January 12, 2011
The California Council on Science and Technology has given Smart Meters a clean bill of health in a report issued Jan. 11.
Its report entitled "Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters" concludes that the new meters, which PG&E; has already begun installing in Monterey County, produce radio frequency exposures much lower than Federal Communications Commissions standards allow, and that FCC standards "would appear to be fully protective of human health".
PG&E; representatives argue that the new meters give customers a chance to save energy by allowing them to go online and see exactly how much energy they're using on an hour by hour basis.
California Assemblymen Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) requested the study after constituents raised concerns about the meters' health effects, according to a joint statement by the lawmakers.
The legislators say the report doesn't discount the possibility that radio frequency exposures could cause other adverse health effects other than the thermal effects considered by the CCST, and note that the organization recommends continuing study of the issue.
The city of Watsonville has placed a moratorium on Smart Meter installation in the city, and the Monterey City Council plans to vote on a similar moratorium in the near future.
Still, PG&E; contends it has the okay from the California Public Utilities Commission to install the meters and will continue to do so regardless of city ordinances.Huffman has introduced a bill, AB 37, that directs the PUC to come up with alternatives for customers who don't want Smart Meters installed at their homes.