Illinois women arrested for blocking Smart Meter installers

A smart meter is an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility company for monitoring and billing purposes. Unlike traditional automatic meter reading, smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. There are concerns regarding the cost, health, fire risk, security and privacy effects of smart meters.

On Nov. 14, 2012, I did a post on a woman in Las Vegas who opted out of the smart meter (the State of Nevada has an opt-out policy), then had her electricity disconnected by three armed men from Nevada Energy.

Here’s another story — this time of two women in Naperville, Illinois, who were arrested for blocking smart meter installers. Naperville is located in northeastern Illinois, and is the state’s 5th largest city.

Melissa Jenco reports for the Chicago Tribune, January 23, 2013, that Melissa “Kim” Bendis and Jennifer Stahl, leaders of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group and vocal opponents of Naperville’s initiative to install wireless electric meters on homes, were arrested this afternoon after interfering with the installation process, according to city officials.

Naperville has installed smart meters on 57,000 homes and is about 99% through with the process. Officials say the project will make the electric system more reliable and efficient and reduce costs.

Police are accompanying crews this week as they install smart meters at homes that previously sent away installers. City Manager Doug Krieger said, “The previous installation attempts were met with some resistance and we wanted to ensure our employees’ safety.”

However, the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group has expressed concerns over whether the wireless meters will affect health, security and privacy. The group has a federal lawsuit pending against the city.

Bendis was charged with two misdemeanors — attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer. For her part, Stahl received two ordinance violation citations — interfering with a police officer and preventing access to customer premises.

Stahl said when she refused the smart meter, installers accompanied by police cut the bicycle lock she had placed on her fence and entered her backyard. She then stood in front of her electric meter and refused to move.

“It was forced on my house today,” she said. “It was really a violation. I violated something, but I’ve been violated too so I guess we’re now in a society of violating one another.”

The city, which has repeatedly declared the wireless meters to be safe, offers a non-wireless alternative meter to residents with concerns. There is a $68.35 initial fee for a non-wireless meter plus a $24.75 monthly fee for manually reading it. Stahl said residents who want a non-wireless meter should not have to pay for it, and said she represents other homeowners who were not able to continue to refuse the wireless meter installation: “I have not done the work of attempting to educate the community and advocating for the right of anybody in Naperville to refuse the smart meter just to stand off to the side.”

Krieger defended the city moving forward with installation of the meters despite the objections from some homeowners: “The city has always had and maintains the right to access our equipment, and today we were simply exercising that right.”

Click here to watch CBS2′s news video of this.

shredded-constitution

Smart meter installers accompanied by police cut the bicycle lock that Jennifer Stahl had placed on her fence and entered her backyard.

So much for the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

~Eowyn

11 responses to “Illinois women arrested for blocking Smart Meter installers

  1. Is the Computer and accompanying Technology, the Beast, or merely the Image of the Beast?
    It seems to me that we are coming ever closer to ‘worshiping’ it. It’s ‘wonder’ full technology–but, in evil hands, it’s as much a power monopoly, as the Gov’t having all of the fire-power.

  2. I will resist in the same way and have fended off the electric company once already. I will do it again and there is nothing smart about these meters.

    NO ONE has the right to tell me when to heat or cool my home, NO ONE!

  3. Smart is an oxymoron in liberal speak. I enjoy my stupid phone and everything else that is not technologically savvy. I was really agitated when I found out my other family members saw no problem with the installation of a smart meter for our home. Then again they have also gone along with other stuff like cash for clunkers, the tax credit for energy efficient washer/dryer, etc.

    I do hate to be the I told you so, but when the supposed great energy efficient LG washer last year needed new bearings which required us taking the whole thing apart and fixing it I responded to them about how you don’t let the government tell you what they think is better. Are mercury filled light bulbs better for our environment really? Probably not despite the claim they last longer. Would rather we perfect maybe LED lighting or a safer alternative that would be cost effective to society.

    Society today needs way less social engineering! I keep telling them technology is often shown to be our downfall because it ends up not used in the correct hands. I thought I saw somewhere the reference to 666 and the Hebrew character for www which makes one wonder about the world wide web just a little after all as well.

  4. I really don’t know how many more times I can say it:

    This is not America anymore.

    -Dave

  5. if they force thier way in, under your protest, and rattle the thing and a large bunch of snow slides off the roof and breaks thier little neck, who is liable, you or the axxhxle that is really tresspassing??
    What if the dog doesnt understand Arabic or broken English and bites the prick.
    If they try to shoot the English speaking dog, can you protect him,?
    Are there any lawyers here to tell us…
    What if you have a heart attack when they threaten you with a gun while enforceing some company policy, not a law of the state, can your spouse sue them and win??

  6. My water company recently installed smart water meters to go along with my already installed electric meter. I feel helpless in all of this!

  7. Tyranny… it’s for your own good, trust us.

  8. Guys guys GUYS! It’s not impossible to have the smart meters removed. I have, on a rental property- with a meter that had already been installed, by contacting my provider (In Phoenix AZ it’s’ APS) and alerting them to the fact that their frequency hopping communications were interfering with my X10 phone system. IF the FCC parts 15 & 17-which is what smart meters operate under – that is, unlicensed bands- interrupt with licensed equipment (of ANY type, such as radios, x10 equipment, phone systems, ham radios, wireless routers, etc) by LAW they must remove it. It took me about 3 minutes to compose them a succinct email and within 24 hours a man came to remove it with a non-communicating one. They use frequencies that are actually unlicensed. I repeat: If someone is transmitting using unlicensed bands, and it interferes with any licensed equipment, by law the offender must stop transmitting on that interrupting frequency. I am surprised it has seemed to become such a problem according to some, when it is so easy to have it removed. I was not required to show or prove my licensed equipment or proof of interference, either. I would encourage you readers to research resolutions to your problems before you throw your hands up in the air or cry “conspiracy”.

  9. I forgot to add- it did not cost me anything to have the meter replaced with a non-communicating one either. I simply did my research, finding out how these smart meters communicate and when I went to the FCC website I read that these meters use unlicensed bands. I know that anyone using them must by law stop transmitting if it causes any complaints or interference, period.

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