Families Against Smart Meters & 5G
UPDATE 7.30.2018 WE HAVE OUR POWER BACK ON.
PLEASE READ UPDATES PART 1 AND 2 TO HEAR THE STORY OF HOW THINGS UNFOLDED.
WE STILL NEED TO RAISE ONLY ABOUT $1600, AND SO HAVE CHANGED THE REQUESTED AMOUNT HERE TO REFLECT THIS SMALLER PORTION THAN EXPECTED TO COVER EXPENSES.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
We are a community of neighbors who are very concerned about the excessive radiation emitting wireless devices in our society. We learned that the electric meters on our houses pulse high-frequency EMFs and felt that the power company should assist us to have a safer and healthier option. Instead, they took action against us for standing up for our well-being and for protecting our health. They cut the wires to our homes on June 28th without any written notice, and without letting us speak for ourselves when they did it. Our bills were always paid and we were not stealing electricity, but now we are a week+ without electricity. We spent several years trying to express to them our health concerns and request that they switch out the meter. We documented with clear legal terminology that the easement laws are out of date and do not give them the right to impose harmful radiation emitting devices on our properties. After many months of waiting for them to consider or respond in the appropriate way we followed the steps we had laid out with them in the documentation, which they agreed to by default. We made clear documents of all the meter readings and videod the whole process and returned their meter to them after placing a fully certified and calibrated analog meter on our houses. The law protects the power company to have the easement, but they nullify their rights when they do not give us a choice as to our health and safety on our property. It's a civil matter and every household has the right to act out of self-defence when it comes to health. This is very clear, yet they did their bully tactics and cut the cords.
This has caused a huge burden and stress on our lives in many ways, and we never expected this. We have had to dedicate hours to reaching out for assistance and collaborative efforts, to figuring out how to meet our basic needs, and to researching and purchasing on credit ways to provide fundamental energy needs. We have bought generators, batteries, inverters, solar panels, cables, flashlights, ice, water, coolers, propane stoves, gasoline, gas tanks, and also had to replace a lot of food at our houses that rotted while we had no power to our refrigerators. As well, our lives and work and availability to function have been put aside. We have met with lawyers, solar power companies, activists, journalists, radio talk show hosts. We have spent hours editting hours of footage from 7 different cameras to create a video, had community meetings, conference calls, all sorts of things to deal with this situation. It has been very hot and none of the houses can run A/C with the wattage we are producing with generators and batteries.
We need funds to cover all the costs and to help offset the loss of income that we are incurring since many of us are self-employed and have simply had no time for anything other than this. We would like to have doctor's notes to submit to the power company, and have found a doctor that has a reasonable rate. We would like to set up the 4 houses with basic short term solutions for providing power without having to burn tons of gasoline in inefficient generators that our children have to breathe the fumes from.
Ultimately, our goal is to catalyze a movement of people who want to be informed and to be a part of standing for what is right, what is of dignity for the human being, and so we need resources to be able to dedicate time to doing press releases, interviews, coordinating with organizations that can support us, getting the word out so that this doesn't happen to others. We must take a stand that our homes should be allowed to be EMF radiation free. The evidence is already there, we are no longer able to sit by and be skeptical, our lives and the lives of the future generations are at stake. And now is the time to make the change that will be remembered.
Will you help us to get through this challenge and be able to do what is needed for the collective?
Will you share our message with others who also may be inspired to help or get involved in their community?
Will you take the time to stand for the rights of us all to have our well-being respected and our families protected?
Together we stand.
(See PART 2 below)
After exactly 4 weeks without power, on July 26th, 2018 we got it turned back on! The process was lengthy and at times quite overwhelming, but at least now we can share our story and sincerely hope it assists others. We have meters on our houses that do not emit RF and must be checked manually each month. They are the same meters we would've had to switch to anyhow since we are going to be on Solar Net Metering (grid-tied). We've also learned a lot about the roll-out of Smart Meters in North Carolina and the Opt-out plan, and are launching a campaign in Asheville to inform everyone of the health impacts and their choices and how to contact the power company.
***Note that our requested fundraising amount here has been adjusted to reflect what we still need. Thank you!
Before you read on, understand that we never went into this with the mentality of being hard-core activists or angry protesters. We simply discovered that our meters were pulsating our houses with EMF radiation thousands of times a day and worked tirelessly to have that situation remedied, and held the intent of assisting others to do the same once we found out what worked and what didn't. Knowing that the new Smart Meters (AMI) are soon going to be installed on houses in Asheville and across large sections on North Carolina, we wanted to be sure to be protected on our properties ahead of time, and prepared for what is to come.
The discussion to have our power restored initiated about a week ago when we were called by an associate at Duke Energy Progress who informed us that if we had our meter bases inspected and approved by the City of Asheville and we paid a re-connection fee we could have our power back on. Possibly through to a friendly state representative we had contact with they were requested to contact and work with us, though they were also fully abreast of the ramifications across the region of how they handled this situation and the number of people following our story from all the online activity.
We were excited to keep our analog meters after we got that first call, and even though it wouldn't come to pass quite in that way, we do now have non-radiating meters on our houses. Please read on.
I told that first associate over the phone that we rejected the request to pay a re-connection fee after what happened and how we were treated, and explained that we had been contacting Duke for 2 years to have a safe living environment and did what we did ultimately out of protection of our health and self-defense and as a last resort from having no other option. The woman on the phone hadn't read our documents we submitted over the course of several months, so I kindly explained the uniqueness of our story and requested she have someone contact us who had read them. The next day, while waiting at the city department for inspections to get our paperwork--since we were ready to comply with that aspect of the request--I was called by a regional Vice President and his co-worker stating that they would like to meet with us in person and would come the next morning to our house.
When we met they asked to hear our whole story, at which point it became clear that one of them was the same person I had contacted and spoken on the phone with two years prior about this matter of radiation from our meters, and at which point in time I had been forwarded to an associate in a different department that put us on the opt-out list for a future unknown date when we could have a non-RF smart meter (they told us it would likely be November of 2016 or around those months at the latest. Its now 2018 and the last we've heard is that the opt-out is now coming in March of 2019).
I explained that we tried multiple times to tell them over the course of the ensuing months that we didn't want the CURRENT meter on our house, but no calls were ever returned during those months in 2017. At the meeting, these two gentlemen realized that there had been a breakdown in communication, and that our submitting documents, waiting patiently for months for a response from them (to which we received zero except a phone call by someone who hadn't read our documents and merely told us that we didn't have a smart meter) and then switching out their meter with a UL certified, calibrated, and perfectly accurate electro-mechanical analog meter was our only choice to protect our families' safety. But they also explained at the meeting that our documents were read by their lawyers and that they did not hold legal weight in the state of North Carolina, and that their only choice was to cut off our power since we refused to let them put back on their meters. Again we informed them that the only contact we had with Duke at that point, between switching the meters and the removal, was also from Duke representatives who admitted they hadn't read our documents. And as you see in our video, the day our power was cut the workers present wouldn't even speak to us.
We were compelled to take their word on the legal standing aspect of our documents since we knew they weren't written by a lawyer and had ourselves also brought them to two separate lawyers in town in the last month, neither of whom seemed to feel confident enough to support our case, even one who told me he was probably the only lawyer in Asheville who was aware and concerned about EMFs.
For these reasons, even if these documents would hold up in court, as we hope they do in the case developing in SC, we CANNOT endorse using the method we used to remove meters and replacing them with 3rd party analog (and if you are curious or interested which documents I am referring to, feel free to contact us and I will be happy to share more about that process). It's simply that in our case, as strong as those documents come across, and as powerful as one feels saying those things to the electric company, and as possible as it may be that they can be effective, we have only heard from and of people who used those documents having their power cut off or getting arrested. If there are people out there that have used those documents to successfully keep analog meters on their houses, we were never contacted by any of those people, nor have we heard of them.
Furthermore, the only two people we knew of who are Duke customers that have been able to keep analog meters told us--in both cases--that they have a meter that uses a dial-up (phone) method of sending the data in monthly, yet we were informed that those meters were part of a tariff that is now expired and are simply part of a grandfathered-in program, and are no longer available.
The Duke executives took some time to review our circumstances and returned with what they said was the best option they could give us. The offer they gave us was to reduce our re-connection fee significantly, turn back on our power, and provide to us what is called a Time of Use meter, which has no transmitting function and must be read manually each month. Since we had the eye-opening experience of being "off-grid" for a month, and were able to first-hand reflect on the dependency to the grid we all have become, we've now become more determined to install Solar panels, and it turns out that the same meter used for the Time of Use plan is the one Duke uses for Solar net metering, and so it made sense on that point as well to switch to that meter.
(SEE PART 2, Click below for Previous Updates)
(GoFundMe has limits on length of updates, see 7.30.18 PART 1 first)
We pushed very hard with them to keep our analog meters, and they knew we could say no to their offer and go the route of holding off, staying off-grid, and filing complaints with the NCUC and doing negative press releases; and we demonstrated as well to them all that we had been through and all that we did to meet their requirements. But ultimately, we found ourselves feeling stuck in a world that we never asked to be put in, as the example that both sides of the movement wanted to use, and here we were needing to make a decision based on a multitude of factors that I will spare here as this update is already quite lengthy. It came down to the circumstances of each house, the people, the children, the ability to handle the weather changing without power, the endless smell and noise and price of keeping generators running, the lack of funds and time and energy to put into this with everything else in our lives. The process was both becoming overly-consuming and demanding and we didn't feel it was our battle to fight nor were we confident we could be assured of a beneficial outcome. And on top of that we realized that in order to really be able to force Duke to let us keep our analog meters, it will require policy changes, because the power companies only have to abide by the laws set in place by the legislature and state commisions, and right now, there's no support for the analog meters.
The men from Duke we were negotiating with we felt would've actually had no problem letting us keep them, and they understood our sincere health concerns, but since so many people have been following this story and waiting to hear what happened to us, they were bound by the fact that to let us keep our meters would set a precedent that would cause many others to demand the same opportunity. We spent many days going over our options, and were very determined not to simply capitulate out of fear or discomfort to just do what they said. But at the same time, we didn't have a lot of options. We didn't want--nor were we confident--to go the legal route, and so it was either get our power back on with a decent meter so we can focus on education and raising consciousness around these issues and the upcoming opt-out, or hash it out launching a nasty media campaign to badmouth their practices. That didn't feel resonant for any of us. It's not what we are here on this planet to do. And we didn't feel it would even be beneficial for the movement. What people need to know is that each one of us has options. The NC Utilities Commission recently approved the opt-out option from RF-producing smart meters, which gives people the choice to have a meter that does not send out massive quantities of microwave radiation every hour of every day. As well, the Time of Use plan is something mentionable because it pushes you to be conscious of using power less when it is in high demand, as the price per kwh changes depending on certain times of the day and seasons. The power companies have to have the infrastructure to support the level of energy needed at the peak moments, since they do not store power. And so if usage is reduced during those peak times, they don't have to keep building more power plants, and can rely more and more on the developing economic feasibility of large scale solar and wind power facilities.
As as part of our negotiations, we demanded more transparency and information regarding the opt-out and the choices people have. We heard of people calling phone numbers they thought worked but were told there is no opt-out, so we have requested that information be given to us and freely available. We will be meeting with the Duke people again early this week, and have a list of questions they are working to get us answers to. We are planning to create a pamphlet and go door-to-door in our neighborhoods to educate people, and are hoping to have more support in Asheville and the whole Duke Energy Progress region to make sure people know what the meters are and how to opt-out. We are ready also to do any media press release interviews so as to inform people of what happened to us and educate the public, and we are hoping to also work with doctors who are willing to write the note needed to opt-out for free, and compiling a list of resources for people to utilize. There is much to be done. And we welcome your support, whether financially or by committing time spent assisting this.
We have also updated our requested donation amount to match the actual funds still needed. The total expenses have reached now over $5000. We received some donations directly through Paypal that don't show on this tally, and so at current, we still need only another $1600.
We are so grateful for you all, and are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. PLEASE SHARE THIS.
It's now day 19 and we still are without power. But there's some movement. We are about to do a press release and interviews. And creating a pamphlet to hand out around our neighborhood with the information for how to protect ourselves from the Smart Meters and what your options are.
The big news is that a state legislator contacted Duke Energy on our behalf and they called us yesterday and explained that they can turn our power back on but first we need to have the city inspectors look at our meter base and approve it, and the city requires a licensed electrician to look at it before they will look at it. So lots of coordinating and costs. And then Duke is asking for a hefty re-connection fee once the inspection is done. But I went over the whole thing with the associate on the phone, our intent behind our actions, that we were acting out of concern for our health and waited years for Duke's compliance yet could not let ourselves get pulsed every 30 seconds any longer. And how we handled it in a very professional way that assured no power was stolen, and yet how they were completely unavailable to support our health concerns and respond to our requests and notifications which invited them to assist us. And so she said she is going to speak to someone higher up. We'll see, and I'll let you know.
We are so grateful for each one of you assisting us. Really amazing and greatly supportive.
However, please forward on to others our fundraiser as we are still quite short from all our out of pocket expenses and potential upcoming ones.
We still need to get Doctors notes as well to assure that we have a strong case to push for analog meters on our houses.
All told we've now spent around $2800 and have raised roughly $1300 with GoFundMe and Paypal donations combined! Amazing. Please keep spreading the word as we are so grateful for the support and everything helps. We have costs associated with supplying power to the houses and still have a few more things needed there, and also lawyer's fees and costs to see a doctor for our note to show the power company of our health issues and concerns.
Also, there is a lot of movement and excitement and potential developing with press releases and media coverage, potential policy changes that could come from people speaking out and calling their government officials, getting the word out, and getting involved. Your engagement and assistance helps the movement, in whatever way feels natural and aligned for you and your heart.