• 10 NOV 10
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    1314: Smart meters for Australia?

    Over the next few years it is likely there will be a nationwide roll-out of so-called smart meters as an essential part of a planned national smart energy network. Will the committee that is overseeing the creation of this network be considering the problems being highlighted in other countries and take corrective action?

    For example, in Australia, previous building practices saw home meter boxes being frequently placed on bedroom walls where the bedhead is usually placed because there are no windows, doors, etc. on that area. At the very least this would need to be remedied for smart meter installation, locating the smart meters well away from where beds may be located.

    In an apartment survey I recently conducted, one two-bedroom apartment had both bedrooms located adjacent to 40 meter boxes for the entire complex. Besides the magnetic fields, what would sleeping be like with 40 smart meters whirring away within a meter of some poor unfortunate’s pillow?

    What about the alleged health reports (below), and does the technology really provide an energy savings for the homeowner? My understanding is that it does not.

    In Tasmania the much heralded Broadband over power lines system was trialled and rejected because it failed to live up to expectations. More recently a new wiz-bang billing system just about drove Aurora Energy to the wall because of unexpected complications and cost blow-outs. Will Australia’s smart energy network also turn out to be another dud?

    Lets hope the energy guys in Australia get it right.


    From Elizabeth Kelley:

    Smart Meters – They”ôre Smart, But Are They Safe?

    November 8, 2010
    SAN FRANCISCO – PG&E’s Smart Meters may be smart, but some Californians say they’re making them sick. Nearly two dozen communities have placed moratoriums on the wireless utility meters, and more than 2,000 health-related complaints have been received by the California Public Utilities Commission.

    Elizabeth Kelley, founder of the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance, says the wireless meters are invasive and involuntary, so people should be able to opt-out of the program.

    “Because we don’t know yet what the health risks are from these low-powered frequencies that are eventually going to be traveling through our home night and day emitting pulse radio frequency radiation, this is causing considerable concern.”

    Kelley says especially for people who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). PG&E contends its meters comply with federal safety standards and are well within what you would find with normal household appliances.

    Kelley says more research should have been done before the devices were put in people’s homes.

    “There are no specific studies on Smart Meters, but there are comparable studies on very low power non-ionizing radiation exposure conditions, namely cellular antennas, which show there can be harm under certain exposure conditions.”

    Olle Johansson is a professor in the department of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He’s collaborating with leading international scientists on a proposal recommending global governments adopt new, more stringent, exposure guidelines for wireless technologies.

    “We have looked upon the current literature in the science field and it’s obvious that the current guidelines for public exposure are definitely obsolete and need to be replaced by biologically based guidelines, taking into account various forms of health effects.”

    In July, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to require warning labels on cell phones and education on risks at the point of sale.

    A program on wireless hazards Wednesday at the San Francisco Library will feature leading activists addressing concerns about Smart Meters, cell phones and cell towers, followed by a screening of the documentary, “Full Signal.” A Nov. 18 program at the Commonwealth Club will include leading international scientists addressing health issues related to a variety of wireless technologies.

    More information is available at http://electromagnetichealth.org.

    Elizabeth Kelley

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