Smart Meter Opt-Out Legislation Introduced

February 16th, 2012 – Representative Tom McMillin (R) of Rochester introduced today, along with 8 co-sponsors, proposed smart meter opt-out legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives.  The bill, known as H.B. 5411, contains a whole series of prohibitions against the electric utility companies of the state with regard to what are termed “advanced meters” and directs the Michigan Public Services Commission (MPSC) to enforce these prohibitions.

The bill prohibits any such utility from (a) requiring a customer to accept an “advanced meter”, (b) from refusing to remove one if already installed, or (c) from “imposing any disincentive on a customer for not accepting the installation or use of an ‘advanced meter’.”

For those customers who do accept an “advanced meter”, the bill would prohibit the utility from collecting data from the meter more often than once per month “unless requested by the customer”, and would further prohibit the giving of “any meter use data from an advanced meter to any person other than the utility.”

The bill has been referred to the Energy and Technology Committee.  We are hopeful the Committee will, after due consideration, forward this bill to the full House for an up or down vote.  If the bill should survive all hurdles and become law, we think some powerful protections will have been put in place to protect the property rights and the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of Michigan homeowners.  We very much appreciate the effort Tom McMillin has put forward to get this bill drafted and to muster the support of so many of his colleagues to co-sponsor.

A provision we would very much like to have seen in this bill would be a “community opt-out” as well as an individual opt-out, at least for those communities where smart meters have not already been installed.  The issue is that an individual who opts out only gains partial protection from the possible electro magnetic effects upon his or her health.  He is still immersed in a sea of such radio radiation produced by all the smart meters of his immediate neighbors.  Only a community opt-out, or a statewide ban, would provide real protection against layering more and more radiation on homes that are already bombarded with radio and tv signals, cell phone tower radiation, and WiFi radiation from all the homes in the area.

Two other provisions we don’t see in the bill are a mandate that the MPSC conduct a proper investigation of the health effects of the meters, or a moratorium on further installs pending the results of such an investigation.  We know that the current investigation by MPSC has, despite the pleas of nine city governments, been designed to exclude health effects and to make no provision for halting or slowing ongoing installations.

The bill defines what “advanced meter” means.  We would like to have seen a definition that would encompass all the variations of ‘smart’ metering that a utility might install – so that the utility not be able to escape the requirements of this proposed law just by, for example, turning off the radio feature, while still tracking granular usage data to be uploaded by different means.  We are recommending that a definition be made that is more along the lines of that published by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Still this bill is a start – a big first step.  Our hats are off to Rep. McMillin and his eight Republican colleagues who co-sponsored.  They seem to have focused on the property rights and Fourth Amendment issues. We do not see smart meters as a partisan issue, however, and would hope that Democrats in the House might introduce their own proposal that would broaden the final legislation to include more focus on the health effects and possible remedies for that.

To read the actual proposed legislation, click here.

8 thoughts on “Smart Meter Opt-Out Legislation Introduced

  1. itcoop, a year later:
    You are out of the loop of the science. Too many studies on pulsed RF show biological harm to shrug and ignore them. There IS sun block, but no RF block, a point made. Which is precisely why to take the science into consideration when making exposure policy. FCC 1996 standards are grossly outdated (see FCC Primer at Stop Smart Meters site.) For ongoing incriminating studies see a over 2000 compiled by U.S. military by Zory R. Glaser summarized at Magda Havas site. See BioInitiative 2012 (just came out 2013) for modern studies and implications.
    And to anticipate the pat response that “mechanism of damage” is not yet understood, it took decades to “understand” mechanism of harm from tobacco smoke/asbestos, etc. Testing RF impact is tied up in other factors at the cellular and system and genetic levels. Interrupting normal cellular repair functions and creating oxidative stress – biological not psychological – can damage many workings of the body. Deniers of the risks of proven effects are merely protecting the technology rather than caring a whit for public health.

  2. Regarding sunlight versus smart meter RF, sunlight is continuous wave not pulsed wave like smart meters. Pulsed RF is used as a nonlethal weapon by our own government. Here is Jerry Day’s response on this issue: Some claim that Smart Meters emit “one hundredth” the energy of a cell phone”. That is false. Many meters are one watt, and the energy is emitted in a pulse configuration like weaponized microwaves. That pulse pattern causes maximum damage to biological tissues. And contrary to the often heard deceptive claim that “they only emit for 45 seconds a day”, the health risk of Smart Meter emissions is hundreds of times, some engineers say thousands of times more health risk than cell phones. The claim that the meters “only transmit for a few minutes a day” is only stated by those who wish to mislead the listeners. The pulse is two thousandths of a second, every two seconds, all day long. The “few minutes a day” idea is reached by adding up only the duration of the pulses. It’s like only counting the time a hammer actually is hitting your skull. Who cares how short the pulse is? Pulsed energy ruptures the blood-brain barrier in infants, it fragments DNA in all ages, it produces immediate debilitating symptoms in a defined segment of the population, it is known to cause cancer, it adds to the gross EMF pollution levels in the urban environment, and after installation and calibration, if the power company has a hard time reading the wireless data, the emissions and exposures can be jacked up remotely without anybody knowing it.

    • For those of our visitors who may not know who Jerry Day is I can say that he is one of the most talented video producers whose work we have seen lately. He has a unique talent for packaging complex ideas in an easy to understand form for those who need the issues presented in layman’s terms. Here is a link (copy and paste into your browser) to one of his videos on smart meters:
      Mr. Day does not claim to be a scientist or an engineer. Those who, after viewing a video like this, want specific research results from scientists with credentials in the field will find such information elsewhere on this website.

      • I live in Southwest Riverside County. Right now I am fighting with Edison to keep them from nnitallisg this thing. I’ve turned them away once, but have been told if I continue to turn them away they will just shut off my power. Nice. Welcome to Russia, folks.I have suffered from problems with my endocrine system for over a year now. At one point being bed ridden. Although I am getting better everyday, I do not want this thing on my house because EMF’s cause problems for the entire endocrine system throwing it completely out of whack. Our hormonal system needs to be delicately balanced, and when it is not, nothing in the rest of your body operates correctly, not only making you feel like crap, but making you vulnerable to so many problems that can lead to death. Happy, healthy, balance hormones tell our brain we are running well and we are youthful. Imbalanced hormones tell our brain that nothing in the rest of our body is running right and it must be time to shut down the entire system. Sure, the shut down may not happen over night, but it begins to shut down all the same Now that I’m feeling better, I don’t want to go back to where I was a year ago. And I fear the smart meter would do that to me. But try getting anyone to listen to you. It’s impossible. No one gives a crap about the little guy. Not when the almighty dollar is standing in the way ..I’m going to keep fighting because my health is worth it, and in the meantime, I use grounding equipment to help my body release the EMF’s naturally. They can be purchased quite inexpensively, or if you are on a real budget, just walk outside on the grass barefoot for 20 minutes. That’s natures way of helping us remove what’s not supposed to be there Good luck to all!

  3. What’s next? A law-of-man that allows some to opt out of solar radiation exposure?

    I’m finding that the requirement to explain the natural laws of physics with a man-made rule-of-law is becoming more frequent and necessary due to constraints places upon us by a litigious society. Don’t believe me? Get on your RF-free smartphone and Google it.

    Have fun with the legislation, Michigan.

    • I take it sir that your point is that there is really no difference between excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which we can CHOOSE to avoid by staying indoors or wearing sunscreen, and excessive exposure to man made radiation from which there is NO WAY TO PROTECT OURSELVES AS INDIVIDUALS other than by passing laws.

      • Sir, as replied via e-mail: the sun does not only put out ultra-violet rays, but radiation from the ENTIRE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM. This amounts to roughly 175 Petawatts of luminous energy. This does NOT include the radiation you cannot see. Radiation from Smart Meters is about as significant as a fart in a hurricane. You are correct and incorrect at the same time! You see, THERE IS NO WAY TO PROTECT OURSELVES AS INDIVIDUALS no matter how many laws we pass against this silent killer!

  4. Pingback: Michigan residents report opt-out legislation and provisions « Burbank ACTION

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