meters have been installed without prior notice; if you do not want one it is important to take action
Smart meters are NOT compulsory in NZ and for information about what other Kiwis are doing to prevent a smart meter please see this link. https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/your-options-if-your-electricity-retailer-sends-you-a-notice-to-say-it-plans-to-install-a-smart-meter/
The website of the award winning smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power is a great source of information about smart meters.
For more information about smart meters the following websites are useful:
NB: If you are in NZ, please sign up to the free email list for www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz to get updates on the smart meter issue.
North America: www.stopsmartmeters.org
For an international directory of groups opposing smart meters please visit: https://takebackyourpower.net/directory/
Please share this link if you have found it helpful. Thank you. NB: If you are in NZ, to get updates on the smart meter issue you can sign up to the free email list at www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz
The smart meter issue was front page of the Waitaki Herald today with the headline “Smart Meter Grumble Grows”.
The story relates how a team of Oamaru residents who have been organising public meetings* in the town ahead of a planned roll out of smart meters by Meridian have called for a moratorium on smart meters.
Perhaps predictably, a spokesperson for an electricity company was qu0ted as saying that there was “no evidence” to support concern about adverse health effects from smart meters.
Lack of time prevents me from rebutting the spokeswoman’s claims fully; however I would suggest anyone who wants information and smart meters and health begin by reading this link: https://stopsmartmeters.org.nz/health-issues/
*A further public meeting is planned for August 17, please see this link for details:
Website editor’s note:
The following email was received by www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz in late February 2015:
I have been really ill, requiring hospital treatment 1 or 2 times a month since 2 weeks after having smart meter put in. I had tremors, sharp head pain, urine infections, kidney pain, heart palpitations and severe weight loss, also thyroid problems. The meter was on outside wall by my headboard. I moved out of the bedroom after being told about smart meters. My symptoms have improved remarkably, but I now have to endure Graves Disease and severe eye disease. For about 18 months I was slowly deteriorating to the point that I honestly thought I would not live. My family thought I was not going to live. How can these meters be allowed?
[Full name supplied but removed to protect privacy]
In response to an email from www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz more details followed:
Hi Katherine, sorry to take so long with my reply. I was with Genesis. I asked them to remove modem and they said that they had made a decision in November 2014 to not take any more out and that I would have to change power company if I wanted it removed. This decision was made as there were so many people wanting them removed, so I was told. The power meter is 18 inches from my head on outside wall.
This customer’s response was to change to another electricity retailer. Her new company:
“… told me to get a letter from my GP and send it to them. I got a letter and sent and the modem was removed within a few days. I live in [name of location of residence supplied].
Within a few days of moving out of the bedroom into my spare room, I noticed the pain in my head stopped. I had been so sick for about 18 months and no one could explain the reason for it.
One day I was so unwell I got in car and went to my GP. I just said to him that there IS something wrong with me and I want every blood test possible taken.The results showed I had thyroid problems. I was at [name of NZ hospital] every 2 weeks for the next year. I have had Radioactive Iodine treatment. That terrified me after what the radiation from the smart meter had done to me.
I had tremors, heart palpitations, sharp pains up the side of my head, nausea, up 4 or 5 times a night to toilet and developed Thyroid Disease [while the smart meter was installed and prior to the modem being removed – Ed] .
Smart meters are known to cause thyroid cancer*, so guess I’m lucky to have asked for tests when I did. Also recurrent urine infections with no reason for them.
Five weeks have passed [since the modem was removed] and I feel like new. All symptoms have gone completely. My eyes have been affected badly is the only problem I have now. I am also left with Graves Disease and need to now wear sunglasses, even to watch tv and inside the house until lights off and into bed. I feel very lucky. I can’t remember who first told me about smart meters and the health problems they cause. Hope this letter helps in any way.
Regards [full name supplied]
Website editor’s note: Reports of “smart” meter-related problems (whether health problems, fires, increased bills or any other problems) may be reported in confidence to www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz via our Contact Form at this link.
Information is not posted on the website unless permission is given for this to be done.
*Ed note: I am not aware of any scientific publications on smart meters and thyroid cancer; however at least one study has shown that cell phone radiation can stimulate thyroid cell division. Many smart meters in NZ use the cellular network frequency. http://thyroidworldcongress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/O022_Mizrachi.pdf