Our rights, metered
It’s time to sound the alarm: Power companies in Vermont have officially declared war on the privacy and wellbeing of their customers. In a rollout largely funded by a massive Department of Energy stimulus grant, Vermont’s electricity utilities have begun replacing standard, analog meters with wireless models known as “smart meters.” While such a technological upgrade may at first glance seem benign, these new meters in fact threaten our health, our privacy and the very values on which this country was founded.
Once your home’s analog meters have been replaced, these new, wireless-enabled meters begin tracking your electricity usage in granular detail. They then take this valuable, private data about your family’s specific energy usage and relay it back to the utility company. With this level of knowledge, utilities can even tell which type of appliances and devices you are using and when you use them. The utilities can either keep this information in a database waiting for it to be hacked, or else decide to sell it outright to enterprising marketers.
While it should come as no shock that the federal government loves to track our movements, what’s truly startling about these meters is that they emit harmful, potentially carcinogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF). Recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that prolonged exposure to this type of RF can lead to leukemia in children and reduced fertility rates in adults.
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