Electric utility-industry propaganda and promotional materials certainly are slick!
They make the “smart” meters seem so wonderful!
However, if you consider yourself to be a “smart” person, CHASM hopes you will ask yourself these questions about the “smart” meter installers who are now marching northward through Sarasota County:
- Do you really want to RISK your $100,000 condominium, your $400,000 home, or your family’s lives, by allowing a utility’s non-union installer to hurriedly install (slap?) a non-UL listed so-called “smart” meter onto the side of your valuable property?
- An installer who is paid, according to credible sources, 90 cents per meter he/she installs?
- An installer who is INCENTIVIZED to install 100 or even 140 “smart” meters per day? (The utilities are certainly in a hurry to get this done, aren’t they?)
- Do the math: A typical 8-hour day, with an hour for lunch, leaves 420 work-minutes per day. Four hundred twenty minutes divided by 100 meters (per day) equals one meter installed every 4.2 minutes. Four minutes and twelve seconds to install a critically important piece of equipment on your home, through which 220 volts will flow, “24/7”? Subtract the installer’s real-world time in navigating the neighborhood, avoiding the dog, and locating the meter, and ask yourself if this can possibly be described as “quality workmanship” or even “safe”?
- An installer who is most likely NOT a licensed electrician?
- An installer who may be installing the experimental device under FULL ELECTRICAL LOAD, as we have it on good authority from qualified electricians that smart meters are being installed under full electrical load most EVERYWHERE – meaning they are being installed when the house’s electrical system is live, and when the main house breaker has NOT been thrown into the “OFF” position.
All this has the potential to cause not only immediate fires, but fires later on resulting from damage to the house wiring, the entire electrical circuitry, appliances and the meter base.
Mercenary, amateur installers, who are incentivized to do the installing while the electricity to the home is on, risk causing arcing, physical- or arc-induced prong wrenching, and overheating resulting in compromise to the entire system, not to mention fire outbreak.
In this context, it’s easy to understand why California-based Insurance Adjuster Norman Lambe states:
For myself, as an adjuster, I believe the Smart Meters are a real threat to the safety of your home, business and property. I have personally worked two large homeowner fires in which the Smart Meters were determined as responsible. Also, they have been responsible for several small fires in which appliances and computers have been destroyed.
“Smart” meters are properly seen as experimental, or novel devices.
According to California-licensed Electrical Contractor Lance Houston, the smart meters incorporate multiple new features into a single unit [2, 3]:
1) electronics for actual metering of power consumption,
2) radio frequency transmitter(s) for sending data,
3) radio frequency receiver(s) for receiving data, and
4) an electromagnetic switch for connecting/disconnecting electrical service.
Houston argues that the internal disconnect switch incorporated into the relatively small space of a “smart” meter ⎯ which the power company claims will safely, via remote control, disconnect or reconnect power to the dwelling it supplies ⎯ would traditionally require a significantly larger mechanical space to ensure reliability and safety.
Houston concludes, “This disconnect feature is a new and significant change to the old style analog meters. The safety of the new disconnect feature is in question.” [emphasis in original]
People in multiple states report that after a newly-installed “smart” meter caused a damaging fire in their homes, their utility denied all liability, claiming that it was the homeowner’s old wiring that caused the fire!
So, here in Florida, in what circumstance (if any) is the power company responsible if your “smart” meter catches fire and destroys everything?
In 2011, Miami’s WSVN TV-7 asked its legal expert (and Broward County’s chief public defender) Howard Finklestein this very question, and we think Howard’s answer concisely sums up the situation:
“Not very often because the Florida legislature has given FPL special protection by declaring that they do not have to pay for damage caused by their negligent mistakes. Only gross negligence and this is done to keep FPL’s costs down so they can keep everyone’s power bills from going up.”
By the way, if YOUR utility denies that their “smart” meter is a hazard, and instead claims that it is safe, then ask them to put that into WRITING for you, in a legally-binding contract with you, and to accept in writing all liability for any and all damages their “smart” meter may cause in future.
(Good luck, and don’t hold your breath!)
And if you haven’t read about these issues in your local newspaper, do you think it might have anything to do with the frequent, and very expensive, full-page advertisements the electric utility runs in the same publication?
The mercenary installer gets 90 cents to haphazardly switch out your reliable and safe analog meter and replace it with a novel and hazardous “smart” kind!
CHASM asks: What do YOU get? Is this the kind of device that you will allow to be installed on your valued investment, in your family’s dwelling?
Or will you insist that the installer earn his 90 cents some other, more honorable, way?
If so, you need to call your utility today, and also write them a refusal letter and post a sticker on your ANALOG meter (which says, “I REFUSE SMART METER!”) Specify in your letter that you demand that you RETAIN your ANALOG meter, as some folks who refuse the “smart” meter subsequently find that a “digital” meter has been installed anyway, about which honest answers from the utility are subsequently difficult to obtain.
CHASM strongly advises this “redundant” level of diligence because unfortunately, the utilities appear very eager to willfully disregard the expressed wishes of those who refuse their novel, experimental, and hazardous meters.
 Norman Lambe: The not so smart meter:
 Unknown Safety of New On-Off Switch in Smart Meters: CPUC Meter Safety Testing Confirmation Needed.
 Houston’s California Electrical Contractor License accessed here (9/21/12):
 Help Me Howard: FPL Smartmeter:
For additional links and video re: smart meter fires nationwide, see:
“Floridians: PREVENT “Smart” Meter Fires by REFUSING “Smart” Meter Installation!”