Energy and Climate Change CommitteeSupplementary written evidence submitted by Stop Smart Meters (UK) (SMR39a)

As promised at the Select Committee Meeting on Tuesday 23rd April, we enclose the following information that we referred to:

1. “Getting Smarter about the Smart Grid”—published by the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy in the USA http://www.gettingsmarteraboutthesmartgrid.org/pdf/SmartGrid_Report_PDF-2012–11–26-Final.pdf which includes the following in its summary: “The meter networks squander vast sums of money, create enormous risks to privacy and security, introduce known and still unknown possible risks to public health, and sour the public on the true promise of the smart grid. Data to be collected by the smart meters, including intimate personal details of citizens’ lives, is not necessary to the basic purpose of the smart grid supply/demand balancing, demand response (DR), dynamic pricing, renewable integration, or local generation and storage as promoters of the meters, and uninformed parties, routinely claim. Instead, the meter data is serving to create an extraneous market for consumer data mining and advertising (ie, “big data” analytics). Even those critical of smart meter deployments often seem to uncritically accept the myth that the meters somehow help manage electricity supply and demand.

The allocation of stimulus dollars to subsidize smart meters has also been a net job destroyer, eliminating meter readers and creating manufacturing jobs overseas, while being an egregious waste of federal resources that only supports corporate interests and delays the needed transformation of the electricity grid. In fact, efforts to further develop and standardize those technologies that could achieve those basic purposes have languished, while investments with stimulus funding have instead been made in technologies that merely serve the short term economic interests of the utility industry and its suppliers instead of the interests of a true smart grid which could economically integrate renewable technologies and distributed, or decentralized, power generation.”

2. Comments on the Draft Report by the California Council on Science and Technology ”Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters” by Daniel Hirsch, which compares whole-body, cumulative dose of radiofrequency radiation exposure over time, for different wireless technologies and concluded that a smart meter could give a cumulative dose of 400–800 times that received from a mobile phone over a 24 hour period http://www.committeetobridgethegap.org/pdf/110212_RFrad_comments.pdf

3. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s statement that we referred to, calling for a halt to wireless Smart meter installation on health grounds http://aaemonline.org/pressadvisoryemf.pdf

4. Article on the widely reported FBI report, that we mentioned, on Smart Meter hacking and energy theft that is “likely to spread” http://krebsonsecurity.com/2012/04/fbi-smart-meter-hacks-likely-to-spread

5. Report ”US Smart Grid Cybersecurity Spending to Reach $7.25billion by 2020” http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/report-u.s.-smart-grid-cybersecurity-spending-to-reach-7.25b-by-2020

6. We have also attached a video that we made, showing radiofrequency levels being measured from a standard British Gas Smart Meter that was recently installed, so that you can see that the RF emissions are constant, and not infrequent, as many believe. The meter gives an audible representation of the radiation as well as readings of the strength of the signal (in microwatts/m2). It was measured with a Gigahertz HF35c, which has bandwidth measurement capabilities of 800Mhz to 2.5Ghz. We calculate, from the measurements taken, that the meter emits around 43,000 pulses per day.

We were grateful to be given the opportunity to air our concerns. While it is obviously important to look at the science, experiences of health risk from smoking show that science can be debated for many years or decades before “proof” of harm is finally agreed on. In the absence of any published studies specifically involving smart meters in situ, and only a couple of informal health surveys to draw on http://emfsafetynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Wireless-Utility-Meter-Safety-Impacts-Survey-Results-Final.pdf, we believe that it is imperative that DECC look at the “real-life” experiment which is currently going on the the US, Canada and Australia who are a few years ahead of us in their Smart Meter roll-outs. In all three countries, thousands of people are reporting health problems starting shortly after smart meter installation, and their stories are all similar—palpitations, severe sleeping problems, headaches, anxiety and depressive symptoms, memory and concentration problems.

According to the Daily Telegraph article on Wednesday 24th April http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/10015679/British-families-at-risk-from-smart-meters-campaigners-tell-MPs.html it states that “In America, utility companies have been hit with multi-million dollar class action lawsuits from people who have had the devices installed in their homes.” The UK are in the fortunate position that we can learn from these experiences and take measures to avoid the same problems. DECC must take this seriously at this stage of the project, and not be made complacent by Public Health England’s relaxed stance on RF radiation.

April 2013

Prepared 26th July 2013