by Frederick Sinclair
All users of public utilities; mainly electricity, natural gas and water, are subjected to the metering of usage. A proposed modernization of services, in order to manage increased demand, monitor usage and ‘control the grid’ has begun by utility providers beginning the installation of digital Smart meters on homes, business, apartment buildings and eventually all locations. Initially we reviewed emerging plusses and minuses of the proposed digital meters (Smart) against the tried and true, spinning wheel, (mechanical) analogue meters. The experimental switching over at millions of locations has resulted in local public push back for several reasons, we will revisit those, but suffice it to say, the dangers and public concern have prompted NYS Senator Pete Harckham (40th District) to submit S 5632A, proposed NYS legislation, before the Committee on Consumer Protection. Harckham also currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation. This general amendment to business law will insure:
- Consumer protection and utility meter choice of Analogue or Digital.
- Definition of Digital meter as radiofrequency transmitting or non transmitting which uses electronic components to measure, extract, store and or transmit electric, water or gas usage.
- For the protection of consumer health, safety or privacy needs, it shall be the right of every consumer of any electric, water or gas corporation at no penalty, fee, or service charge, to decline permission to replace an existing , install digital meters without consent .
- For the protection of consumer health, safety and/or privacy needs, to require without fee to require replacement of an existing digital meter with an analogue unit.
- For properties with multiple units they cannot install digital meters if 50% or more of the consumers decline permission to install.
The proposed legislation contains several more important provisions and detailed descriptions are found at : https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2023/s5632a
Experience in several states nationwide has shown that Smart digital meters have been the source of house fires, do not provide adequate surge protection, increase electricity usage (your bill) , emit harmful electromagnet microwave radiation, generate dirty electricity into the wiring of the premises, are hackable and capable of remotely monitoring /controlling your usage and supply. These and other factors are fueling the public resistance to the industry imposition of digital Smart meters. The proposed benefits are being seriously challenged regarding replacement of the analogue meters that have safely accomplished metering and employed meter readers for almost a century.
For more information go to: https://ehtrust.org/educate-yourself/health-risks-posed-by-smartmeters/ It is also not too soon to contact your NY State Senator and Assembly members to express your opinion on the personal freedom of choice in selecting which meter will be installed at your location, the imposition of fees or penalties and the Senator Harckham amendment (s5632a).