Smart meter bill aims at customers’ problems

Rep. Dale Derby, R-Owasso, has introduced House Bill 2872 to offer consumers more say in terms of the mandatory installation of smart meters by state utilities.

The bill would compel the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to make utilities get written consent for the installation of smart meters and providing for their removal.

According to the bill, The 10-year $25 dollar National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) Studies of the Toxicology and Carcinogenicity of Cell Phone Radiation and the 2012 BioInitiative Reports states that non-ionizing radiation from radio frequencies shared by cell phones and smart meters produced increased rates of highly malignant very rare tumors in the brain and the heart.

In addition to increased cancers, the NTP study reported that prenatally exposed animals produced offspring with lower birth weights and evidence of direct genetic damage. Non-ionizing radiation from cell phones and smart meters has been scientifically proven in independent studies to cause harm to biological life and Oklahoma to this date has done nothing to protect its citizens from this radiation.

It defines “wireless meter” as any transmitting metering device with electronic components and/or any electric- or battery-operated meter that is capable of measuring, recording and sending utility data (such as water, gas, electricity, cell phone, cable TV or Internet) by means of a wireless signal from a utility consumer … utilizing one-way communication, two-way communication, or a combination of one-way and two-way communication either through the meter itself or through a device ancillary to the meter or through cell towers/phones or ISPs.

The bill directs the OCC to:

  1. Give consumers a choice of what kind of meter, including a nontransmitting electromechanical analog meter.
  2. Consumers who don’t want a smart meter don’t have to pay extra for an analog meter and that includes replacing existing smart meters at no added cost.

Utility companies, like PSO, would have to gain written consent 90 days in advance to install smart meters or to alter any existing meters. And there cannot be an “penalty” charges  or disincentives for consumers who chose not to have smart meters. Utilities would not be able to shut off electricity, which some have done, if a customer refuses a smart meter and prefers an analog meter. Utilities cannon discriminate against customers who have medical conditions that are made worse by microwave radio frequencies. And utilities would not be able to install a wireless connection device close to a home or business that requested a nontransmititing meter.

Passage of this act and approval by the governor would trigger a statewide moratorium on new smart meters until all customers are truthfully made aware of the health dangers of smart meters. It also requires a new review by the OCC that is independent of studies done only by industry sources. It tilts in the favor of consumers when it comes to disputes with utilities.