Energy and Climate Change CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by the Bio-Electromagnetic Research Initiative (SMR09)

Are the Government”s cost and timescale predictions for roll-out realistic and will it deliver value for money?

In times of financial restraint they will NOT deliver value for money. This is a blatant waste of taxpayers’ money.

What are the potential benefits of smart meters for consumers, and what barriers need to be overcome in order for consumers to realise them?

This “leading” question assumes there are “benefits” without having looked at the evidence from other countries where health effects, intrusion of privacy as well as financial losses are being identified.

Is there a possibility that suppliers will gain considerably more than consumers from smart meters? Is enough being done to ensure that any financial benefits accruing to suppliers will be passed on to consumers?

We already have received evidence from a British Gas customer whose energy bills had “doubled” after installation of a smart meter and she faced the possibility of having to shut down her restaurant until her MP intervened and British Gas re-installed her analogue meter! Reports from countries already using smart meters tell a similar story of doubling energy bills! Energy companies will also transfer the cost of smart meter installation to their customers who are already facing rising, often doubling bills.

What lessons can be learned from successful smart meter implementation and usage elsewhere in the world?

This question implies that the committee has not acknowledged the effects of smart meter installation in countries where huge numbers of people complain about health effects and rising bills! To ignore worldwide reports of rising energy bills and health effects after smart meter installation whilst referring to smart meter installations as “successful” can only be interpreted as “wilful neglect”. This question is phrased in such a way that it pre-judges this implementation process as successful without taking “consumers” experiences after installation into account!

Will smart meters empower customers to take greater control of their energy consumption?

This is a myth! This has been shown to not be the case and here I refer to my earlier references to doubling energy bills!

Will consumers on pre-pay meters obtain the same benefits from smart meters as other consumers?

Here again, for reasons, outlined above, the word “benefit” is grossly misleading.

Should vulnerable customers and the fuel-poor be first in line for smart meters so they can get the benefits sooner?

Another leading question! In particular customers who are vulnerable or fuel-poor are more likely to suffer from ill health or a weaker immune system due to poor diet or disabilities, of which “electro-sensitivity”, a recognised disability in Sweden, is one and rising at alarming rates around the world. Please consider the WHO classification of pulsed microwave radiation as 2B Carcinogen which puts customers already suffering from poor health at further risk. In the face of the rapid increase of peer-reviewed scientific research into the health effects of wireless technology published around the world as well as the latest warning from the EU about the proliferation of electromagnetic pollution, we are concerned about your repeated use of the word “benefit”!

What is the best way of involving third-party trusted messengers, such as charities, consumer groups, community organisations, local authorities and housing associations in roll-out?

So far the general public has been excluded from a democratic consultation process. This very review by your committee is a good example. Even organisations who previously sent in their objections have NOT been informed of your consultation exercise and we have only heard about this through third parties at the last minute with two days to put our views forward! So far the government seems to only have involved industry and ignored all health, financial and privacy concerns from those few directly affected who managed to find out about the roll-out.

What are the potential obstacles to rolling out smart meters in the UK and how should these be addressed? What pitfalls have hindered roll-out programmes elsewhere and are we doing all we can to avoid them?

You are already doing all you can to avoid these pitfalls by not giving the public a chance to make an “informed decision”, which is against their Human Right as it directly interferes with their personal freedom. Although a large document was handed in to No10 outlining the dangers to public health and public security, you have completely ignored this, although there is plenty of concrete evidence to support them.

Are levels of public awareness of and support for smart meter roll-out increasing?

You must be aware that smart meter installation is being legally challenged abroad. So yes, the awareness of detrimental effects of smart meters is increasing which will impact in any initial “support” based on misleading evidence regarding lower energy bills. Any mandatory installation clearly is against Human Rights.

Is enough being done to increase consumer awareness about smart meters? Could DECC”s consumer engagement strategy be improved?

Only if this means that the public receives the whole truth about the health effects “already registered” in other countries regarding the wireless transmission mode, including the fact that this mode comes under the WHO 2B carcinogen classification ! Ignoring this fact will be interpreted as “wilful neglect” and is likely to result in future litigation once more scientific evidence of harm comes to light.

Are consumers’ concerns about privacy and health being addressed adequately

NO!! They are not even mentioned.

Is there any evidence that consumers’ concerns about smart meters are declining or growing?

Once the public receives information of public outcry abroad due to health, infringement of privacy and soaring bills, as happening already, customers’ concerns will be growing. Suppression of the facts will only lead to more information spreading via social media sites.

Will the commercial benefits of smart meter roll-out be captured within the UK?

“Cost per Life” assessments could only be applied if your committee takes the existing reports of health effects as well as the WHO and EU concerns seriously, and given the results the cost to consumers and the NHS would outweigh the small energy savings, if at all measurable. The huge initial costs will outweigh the benefits, in particular if litigation due to health effects in other countries is successful and similar court cases start here.

Will DECC”s current approach to roll-out, including on procurement and establishment of the central Data and Communications Company, deliver an optimal data and communications strategy?

To most people this will appear as an infringement of their Human Rights and increase public awareness about the fact that the UK is becoming increasingly known as a Big Brother state which eventually will result in revolt amongst the public.

What criteria should DECC use to measure the ongoing success of roll-out?

Most people, once they are informed about the facts behind the “rosy picture”, will oppose having a smart meter on their property. The DECC should spend public money to employ new green energies instead. We find it very strange that, at a time when there are so many new developments in the field of new green energies, the government still seems to be oblivious to them. As most of the UK is undergrounded by Optic Fibre, the possibility for optic fibre connection is obvious which would exclude one of the main objections (health effects) from the list of concerns. The fact that the government does not even go this obvious route shows total disregard for Public Health and leaves the door open for future compensation claims.

February 2013

Prepared 26th July 2013