August 27, 2014
Vol: 21 No: 35

Community & Editorial

What’s so smart about the smart grid?

Letter to the editor from Jordan Van Voast, Safe Utility Meters Alliance (SUMA) – NW / Seattle

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For more than a decade, the city of Seattle, led by the professionally polished City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco — the city’s highest paid employee — has been aggressively pushing the so-called smart grid. 

In the summer of 2013, at a series of neighborhood informational meetings seemingly designed to deflect public concerns about health, privacy and democracy, City Light trumpeted the supposed benefits of a program called the “Advanced Metering Initiative” (AMI).

In brief, the program is tightly wrapped in the “green” language of sustainability, reduced atmospheric carbon output and greater energy efficiency — laudable goals on the surface.

However, a growing number of individuals who question the logic and architecture behind the smart grid are uncovering a very different picture.

That picture consists of increased costs to consumers, time-of-use billing that adversely impacts the working class, zero energy savings, large corporations that scheme for great control and profit and a slick campaign to discredit health concerns regarding the safety of radio frequency technology.

The spin is reminiscent of the fossil fuel lobby’s well-funded campaign to discredit the reality and seriousness of global warming. 

Under City Light’s plan, each house, apartment building and business in Seattle will be refitted with one or several smart meters, a radiofrequency utility device with two-way wireless send -and-receive capability. A growing body of independent research, such as found in the BioInitiative 2012 Report and the award-winning documentary “Take Back Your Power,” reveals evidence of biological harm due to radiofrequency fields in general and smart meters in particular. There are also serious concerns regarding trampling of the constitutionally protected right to privacy and of the economic costs being passed on to ratepayers with no actual energy conservation.

People interested in learning more are invited to attend a screening of the film “Take Back Your Power” at Town Hall on Sat., Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.


Jordan Van Voast, Safe Utility Meters Alliance (SUMA) – NW |  Seattle

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