A smart meter is an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility company for monitoring and billing purposes. Unlike traditional automatic meter reading, smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. There are concerns regarding the cost, health, fire risk, security and privacy effects of smart meters.
Nevada supposedly is a state that has an “opt out” policy for residents who don’t want the so-called Smart Meter. But the utility company Nevada Energy (NVE) sent armed men to disconnect the electricity of a woman who decided against the Smart Meter that had been installed in her home without notice or her permission.
So much for the volitional “opt out” policy!
Here are excerpts from an article by Adonai for The Watchers, September 21, 2012:
Mona Orkoulas lives in the mountains outside Las Vegas, Nevada, where she works in real estate. Like many Americans she has been impacted by the downturn in the economy and is struggling to make ends meet. [...] She has always paid her bills on time, and makes protecting her health a priority. [...]
The story starts when Nevada Energy (NVE) installed a ‘smart’ meter on Mona’s bedroom wall in January without permission, or even so much as a few days’ notice.
Mona reports that she does not have any prior history of medical issues. Shortly after NV Energy installed the smart meter, she started noticing an increase in her heart rate first thing in the morning and an elevated blood pressure. She felt fatigued, and started having headaches. A low grinding sound had started when the meter was installed and this made it difficult for Mona to sleep, or even be in her own home during the day. She tried different things to get rid of the symptoms, but nothing worked. Finally it dawned on her: the only thing which had changed in her life was the meter. When she started researching the issue, she realized she was not alone. Others were experiencing the same annoying humming grinding sound, the same adverse health impacts — and linking it to recent smart meter installations. She has amassed a whole binder of studies about the negative effects of EMF’s on health.
A letter from Mona’s doctor to NV Energy reads:
Neurological and cardiological findings may be associated with pulsed EMF… EEG, ECG, MRI and sleep study changes may be associated in some hypersensitive individuals to pulsed EMF. If multiple Smart meters are in use in her area, the possibility of constructive and destructive interference between the various EMF signals is a distinct possibility whose effects may be potentially more dangerous. I recommend that this patient be allowed to have NVE reinstall an analog meter at her house.
So she called the power company, expecting that they would remove the unsanctioned meter right away — or at least come out and do an analysis to find out what was causing the grinding noise. Months later, frustrated after at least six failed attempts to have NVE address the problem, Mona finally purchased a standard analog meter and had an electrician install it at her residence. She carefully photographed and recorded the readings on the old and new meter, to be sure that she paid for every kilowatt-hour used. She attempted to return the unwanted smart meter to NVE offices, but was turned away.
On August 6th, at about 10:30am, three men from Nevada Energy, armed with guns, arrived unannounced on her property, removed the analog meter from the socket, took her analog meter as well as the unauthorized smart meter she had removed, and left her living without electricity. One of the men identified himself as an investigator with the company and said that he was investigating her for “criminal tampering.”
She was in tears, visibly shaken by the encounter, and recalls asking the men, “Why are you on my property with guns?” Their response: “this is procedure Ma’am.” [...] More than a month later, the lights are still off and Mona hasn’t budged. “They’re not putting that thing back on my house,” she says.
We asked Angel de Fazio, who has been on the front lines working to fight NVE’s smart meter program, what is going on here? Doesn’t Nevada have an ‘opt out’ choice? Angel says “Nevada residents only won the right to be placed on the ‘delay list’, not a full ‘opt out’.”
In other words, if you wised up before the installation trucks came and still have your analog, NVE has a ‘delay list’ you can sign to ‘delay’ your installation date. But if the power company managed to sneak on your property and install a smart meter — even without permission — then your choice is a smart meter or no power at all, as Mona discovered. Even if you have a letter from your doctor, the power company apparently thinks it knows best what’s good for you.
While awareness about smart meter problems has been greater in states like California, Maine, and several other states, the “take a smart meter or lose your power” policy remains quietly in force in other states where awareness may not be as widespread. However, people in these states (like Mona) have had enough and are standing up to the utility industry in increasing numbers.
Angel tells Stop Smart Meters! that Nevada’s opt out proceeding has been a sham. “The Nevada PUC will be holding hearings on October 3rd-5th to determine which of the ‘non-transmitting’ meters they will trial to replace people’s analogs and how much they will charge for the ‘privilege’. Even the ‘right’ to have a non-transmitting meter is under threat.” In other words, there may be no official ‘opt out’ at all unless people organize and make more noise.
“NVE has conned the PUC into believing that only a certain number of people can opt out or their Federal Stimulus Grant will be in jeopardy. That is a lie,” Angel says.
NVE has been calling people on the ‘delay list’ who want to ‘opt out’ and repeatedly pressuring them to accept a smart meter. The company admitted that they lied to utility customers, telling them that the meters are federally mandated (which they are not), and telling people their power would be cut if they didn’t accept the meter (which they do not have the legal authority to do). Similar stories abound about other utilities including Southern California Edison, Detroit Edison, Duke Energy, and Oncor.
[...] It’s hard to stomach the fact that in 2012 in the United States, men with guns from a private corporation and no warrant show up and threaten us for not accepting a hazardous device on our homes. As a community we must come together and reject these Gestapo tactics. Under the US Constitution, we have a right to be safe and sovereign in our homes. If you turn a blind eye while the rights of your friends and neighbors are being violated, they may be at yourhouse next.
Stop Smart Meters (SSM) has had enough of this utility abuse. SSM has a fund to support Mona’s energy needs and see her through the winter safely and without a smart meter, using renewable power. We’ll be personally contributing to the fund and we urge you to do the same.
Here’s what you can do:
- Please donate to SSM to get some solar panels for Mona (indicate it’s a Safe Power Fund donation for Mona Orkoulas).
- Contact Nevada Energy (Southern NV Energy) to express your disgust about how they are treating Mona Orkoulas (and others with smart meter complaints, without allowing an opt-out). If you own stock in NVE – or any utility that aggressively forces smart meters on the public – we encourage you to rethink that.
Contact info for NVE:
Phone: (702) 402-55553.
- Any interested attorneys licensed in Nevada who may wish to help Mona pro bono – or others who wish to help in any way – may contact firstname.lastname@example.org and place “I Want to Help Mona” in the subject line.
- Report this outrage to your member of Congress or NV state legislator.