Hawaii Public Utilities Commission – Informal Complaint

Public Utilities Commission
465 South King Street #103
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
808-586-2020
email: hawaii.puc@hawaii.gov
cc to: Kauai County Council, Kauai Mayor, Kauai Representatives, Kauai Senator

Informal Complaint

RE: Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Smart Meter FCC Violations

Recourse sought: PUC withdrawal of smart meter installation approval and provide Injunctive Relief from further installations until all FCC rules and guidelines have been adequately addressed.

The following is a list of complaints of FCC violations by KIUC, known as Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The Public Utilities Commission is further informed that the FCC violations as specified have been brought to the attention of KIUC in both public forums and by written statements, see Exhibit A, No Consent Form, and that KIUC has not responded to nor addressed these FCC violations either verbally or in writing.

It is therefore requested that all smart meter installations be halted, that the PUC grant be immediately rescinded, and that KIUC is required to respond as to how they will follow and implement all FCC rules and regulations as stipulated in the operative FCC Grant of Equipment authorization for Smart Meter installations OWS-NIC507.

List of FCC violations by KIUC:

1)The operative FCC Grant of Equipment authorization for Smart Meter installations OWS-NIC507 expressly stipulates that these meters be professionally installed. The personnel being hired by KIUC subcontractors, Utility Partners of America, to perform meter installations are temporary workers with minimal training, see Exhibit B, Installation and Service Technician recruitment and employment requirements. The requirements listed relate to driving and criminal record, and a High School Diploma or GED. Though Utility Partners of America write they are looking for experienced Installation and Service Technicians, they do not require it for employment.

KIUC was formally asked to provide details on this matter, as to the experience of the personnel involved in the installation, both verbally and in written form, see Exhibit A, No Consent Form, and whether Utility Partners of America:

a)is licensed to do electrical contract work in Hawaii
b)is bonded and meets all insurance requirements
c)has met State and County Electrical regulations and safety rules
d)are accredited Electrical Journeyman with Utility Power Line High Voltage experience
e)compliant with State Law SB2325 which now requires licensed electricians to visibly wear their Electrical Journeyman licenses on the job site
f)whether or not they are subcontracting the work out, and if so
g)are the sub-subcontractors fulfilling all of the above requirements and FCC OWS-NIC507

Professional installation is called for when working with equipment that can endanger the lives of the installer and the residents of that home. One has to question whether a High School Diploma and a week of training qualify you as professional.

Also, why has KIUC subcontracted this work out, when the professional and experienced staff of KIUC could be called upon to do what they have always done. The safety of the resident must come first, and every installation must require an Licensed Electrical Journeyman with Utility Power Line High Voltage experience be present to advise on any safety issues that arise.

There have been over 800 documented fires in California alone started by improperly installed smart meters, with several deaths attributed to them. It is well documented that employee related training of temporary workers by subcontractors are inadequate and dangerous. Also, workers are paid according to number of meters installed, thus providing the wrong incentive to perform hasty, sloppy work at the expense of safety.

Improper installation can also lead to electrical arcing, overheating, appliance burnouts, light bulbs blowing every few days, electronics being burned out, ground fault interrupters tripping and other electrical problems, including house fires. This too has been well documented nationwide with thousands of complaints, from damaged appliances to the complete burn out of home electrical systems.

The PUC is asked to enforce compliance by KIUC, its agents, employees, contractors, subcontractors and all interested parties. KIUC must provide and show immediate compliance with:

i)a written statement of compliance
ii)a working safety plan that stipulates an Licensed Electrical Journeyman be present at all smart meter installations in a 1:1 ratio as required by State Law SB2325
iii)a written statement verifying compliance with State Law SB2325

Failure to comply calls for the immediate withdrawal of PUCs grant of smart meter installation approval and provide Injunctive Relief from such installation, as well as replacement of any non-compliant installations with an analog meter.

2)The operative FCC Grant of Equipment authorization for Smart Meter installations OWS-NIC507 expressly stipulates and requires that the antenna(s) used for the transmitter must have a minimum separation distance of 20 centimeters from all persons and must not be collocated . . ., therefore all installation of banks of smart meters on apartment buildings and such are in violation.

KIUC was informed of this violation in both public forums and by written statements, see Exhibit A, No Consent Form. KIUC has not responded to nor addressed this FCC violation either verbally or in writing. Nor have they explained the installation of 8 smart meters co-located on an apartment complex, Lihue Elderly Gardens, which houses disabled and elderly residents, or how that co-location of meters is not in violation of OWS-NIC507.

The Assessment of Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation Emissions from Smart Meters by Sage Associates, Exhibit D, demonstrates that RF levels transmitted by RF Smart Meters can violate FCC guidelines under normal conditions of installation and operation. See Exhibit C, Declaration of Cynthia Sage.

The smart meters that KIUC is planning to deploy contain 2 antennas, essentially in violation of the not be collocated FCC requirement. Tests done and submitted for approval were based on 1 antenna versions of this smart meter in order to pass FCC regulations, while slipping in the second antenna and labeling it a receiver.

According to testimony by the manufacturer, when questioned by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Yip-Kikugawa of the California PUC, both antennas are broadcasting, violating both distance stipulations and transmitter power output.

FCC regulations require that the transmitter in a smart meter be no more than 1 mWt, and yet the unit is equipped with an amplifier that raises the output to 2.5 mWt. Commonly known as range extender amplifiers these small devices increase the antennas power, in this case by 2.5 times its rated value.

At 2.5 times the rated output, and with 2 antennas, the smart meters that KIUC plans to deploy violate the operative FCC Grant of Equipment authorization for Smart Meter installations OWS-NIC507.

The smart meter that KIUC is planning to deploy is not in compliance with the operative FCC Grant of Equipment authorization for Smart Meter installations OWS-NIC507, violating both antenna co-location and power density. The OWS-NIC507 Grant specifies both RF emissions and safety protocols, for the safety of both the installer and the general public.

The PUC is asked to immediately withdraw the grant of smart meter installation approval and provide Injunctive Relief from such installation, as well as replacement of any non-compliant installations with an analog meter.

3)The operative FCC Grant of Equipment authorization for Smart Meter installations OWS-NIC507 expressly stipulates that End-users and installers must be provided with antenna installation and transmitter operating conditions for satisfying RF exposure compliance.

KIUC was informed of this violation in both public forums and by written statements, see Exhibit A, No Consent Form. KIUC has not responded to nor addressed this FCC violation either verbally or in writing. The smart meters that have already been installed did not comply with this rule, as no information for satisfying RF exposure compliance was provided to the End-user, in this case the resident(s).

At the time of install, KIUC or its installers have not provided any safety notices or materials on the device, next to the meter, nor did they supply to or inform the owner / occupant of that account on the conditions for satisfying RF exposure compliance. To date, KIUC has not provided any of the OWS-NIC507 required installation documentation.

The lack of safety documentation for both the installer and the end user will lead to exposure to unsafe levels of RF radiation by both parties. But it is the general public that will sustain the brunt of the injury, for their exposure is ongoing, with well documented health, physiological, psychological and emotional harm.

The PUC is asked to immediately withdraw the grant of smart meter installation approval and provide Injunctive Relief from such installation, as well as replacement of any non-compliant installations with an analog meter.

It is the task of the PUC to protect the public from unsafe practices, equipment, and any combination of the two by regulating and enforcing all codes, rules, guidelines, FCC and State of Hawaii Laws that apply to this project.

It is the responsibility of the Commission to serve the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental sensitivity, impact and sustainability.

Due to the listed violations, the severity of the consequences that impact the general public, and the lack of integrity by KIUC to safety and public health, the PUC is asked to immediately withdraw the grant of smart meter installation approval and provide Injunctive Relief from such installation, as well as replacement of any non-compliant installations with an analog meter.

________________________________________________________________________

Hawaii PUC Informal Complaint Petition

Mahalo for your time and effort in making this a priority.

 

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