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Nov 27th
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Handing it Over

altWEB EXCLUSIVE > Police respond to community members' attempt to return SmartMeters to PG&E

Six Capitola Police Department officers arrived at the PG&E Payment Center off of 41st Avenue early this afternoon to help the center clear out a group of customers who were there to turn in unwanted SmartMeters.

Almost a dozen community members gathered at the Capitola PG&E center at 12:30 p.m. today, Dec. 7, to hand in PG&E-owned SmartMeters that they had removed from their respective homes with the help of professional electricians. Before entering the payment center, Joshua Hart, director of, read a prepared statement explaining the group’s action. In the message, he described the negative health effects many say have befallen them due to the meters, which are a wireless monitoring technology, and asserted that all of the people returning their SmartMeters intend to pay their bills in full, and “fully documented the SmartMeter energy use readings” in order to do so. He ended by encouraging others who have asked PG&E to remove their SmartMeter to no avail to “consider removing their SmartMeters as well—with the help of an electrical technician.”

“It is absurd that PG&E feels they have the right to install dangerous wireless transmitters on our homes and in our neighborhoods against our will,” he said.alt

Several of the people there to return their meters proceeded to speak, including Peggy Lindsey, an Aptos resident and grandmother of eight. She recounted the day, Aug. 5, when an installer arrived to put a SmartMeter on her home. She came to the door in a robe, and insisted that he leave without installing one. By the time she had dressed and come outside, a SmartMeter was already mounted on her wall. “I had no idea it would cause problems,” she said, adding that a loud ringing immediately permeated her freshly remodeled and “perfect” home. “It went on and on and I was getting sicker.”

After removing her SmartMeter on Wednesday, Nov. 23, she said she was able to sleep again. “I was going crazy with a corporation that wouldn’t listen,” she said, standing before a small crowd of reporters and television news cameras. “Please do something. We must speak up.”

The group then entered the payment center and got in line behind three other PG&E customers, and waited quietly.

When Hart, who was the first of the group in line, was just one customer away from reaching the only open payment window, six Capitola Police Department officers entered and asked for everyone to leave the building. A PG&E employee said, “We’re going to lock up the office. We want everybody out.” The group had just enough time to leave 10 to 12 meters in the office before everyone was vacated and the door was locked.

“This is so symbolic of how we’ve been treated throughout this whole process,” said StopSmartMeters! member Jeff Nordahl outside of the office. “These are all paying customers of PG&E trying to civilly interact and return property.”

Hart once again addressed the media. “If we don’t want someone or something on our property, particularly someone or something that is causing harm, we have a right to get that off of our property, and people have exercised that right today,” he said. “It is a shame that PG&E refuses to dialogue with these customers who are having such health effects, and instead they have shutdown their office today.

“This is just people peacefully, legally coming to the office,” he continued. “People wanting to return their meters. There is no reason for such a heavy police turnout.”

Other than to say “I really don’t want to talk to you” to a reporter as he walked back to the squad car, the sergeant, and the other officers, refused to comment.

Photos by Keana Parker. 


Comments (9)Add Comment
written by Nicholas Alm, January 01, 2012
Let me get this straight. We don't have the right to keep PG&E off of our property but PG&E has the services of the police force to keep us off of their property. "To serve and protect"....corporate interests.
written by Ramona K Meng, December 30, 2011
WOW Land of the free, so glad I moved To Baja California again. Free to have just a regular old fashioned meter,no Nazis´s here. Incredible. Am really really glad I decide to move back home to Mexico.
written by jesse reumann, December 15, 2011
KION tv out of Salinas, conducted a 6 or 12 month(can't remember) comparison test last year between the analog and Smart meters with interesting results. They had the 2 types of meters installed on a house side by side. The Smart meter ran up a higher utility bill. This might be useful data for certain courses of action.
written by motodo, December 08, 2011
Right on! Nobody has a right to place a carcinogenic intelligence gathering device on your home without your consent.
written by West Point Grandma, December 08, 2011
I had my smart meter removed and replaced by a licensed electrician in October and now Mark Torres and Phil Balistrieri of PGE are threatening to turn off my electricity because of "public safety issues"... just laughable. Does PGE have nothing better to do but harass and try to intimidate disabled grandmothers
written by Susan Brinchman, December 07, 2011
Replacing A Smart Meter With A Safe Analog Meter
written by RobertWilliams, December 07, 2011

Concepts and theory sounds great, but upon closer inspection:

A. Utility bills are increasing where smart meters are installed, not decreasing.

B. Customer information from smart meters is NOT formatted for customers and does NOT change customer behavior towards conservation.

C. The cost - benefit of smart meters is horrendous and is being promoted to profit the utility companies and their suppliers, not customers, our society or our environment.

D. The Smart Grid does NOT use or require a smart meter on each home. The necessary smart information can be gathered much more efficiently and timely and inexpensively at energy distribution points. (The smart grid does not care or need to know how much power any one home uses.)

E. The vast amount of unnecessary and nearly useless information to be handled and stored may actually raise energy usage.

F. This massive Billions-of-dollars smart meter program (that we pay for) will leave NO funds for programs that would truly bring energy saving solutions and the public will not be receptive to real solutions after being burned by these Smart meters.

Must-See 4-minute youtube video on Smart meter privacy violations.

Video how to replace your smart meter with an original analog meter

Lots of good info at
written by Nevada Anti Smart Meter Supporter, December 07, 2011
The paranoia exhibited by PG&E is laughable. Respectful customers waiting their turn in line, necessitating police intervention.

PG&E had no reason to call in for a police emergency assistance over their mental malfunctioning of a non-emergency/threatening situation.

I am sure that there are closed circuit cameras that will confirm they had no justification to make the call.

The employees had not even had any interaction with the customers to even provide a modicum of evidence that they were fearful for their lives.

Is this the new version of 'racial' profiling? A customer with a meter in their hand?
written by Susan Brinchman, December 07, 2011
I would compare these courageous citizens to Rosa Parks. Well done! We need to replicate this all over California, and the rest of the nation, and in other countries like Australia, the UK, and France, where smart meters are also making people sick.

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