The Mountain Times

°F Sat, April 19, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Letter to Editor, Bethany Barry Menkart

Dear Editor,

It's time to opt-out of Smart meters. CVPS, which is in the process of being swallowed up by Gaz Metro, a decidedly for-profit Canadian corporation, is including a switch-over to smart meters in its cost-cutting agenda. This not only will take away the meter-reading jobs from Vermonters, but will also give the giant utility corporation much personal data about our electricity/appliance usage which can be used to adjust our fees accordingly to peak usage times, or sell the information to third-parties, including law enforcement agencies or marketing firms. They will also be able to track when people are at home, or gone, what is being used or not used and when.

CVPS is also planning to add an automatic $10/mo. fee to our bills if we decide to opt-out to a choice that we did not get to make in the first place. This is completely unfair. We should not be penalized for our privacy and health choices.

Sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is quickly becoming a prevalent health problem through the constant exposure to cell phones and wireless networks. Scientific evidence shows that large amounts of EMR exposure can cause negative biological effects; these effects include, but are in no way limited to, changes in cell communication, cell metabolism, membrane function, and may eventually lead to cancer. There are also behavioral problems linked to EMR exposure, including memory loss, retarded learning, migraines, fatigue, depression and sleep disorders.

There is a growing list of health complaints where smart meters have been introduced in British Columbia, and California, with symptoms that disappear when the smart meters are removed.

Who really benefits from these meters? It's not the people- we don't have to let them do it!

There is a bill in the Vermont Senate that would establish "customer rights regarding smart meters" (S.214). On March 14, the bill passed the Senate Finance Committee, but it still does not address the health and safety issues.

I urge you to call CVPS and opt-out, and call your representative or senator and let them know how you feel about this.

Bethany Barry Menkart, Leicester, Vt.

Tagged: Bethany Barry Menkart, Letter to Editor