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USA: Gemeenten in Californië verbieden smart meters vanwege gezondheidsgevaar.
Gerelateerd artikel: Verhalen/3485
In Californië hebben twee gemeenten, Fairfax en Watsonville, een moratorium ingesteld op de plaatsing van smart meters (de slimme meters) vanwege zorgen over verschillende nog niet opgeloste gevaren en nadelen die daarmee verbonden zouden zijn.
Onafhankelijke rapporten spreken van alarmerende elektromagnetische velden, 10x hoger dan bij zendmasten voor mobiele telefonie. Naast een inbreuk op de privacy denkt men ook meer te moeten gaan betalen:
Bron: Digital Journal 30 aug. 2010.
True cost of smart meters might include privacy and health
Auteur: Stephanie Dearing. Fairfax and Watsonville
Smart meters are being installed in communities throughout North America. Some California communities, however, are blocking the mandatory installation on the grounds that the technology poses several unresolved hazards.
At least two California communities have banned smart meters over concerns about the technology said Stop Smart Meters' Joshua Hart in a press release. Hart said Fairfax and Watsonville have banned the meters, while other communities were preparing to do the same.
One of the key concerns about the smart meters are some studies that show the technology could pose a human health hazard, and has been linked to an increased rate of cancer. However, while organizations like the World Health Organization maintain the technology is safe, an article in the East Bay Express said independent analyses of installed meters showed alarming fluxes in electromagnetic emissions.
The Fairfax mayor, reported Smartmeters.com, said electromagnetic emissions could be up to 10 times higher than those emitted by cell phone towers.
KTVU reported the Fairfax moratorium implemented in July will be in effect for six months. Fairfax has three key reasons for the hold on installations. Health concerns combined with fears consumers will be overcharged for their electricity consumption along with the specter of the erosion of consumer privacy prompted Fairfax councillors to counteract the state. Fairfax Council was also concerned by the fact that local utility company, PG&E, had installed radio transmission towers for the smart meters without getting approval from Council first.
Californian Heidi Bazzano, who was protesting the smart meters last week in Santa Cruz County, told Hart:
there are so many problems with smart meters. PG&E, the government, and any hacker worth his salt will know when you wake up, what appliances you use, when you go on vacation. The meters overcharge people, increase carbon emissions, expose us to EMF which is a confirmed carcinogen, and worst of all, were paying for them through hikes in our electric rates!
These concerns have been raised in Ontario by the Privacy Commissioner, Ann Cavoukian, who co-wrote an article with the co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, Jules Polonetsky. They warn:
''... Information proliferation, lax controls and insufficient oversight of this information could lead to unprecedented invasions of consumer privacy. Intimate details of individual hydro customers' habits, from when they eat, when they shower, to when they go to bed, plus such security issues as whether they have an alarm system engaged, could all be discerned by the data, automatically fed by appliances and other devices, to the companies providing electric power to our homes.''
The two have published a discussion paper on the issue, which includes ways to protect the privacy of consumers.
Steve Weissman, writing for the Berkeley Law Blog said the real issue in California is the state hasn't yet proved the technology works - in terms of safety, and whether or not the technology will really benefit consumers and reduce electricity consumption.
In Ontario, consumers are most concerned about paying more for their electricity consumption. A few days ago, the Toronto Star reported Ontario's NDP Energy Critic, Peter Tabuns called for the Auditor General to investigate the costs of the mandatory installation of smart meters. The current tab, said Tabuns, was over $8 million. He predicted the province would pay at least $1 billion for the technology.
Only residences and small businesses will have a smart meter in Ontario, while larger commercial enterprises and industry have been let off the hook. Ontario may introduce smart meters for these two sectors, but that remains to be seen. The Ontario government claims the use of smart meters for residences and small businesses would help '' ... Ontario to build a more efficient, more environmentally sound electricity system.''
Smart meters work by recording electricity use on an hourly basis. The gathered information is transmitted automatically to the electricity company. With the complement of smart appliances, now available on the market, electricity companies will be able to ''... analyze peak power usage times and set electric rates accordingly,'' wrote Angelique Carson for GreenTech Media. Consumers, Carson adds, will benefit by being able to tailor their use of electricity to take advantage of off-peak periods.
Smart meter opponents say time of use billing means the most vulnerable, such as the elderly and households with small children, will pay the most for electricity. One UK writer said ''... There is no doubt that the energy companies stand to benefit most from the widespread installation of smart meters.''
Smart meters are being installed in homes in Europe as well as the United States and Canada.
Voor het originele artikel met uitgebreide (15 min.) video en de onderliggende rapporten via hyperlinks zie:
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