National smart meter protest? Small group tries to make big waves



Quick take: In today's world of social media, even a tiny group can make waves around the world. When it comes to the overthrow of tyranny, that's probably a good thing. When it comes to a fringe group stopping progress for the rest of us, maybe not so good.


Just for the record -- we don't object to people who sincerely believe that meters emit harmful radiation (though we do wonder why they didn't protest when microwave ovens and cellular phones were introduced). We think they should be allowed to opt-out as long as they bear the burden of the extra cost. But we do object to those who want to impose extremist solutions on the rest of us. Denying the rest of the country the benefits of smart meters to satisfy their own unusual and unfounded "health" concerns is unfair.


Here's hoping the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative and other industry groups will continue to foster an educated opposition to these extreme positions. - Jesse Berst


Smart meter opponents are calling for a National Day of Action on Oct. 4 to demand an immediate moratorium on smart meter installations, citing "thousands of instances of ‘smart’ meter fires, health problems, and violations of privacy laws."


According to a post on, the action is being organized by the National Campaign to Stop Smart Meters and Wireless Radiation Protection Coalition. Not coincidentally, the demonstrations are timed to occur during the annual GridWeek conference which runs Oct. 2-4 in Washington, D.C. Campaign organizers say the National Day of Action protest will take place in D.C. and elsewhere around the country.


 "Like any defective product, whether automobile, food or drug, these meters require an immediate product recall," suggests campaign spokesperson Joshua Hart. "Analog meters are safe, accurate, and last for 80 or more years. My grandmother used to say, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Utilities and governments now need to take responsibility and fix the mess they’ve created.”


More on smart meter backlash...

Smart meter showdowns: PUCs step it up on fire safety, health effects

Smart meters: A human rights issue in Canada?

Texas woman pulls a gun to stop smart meter installation


Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.