(NaturalNews) An electric utility cooperative based in Central Texas has initiated the process of developing an opt-out program for smart meters, a controversial new monitoring technology that allows electric utilities to track their customers' energy usage in real time by sending a constant pulse of radio frequency (RF) radiation both into the devices and throughout the wiring systems of the homes and businesses attached to them.
Pedernales Electric Co-op (PEC), responding to concerns from many of its customers about the human health effects of the controversial technology, has aligned itself with Austin Energy and many other providers throughout the state in giving customers an "out" from having to expose their families to this new source of damaging radiation.
According to the minutes of a recent board meeting, the co-op will begin investigating how to best frame its opt-out program, which in other states typically involves both a one-time device replacement fee and a non-negotiable monthly service charge. Customers who wish to avoid smart meters are penalized, in other words, for trying to minimize their exposure to RF radiation.
"PEC is receiving inquiries regarding meter technology, specifically surrounding reading capabilities, privacy and health concerns," reads the Smart Meter Opt-Out Program section in the board's minutes. "Members have requested to have meters replaced with less technological, analog meters."
Smart meters linked to chronic health issues
Many electric utilities that have already adopted smart meter technology, as well as government officials and mainstream media sources cozy with the industry, insist that the devices are not a threat to human health. But all over the country, individuals are reporting things like sleeping difficulties, persistent agitation and stress, and other chronic symptoms associated with smart meters.
Problems range from cognitive abnormalities, typically involving memory and concentration, to conditions like chronic fatigue, arthritis and respiratory failure. Other health issues reported following smart meter conversion include constant headaches, sinus trouble, high blood pressure, seizures, urinary problems and endocrine disorders like diabetes and thyroid disease.
"We are already seeing increases in health problems such as cancer and neurobehavioural impairments, even though these wireless technologies are fairly new in the last decades or so for the general public," reads a quote from Elihu Richter, an associate professor at the Unit of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Hebrew University School of Medicine in Jerusalem, as quoted in a Karolinska Institute press release advocating against smart meters.
"This finding suggests that the exposures are already too high to protect people from health harm. Evidence suggests there are special risks for persons with occupational exposures to RF/MW [microwave] as well as ELF [extremely low frequency]," he added.
Smart meters represent Orwellian invasion of privacy
Besides their health effects, smart meters are also a serious invasion of personal privacy, as they allow utility companies to track the precise energy usage habits of their customers moment by moment. Such information could, and very likely will, end up in the hands of both local law enforcement and federal spying agencies that will use it to further bully and terrorize the general public.
"The ebb and flow of gas and electricity into your home contains surprisingly detailed information about your daily life," wrote the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a privacy and freedom advocacy group. "Energy usage data, measured moment by moment, allows the reconstruction of a household's activities: when people wake up, when they come home, when they go on vacation, and maybe even when they take a hot bath."