Public Utility Consumer Abuse For Refusing AMI Smart Meters, PECO Style

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) main surveillance device, the AMI Smart Meter, has caused much grief, fright, concerns and actual bodily harms from non-thermal microwaves emitted by the ZigBee radios in all smart meters in every state. Those harms are called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), plus any of a roster of symptoms that can/may contribute to or exacerbate numerous chronic diseases.

As an EMF/RF science data researcher, I hear from people all over the globe offering personal tales of woe how electric companies, particularly in the USA, have done some nasty things to cause much grief for customers from whom utilities had received no previous problems, not even unpaid bills. But why such rather callous treatment? Well, it all revolves around the retrofitting of AMI Smart Meters on to electric, natural gas and water utility services.

AMI Smart Meters have built-in, two-way microwave communication interaction with each utility customer’s appliances in homes, aka “smart appliances.” To be able to do that, a ZigBee radio transmitter was built into smart meters so they could interact with appliances and communicate two ways, i.e., 1) send information from customers’ meters/households plus receive instructions for monitoring and surveillance of smart appliances; and 2) the built-in ability to turn off a customer’s service or provide a “brown out” period if the utility thinks the customer is using too much electricity or for some reason only known to the utility.

The above not being to customers’ liking or sense of privacy and freedom, many object to retrofitting an AMI Smart Meter, which costs each customer about $300, paid off as a monthly charge. Since the AMI SM basically is a computer, it will last only 5 to 6 years, with another updated meter to be retrofitted with the customer paying for a newer, updated model AMI SM. Based upon an average inflation rate of 3.22% a year for the last several years, in 6 years that’s a 19.32% cost increase, which means that previous $300 meter will cost about $358.

Ironically, AMI SMs are not as safe as utility companies would like consumers and public utility commissions to believe, in my opinion. I was sent information about a house fire after the Navopache Electric Coop in Arizona recently installed a Landis+Gyr smart meter and it ignited the entire house. The couple who lived in the house were able to escape with their lives and nothing more. According to reports I received, Navopache Electric Coop denied responsibility for the fire and blamed it on the homeowners’ wiring! To add insult to injury, the fire department bulldozed the evidence! I’ve heard quite a few stories like that.

That sad AMI SM story reminds me of the article I wrote “Smart Meters Fire, Living Hell and Bureaucratic Messes” detailing what happened to PECO utility customer Colleen’s house after an AMI SM was retrofitted.

AMI Smart Meters are not safe insofar as the gigahertz (GHz) frequencies that pulse onto homes’ in-house wiring, which is built to withstand 60 Hz. PECO’s Landis+Gyr AMI SMs are built without surge protectors, which the old safe analog meters had and lasted for decades! That no-surge-protector-fact was confirmed by one of PECO’s expert witnesses during my two-day hearing in the pro se case I have before the PA PUC for refusing an AMI SM.

All the above pales in comparison to what most customers do not know about AMI SM radiofrequencies emitted, in my opinion. There are negative health consequences besides EHS from extremely fast radiofrequencies the human body cannot deal with due to those very fast (GHz) frequencies acting as constant biological and/or biochemical stresses/stressors. Children, in particular, are affected.

One particular parent in the PECO electricity service area has been in contact with me and July 31st, 2017, he emailed me what he sent to one of PECO’s lawyers, whom he sets straight as to how she deceived him and his wife. This is nothing new; we hear of it often. However, other consumers ought to know what goes on and what to expect from gung-ho utilities wanting to retrofit unsafe AMI SMs.

I asked and obtained the email writer’s permission to use his email in an article I would write to warn utility customers of what to expect and to be on the lookout for. Below is that email a distraught father wrote about his child’s neurological issues.

Shawene [sic] Lee,

You intentionally deceived me and my family today and put my child in harms way, shame on you.

Both you & Tom your installer knew I emphatically opposed having a Smart Meter installed without specific details That [sic] I have been requesting regarding long term safety studies on children with neurological issues. You told me you would only get me those studies after the smart meter was installed or you were shutting my power off which I agreed to neither!

We were also discussing ability to turn-off the meter or install a switch, whereby you mentioned you would speak to the engineers to see if that could be done. You had also mentioned on record that the unit only pulses once per day which I know that to be untrue and also know your legal council is aware, so why would you say that?

You intentionally put me on hold and told the installer that I gave my consent and he told that to my wife and installed. How could you, that is shameful, how could you?

The full recording of our conversation will show your level of deception and I am happy to share that with anyone that will listen.

Also on record, you refused to answer me on two occasions when I asked you why you would allow for a customer who does not pay their bills to have a “shut off” exemption for households with medical concerns, but why would that not apply to a good paying customer like myself when it comes to the issue of shutting off electricity? You refuse to answer the question, instead just threatened to shut my power.

I have made it abundantly clear that not only was a smart meter not to be installed until we had proper safety studies as mentioned above and or ability to shut off, but any Peco employee or Subcontractor must first make an appointment with my supervision. That has been expressed in writing to your staff.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in you as a person and in Peco for their coercive harassing deceptive tactics and practices.

Yours truly
john haney
Account Number:

Coincidentally, the day I received the above email, I received another email from a mother of a vaccine-damaged child (DTaP vaccine as a baby), who denied PECO’s new AMI SM because of the child’s extreme sensitivities as a result of that vaccine damage. The mother is frantic about what will happen to her child now that she’s received a cut off notice and the household needs electricity.

The totally unscientific part about the AMI SM radiofrequencies is their “science” is what’s called “consensus science” meaning industry representatives agree about the science rather than what actually exists in published peer review research and journals. Those published studies confirm non-thermal adverse health events from microwave radiofrequencies.

As a matter of fact, 32% of microwave-industry-funded-studies FOUND adverse events, while that industry’s premiere trade association, ICNIRP, refuses to accept the fact and contends there are no other radiofrequency damages than thermal (heat), which they’ve been trotting out since the World War II radar studies! Furthermore, 70% of none-industry-funded-studies found non-thermal microwave frequency wave adverse effects. Here are hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies on EMF-related subjects.

In Mr. Haney’s email above, he makes this statement, which prompts the question why there is discrimination against bill-paying customers:

Also on record, you refused to answer me on two occasions when I asked you why you would allow for a customer who does not pay their bills to have a “shut off” exemption for households with medical concerns, but why would that not apply to a good paying customer like myself when it comes to the issue of shutting off electricity? You refuse to answer the question, instead just threatened to shut my power.

The harassment and consumer abuse utility customers are taking from PECO and other electric service companies in Pennsylvania are outrageous and have to stop.

The problem stems from the PA Public Utility Commission not interpreting HB2200/Act 129 (2008) as written as an OPT-IN bill, which the PA PUC made into a mandatory bill with no opt-outs per their contentions. No opt-out is needed because it was an opt-in bill, as published of record, voted upon and signed into law by then-Governor Ed Rendell.

Other states provide opt-outs and workarounds for their utility customers. Pennsylvanians are being held hostage by Chairman Robert Godshall, whose son Grey works for Exelon/PECO as a project manager, by not releasing opt-out bills over several legislative terms thereby denying Pennsylvanians of their constitutional rights to seek redress and relief from oppressive governance at state administrative agency level.

Currently there are three bills (HB1564, HB1565 and HB1566) in the PA House Consumer Affairs Committee chaired by the above-mentioned “conflict-of-interest-compromised” Robert Godshall.

Is there too much Republican Party politics at play by Godshall? Is the Attorney General of the state falling short in not investigating how Pennsylvanians are being harassed and abused by utilities? And, shame on the Consumer Advocate’s office in Harrisburg for refusing to take complaints against the electric companies?

Numerous PA House members (29 for HB1564; 26 for HB1565; and 22 for HB1566) introduced the three bills mentioned. What will the PA legislature do to get the current opt-out bill HR1564 called up for a vote?

Of the three bills, HB1564 is the only one that addresses some sort of relief for customers’ opt-out; the other two seem like “consolation prizes” for utility companies willing to grant opt-outs!

Furthermore, shouldn’t Godshall either be impeached or made to recuse himself from chairing the Consumer Affairs Committee regarding AMI Smart Meter opt-out bills, which apparently would impact his son’s employer, Exelon/PECO?

The abuses mentioned here are ‘nothing’ compared with the stories I hear daily from Pennsylvanians being abused by utilities as a result of the PA PUC’s apparently illegal “belief” and implementation regulations rather than what was voted into law by the PA legislature.

Pennsylvanians are being harassed, emotionally abused and even threatened using coercion—something the PA PUC should be protecting PA consumers/customers from experiencing rather than compounding consumers’ unbelievable mistreatment.

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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