On February 26, 2016, PNM applied to the Public Regulation Commission to
install “smart” (wireless) electric meters throughout its service area.
The service area includes the greater Santa Fe/Albuquerque area, Las
Vegas, Clayton, Ruidoso, Tularosa, Alamogordo, Silver City, Lordsburg
and Deming. There will be a public hearing (date to be announced later).
There will also be an opportunity for the public to submit written
comments. There will also be an opportunity for any person to intervene
and become a party to the proceedings, with the right to go to court if
dissatisfied with the PRC’s decision.
Until now, Santa Fe has been fortunate. Electric utilities in other
parts of the U.S. have been installing smart meters for about a decade.
In Santa Fe we presently only have “smart” water and gas meters. They
emit pulses of radio frequency (RF) radiation, however most people’s
water meters are at some distance from their house, and those who do not
want smart gas meters have had the right to opt out at no charge.
“Smart” electric meters are much more intrusive and dangerous, and are
the subject of the vast majority of health complaints and lawsuits that
have been filed in the U.S. and around the world. The stories are
legion. You can read hundreds of them here:
Most people who have become seriously ill from a smart meter were users
of cell phones and wireless computers who were never (to their
knowledge) previously affected by electromagnetic radiation.
Here are some of the details of PNM’s plan:
PNM plans to begin installing smart meters throughout its service area
in July 2017, with all meters to be changed out by the end of 2019.
PNM does plan to offer an opt-out to those who do not want a smart meter
on their home. However, those who opt out will be charged a one-time
initial fee of $35, and then $47 per month to have their meter read
manually. Those who agree to receive a smart meter will have to pay an
additional fee of $60 if they then get sick and want to have the smart
Unlike “smart” gas and water meters, which only have a single
RF-emitting antenna on the meter itself, “smart” electric meters are
part of an entire “smart” electric grid. PNM has applied to install a
mesh network and a huge city-wide network of pole-mounted antennas in
the streets. In a wireless mesh network the antennas all communicate
back and forth with one another wirelessly. The smart meter on your
house will relay signals from smart meters on other people’s houses.
Some houses will have “collector” meters which will collect data from
hundreds of other houses and transmit the collected data to the antenna
on the nearest utility pole in the street. The pole-mounted antennas
will re-transmit all the data to AT&T and Verizon cell towers which will
send it all back to PNM. If you have any newer electric appliances in
your house, such as air conditioners, refrigerators and washing
machines, they are all being manufactured with chips in them, and those
chips will collect data on your electricity use and will communicate
that data to your smart meter, which will transmit that data via other
smart meters, pole-mounted antennas and cell towers back to PNM. This
all happens continuously, day and night, and never stops. Collector
smart meters often emit pulses of radiation eighty or ninety thousand
times a day. This entirely new grid will engulf the city in a cloud of
radiation, so that even if you opt out and don’t have a smart meter on
your own house, you cannot escape it. Shielding your house will not
work: the tens of thousands of smart meters become part of the electric
grid and their continuous pulsations enter your house on your electric
wires, which act as antennas and irradiate you from within your house.
Installation of the “smart” grid in its service area is going to cost
PNM about $200,000,000, so as part of its application PNM is applying to
the PRC for permission to pass this cost on to consumers in the way of
rate increases. If the PRC denies the rate increases, PNM states that it
will not install smart meters. However, by its previous actions the PRC
has already indicated that it is inclined to approve PNM’s application:
on January 20, 2016, the PRC granted PNM permission to suspend testing
and replacement of existing meters because it was going to apply for
permission to install smart meters.
PNM expects 2,655 customers to opt out of the smart meters. The
application states that the project “could become uneconomical overall,
if the number of customers that opt out is very substantial.”
This is not a done deal, but we have an uphill battle ahead of us. I
will keep you posted.
Arthur Firstenberg, Santa Fe 3/14/2016