1. Carefully read your Con Edison bill, especially the last pages.
If they are discussing the virtues of “Smart meters coming soon,” there should be a phrase, somewhere within a sentence that gives you a Telephone Number to call if you do not want to have a “Smart Meter.
This is the best time to take action, as this is likely to be the 45 day notice they are required to give – a window for you to opt out without difficulty.
2. You ONLY have the option to do this by PHONE CALL.
The number is 1-800-576-2005.
This is a phone line set up especially for “Smart Meter” issues, questions and information on the “Opt-out Option.” A representative will answer and ask you why you want to opt out and may try to influence you not to do so. But if you remain firm, they are cordial enough.
3. They can send you a form by e-mail and also by mail.
There are steps to follow when doing the e-mail form and a way to send the completed form by smart phone photo, as far as I understand. The way you chose should provide you with evidence and date that you submitted your form. If mailing it, mail it by certified mail or priority mail. The form is very simple to do and only requires you to write your name address and Con Ed account number.
4. They generally follow up upon receipt of the form with a phone call or e-mail and ask you once again if you really want to do this.
However, you will not be absolutely sure that your opt out has gone through until you see an additional charge of $9.50 on your monthly bill. If you do not hear from Con Ed, it is a good idea to follow up with a call and ask them if everything has gone through properly.
5. Once you have opted out, you are more responsible for any meter readings that take place within your apartment.
You must be sure to be home to let the meter reader in at the designated time each month on your Con Ed bill. If both the gas and electric meters are in the basement of your building, you do not have to worry about it.
If they are in your apartment and you do not meet up with your meter reader, you must send in your reading either by automated method or in person. calling Con Ed’s general number or by taking a digital photo and sending it to Con Ed. You should do this on the day listed in the bill or after 5 p.m. the day before or by 5 p.m. the day after.
If you miss your reading for four consecutive months, they reserve the right to change any meters in your apartment for “Smart Meters.”
However, Con Edison now plans to conduct meter readings in two-month periods so it is not clear if that may extend this period to eight months. Best to ask them and follow the meter reading date in your bill on the very first page.
Reading your meter is not difficult.
It may have dials or numbers and each meter has four digits to enter. See the details of your gas and electric use section of your bill for examples.
If you have too much difficulty with Con Edison in regard to opting out:
Contact the NY Public Utility Law Project for free assistance … Google it for contact information.
They worked/lobbied to create the “Opt-out Option” in New York State, and provide valuable information and assistance to people.
NY Public Utility Law Project work in the public interest to battle the increased costs of Smart Meters, and the increased costs to consumers who have been experiencing higher rates after smart meters are installed.
Con Ed claims that this is because the analog meters are not as sensitive as the new meters and are slowing down with age.
Apparently, the life of the new meters is not long, as short as one year in some cases (William Bathgate, PDF presentation May 30th, 2018). Another reason they are petitioning for increasing basic delivery charges is that the cost of replacing the home smart meters can cost approximately $2,000.
The additional expense to the public is related to the fact that these “New Smart Meters” are much more than simply meters in the old sense, and are, in fact, “more like specialized computers and a new form of technology altogether” says Josh Del Sol in his film, Take Back Your Power.
Re: Information cited above
Thanks to Lori Wheelock
of the Pubic Utility Law Project
The extra charge for opting-out seems like a deterrent, but actually Con Ed won the right to impose that surcharge because they claim that the analog meters give lower than accurate readings.
However, this legality of this surcharge is questionable and legislation may be underway to nullify it, as has been done in some other places already. Also, Con Ed can add a charge of almost $200 if you wish to have your smart meters removed and your analog meters returned. This may also be overturned in legislation being introduced. Talk with your state assembly members and senators!!!
One of the serious problems of smart meters are that they concentrate, within our dwelling places, in an unprecedented way, EMF or microwave forms of radiation and have the capacity to enable 5G and read and send in an expanded capacity with other smart meters in our area and technology within our homes.
In the rush to implement the “Smart Grid,” health and safety studies are not in the picture, as far as I know. However, there is a wealth of first hand accounts regarding health problems.
There are court cases in the US and many consumer complaints in the Northeast. Authorities will say that the meters are active for only a tiny amount of time each day.
What they do not say is that whatever amount of time calculated is distributed into microsecond pulses that may be virtually continuous and flowing into the electricity already present in our walls.
The work of William Bathgate, electrical engineer, describes very well his concerns with the surge protection and grounding capacities of the smart meters.
There are also questionable safety certifications (many do not have the highest US standards – UL– and in some cases standards have been changed to accommodate the smart meters!)
Of course, the meters suffer from the same lack of good workmanship evident in so many of other of our current products, most of them -> “Made in China”. The result of this is that parts seem to burn out, sometimes causing the whole smart meter to go up in flames.
Another less discussed problem with the meters is a potential for static electricity created by the batteries, etc involved.
Smart Meters are dangerous in the presence of any gas leak of sufficient concentration.
If there is not adequate protection around the gas meter reading attachment or the electric meter, explosions may occur and have occurred. This is especially a problem in modern small and air tight apartments in NYC where gas meters are near the kitchen or in buildings that have a bank of meters in their basement where gas boilers have been installed.
Here is another possible and deadly risk! That is for spontaneous gas explosions because microwave radiation can interact with gas, as well, to ignite and detonate it.
The “gas smart meters” can be turned off manually ONLY by a Con Ed representative.
The electric meters can be turned off by Con Ed remotely but generally not for safety reasons, as their technology is not designed for that kind of consumer-based safety information. It is designed so that the meter readers will be replaced by a more convenient system, and to monitor and perhaps ultimately regulate/control energy usage in the home and more. They may be able to send info when there are outages in the area but that is the extent of the helpfulness for the present time. Turning off all electrical appliances, modems and cell phones is essential, as well as avoiding any source of sparks – Con Ed explains in many mailings.
However, this is a glaring exception.
Our analog meters are still working, after decades in many cases, and operate on a passive system, filled with safety values.
What can we do?
As there has been a deafening silence around this issue, no comprehensive articles, programs, elected official sponsored forums, etc…try to get the word out, especially to activists, as our public officials need the support of many people in order to get most good things done. Contact your state assembly member and senator, NYC Comptroller, Borough Presidents and Public Advocate, etc.
Take steps to talk to your community board as that is the first step to our City Council Members. Only the City Council, as far as I understand, is in a position to declare NYC or your borough, Smart Meter Free.
Mobilize for alternatives to the Smart Grid and truly responsible energy systems that preserve individual liberty and health. Work to eliminate 5G. This is becoming a world concern now.
Do the opt out in your building, if you are in a building/unit in which you pay for your own electricity and gas. Only this kind of tenant has this right. The management generally gives permission as a matter of course, when asked by the utility, even if proper safety protocols and checks have not been done. Businesses do not have the right to opt out. And if an apartment becomes vacant, Con Ed may put in a smart meter before the new tenant has arrived. Begin a conversation with you building, whatever kind it may be, and whatever system of ownership it has and see what the possibilities are.
In NYC, the smart meters started being installed in 2018 or end of 2017 and are planned to be completed in 2022.
As of this date, February 2019, 5G Network technology has already been rolled-out and implemented on bridges, tunnels and elsewhere around the greater New York metropolitan area.
5G Networking Technology & “smart metering” are going up everywhere very rapidly as most people have no idea what is going on and think an “upgrade” is taking place.
Landlords and public officials are oblivious and do not seem to be aware of any serious concerns, at the present time. If there are problems for people in homes in suburban and rural areas, one can only imagine what the effects may be, long or short term, in the concentrated, densely-populated living conditions in New York City.
These companies and their history is important to investigate. Highly unprofessional conduct has been documented. On some occasions, Private Property Protections have been violated in interesting ways. Con Edison is also exempt from its usual high safety standards by receiving permission from building management.
Try to research and find new products recently developed to help shield one from radiation emanating from and surrounding all Smart Meters.