Legislative Efforts Opposing Smart Meters Across the US




Volume 3 Edition 34
April 3, 2012
This newsletter is much longer than normal, but it's important for you to be updated on the smart meter legislative activity and other events across the United States to help your advocacy efforts.
MD HB 878
Maryland House of Delegates Bill HB 878.


Legislative Activity Opposing Smart Meters 


As you know, smart meters are mandatory for utility customers in most states. California, Nevada, and Maine Public Service Commissions have adopted opt-out programs.  During the most recent legislative session, smart meter opt-out bills have circulated through state legislatures in Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Vermont.     




In Georgia, SB 459 passed the Senate but was defeated in the House on March 30. Over 2.2 million of 2.3 million smart meters have been deployed in this state. However, in an article in the Savannah Morning News on March 26, Georgia Power spokesman said if those remaining customers want to retain their analog meters, they will not be replaced with smart meters. Find current information about smart meters in Georgia at http://www.stopsmartmetersgeorgia.org.





Two bills were introduced in the Michigan legislature. HB 5439 provides incentives for having a smart meter and disincentives for opting out. There is a $50 smart meter removal fee; however, this bill does not allow monthly fees imposed on those retaining an analog meter. HB 5411 does not address fees, but requires utilities to allow customers to reject a smart meter, remove a previously installed smart meter from a home, and refrain from selling smart meter data to a third party. For the latest updates in Michigan, go to http://www.w4ar.com/Smart-Meters.html and www.michiganstopsmartmeters.com.





Bill 878 was introduced by Delegate Glass at the Maryland General Assembly - Economic Matters Committee, but was defeated. However, the Maryland Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on an opt-out program on May 22. Both the Center for Safer Wireless and Maryland Smart Meter Awareness testified in favor of the bill and will testify on May 22.


Case No. 9207 and 9208 will be heard on May 22 at 10:00 AM - Baltimore Gas and Electric Company - In the Matter of the Authorization to Deploy a Smart Grid Initiative and to Establish a Surcharge Mechanism for the Recovery of Costs [Legislative-Style Hearing] - 16th Floor Hearing Room, 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD. Before: En Banc. Written comments must be received by Friday, April 6, so please plan to attend and send your comments.  


Read and follow these full instructions. An original, 17 two-sided paper copies, and one electronic copy, of the comments must be submitted to: David J. Collins, Executive Secretary, Maryland Public Service Commission, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. Five of the paper copies should be three-hole punched. The electronic copy can be filed via the "e-file" system at the Commission's website, www.psc.state.md.us.




In the state of Pennsylvania, HB 2188 was introduced. The bill has one simple paragraph about smart meter opt out which states, "Customers may request opt-out of smart meter technology under subparagraph iii by notifying in writing the electric distribution company. Meters for customers who opt out will be replaced according to a useful life depreciation schedule." You can track the bill at http://tinyurl.com/blpchum 





On Friday, March 23, the Vermont Senate passed bill S 214 that would require the Vermont Department of Public Service to study smart meter removal costs, analog meter reading fees and produce a report by March 1, 2013. The Vermont Department of Public Service, which represents the public in proceedings before the Vermont Public Service Board, is generally supportive of an opt-out program. Telecommunications Director- Jim Porter said in an interview with the Vermont Digger that once the meters are fully deployed in April 2013, utilities should assess the costs of reading analog meters and tailor a fee for those who opt-out of smart meters. Because of filings by Central Vermont Public Service Corporation and Green Mountain Power with the Vermont Public Service Board, citizens in these service areas of Vermont will be able to opt-out of smart meter installations until at least April 2013.  The fee won't be decided until 2013. No final decision about opt-out, privacy, or cyber security have been issued by the Vermont Public Service Board. For more information, go to www.wakeupoptout.org  




In response to a lawsuit filed against Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, the utility announced it will "indefinitely defer" smart meter installations for customers opposed to them. The lawsuit is similar to the suit filed by  Naperville Smart Meter Awareness in December 2011 which asked for a permanent injunction against the mandatory installation of smart meters in Naperville, IL. For more information on the news in Kauai, go to





Four ten-person complaints about the costs associated with a Maine opt-out program were consolidated. Negotiations broke down resulting in the Public Utilities Commission determining that those who select opt outs will be charged a $40 initial fee and $12 monthly fee.


Ed Friedman filed another compliant that he is taking to the Maine Supreme Court. On May 7th oral arguments will be held in the Friedman case. You have permission to use his brief  on your website or to support your educational materlals.


Washington, DC


The Washington, DC Office of the People's Counsel requested the Washington, DC Public Service Commission to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of an opt-out program for Advanced Metering Infrastructure. In February 2012, the PSC announced that that no investigation was necessary. In response, on March 19, 2012, the Office of the People's Counsel filed an application for reconsideration in case 1065 arguing that the PSC is not fulfilling its public interest obligation.




Residents of Wisconsin want state legislation preserving their right to retain their analog meters. A sample letter to state delegates requesting this legislation can be found at: http://firstdonoharmblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/wisconsin-smart-meter-opt-out.html 


Here's a video about rejecting smart meters for Wisconsin citizens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReliT1aMTiA&feature=youtu.b 




Smart Meter Protest at Pepco
Smart Meter Protest at Pepco in Washington, DC


Bullying Stops Here Protests


In a coordinated effort,  Citizens for Safe Technology, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness, Maryland Smart Meter Awareness, and the Center for Safer Wireless organized protests outside of their respective local power companies and City Council in Naperville, IL,Nanaimo, and Washington, DC. In late February/early March, the protests raised awareness and generated press coverage of the concerns about mandatory smart meter installations in these local areas. See photos at http://www.centerforsaferwireless.org/Smart-Meters.php  



Color-Coded Map of Smart Meter Opposition


No BC Smart Meters has a wonderful color-coded map on its website that tracks smart meter opposition issues across the US and Canada. Please contact No BC Smart Meters with your initiatives. http://www.nobcsmartmeters.com/map/map.html 


Take Back Your Power Film


This new documentary chronicles the smart meter roll out across the world and the opposition. View the trailer.  


Take Back Your Power [trailer]
Take Back Your Power [trailer]


Congressional Research Report

Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity, a report produced on February 3, 2012 by the Congressional Research Service, is an excellent resource for smart meter opponents and privacy scholars.

Keep up your smart meter opposition initiatives. They are working!



Wireless Safety Coalition


The Board of the Center for Safer Wireless has approved the establishment of the Wireless Safety Coalition as a program of the Center for Safer Wireless. The mission of the Wireless Safety Coalition will be to raise awareness and advocate at the national level about health and privacy impacts associated with wireless products and technology.  Comprised of wireless safety activists and organizations across the United States, the coalition will work to ensure greater health and safety protection from electromagnetic radiation hazards for precautionary reasons. We will work to implement the core message and 2012 initiatives outlined at the Wireless Safety Summit in October 2011. Membership information will be forthcoming after the planning committee meets.




The Film Disconnect


The film, Disconnect, is about cell phones and their long-term health effects such as brain cancer and infertility. This documentary features interviews with the leading doctors, politicians, and industry leaders. Please spread the word about this upcoming movie.

Disconnect (2012) - Official Trailer [HD]
Disconnect (2012) - Official Trailer [HD]




New Research

Fetal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure from 800-1900 Mhz-Rated Cellular Telephones Affects Neurodevelopment and Behavior in Mice

A study by Hugh Taylor at Yale University and his team found that mice in the womb exposed to cell phone radiation risk experienced altered neurological development and were more prone behavioral disorders. The amount of impairment coincided with the number of hours unborn mice were exposed to the cell phone radiation. The paper is open access. For more information, go to Yale press office and IEEE Spectrum. 


Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields from "Laptop" Use of Laptop Computers


The scientists measured electromagnetic fields that laptop computers produce and estimated the induced currents in the body, to assess the safety of these computers.  According to the abstract, the power supply generates strong intracorporal electric current densities in the fetus and in the adult subject, which are respectively 182-263% and 71-483% higher than ICNIRP 98 basic restriction recommended to prevent adverse health effects. The authors recommend renaming laptop computers to induce safer use.


C. V. Bellieni, MD; I. Pinto, MS; A. Bogi, PhD; N. Zoppetti, MS; D. Andreuccetti, MS; G. Buonocore, PhD. Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2012 Copyright C2012 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC



In This Issue
Smart Meter Legislative Opposition
Wireless Safety Coalition
The Film Disconnect
New Research

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Executive Director
Christine Hoch