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Smart Meter Bill: A cure

Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report
Foil covering the Smart Meter in the back of Debbie Vancendrock's home in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 2015.
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YUKON, Okla. -- In 2012, Oklahoma Gas and Electric released a modern way to read electrical usage of each home. It was called the Smart Meter and it would replace old analog readers which were often found to be faulty and unreliable.

Six years later, the Oklahoma Legislature is attempting to sign a bill which will eliminate Smart Meters and replace them with an electric alternative.

The second session of the 56 th Oklahoma Legislature proposed House Bill 2872, commonly known as the Smart Meter Bill. Actions in this bill will replace Smart Meters from each home in Oklahoma with a safer, electrical-based meter.

One of the main reasons for the change is due to the health of the customers of OG&E.

Three health agencies and a medical report; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Toxicology Program, the Studies of the Toxicology Carcinogenicity of Cell Phone Radiation and the 2012 Bio Initiative Reports; have shown a steady decrease in health among users of the Smart Meters.

“Non-ionizing radiation from radio frequencies shared by cell phones and smart meters produced increased rates of highly malignant very rare tumors: gliomas of the brain and schwannomas of the heart,” the House Bill, authored by Rep. David Derby (R-Owasso), reads.

This report has been confirmed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Gliomas are known as malignant tumors which are connected to the nervous system.

Schwannomas, according to the Cancer Research Institute, is a “tumor of the tissue that covers nerves, called the nerve sheath.

The report also concludes that the radio transmissions from the Smart Meter are the one of the direct causes of these issues.

Change of the electric meters has been called for as early as 2012. Reports from KFOR and News 9 report that many people throughout the state, including Oklahoman Monique Smith, were getting migraines, regular nose-bleeds and overall health issues. In 2013, Red Dirt Report covered one case of an Smart Meter bursting into flames on a house in Oklahoma City. And in 2015, this online newspaper reported on a Midwest City woman, Debbie Vancendrock, who had a confrontation with local police after demanding the radiation-emitting devices be removed from her home.

As Vancendrock told a Red Dirt Report reporter at the time: "“I’ve been totally surrounded by radiation. I am overloaded. It feels like I’ve been hit with a Taser when I’m overloaded. It’s all I can do to crawl into my bed. One time, I thought I was seeing Jesus.”

Indeed.

And yet the utilities like OG&E have largely ignored conerns of citizens over these devices and declined to remove the meters. This was due to large amount of effort put into placing these Smart Meters out across the state.

The people affected by these Smart Meters are experiencing what medical professional call Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, known as EHS, is a claimed sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. Some of the symptoms are similar to the effects given off by the Smart Meters.

House Bill 2872 will replace these Smart Meters will a more electrical based meter instead of a meter relying off of radio transmissions. The connections will account for each house and be directly submitted to the company. This action will eliminate the need for electricians to come to each house and read the meter on the sides of the houses.

Installation will happen within 90 days of the House Bill being signed into effect due to the nature of events surrounding the necessity for change.

There will be no additional cost or fee to OG&E customers as technicians install the new meter.

Like any machinery, it is only a matter of time before a malfunction happens. Aside from the monthly billing, there is no service charge for fixing the issue.

If the electric company needs to inspect the meter for malfunctions or routine maintenance is necessary, the company must have written consent from each customer and a 90 day notice. This alleviates the issue of impromptu service and no-one at home to ensure the job is done correctly.

One of the only added stipulations on the side of the customer is the information shared with the electric company.

When the electric company installs the electric meter, the electricity is charged through the outlets and outside power sources which is transmitted to the reader. Included in the written consent given by each customer, this is will require customers to give up their information to companies in order to keep track of electrical usage.

The information includes the customer’s name, address, electrical usage and appliances used.

Customers have the option to “opt in” or “opt out” of the option when it comes to electrical usage. What this does is it allows the customers to choose how much electricity the house uses and the options surrounding the uses.

This bill allows for the customer to make the whole bill an ala carte option.

The bill has gained backing from the Republicans and Democrats in the Oklahoma House and Senate. The decision on this bill has yet to be determined.

Red Dirt Report's Andrew Griffin contributed to this story.

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About the Author

Brandon King

Brandon King is a journalism student at OCCC, working towards becoming a professional writer....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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