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Smart meter opt-outs are available, after at least three years of many thousands of health and safety complaints filed with the California Public Utilities Commission and a drawn out battle with both the utilities and the CPUC. Smart meters are the “new” SDG&E pulsed microwave RF (radiofrequency) radiation-emitting wireless digital meters that you likely have on your property, for both gas and electric. Opt-outs are the ability to force SDG&E to remove the meters. Glitches in the opt-out, available since May 9th, 2012, are the following, from reports we have received:

1. The opt-out isn’t free, utilities are allowed to charge for the privilege of having a non-radiation emitting analog meter. $75 to enroll in the program and $10 a month for the meter reader; ($10 and $5 for CARE customers). HOWEVER, MONTHLY FEES ARE NOW ELIMINATED AFTER 3 YEARS OF OPTING OUT.

2. Many customers who wanted opt-outs can’t afford the opt-out or aren’t willing to pay. Some feel it is comparable to extortion. Note: CPUC approved the fees and directed the utilities to charge them. Utilities requested to charge higher fees, though, before that permission was obtained.

3. Many disabled customers and those with medical conditions that must avoid RF radiation don’t feel it is fair, just, or legal to have to pay. In fact, they feel that it violates discrimination laws.This is being fought out at the CPUC, with multiple Parties to the opt-out proceeding, in its second phase, filing legal briefs on the topic of whether the fees violate Americans with Disabilities Act and Public Utility Code Section 453. Learn more at: Opening Briefs on Discrimination Laws & Opt-out Fees at CPUC

4. Many non-disabled customers and those who are in good health say they don’t feel they should have to pay to remain healthy. 

5. Most people know nothing about smart meters or the medical or safety risks. To learn more go to www.electrosmogprevention.org.

6. We have learned from a secondary source that less than 1,000 people have opted out in San Diego Gas & Electric’s service area. This is out of 1.4 million customers.

7. We have been told that people with inaccessible analog meters are no longer being allowed to send in self-reading cards, that they are being told they must be home for the meter reader under the “new program”. (We know of no such arrangement in the smart meter opt-out program language, however.) Since this is inconvenient for these people, we are told they are getting upset and may have to get a smart meter. That’s one way to make them want it.

8. The CPUC refuses to discuss health as an issue with smart meters. They waived the environmental testing normally required. No matter how many people are sick, CPUC, loaded with past utility employees and administrators, ignores the health issue, calling it “outside the scope” of each smart meter proceeding. The state of CA, including the legislators and governor, have done nothing to help.  This is corruption at its worst.

9. La Mesa’s Center for Electrosmog Prevention and other organizations throughout the state are Parties to the second phase of the opt-out and are fighting the fees as well as requesting that entire communities be allowed to opt-out, including apartments, condos, cities, or counties. We know of numerous people stuck in multi-family housing with banks of many smart meters right by their homes, sick, and trying to raise the funds to pay for their neighbors to opt-out. This is appalling.

SDG&E isn’t done exposing the public to radiation, not by a long shot. In fact, they told the San Diego Union Tribune in March (2012) that SDG&E plans on turning on the SECOND radio inside the smart meters, a “Zigbee”, in late 2012 or early 2013. The frequency of that radio is 2.4 GigaHertz (GHz), which is nearly identical to the microwave oven frequency of 2.45 GHz (except this will not be shielded). We have only been irradiated thus far with the first radio, which is set at a frequency very close to that of a cell phone (915 MegaHertz). Both frequencies are associated with health and biological effects. The emissions (from the signals) are like a constant rapid strobe, up to thousands of times per day, every second or two.
The Center for Electrosmog Prevention and other organizations have called for a halt to the turning on of the second radio, for public safety reasons. These requests have been ignored by the state and SDG&E. This is like waiting for a train to come as we are tied to the track. No one has any idea (except those of us already sick from “radio one”, how this will impact the community, healthwise. We know it can’t be an improvement, that is certain.

On July 12, 2012, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued its third warning about smart meters and RF radiation in the past six months. This latest warning concerns those with medical conditions and disabilities.


We ask that the general public help us take action. Demand that the Zigbee radios not be turned on. Opt-out today, fee or not, if you can. Smart Meter Opt-out Forms & Fliers. We are working to see that it is refunded. File complaints with the CPUC, US Dept. of Justice, US Dept of Energy, and the utilities. Take legal action. Learn more at www.electrosmogprevention.org and take a look at the Media section of this article for more on the fees, discrimination rights, the Zigbee frequency, and more.


Recent reports[1][2] from 40 independent experts Smart Meters: Correcting the Gross Misinformation and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine decry the use of smart meters for everyone, as a very serious public health risk, directly related to the development or exacerbation of medical conditions and/or disabilities. The AAEM recommends that smart meters should not be placed in locations (homes or businesses) that could affect persons who are disabled or with a wide variety of medical conditions such as, but not limited to:

• Neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis),

• Neurological conditions (Headaches, depression, sleep disruption, fatigue, dizziness, tremors, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, decreased memory, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, visual disruption),

• Fetal abnormalities and pregnancy,

• Genetic defects and cancer, and

• Liver disease and genitourinary disease.

• Neurological conditions such as paresthesias, somnolence, cephalgia, dizziness, unconsciousness, depression

• Musculoskeletal effects including pain, muscle tightness, spasm, fibrillation

• Heart disease and vascular effects including arrhythmia, tachycardia, flushing, edema

• Pulmonary conditions including chest tightness, dyspnea, decreased pulmonary function

• Gastrointestinal conditions including nausea, belching

• Ocular (burning)

• Oral (pressure in ears, tooth pain)

• Dermal (itching, burning, pain)

• Autonomic nervous system dysfunction (dysautonomia).

(and more)…

[1] http://www.electrosmogprevention.org/usa-smart-meter-news/smart-meters-correcting-the-gross-misinformation/

[2] http://aaemonline.org/AAEMEMFmedicalconditions.pdf


Susan Brinchman
Director, Center for Electrosmog Prevention
P.O. Box 655
La Mesa, CA
[email protected]

Smart Meter Dangers http://www.smartmeterdangers.org/
Southern Californians Against Smart Meters
American Coalition Against Smart Meters www.causes.com/acasm [email protected]