On January 17, Virginia utility regulators rejected Dominion Energy’s $5 billion bid for additional 'smart' electricity meter deployment.
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On January 17, Virginia utility regulators rejected Dominion Energy’s $5 billion bid for additional ‘smart’ electricity meter deployment.

In doing so, Virginia joins state regulators in Kentucky (Aug 2018), Massachusetts (May 2018), and New Mexico (April 2018) in rejecting ‘smart’ meter proposals. In Canada, New Brunswick (July 2018) also rejected a proposal to install ‘smart’ electricity meters.

UPDATE 29 Jan 2019: We received word that parts of Kentucky do have ‘smart’ meters, and KU seems to be still deploying even though the PSC ruled against their proposal. There’s also a similar situation in New Mexico, where the regulatory ruling there seems to not apply to all utilities. We’d like your help to get to the bottom of such situations where regulatory rulings seem to be only partially applicable. If you have further info on these details, please comment below!!

UPDATE 1 Feb 2019: As states such as Virginia already have deployed ‘smart’ meters for a considerable percentage of utility customers, it is still unclear as to whether Dominion’s bid was to expand the number of its customers with ‘smart’ meters, or was actually to deploy “newer model / upgraded” smart meters. As we know from Take Back Your Power, utilities admit that ‘smart’ meters have a shelf life of only 5-7 years. Please comment below if you have further info on these proposals and rejections.

The official reasons for energy regulators’ decisions in all of these regions has been a) exorbitant costs; and b) lack of customer benefit. Though in my view, it is very likely that the liability associated with other aspects about this dangerous technology also played motivational factors, such as privacy violations, documented biological harm from radiation and voltage transients, home fires (including fatalities), and hacking / security issues.

Dominion Energy’s plans included spending a whopping $5.07 billion just for ‘smart’ / AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) meters. The denial by the State Corporation Commission is “without prejudice,” however, allowing Dominion to refile a revised proposal in the future.

UtilityDrive.com identified this this latest rejection in Virginia as

“part of a trend that has seen AMI deployment flatline at roughly 50% of electric customers [in the USA].”

In response, Marjorie Leach-Parker, Chair of Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter, stated:

Today’s decision by the SCC was a victory for all of Dominion’s customers who have grown tired of watching the corporation’s pockets get fatter at their expense. We would have loved to support a true “grid modernization” proposal by Dominion, if the company had proposed measures to increase renewable energy penetration, reduce energy waste, and facilitate electric vehicle integration. Instead, Dominion’s self-serving proposal was met with a firestorm of opposition, and the SCC rightly rejected it.

I envision that since the trends strongly indicate that ‘smart’ meter technology is being widely recognized as useless if not harmful, the “50% deployed” number will diminish as ‘smart’ AMI meters start to be replaced with safe, proven electromechanical technology which does not waste money, lasts 6-8 times longer, is far more accurate, does not surveil utility customers, and does not cause either physical harm or damage to property.

However, whether the trend of ‘smart’ meter proposal rejection (by PUCs) leads to the widespread replacement of ‘smart’ meters (with safe technology) is entirely dependent on the actions of utility customers.

For assisting with the return to responsible and safe technology, our award-winning documentary Take Back Your Power, which blew open the ‘smart’ meter agenda since our initial 2013 release, is now freely available on YouTube.

In many states and provinces, utility customers can have a ‘smart’ meter removed by opting-out – which typically means an extortive fee.

For resolving the problem at its root, a specific mechanism that individuals and groups may consider is a commercial liability action process from InPower Movement, implementations of which have been linked with the resignation of a number of government and corporate officials being held individually liable. InPower is raising funds to make this process widely available through an automated system. To contribute and learn more, go here.

Note to Reader: If you have more info on other regions where ‘smart’ meters have been rejected by regulatory boards, or additional info pertaining to the content above, please post in the comments below. Thank you!

Hat tip: Einar Olsen for contributive research.

Josh del Sol Beaulieu

Josh del Sol Beaulieu is the creator of Take Back Your Power, a documentary about 'smart' meters which won the AwareGuide Transformational Film of the Year, the Indie Fest Annual Humanitarian Award, and a Leo Award for Best Feature Length Documentary. Josh is passionate about safe technology, human rights, consciousness, decentralized energy, and being a dad.

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  • I live in Dallas and have MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivies) and the electric breaker box and meter are in my bedroom closet…On a stormy night or even a high humidity night it keeps me awake and I have to sleep in another bedroom… I knew the electric meter was going to be a problem for me and fought the installation for many months…until finally they climbed the back fence and installed it while we were gone…within the year both mine and my wife’s blood pressure soared – hers topped 200 one day…so I proceeded to replace the smart meter with an old analog meter (cost was $200 + $20 per month to read the analog meter…my wife’s and my blood pressure returned to normal with mine dropping 30 points back to 118/70…!!

      • Then ask them where you signed a contract to irradiate you with midro waves their meter blasts you with , and tell them that you will charge them for every day they leave there giving them 2 weeks to change it.. I got rid of mine, PLUS now my bills are a good 33% lower,

        • Please let me know in detail how you accomplished this .. I am a THRIVER of stage 4 lung cancer and can feel the effects from 2 that were recently installed on a home below me ..its very close to me … a service man from the electric company said that I was already getting beamed from the 2 smart meters on the home below me …..

        • Please let me know in detail how you accomplished this .. I am a THRIVER of stage 4 lung cancer and can feel the effects from 2 that were recently installed on a home below me ..its very close to me … a service man from the electric company said that I was already getting beamed from the 2 smart meters on the home below me …..

    • Sorry to read that you and your wife suffered health problems, Harold. It is good that you recorded your experiences, bad though they were, as documentation of this horrible assault on homeowners by the utilities. I still own a property in Los Angeles and have fixed a sign on the breaker box forbidding the removal of the good and reliable analog meter that is still there. In that way I am asserting my legal right of refusal to accept the “smart” meter. Unfortunately I have a smart meter here in Palm Springs, CA but have covered it with a fine wire cylindrical protective barrier cage that seems to work. Several neighbors have done the same but I still have trouble sleeping at night. Good luck and good health to you both sincerely.

  • i am in ontario canada and they installed smart meters against our wishes.. in general bills have grown 3 fold with the same kilowat usage.

    • I’m in Ontario (Hydro One), after a lot of medical problems from after a couple months from when they changes the meter, didnt say a thing just one day changed… I then looked into SMART Metres and read about putting a Faraday Cage over it, and IT WORKS, my headaches went my arthritis which atarted with this meter I manage t have no problem with now, The company said i had to remove it , I said tits causing me problems and I didnt sign any contract with them to irradiate me with Micro wave bursts and its against the Canadain Code for Governments or companies to irradiate the people , any how it got a tad heated, and was settled when I wanted the latest CEO name address and contact info for him to answer and swear to an Affidavit I was sending about knowingly irradiating me against the laws of the land, well they were pleased to help me and my problem, I dont have a SMART meter any more but a digital one, (of which I still have the cage over,just in case,you cant trust these corporations any longer) and I just send in my meter reading each month, plus my bills are at least 33% cheaper than the year the SMART meter was on, so you are not only being made ill ,you also pay for those powerful bursts that so the damaging, plus its spying on you as to what you do where when etc etc ,its going to be apart of their INTERNET of THINGS along with 5G which is hundreds of times worse and will kill birds insects plants by cell destruction as well as us, the young and old first then those who are able to repair their cells the longest .
      If we dont start fighting these monsters who seem to want to kill us off, then they WILL.

  • I wish we could get rid of them here in Palm Springs. Their radiation keeps many people awake at night and when the meters all “chatter” exchanging data with Edison the radiation spikes. This is bad enough without 5G wireless coming to add to the torment. Congratulations to the State of Virginia and the others who refuse to be bullied by the utilities. Meter readers need jobs too!

  • Update: I’m finding out there is more to the story.

    1) While it is an encouraging trend, it seems these rulings are just on some specific expansion proposals.

    2) Utilities like Kentucky Utilities, and several in Virginia etc, are still deploying somehow.

    3) I’m not clear on how it can be the case, that a high % of customers in Virginia apparently already have smart meters, but there is a $5b plan (rejected) to install more and blanket the state. But this is what I was told this morning but a friend and colleague who lived in VA.

    Please post if you have clarifying insight, thank you.

    • Dominion Power does allow for a free opt out with a non-communicating meter that must be read monthly. You may not keep your analogue meter once they have installed smart meters in your area. They do notify you when they are converting to smart meters but you must go to their website under FAQ about smart meters to see how to opt out. Dominion Power also uses only one antenna in its meter which sends information to the utility company about how it is functioning and how much elec. you are using. They do not have the 2nd antenna that would gather information from your wireless appliances.

      I believe they are still deploying in areas that they have already budgeted for. Here is a website showing the locations of deployment. https://www.dominionenergy.com/about-us/electric-projects/smart-meters/smart-meter-locations

      • Desiree, thank you for posting this update and clarification. Does it appear that Domimion’s bid, then, was/is for *newer* smart meters… deployed upon people who got smart metered years ago?

  • The biggest reason power companies want smart meters is because they can turn your power off without leaving the comfort of their cubicle.
    Chew on that.

  • Last I heard in NM: Those that have El Paso Electric can not opt out That was 2016 when I left. I had the last allowed opt out meter. I do know at that time, that the main power co. in NM [PNM] allowed opt outs and in some cases did not roll out-as it seemed to me that they were worried about liability. It does say above that that the NM decision was made in 2018, and I put in a call to the PUC to find out what has changed, since then. I will update if I get a reply.

    • If you admit their IS an opt out clause by acquiescing , you have admitted you endorse it.. and go along and so sign on to their lie.
      IF you had demanded to see where you had signed their OPT OUT clause ‘contract, which you never signed, and they cannot, then you cannot opt out or in..until you have an agreement or contract to do so, its ILLEGAL, but dont say no or prove it and you have said YES to what ever they say..
      Its a bother but they work by their illegal scam and contracts or people not knowing that they do NOT have a contract saying any such thing…but people go along and say…Oh they said it was the Law or a regulation i had to have it, NO THEY DONT… they rely on you going along blindly, like well trained rats in a cage… SAY NO, be a pain..

  • In 2016 I was hospitalized three times for heart failure. In January 2017 I checked out my meter and found that they had replaced my Analog meter with a Smart Meter without my knowledge. I called Puget Power in Washington State to tell them that I wanted the Smart Meter that they installed on my property removed. They told me that the Smart Meter they installed on my property was NOT the same Smart Meter they have been talking about in the news that causes fires and health problems, that if I wanted my SM removed they would charge me about $400.00. I sleep at the other end of my house which is 60 feet away from the meter and have covered it with aluminum screening. No more heart failure incidences but now have a heart murmur, and much pain in my body which I never had before and still have problems sleeping at night. Any suggestions?

    • Rose, sorry to hear of your difficulty and experience. It is unfortunately all too common. The option I’d recommend at this time is to start the Notice of Liability process via InPowermovement.com – see above in article. Also, think about whole-home mitigation of dirty electricity / voltage transients. I understand that the health of many people is improving after they invest in such a solution. Some research is indicating the DE problem may actually be a bigger cause of health harm from smart meters, than the wireless radiation itself.

  • I’m in Virginia and recently discovered that I had “smart ” meter put on my house in 2009 without my knowledge. When I asked about my opt out options, I was told I don’t have this option. The VA State Corp. Commission told me that if the company upgrades (which I see they are planning to complete this year) to anything other than a PCL, that they have to offer me an opt out. It’s like sheep being led to slaughter. No one will address my 4th amendment rights that were upheld in 2012 by a congressional report and no one pays any attention to the WHO possible carcinogic properties of RF. Most of the 35,000 customers have no idea what is happening or why cancer and other illnesses have skyrocketed.

    • Thanks, Sabra. The whole thing is confounding on every level, isn’t it… and of course that is by design.

  • Smart meter allowed an electrical surge to pass thru it and burned down my house…..there is a class action suit in california underway……i would be first in line if 1 is started in michigan

  • I’m fighting the dirty meters here in Oregon, I successfully stopped the installation but they sent me letters stating I requested an opt-out even though they never explained that opting out meant your are now in contract with them and later they will force one on my home. I watched the InPower video’s printed out the templates got two neighbors to join in and all 3 of us sent out letters with OUR new contract telling them , no extortion fee no meter with wireless etc. What comes next will be a fight they will either ignore my letters or send something back saying I’m wrong and this is nonsense. I will then reply and send out a second set of letters fighting it and another 3rd round as well. All of us here need to stand up and fight this power grab fueled by greed from our regulators and power companies. Stand tall and FIGHT!

    • Hi Susan, I’m in Portland and would love to chat about what you are up against? Sounds like something I was unaware about in your comment as we just got our landlady to opt out as long as we picked up the monthly read fee. Look me up on FB.

  • What about interference with computers?
    My apt has one of these filthy meters and I have had trouble sleeping and horrible computer troubles with two different computers and two different ISP’s.

    I also suspect all those neighbors’ wifi may be the culprit instead.

  • I and my daughter have insomnia and headaches nose bleeds. I want to get my meter changed. Please help me

  • Good Day to all. I am excited about Brussels rejecting 5G deployment. I live in Washington State and receive my electricity from Peninsula Light. I called them over 2 years ago to have my smart meter removed and replaced with an analog meter and the rep told me that there would be a few to exchange them, so I said OK I am in Then the rep told me that Peninsula Light would charge me 100.00 per month to have my meter read. So the smart meter is still on my home for now!

  • In this article you have said that New Brunswick has rejected the bid by NB Power to switch to smart meters. That was true. The grounds for rejection was that the economic plan submitted was unworkable, and there was “no benefit to consumers”. Apparently the negative health aspect was not a consideration in that decision by the regulatory power that rejected it. Since that time the federal government has designated 36 million to be put toward a smart grid that will link New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

    I suggest fact checking me before quoting me here, but I seem to recall that that is what I have read.

  • It’s all we’ll and good to claim online here that we have the legal right to refuse a smart meter install, my neighbors in Naperville, Illinois we’re arrested (2 average moms) for trying to block ComEd from I stalling in the back of their homes. The police department showed up and put the women in handcuffs. How exactly are we supposed to avoid these meters being put on out homes without them doing so by force and us being arrested!?

    Been having debilitating anxiety and panic attacks in recent months- I simplycannot possibly tolerate a smart meter in my home but I can’t risk being arrested either, this is insanity. Thanks!

  • I am in CO and an in the process, called today to the power company, don’t think this is going to be easy. They said they maybe could go to a digital one, still scared. Will have to pay extra. What should I do? I could do a cover but then i feel they win. I have two little kids and it is right off our patio, at least not by our bedroom. I having been having vertigo for over a year, many other issues and smart meter was installed a year ago. Hmmm

  • I have Glioblastoma Brain Cancer. Diagnosed in 2016. I have been fighting Whitby Hydro now ElexiconEnergy to have the smart meters removed off my home. They first refused. Last update they gave me was they would disconnect the communication piece so it doesn’t omit as much radiation and up my hydro bill to an extra $30 monthly until remit payment of $1,497.25 one-time charge and a $20 monthly fee for the analog to be read and to also pay my telephone company a one-time charge of $300 to install a separate dedicated lan line plus months charges for the dedicated lan line. Prior to them removing my analog meter without consent I did not need a separate lan line. I am on Canada Pension now because of brain cancer and don’t have the money they are requesting. This is wrong. I feel like I am being bullied. I am dying. How can they get away with this?

  • Continue the good work to prevent widespread use of smart meters. I think they should be banned completely. My family and I are literally being microwave cooked alive by a smart meter and I don’t know if I will even live long enough to figure out how to get out of the apartment lease and living situation I’m in. Gang stalkers have taken over my PGE account and PGE says there is no problem. I have to sleep on cool gel dog mats and there are nights when I have to wear a wet towel wrapped around my head and wear a wet night gown just to keep from having a heart attack or stroke. This is NO exageration. When it’s cool outside at night and you leave your window open you can get cooked inside by smart meters. Smart meters are good for utility companies because they don’t have to pay for workers to come read your meter. It saves them mega dollars on payroll. I believe that is the real reason they want everyone to use smart meters. Save you and your families lives. Vote No forever on smart meters.