What are smart meters?
Smart meters are a type of meter that can be used to measure your electric, gas or water usage.
What’s The Difference Between Smart Meters And Conventional Meters?
1. Unlike the older analog meters that have a spinning dial smart meters are digital.
2. Typically* smart meters send information back to the utility company via a wireless signal. Instead of having a utility meter man (or woman) come to your home and manually do the monthly electric or water service reading the reading is sent wirelessly.
So smart meters save utility companies the cost of sending someone to come and read your meter. The upside is that the utility company saves money the downside is your health is put at risk! They pose a risk to you and your family because the wireless signal used to transmit your reading exposes you to electromagnetic radiation. There is also an infringement of privacy issue.
The Smart Meter Wireless Network
Smart meters are a part of an overall system that includes a series of wireless antennas at the neighborhood level. The system collects and transmits wireless information from all the smart meters in your area and sends it back to the utility company. They do so by using microwaves or radio frequency radiation, just like your cell phone or wireless router at home.
A smart meter produces microwave non-ionizing radiation that penetrates the walls of your home and into your home 24/7, 365 days. The utility companies argue that because the radiation being emitted is non-ionizing that it’s safe.
It’s not safe. Numerous studies point to the adverse biological effects associated with the non-ionizing radiation used by smart meters.
If you’re still not convinced about the dangers of smart meters:
- this page has testimonials from engineers, doctors and other experts
- this page has testimonials from people whose health has been compromised by smart meters
Is Smart Meter Radiation Worse Than Cell Phone Radiation?
Daniel Hirsch, a lecturer and expert in nuclear policy at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), has written a report that reveals smart meters emit 160 times more cumulative whole body exposure than cell phones. He states that:
“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.”
The big difference between smart meter radiation and cell phone radiation is that having a cell phone or not is a matter of personal choice, if you don’t want a cell phone you don’t buy one. Smart meters, on the other hand, are being forced on populations around the globe.
If you are suffering from insomnia, dizziness, headaches, high blood pressure, heart palpations, memory loss, lack of energy, tinnitus (ringing in ears) and lack of concentration, it could be the direct result of the smart meter that’s installed in your home. Smart meters are not optional, and utilities are installing them even when occupants don’t want them. What can you do?
How To Know If Your Utility Meter Is A Smart Meter
You might think you have a smart meter installed but you are not sure, here’s what you can do:
1. Find out if you have a smart meter installed
a. Find out if your utility company has replaced your analog meter with a smart meter by giving them a call. Providing you get someone reasonably competent on the phone you should get a straight answer to your question.
b. If your utility company can’t or won’t give you the information, first check to see if your utility meter has small dials on the face.If your meter has small dials like a chronograph on a watch then this would indicate that your meter is not a smart meter – smart meters nearly always have digital displays.
2. Test Using An EMF Meter
You can easily check the amount of radiation it’s emitting by using a radio frequency (RF) meter to measure the radiation levels. Document the reading with a video camcorder or take pictures as proof of the levels of RF radiation you’re being exposed to. This could greatly help your case in getting the meter removed by your water, gas or power utility.
3. Install an RF shield
The golden rule with shielding is to have an RF meter on hand and take readings before and after shielding to ensure its effectiveness.
There are two ways you can shield; you can either use an absorbent shield or a reflector shield. The absorbent shield absorbs RF radiation and the reflector shield deflects the RF radiation away from your home. Whichever you choose, you will need to install it between your home and the meter.
If the meter is on the outer wall, you can install the shield inside your home, directly behind the meter. But remember a reflector shield will reflect RF radiation both ways. So if you have devices like WiFi and cordless phones in your home which are situated near the reflector shield you could end up increasing your EMF exposure.
The best solution is probably to use a reflector shield with shielding fabric directly behind the meter. And then an absorber shield, microwave absorber sheet for instance, on top of that. This way the RF radiation that comes from the meter is reflected out and EMF radiation from inside of your home is absorbed and not reflected back into your home.
How Can I Shield My Smart Meter Cheaply?
As the video above shows, aluminum foil shields well – but I’m sure if the RF meter is moved into different positions (taken out of the direct line trajectory) it will pick up radiation readings. Note: This video merely demonstrates the effectiveness of aluminum foil. This is NOT how to shield a building from the output of a smart meter, this set up would be more effective in shielding the street!
For a more effective shielding solution, go down your local scrap yard and pick up an old Satellite TV dish (the bigger the better), this will give a nice parabolic shape on which you can stick your shielding material. Then cover with aluminum foil making sure you overlap and double fold the seams. Using an RF meter you can then move the dish into different positions (always positioning it between the smart meter and your home) checking your radiation readings inside your home to ascertain the position which offers optimum shielding.
This solution won’t be possible where your smart meter is installed on an outside wall of your living accommodation, in which case it will probably be necessary to shield the wall.
However you shield I strongly advise you to measure with an RF meter before and afterwards. If you don’t do this you’re running blind.
I also advise you to ground properly. Again test this with your RF meter, but without proper grounding the effectiveness of your shielding is likely to be greatly reduced.
Smart Meters And Dirty Electricity
The other little know fact about smart meters is that typically they use switched mode power supply (SMPS). SMPS is supposed to offer better efficiency and reduced cost in conversion of electrical power. Unfortunately it is also responsible for creating ‘noise’ on house wiring, otherwise known as dirty electricity.
(* Above I said “typically smart meters send information back to the utility company via a wireless signal….”. That’s to say not all smart meters use wireless as a means of communication. Some smart meters use ‘powerline networking’ or ‘broadband over power lines’ (BPL). That’s to say they use their own electrical wiring to send back the data to the utility company.
This means you don’t need to have wireless signals BUT these smart meters that function in this way do introduce radio frequency signals (RF radiation) on to your house wiring.
This is no small detail. For my recommendations on dealing with dirty electricity please click here.
What To Do If Your Utility Company Wants To Install A Smart Meter
If you don’t currently have a smart meter installed in your home but you find out your utility company is going to install one, there are several things you can do. See this article for information on the steps you can take.
Take Action Now
The World Health Organization has listed smart meter radiation as a possible carcinogen. This means that your smart meter, that’s on all day and night-all throughout the year, can increase your risk of cancer and other diseases. It’s time to get informed and take appropriate measures to protect your loved ones. Take action now!
It is difficult to understand why are utility companies are so intent on installing wireless smart meters when smart meters could do just the same job but much more safely by being connected to a regular telephone line.
Smart Meter Help Resources
For more information on steps to take if your utility company wants to install a smart meter read here.
Click here to submit your complaint online about smart meters.
But, smart meter radiation is only part of the problem, Click here if you are interested in learning more about EMFs and what you can do about them.
This post updated June 2016.