COMMUNITY ALERT: Cancer Meters Threaten Santa Cruz County

PG&E has threatened to install wireless “smart” meters in Santa Cruz County starting late June 2011, violating City and County Ordinances and going against the democratic will of 43 cities and counties in CA who have opposed the rollout. If you do not want these in your community, YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW Do you want an accurate, reasonably priced utility bill? Utility customers have noticed huge increases in their bill after a ‘smart’ meter is installed- in some cases hundreds of dollars more than usual. A study released in September by the Structure Group (who calls PG&E one its biggest clients) claimed the meters were accurate. But the study did not examine the meters operating as part of a mesh network as they are in the field. And overcharging continues. More: Do you value civil liberties and the right to privacy? When a ‘smart’ meter is installed, your utility has access to a treasure trove of information about you- when you wake up in the morning, when you go on vacation, what kinds of appliances you are using, etc. They will be able to sell this information to a series of corporations- even law enforcement. Read the interview with the Electronic Frontier Foundation about how ‘smart’ meters violate privacy: Do you care about wildlife and cutting carbon emissions? Smart meters do not result in energy savings, according to an Oxford University study: They may even increase energy consumption. There is also emerging evidence that wireless, non-ionizing radiation (from cell phones and ‘smart’ meters) harms bees, wildlife and damages trees: Are you concerned about job losses in this anemic economy? PG&E claims that they are retaining 80% of their meter readers. What they don’t tell you is that several years back, they transitioned their meter readers from full time to temporary so the job loss would not appear so drastic. We cannot afford to lose thousands of jobs in this economy. More: Do you value your health, and the health of your family and friends? Just as we’re learning that cell phone radiation is associated with brain tumors (according to the World Health Organization), why are the utilities installing the same technology on everyone’s homes with no right to opt out? Thousands of people have complained of tinnitus, headaches, nausea, and sleeplessness after a ‘smart’ meter was installed. This is consistent with published studies associating these symptoms with exposure to electromagnetic fields. Living with a “smart” meter is equivalent to living within 500 feet of a major cell tower- about 100 times the cumulative exposure from a cell phone. ( The new meters are being installed as “electrosensitivity” skyrockets. See: ‘Smart’ meters also interfere with pacemakers and other implants. Are you in favor of fire regulations that put the safety of residents first? A number of electrical fires have been caused by ‘smart’ meters. PG&E’s meters are not UL certified, as is required by electrical code for all electric appliances within the home. Smart meters are potential ignition sources and remove utility personnel from neighborhoods. If meter readers had been present in San Bruno, would the gas leak have been detected in advance? Whistleblowers allege unsafe installations: Are you alarmed about the decline of our democracy and informed decisionmaking? The conversion to ‘smart’ meters is one of the largest technology rollouts in history, and yet virtually no public consultation with ratepayers or local governments was carried out in advance. The CA Public Utilities

Commission, an appointed (not elected) body who are meant to regulate utility companies, has ignored evidence of health harm and recklessly continues forcing ‘smart’ meters onto the people of CA.

Take Action! See other side….

How YOU can Stop “Smart” Meters: 1. CALL PG&E & tell them you are refusing a ‘smart’ meter- call the “delay” line at 877 743 7378, tell them that you intend to retain your analog meter at no additional cost. If you already have a ‘smart’ meter, demand that it be removed. If necessary obtain a doctor’s note detailing your symptoms and also send this to the CPUC. PG&E has been telling people that they have no choicethat you must receive a smart meter but that the radio will be turned off, but don’t let them bully you into believing this. No one has had their electricity turned off or been fined for smart meter refusal, despite the threats. PG&E does not have the legal right to switch off your electricity for refusal! 2. POST a “DO NOT INSTALL SMART METER HERE!” sign and post it on both your electric and your gas meter and on utility poles. Available here: 3. DEFEND your analog meter! Unfortunately utility companies cannot be trusted to respect your wishes so we recommend locking up your analog meter. Examples at 4. SIT and peacefully block Wellington installation trucks together with your neighbors and friends. Civil Disobedience may be the only way left of keeping cancer meters out of our neighborhoods. Make sure to video any confrontations and send to us at 5. WRITE the California Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102, or call them at 866-849-8390. Say you oppose “smart” meters in our communities, and insist that they immediately halt installation and return people’s analog meters. If you have a smart meter and have been suffering health impacts, WRITE TO THE CPUC with the details! 6. WARN your neighbors that smart meters are coming- copy and pass out these leaflets. If the utility company or their agents come around to install, ask them to leave and if they don’t comply call the police and report a trespasser. You have a right to a safe home and community! 7. CONTACT your elected officials and demand protection from cancer meters! Contact Santa Cruz City Council and demand that they adopt an ordinance banning smart meters like the county (and Capitola, Watsonville, and 8 other local govts. have done. Contact our board of supes and insist they enforce the existing law for unincorporated areas of the county:,,,, or call them at 831 454 2200. Come to the next Board meeting Tues. June 28th 9am County Bldg. Ocean and Water 5th floor. 8. DONATE or volunteer to support our ongoing campaign – details at 9. REDUCE your EMF exposure by changing or eliminating your cell phone usage, and curtailing the use of cordless phones, wifi, microwave ovens, compact fluorescent lightbulbs etc.

Pictured (at left) is a Wellington Energy truck, of the kind that PG&E is using to install “smart” meters illegally in our County. You have a right to say NO to “smart” meters in your community!

More information and analysis at E-mail with any questions:

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