Read about what RF smart meters are
Read the letter to my representatives
Read the first letter to the NSTAR executive
On 3/14/13 the NStar Executive responded quite generically to my first letter. It was a canned response (a cut and paste job) stating that the meter installed on my house was an Itron Centron C1SR which is not a smart meter. With the response was an attached spec sheet for the Itron Centron C1SR.
Well, this executive response was misinformed because I do not have an Itron Centron C1SR on my house, I have a GE I-210+C Smart Grid enabled meter on my house. Two of them, actually. It is clear that all of the employees are not on the same page! Either by mistake or intention, NSTAR is not being entirely transparent. To attempt to get my questions answered I wrote the below follow up email.
Letter #2 to NStar Executive
To protect the privacy of the executive responder from NSTAR, I do not include the name.
Dear [NSTAR Executive],
Thank you for your quick response.
Perhaps you are not aware of which model of meter that was installed on my house. The spec sheet you attached *is not* the meter that is on my house. I am not opposed to the use of an electronic meter that transmits once a month to a mobile collection system in a utility car. As mentioned in my previous email, I looked up the model number that is clearly labeled on my new meter and the specifications for this meter are found here: spec sheet GE meter. It is not the meter that you think it is!
I would like to draw your attention to the last specification for *my meter* pertaining to communication:
Specifically designed to accommodate the communications technology required to support the smart grid, the I-210+c has the same electrical and mechanical interface as our I-210+ platform, therefore making communications interchangeable and interoperable between these two residential metering platforms. Designed with an enhanced power supply, the platform is ideally optimized for RF Mesh, PLC, and 3G/4G point-to-point communication technologies.
From a utility perspective the advantage of this GE smart meter is its multi-functionality. They are capable of communicating through many different mediums. PLC (power line communication) is a safe form of communication as it does not transmit through radio wave bursts but instead through the power line. Other forms of communication that this meter is capable of such as RF Mesh and 3G/4G transmit bursts of frequency into space. The health implications of constant or frequent RF & 3G/4G transmission is what concerns me.
So you see, the meter on my house is a “smart meter”, but NSTAR may not yet be utilizing the technology that has been causing controversy. The health controversy over smart meters is about the RF Mesh (Radio Frequency Mesh) communication. If you would like to learn about RF Mesh Point-to-Point communication you can read an article here.
Again, your company may not currently be utilizing the entire capabilities of this meter, but that does not guarantee that you won’t in the future. Nor does it guarantee that you are not testing it for these abilities, which is what I believe I have physically felt.
I suggest that NSTAR become more transparent about what you are installing and what your long term plan for this technology is. It seems as though there is some communication breakdown. I found the stated use of “smart meters” mentioned in NSTARs 2010 sustainability report. The quote below is taken from that report found here:
“Smart Meters In March 2010, NSTAR received approval from the Department of Public Utilities to move forward with our “low-cost” plan for a Smart Meter customer pilot using already installed Internet connections to track energy usage of each of the pilot homes.”
Again, I am deeply concerned about the long term health effects if NSTAR were to employ the RF mesh or 3G/4G communication. Specifically, there is evidence that pulsed RF radiation used for meters to communicate is hazardous to health. PLC communication on the other hand is safe.
How does NSTARs plan to use these meters in the future?
Are you fully aware of the health concerns that come with RF & 3G/4G transmission?
My primary objective is to alert NSTAR to these the health risks and persuade you to adopt a policy that protects customer health by adhering to a precautionary principal. Pulsed RF communication has not been studied and we therefore cannot claim that it is safe. I do not want our community to be the long term testing ground for a technology that can weaken our DNA making us more susceptible to cancer, effecting our fertility and more!
Again I ask the following:
- I would like to see NSTAR implement a company wide policy commitment to always err on the side of caution in regard to customer health.
- I request a copy of your official statement regarding smart meter transmission technology and its implication on personal privacy and human health.
- I request that NSTAR implement a moratorium on using this (RF) microwave pulse transmission technology (in Smart Meter Application).
Furthermore, I ask for transparency. It is clear that you are not sharing the full story or plan with your customers. What I cannot decipher is if you are intentionally misleading your customers or if you, [executive], being an employee, are simply repeating a statement that your lawyer has prepared for you.
I understand that this information, the distinction as to what a “smart meter” is, is complex, but NSTAR cannot make the issue go away simply by telling customers that “you don’t have smart meters”. We need transparency and an assurance that you will not employ a technology that is not proven to be safe.
Please [executive], I’m asking you to take action insure the protection of the long term health of your customers. Also, I would like my GE Smart Meter to be replaced with the single phase Centron meter that you thought I would have had installed. Again, I do not have an issue with a meter that would transmit monthly to a mobile collection system in a NSTAR car driving by. Exposure once per month to RF is likely to be safe.
Thanks again for reading through this long and detailed email. I trust and hope that you will help me out.
All the best,