ROSE,OK – “I think this is evil and I’m going to stand up to it. It’s in the Lord’s hands.” That’s what Randy Love, 45, who lives in Rose, Oklahoma said when he explained his ongoing battle with the Northeastern Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (NOEC) over their plans to install a smart meter on his property.
For the past several years electric companies have been replacing the old analog meters with new digital ones that have two-way transmitters called Smart Meters.
Love does not want one claiming it emits radioactive frequencies that have an ill effect on some people, himself included. In his case, he said smart meters cause him insomnia. He claims he experienced this when we was living near Locus Grove a few years ago. It had a smart meter and he had difficulty sleeping at night. When he and his wife moved to Rose they did not have a smart meter and he was able to sleep well on a regular basis.
On Monday, October 5, men from the Northeastern Electric Co-Op informed Love that if he did not let them place a smart meter they would return Tuesday and remove the old meter leaving him without electricity. Love said he has the last analog meter in the local system and the electric co-op is eager to remove it.
Joe Esposito, 67, of Owasso, had his own battles with utilities over smart meters. Several years ago he went 66 days without power over his refusal to take the new smart meters. The stalemate ended when his wife insisted they have power returned to their home. Since that experience Esposito has become immersed in this topic making himself available to others like Love who are having issues over smart meters.
In the summer of 2014, Esposito joined Love when he met with NOEC. Both men claim they provided NOEC with extensive research into the dangers of smart meters. The representatives from NOEC did not even bother to look at the research presented them. Later NOEC sent Love a letter saying that smart meters were safe and he (Love) had no opt-out option. Around 1:50 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6, Esposito’s cell phone rang. It was Randy Love, the utility company had taken down is analogue meter and cut his power for refusing to take the new smart meter. As the electric co-op had promised, there was going to be no opt-out.
Love is now without power as of Tuesday afternoon.
Esposito said the utility companies are doing this for money. With smart meters the utility company doesn’t have to hire a meter reader, they get reports from the meter itself. Esposito said the Oklahoma legislature passed a bill allowing the utilities to gather information on their customer’s power usage in order to sell it to third parties. He said there is a privacy issue involved with smart meters as well as a safety issue because the smart meters have no grounding wire unlike the old analogue meters. When a power surge goes through the new smart meters they can catch fire without the grounding wire.
“Once they put the meter on your house the radiation goes through your house. It’s made to go into your house. Because there are two transmitters a 900 megahertz and 2.4 gigahertz which is the same 2.4 as your microwave oven. It’s continuous and pulsed. They are going to be communicating with all your Energy Star appliances in your house,” Esposito said.
Esposito says the electric companies are lying when they say the meters are only reading wattage use four to six times a day. He claims are really reading wattage use up to 14,000 to 190,000 times a day. This, according to Esposito and others who have studied this issue, creates a lot of radiation exposure in the home. “PSO [Public Service Company] are telling nobody what they are doing. They will be able to control your thermostat, control your appliances, turn things off as they will.” He went on to say, “the Corporation Commission is just going along with it, giving them a free pass.” He said Oklahoma Natural Gas was the first to install two way meters in 2010. Water, gas and electric meters now use these two way meters. “People are being damaged by this [radiation from the frequencies] and because they can’t feel, see or touch it they think it’s no big deal.” According to Esposito analogue meters are the only meters that are safe.
Smart meters have become an issue in some parts of the country resulting in legal challenges in the District of Columbia and Maine.
To demonstrate how smart meters work he took me to the water meter in my front yard. It takes a reading every nine seconds and emits 200 microwatts per metric square. He said electric meters emit 500,000 to a million microwatts per metric square. We then ventured over to the electric meter. My meter, while digital, is not a smart meter so there were no readings to take.
Esposito recommends people use aluminum wire screens in their homes to protect from the radiation he claims smart meters emit.
On Monday, October 5th, the same day that NOEC warned Randy Love’s meter would be removed, the conservative Tulsa based 9/12 Project requested Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt issue a moratorium on the installation of smart meters until an investigation can be made as to the potential hazards of smart meters. In addition the 9/12 Group requested rate payers not have to pay the added fees for the new smart meters.
FortySix News has reached out to three representatives with the Northeastern Oklahoma Electric Cooperative for comment on smart meters and the case of their customer Randy Love: Larry Cisneros, Manager of Engineering; Rick Cagle, Informational Technical Supervisor; and Craig Hendrickson, Marketing Specialist. Hendrickson was the only person that was reached. He agreed to send some information defending the safety of smart meters. Twenty four hours later FortySix News had yet to receive any comments from Hendrickson or NOEC.
FortySix News has also reached out to Randy Love’s state Sen. Wayne Shaw, Grove-03 (R) and state Rep. William Fourkiller, Adair-86 (D) for comment on the story. FortySix News has not received comment from either Sen. Shaw or Rep. Fourkiller.
To learn more about smart meters Joe Esposito recommends a DVD documentary “Take Back Your Power: Investigating the “Smart” Grid“.