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When I earned my degree in Electrical Engineering, I never could have guessed that some day there would be people claiming electric company meters are dangerous. I certainly understood the potential dangers of electricity and high levels of electromagnetic radiation, but the meter that tells the electric company how much power a customer is using? People barely knew they existed.

As I started seeing the Facebook memes with  anti-smart meter pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, I decided to investigate. To summarize my findings, I found no credible evidence at all that showed smart meters are anything other the positive future of worldwide energy distribution and conservation. So I felt it would be helpful for me to bring some common sense to the conversation.

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Health Issues from Smart Meters?

The anti-smart meter rhetoric has zero factual basis, zero scientific basis. There is no credible evidence – none – of health issues due to smart meters.

A little common sense: Smart meters are basically just cell phones that turn on, connect, and turn off, for a total of only 86 seconds spread across 24 hours, mounted on a wall outside. In other words, if you use a cell phone next to your ear for 2 minutes, or if you just keep your cell phone near your body for a couple of hours, you’ve been exposed to more EMFs than a whole day of a smart meter. If this was dangerous, cell phone users would be dropping like flies all around the world. Even a wi-fi device emits higher levels of EMFs, and they are usually on 24/7. The technology is not new or unusual, it’s just being used in a different way. Unless you are afraid of cell phones and wi-fi, you shouldn’t be afraid of smart meters.

As for the science, research conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, and the California Council on Science and Technology has found no health impacts from smart meters. The Environmental Defense Fund agrees.

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Smart Meter Hitler MemeSmart Meters are Spy Devices?

There are different levels of fear of smart meter spying, from the government listening in on our phone calls to KIUC robbing our homes when they “know” we’re not home.

A little common sense: if the government wanted to spy on you, would they need to spend billions to fake the development of the entire smart grid to do it secretly through smart meters? Wouldn’t they just listen to your phone calls through the phone company, see what you’re doing online through your wi-fi, and what you’re watching on TV through your cable box?

The “KIUC wants to rob our houses” fear is too ludicrous to respond to.

As far as worries that people will hack into smart meters, a little common sense: Electric utilities are highly regulated, and that includes how they handle our data. The billions invested in the development of smart meters would have been wasted if they were easily hackable, if the data was not secure, as utilities would not buy them.

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Here are some articles that support my statements:

An Energy Revolution, by Kauai resident Luke Evslin

Saving Smart Meters From a Backlash

FAST FIX: debunking 6 myths about smart meters

Environmental Defense Fund

World Health Organization

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