The usual suspects are pushing smart meters, which means heavy skepticism is in order. From Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., at childrenshealthdefense.org:
Proponents of smart meters say the devices promote energy conservation by providing detailed feedback to consumers about their habits, but critics say the technology can be harmful to health and it poses real privacy concerns.
Smart meters — or “advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) installations” — are wireless devices that use radiofrequency (RF) radiation to transmit information about how much water, gas and electricity consumers use to utility companies.
The U.S. rolled out its first smart meters in 2009 when Congress introduced the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
According to the SGIG website, the program “aimed to accelerate the modernization of the nation’s electric transmission and distribution systems.”
In 2015, smart meters got a big push from the Obama administration, which funded the rollout of about 18 million smart meters.
In 2021, U.S. electric utility companies installed more than 111 million smart meters — roughly 88% of the meters were installed in personal residences.
Promoters of the technology argue the meters promote energy conservation because they measure and record electricity usage frequently and provide the data to the utility company and consumer at least once a day, allowing the consumer to get detailed feedback on their energy habits.
However, critics say the technology can be harmful to health, especially for those who experience electromagnetic sensitivity — and especially for children.
They also cite privacy and personal liberty concerns about how utility companies use the data collected by smart meters — and who they share that data with.
‘People unwittingly sleep … on the other side of the wall and get very, very ill’
“Smart meters are a bad idea because they use two-way radiofrequency microwave radiation to send your usage data for electric, gas, water, solar and propane energy,” said Cecelia Doucette, a technology safety educator and the director of Massachusetts for Safe Technology.