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If you’re looking to move and you’re aware of the growing threat of EMF, you may be wondering…
“Where are smart meters banned?!”
I know if I could I’d LOVE to live in an RF and EMF quiet zone. But truly, it’s hard to escape nowadays.
Still, there are some areas that are more “analog” friendly than others, so let’s talk about that…
Smart Meter Opt-Out States
Because of the uproar associated with smart meters – mostly due to the radio frequency radiation emitted by these devices – some areas across the country are allowing citizens to opt out of them.
Unfortunately, smart meters are being installed across the board without any input from consumers in many areas, which means consumers have no choice but to accept them as part of their lives.
Or so they’re being told.
If there’s any good news, it’s that some localities allow opt-outs so that customers can keep their analog utility meter or at least get a digital one that doesn’t send data wirelessly.
Following is the current status in various parts of the United States.
States where analog meters are still offered in lieu of smart meters:
States where you’re allowed to keep your existing meter as the opt-out:
- Consumers Energy in Michigan
States that leave it to the utility companies to determine opt-out eligibility: Florida, Maryland, and Nevada.
States that have banned opting out of smart meters:
- Fountain in Colorado
- DTE in Michigan
- Central Hudson Valley in New York
- Port Angeles in Washington
Areas that require you to have smart meters: Washington, D.C. and the state of Pennsylvania.
All of the remaining states either do not provide for analog opt-outs or their policies are unclear or unknown as of now.
If you don’t see your area listed, just give your utility company a call and ask what their policy is regarding smart meter opt-outs.
Now let’s look at some of the latest news regarding these attempts to offer opt-outs to customers.
Local Governments in California Ban Smart Meters
As of this writing, more than 50 California municipalities have issued moratoriums and even outright bans on the installation of smart meters.
This includes numerous cities, towns, counties, and reservations.
The unfortunate thing is that utility companies sometimes ignore these measures and install smart meters anyway on citizens’ properties.
Still, the more people who resist this effort by the utility companies to insist that everyone receive a smart meter, the more successful we’ll be.
A Win in New Mexico
Like many other states, New Mexico had a victory in 2018 when it won the right to postpone the installment of smart meters in many of its major cities.
The decision did not say that smart meters wouldn’t be installed in the future; it just said that there was going to be a moratorium for a while until the issue was studied further.
The cities that won the victory include:
- Las Vegas
- Santa Fe
- Silver City
These are both examples of how the attitudes of citizens can make a difference.
Stopping the installation of smart meters in your area of the country is important, and it’s a lot easier when you’re vocal and persistent about the issue.
Much like other issues in the country, making your voice heard can produce results. After all, it’s the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Smart Meters in the EU
The European Union has recommended that all participating countries agree to a 100% participation in switching to smart meters, but so far not all countries are on board.
While some countries have aimed for a 100% participation rate from their citizens, others have rejected the efforts and have very low participation rates.
Here’s a list of some EU countries and their citizen participation rate:
- Sweden: 100%
- Finland: 99%
- Estonia: 98.2%
- Spain: 91.27%
- Denmark: 80%
Germany actually voted against having a national smart meter roll-out plan and doesn’t encourage (or discourage) its citizens from getting smart meters.
The same goes for countries such as Croatia, Cypress, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Ireland.
When the EU made its recommendation to convert over to smart meters, its goal was an 80% participation rate by consumers, but the average number is well below that.
To date, only about 37% of EU citizens have been equipped with smart meters, with many countries now fighting against the recommendation.
So Why Do People Want Smart Meters Banned in the First Place?
People don’t want smart meters for two main reasons:
Since smart meters emit more radiation than smartphones – which are dangerous in and of themselves – more and more people are fighting these installation initiatives.
Second, there’s a privacy concern.
Anything connected to the “grid” carries the possibility of being hacked by outside forces.
Not only that, but data from your smart meter can tell your utility company details like when you shower, when you sleep, when you’re home vs when you’re out of the house, and more.
How to Get a Smart Meter Removed
You can remove your smart meter yourself and replace it with an analog meter, but you need to talk to your utility company first to avoid any unnecessary fees or legal issues.
You should also take pictures or a video of the entire process to prove to the utility company that you’ve removed and installed the meter correctly.
Before doing so though, I recommend getting help from a consumer organization that assists people with their efforts, since some utility companies will cut off people’s electricity when they remove their meter. One such organization is the Smart Meter Education Network.
ComEd Smart Meter Opt-Out
The Village of Burr Ridge, Illinois, is one of the many areas in the country that has put out information on what to do if you do not want a smart meter installed. and you can get the details here.
For everyone else, you can use their model to address your own city or town and advocate for a similar process to be established in your local area.
Not Sure If You Have One? Here’s How to Identify a Smart Meter
If you have an analog meter with multiple dials on its face with little arrows that move like a clock, it is not a smart meter.
If your meter is digital, it is likely to be a smart meter as well, but there are a few ways to know for sure.
First, check the front of the meter and see if you can find an FCC ID. It will literally say “FCC ID” followed by a string of numbers.
That’s a clear sign it’s smart.
Another thing you can do is do an internet search for the company and model name (as displayed on your meter), plus the words “manual” or “sales information.” Click through and see what you can find. Look for terms like “radio frequency” or “wireless.”
If you try but fail to keep your analog meter, check out my guide on smart meter protection. It goes over about 7 different things you can do to help lower your exposure.
The simplest solution is to get a cover like this one:
And if the interior wall opposite of the meter is shared with a bedroom or hangout space, you’ll need to shield from the inside as well, which you can get more info in that guide I just linked above.
Certified EMF Expert, Chief Editor & Researcher at Beat EMF. I’m in charge of testing all the products and sorting through the duds to deliver effective EMF solutions for your family. Learn more about me here.