Republican Orlean Koehle says Just Say NO to “Big Brother’s” Smart Meters

Orlean Koehle, State President, Eagle Forum of California

Orlean Koehle has served three terms as an elected member of the Sonoma County Republican Central Committee. In 2006 she started an organization in Sonoma County to protect rural property rights – Sonoma County Land Rights Coalition and served as its president.

Just Say NO to “Big Brother’s” Smart Meters

California Republican Orlean KoehleBy Orlean Koehle

Most Americans have not yet heard of the “smart meters” that are being installed at a rapid pace across the state of California and across our nation. Most Americans are totally unaware that someone will soon be showing up at your home, and, without knocking, or asking for your permission, will remove your old analog meter and replace it with a new “smart meter.” Is this something you would really want?

What is a smart meter? It is one that contains RF (radio frequency) so that it can be remotely controlled and read. No longer will a meter reader have to come to your home to read the meter. It will all be done remotely. When all is in place, the smart meter will not only keep track of how much electricity you are using, but it will be able to control, regulate, and ration your use of that electricity. If “big brother” decides that you are using too much heat in the winter time, or too much air conditioning in the summer time, or using too much hot water in your showers or washing machine (even if you are willing to pay for that extra usage), that use of power will be automatically turned down. A future goal is to have all appliances replaced with those containing RF chips for even more regulations and controls.

To most Americans, this is a little too much “big brother” snooping into our private lives and trying to control every aspect of them. They never would allow such a thing to happen and would say no, but most Americans are not even asked. The installation is happening without their knowledge. Supposedly when it is done, a sign is hung on the front doorknob informing the homeowner of the switch to a smart meter, but in many cases, no sign was left. The homeowner had not idea until his energy rates suddenly start changing, usually going much higher.

Why the Rise in Energy Rates with the Smart Meter? One of the propaganda ads that was sent out to homeowners about the smart meter was that this will be a way to save energy and lower costs, but those who have the meter already are finding out that is not the case. A man called to find out why his rates had gone up and was told that now that the meter could read exactly what time of the day that he was washing his clothes or using his air conditioner, PG&E could determine if that was “peak time” or not, and since it was “peak time” then he would have to pay “peak premium rates.” If he wanted to save money then he could wash his clothes in the middle of the night or use his air conditioner then (when he really didn’t need it anymore because the temperature is cooler).

Health Risks: People who are doing their own research on smart meters are finding out that not only is this an invasion of their privacy and property, their energy rates are increasing, but there is an enormous health risk with so much exposure to electromagnetic/radioactive waves. We already are being bombarded with them through our use of computers, cell phones, remote control phones, and so many other remote-control devises, that with the smart meters, more and more RF waves will be permeating our homes. There are documented reports of the effects these waves are having on people’s health, such as: loss of memory, dizziness, nausea, headaches, migraines, muscle spasms, insomnia, and even cancer.

Who are really behind the smart meters? In California, it is being mandated by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). It is probably the same in other states, but maybe the PUC has a different name. However, it is really being mandated across the nation by the Obama administration, and stimulus money is providing the funding.

And it is not just in the United States. It is being mandated in Europe by the European Union. Just about every country in Europe is now also having smart meters installed. By doing more research, one finds out that smart meters are part of “smart growth” or “sustainable development” or “Agenda 21,” a plan devised by the United Nations in 1992, and signed onto by both President Bush Sr. and President Clinton. The ultimate goal is to exercise more and more control over our lives and property using the excuse of “saving the environment.”

Is it too late to say No? The installers in California are coming from the Wellington Energy company, who are working for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). They will tell any property owner who objects and does not want the smart meters, that they have no choice. It is mandatory. They either need to allow them to install them now or will have to pay more for the service when the installer has to return. People who are uninformed give in and allow it to happen.

What you can do: You, the property owner, have every right to object. This is your property. Your tax dollars are paying for the stimulus money that is providing the funding. Your monthly payment to PG&E, or whoever is your energy provider, pays for their providing you with their energy service. Legally, to say no and to have the installer honor your objection, you must have an official notice signed by you, the property owner (or the tenant) hanging over the meter stating your objection. If you have both an electric meter and gas that PG&E services, hang a sign over both meters. Mine is laminated so it is better protected against rain. It states:

Dear PG&E: We refuse to allow you to install a smart meter on our premises. We object to this because of privacy and health issues. Signed by myself and my husband and the date

My personal experience? The sign works: On October 20, I just happened to be on the phone talking to a friend, Deborah Tavares, who has been very much involved with her husband fighting the smart meter battle and had spoken for our Sonoma County Eagle Forum meeting the night before. I had written a resolution against the smart meter for our Sonoma County Central Committee meeting to be presented that night and had read it to her to see if she could make any suggestions. I had made the changes and had the resolution ready to take to the printer. With the resolution in hand, the phone on my ear still talking to Deborah, I walked out to the garage to get in my car, and lo and behold, whom did I see but a young man standing in a uniform next to his Wellington Energy truck. I said to him, “Are you here to install a smart meter?” He was surprised and said, “Yes, could you tell me how to get to your meter?”

Our meter was on the side of our garage, surrounded by a fence, surrounded by our two dogs. There was no gate to the fence. The dogs go in and out through a doggy door inside the fenced off area. I showed the young man where our meter was, but I added, “Do you see the sign hanging above it. It reads that I refuse to allow you to install a smart meter. Legally, you cannot install a meter where you see such a letter posted, is that correct?” He said, “Yes, that is correct.”

As he turned to go, he noticed the paper in my hand that reads at the top, “Resolution against Installation of Smart Meters.” He said, “I can see from your paper you feel very strongly about this.” I told him that is correct, that I was determined to fight it in every way I can, and hopefully our Republican Central Committee would join me in the battle.

As he was leaving, I asked him if he was going to all of my neighbors and he said yes. I told him I don’t think any of them would want a smart meter installed, but he said that he had already done it for three of them. As soon as he had left, I called as many of my neighbors as I could and warned them that he was coming, but he didn’t show up. He probably thought that is exactly what I would do.

The Battle is Not Over: Even if you have had a smart meter installed, don’t give up. Join in the battle and warn your neighbors and friends about it. There are four cities in California where the city councils have come out with city ordinances against the smart meter: Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Fairfax, and possibly San Anselmo. In Santa Rosa there are neighborhoods who have posted signs all over the area saying No to Smart Meters. This is a non-partisan issue; talk to your neighbors, whether they are Republican, Democrat, or somewhere in between. No one should want their privacy and property rights invaded. Everyone should be concerned about the health issues.

People are told that once the smart meter is installed, there is no going back to the old meter. Why is that? If there is enough stimulus money to waste on this silly venture, there is certainly enough money to bring back and install the old meters.

As long as there are pockets of protestors, the federal government, utility commissions, and energy providers cannot implement their total “smart meter” program. This is still America. We are not a soviet-style dictatorship yet. We still have property rights, but we won’t much longer if we all roll over, play dead, and let people talk us out of those rights.

Don’t be intimidated by their threats of higher costs to you, the lone person protesting, or that sooner or later you will have to give in – that it is mandatory for all people. That is not true. For more information, signs to use in your neighborhood and letters to share with your neighbors, go to You can also help circulate this article and the resolution that I presented to the Sonoma County Republican Central Committee, which they unanimously passed and are now helping to circulate it as well.

Sonoma County Republican Central Committee Resolution against Installation of Smart Meters

Submitted by Orlean Koehle, October 20, 2010

Whereas California’s Public Utility Commission has mandated Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), in participation with Wellington Energy, to remove analog meters and replace them with “smart meters” without permission and often without any awareness from their customers;

Whereas many California residence and even elected officials from some cities and counties consider this “deployment” – (the word chosen for the attachment of the smart meters by PG&E) as an invasion of privacy, a threat to private property rights and documented health risks, and encroachments (over burdening) of utility companies easements;

Whereas Smart Meters by remote control would control and regulate the thermostat, air conditioning, and all electrical appliances, and could lower the output or shut them down. The eventual goal is to mandate the replacement of all appliances to those that contain RFID chips. All this is an invasion of privacy rights and the right to control and use our own property (a violation of the 4th Amendment);

Whereas the Smart Meters contain electromagnetic/ radio frequency waves that have been documented to affect health, such as loss of memory, dizziness, nausea, migraines, muscle spasms and insomnia. The rays are especially harmful to children with autism. Some are concerned that they could have more serious long-term effects, such as causing cancer;

Whereas* there has never been any Environmental Impact Study (EIS) made on the Smart Meters. The study was waived. There are no safety standards for chronic long term RF exposures that these meters emit. The FCC safety standards are for only short term exposures, 6 – 30 minutes long;

Whereas PG&E claims to have done an accurate RF evaluation to ensure customer safety (performed by an independent commission to evaluate possible health impacts), but the report was never published, which means it was never peer reviewed. How accurate and scientific is that? The smart meters were granted a CEQA <> (California Environmental Quality Act) exemption with no explanation given why;

Whereas such a computerized RF system of control over all the electrical power and appliances in one’s home, including personal computers, could be penetrated by hackers, just as so many other supposed “fool-proof” systems have been. Private information and privacy rights would again be at risk;

Whereas the Smart Meter program really has nothing to do with lowering costs or conserving energy, but everything to do with “rationing” energy and controlling our lives, using the excuse of helping the environment.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Sonoma County Republican Central Committee strongly opposes the “deployment” of any further Smart Meters in our county and in any other county across our state.

Be it further resolved that the Sonoma County Republican Central Committee urges other County Central Committees to take similar action and urge all their members to join a state-wide protest; post a sign above their meter stating they refuse the Smart Meter and tell PG&E not to install it. Then call their city council members and board of supervisors and urge them to join with other cities in California and pass an ordinance banning it. (Those cities who have such an ordinance are Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Fairfax, and possibly San Anselmo.) More information can be found at

Orlean Koehle, State President
Eagle Forum of California

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