Letter: Speak out against smart meters

Published 1:00 am Monday, April 10, 2017

I read in the flier that Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services sends out about meter changes in Albert Lea. I believe that these new smart meters are being installed for the following reasons. First, let me say, I think privacy issues are involved in that these new smart meters are collecting information on power usage — not on a monthly schedule, but possible on a six-second cycle. What is to prevent the utility company charging customers more during their peak hours, for using their appliances? For families that work, that have no other time to do laundry, but until they get home. Say it is a peak alert, what is to prevent the utilities from charging, say, triple the price? The utility company knows exactly when the power is used. Anybody who hacks into the system can tell if that person is home or not.

The people who vacation every winter in the South — snow birds — would be perfect for burglaries. Power usage indicates that no one is home. Remember the newspaper article recently about the burglar who went to the theater parking lot, checked out the license plates on cars, then went home and got on the computer? Knowing where those people lived, burglarized their homes, while they enjoyed the theater.

Radiation emitted from smart meters is 100 times greater than cellphones. Now consider every home, and every business in the U.S., emitting this radiation into the environment, with constant exposure. These hazardous electronic waves can damage the nervous system. There are other health concerns such as cancer, etc. I don’t want a constant burst of radiation. If the sole purpose of Freeborn-Mower is to save on labor and vehicle use expenses, then there is no need to emit constant electronic waves. It could be like the water meter, read once a month. At least the public would not get constant exposure. Then Freeborn-Mower would have total usage — and not the increments — so they knew exactly when power was used, and when the house was unoccupied.

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I don’t like the privacy issues, but there is no reason to monitor every hour and how much energy is used, unless in the future, the reason is to charge customers who can’t control the hours of usage due to work/sleep hours. I don’t like the health implications. At my age, I will not be exposed as long as my grandchildren. There is not need to constantly emit hazardous radiation. We must think of future generations, as well as our own. Please consider calling your City Council members and register your complaint. Freeborn-Mower must be under the city’s license to operate, I would assume. Let’s see what can be done.

Terry Sippel

Albert Lea