Place Moratorium on Smart Meters

Place Moratorium on Smart Meters


As many Alamedans know, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) has been implementing its Smart Meter program in residential neighborhoods. What most Alamedans do not know, however, is the hidden potential for danger these radio-frequency (RF) radiation-emitting devices have. There is current evidence of a link between cancer and RF radiation. This includes a $25 million study by the federal government’s National Toxicology Program that proves the link.

I asked AMP’s Rebecca Irwin how many times per day the new Smart Meters transmit data. She told me that they only transmit three times a day, for a total of 87 seconds. That makes three bursts that last approximately 29 seconds each. 

I told her I have a handheld RF meter and have stood in front of one of these Smart Meters and was getting short microbursts lasting less than one second, between six and 12 per minute. I also tested banks of multiple meters. What I discovered was shocking. 

Standing in front of a bank of five Smart Meters, my meter was picking up pulsed microbursts of RF radiation faster than two per second, about as fast as my meter can count. This bank is constantly emitting a steady, continuous stream of pulsed microwave radiation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I made a video and sent it to AMP.

Others who have been analyzing these readings estimate at a minimum, Smart Meters transmit more than 9,000 times per day, and up to a maximum of 190,000. That is just for a single meter. For a bank of multiple meters, just multiply the number of meters times 9,000 for a minimum estimate. Visit stopsmart to see the studies.

The apartment building I live in has 13 analog meters on the outside of my children’s shared bedroom wall. If AMP gets its way, my children will be subjected to a constant stream of pulsed RF radiation 24/7. This would be like having your bed right next to a cell phone tower, or an array of microwave ovens always on. I do not allow my children wireless devices because of the risks, I certainly do not want this in our home!

They say we can opt out of the Smart Meters for $125 and $10 a month. But what about the 12 other meters on my kid’s wall? This is extortion and discrimination, and is not fair to people who live in multi-unit buildings.

Irwin saw my video, and when I asked for her response, she said, “We have an RF meter here and we’re planning to go out in the field to do some testing.” This was last week, and I’m still waiting to hear the results of this testing. I think all Alamedans have a right to know about this testing and the results.

I urge all concerned citizens to purchase an RF meter online, and conduct your own testing. Or contact me ( to schedule a free RF test of your Smart Meter and other RF-emitting devices. I also urge those concerned to attend the next Public Utilites Board meeting, Monday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m., at City Hall. You get three minutes to speak. I plan to talk about how the opt out disadvantages people in multi-unit dwellings, and I will ask if at least one resident wants to opt out at an apartment building, then the whole bank is analog for no fee.

Three times a day is very different from 9,000-190,000 times a day. If Smart Meters were only emitting three times a day, they would be a lot safer, but then there are still privacy, overcharging and fire concerns. 

We need to enact a moratorium like 57 local governments — including Santa Cruz and Marin counties and the city of Berkeley — have already done in California. We must implementation of this new technology, and conduct further testing to make sure it is 100 percent safe before subjecting the public to it.



Christopher R. Rabe lives in Alameda.




I would urge anyone reading this to do your own research, as the writer appears to be spreading a fair amount of FUD. The study mentioned in the first paragraph does not support his conclusions.