Sedona Smart Meter Awareness - Keeping Sedona Safe One Home & One Business at a Time
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Epic Fail! - APS Is Replacing
All Its “Smart” Meters

Information & Perspective
Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ November 22, 2015

Several points I have made about APS's toxic "smart" meter boondoggle have been verified once again. Last week I received news from an alert Phoenix couple that APS was already replacing all the "smart" meters it had installed in their neighborhood only seven years previous.

Upon hearing this news I phoned APS and learned that APS has hired subcontractors from a company headquartered in Virginia called Apex Covantage to replace all of APS's Elster brand "smart" meters with Landis & Gyr ones. The explanation I was given for this so-called "upgrade" is that the 2G cellular system that the Elsters use will soon be obsolete. APS informed me that they intend to change out the “smart” meters in their entire service territory by December of next year.

With roughly 1.2 million customers, this so-called "upgrade" will be quite a payday for APS.

The so-called "upgrade" is really an upgrade to APS's rate base.

The rate base is the sum total of APS's expenditures on which by law APS gets a guaranteed rate of return. In other words, the more APS spends, the more money they make. The enormous and never ending costs of the "smart" grid are why customers always get a hefty rate increase whenever and wherever the "smart" grid is installed. Count on a sizable rate increase at APS's next rate case.

I have long made the point to the corrupt and incompetent Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), who are supposed to be regulating APS, that APS has a perverse incentive to spend money, and that this perverse incentive was a motivating factor behind APS's "smart" grid boondoggle. I proved that the “smart” grid would never pencil out for ratepayers by providing the ACC with the statements of several state attorneys general who had done cost/benefit analyses, a cost/benefit by accounting firm Ernst & Young for Germany, and an evaluation by Massachusetts' largest utility. I also provided the ACC with plenty of examples of utilities that had received rate increases after installing the “smart” grid. The ACC cared not.

Additionally, I have long made the point that "smart" meter technology, unlike the tried and true analog (electro-mechanical) system, would be the gift that keeps on giving to APS due to the endless costly "upgrades" the "smart" grid would require. For example, last January I wrote the ACC (on page 12, here:

Then there's the shorter lifespan that “smart” meters have. According to electric meter testing equipment and services company, Tesco:

“Electro-Mechanical Meters typically lasted 30 years and more. Electronic AMI meters are typically envisioned to have a life span of fifteen years and given the pace of technology advances in metering are not expected to last much longer than this. This means entire systems are envisioned to be exchanged every fifteen years or so.”

There's a big financial difference between meters that last “30 years and more” and meters – plus “entire systems” – that “are envisioned to be exchanged every fifteen years or so,” especially when the meters that last half as long cost about 10 times more!

Even a 15 year lifespan is probably wishful thinking. APS has admitted to replacing 32,000 faulty “smart” meters from January 1 through August 31 in 2014 alone (see p. 4 here: ).

The ACC has lost sight of the fact that APS has an incentive to spend money since they get a guaranteed return on their rate base. All of the above should have been considered before the first “smart” meter was installed.

As it turns out, APS's Elster "smart" meters did not even last 15 years. The ones just replaced in Phoenix lasted 7 years. APS's Elster "smart" meters installed in Sedona and the Verde Valley in 2014 will end up being replaced in 2016, a two year life. Be sure to thank the corrupt and incompetent ACC when your electric bill increases to pay for this foolish, colossal waste, waste that the ACC was warned about repeatedly but, negligently, only encouraged.

The ridiculously short life of “smart” meters is not a fluke unique to APS's Elsters. Testifying just last month before a joint hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and the U.S. House Subcommittee on Research and Technology, Bennett Gaines, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services and Chief Information Officer of FirstEnergy (the nation's largest investor owned utility with 6 million customers) said this about “smart” meters: “These devices have a life of between 5 to 7 years.” (See him say it at 1:40:56 in the hearing's video minutes, here:

By the way, Gaines is not a “smart” meter critic. His company uses “smart” meters (not the Elster brand), and his company got a federal “stimulus” grant for them.

There’s more.

APS's new Landis & Gyr "smart" meters will be transmitting microwave radiation at roughly four times the strength of the Elsters, a 300% increase. So watch for more people getting sick, and watch for more interference with other wireless stuff. For example, our ceiling fans are already getting their speed and direction adjusted – thanks to our neighbor's APS "smart" meter – from a distance of more than 30 yards away. I wonder what else we'll have to look forward to when our neighbors get their "upgrade."

By the way, using a Gigahertz Solutions HF35C microwave analyzer, I have measured the microwave radiation of our neighbor's APS “smart” meter from inside our house. In our house it is three times the intensity of the microwave radiation that the huge cell towers one half mile away on Airport Mesa transmit into our house. So, utility claims of how weak “smart” meter microwave radiation is are just lies.

There's more.

The explanation I was given by APS – the one about the 2G cellular network becoming obsolete – could be a reason for APS to replace its collector “smart” meters (what APS calls “Gatekeepers”), but not all its “smart” meters everywhere. According to previous statements by APS, there is roughly one Gatekeeper for every 500 regular, or “Node,” “smart” meters. The Gatekeepers collect the data from the other 500 and send it to APS via the 2G network. Since Node meters don't use 2G to communicate, and since Landis & Gyr and Elster are compatible as far as communication goes, it would not be necessary for APS to replace any of its Elster Node “smart” meters, just the Gatekeepers. So, typically, APS's explanation is sorely lacking. Perhaps APS will not even be using any Gatekeepers or cellular system at all. Many other utilities use pole mounted routers and repeaters, and have no need for Gatekeepers or the cellular system.

One explanation for the “upgrade” not given by APS but obvious to me is that the new Landis & Gyr "smart" meters have an additional microwave radio transceiver, something the Elsters did not have. Zigbee microwave radio transceivers are in the new Landis & Gyr “smart” meters to communicate with your "smart" appliances in the so-called Home Area Network (HAN). Don't have any "smart" appliances? That doesn't matter; the Zigbee may still be calling for them 24/7/365.

According to a study by Richard Tell Associates and commissioned by Vermont's Department of Public Service:

"... the HAN radios in the smart meters periodically issue a very brief signal lasting approximately1.75 ms once every 15 seconds plus a group of four closely spaced signals once per minute for a total of eight pulse emissions per minute. These signals are presumably related to the HAN radio searching for IHDs [In Home Devices] in the vicinity that have been commissioned to wirelessly connect to the meter. This characteristic of the HAN radios ... means that one expects to observe periodic pulsed signals from the radio even if there is no IHD in range; in the case of multiple meters located together, as in a meter bank, more pulsed signals should be observed over time simply due to the greater number of meters, each sending out a periodic signal.
(Page 38, An Evaluation of Radio Frequency Fields Produced by Smart Meters Deployed in Vermont,

In other words, in addition to the four times more intense microwave transmissions of the new Landis & Gyr “smart” meters, another layer of microwave radiation may be added on top of that to pollute people's environments – at least 8 times per minute (11,520 times per day) – and much, much more for those living near banks of meters.

There’s more.

Looking for work? With just one to two weeks training, you can make $32.61/hr. as a "smart" meter installer for APS's subcontractor, Apex Covantage! See their online ad here:

The use of subcontractors in other states to install "smart" meters has a sorry record of rushed and substandard work. As of this writing I have not been able to ascertain if Apex installers, in addition to their salary, are working on a daily quota or worse, an incentive plan whereby the more meters they install the more money they make. Such a system has seen widespread use in other states, and has resulted in shoddy, dangerous work.

Remember that the meter clips that hold the meter in place are on your side of the meter and therefore they are your responsibility not APS's, likewise the wiring in the meter box. Any fire attributed to them is your problem. If the clips do not grasp the meter thoroughly – which can happen if they are old – then "hot socket" can occur which can result in fire. Old and worn meter box wiring has also caused fires after "smart" meter installations. APS has already admitted to such "smart" meter related fires but the ACC was too slack to thoroughly investigate. (For more information see:

Bottom line question: Do you trust someone inexperienced and with one to two weeks of training – and quite possibly in a rush – to thoroughly inspect your meter clips or meter box wiring before installing an APS "smart" meter? I know I don't.

There’s more.

The Phoenix couple who brought APS's statewide "smart" meter "upgrade" to my attention also caught the subcontractors in the act of replacing the meter of one of their neighbors (a recent cancer survivor) who had refused a "smart" meter and so did not have one, but who was not at home to protest the subcontractors' violation. Despite being told of their mistake by the Phoenix couple, the subcontractors refused to stop installation, neither did they leave a note or door-hanger informing the homeowner of the switch.

That scenario has been played out by APS repeatedly in the past. Even former ACC commissioner Brenda Burns had a "smart" meter installed at her home despite her notifying APS not to install one. I expect such incompetence to only increase with the employment of these subcontractors.

Warning: If you have refused a "smart" meter already, be sure to keep an eye on your existing meter. You may find Apex has come when you weren't home and changed yours. We are only at the beginning of this latest chapter in the Great APS Toxic “Smart” Meter Boondoggle and it's already happened.

Lastly, recall that people who refuse “smart” meters have been constantly framed as “cost causers” by both APS and the ACC. Over the years I have proved that's not in the least bit true, and that in actual fact people who refuse “smart” meters should be getting a refund for subsidizing “smart” meters and a “smart” grid they don't want and never asked for.  Now, with the epic fail of APS's Elster “smart” meters, can there be any doubt about who the real “cost causers” are? They are APS and their enablers, the ACC.

P.S. – When ACC commissioner Doug Little was on his APS money-lined campaign trail, one of my contacts who heard Little at a campaign event told me that Little, in response to a question about “smart” meters, said removal of “smart” meters already installed would be too expensive to undertake. It should be quite obvious now that Little's statement was a lie.

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We need residents to request to intervene on Docket E-01345A-13-0069 to show the Commission the number of us who will not accept wireless smart meters. There is no charge to do so.

If you are interested in becoming an "intervenor," here's a sample "motion to intervene" letter for you to tailor to your own use; complete, make 14 copies (one for you to keep) and mail using certified mail the original and 13 copies to ACC with a copy to APS so you have proof of receipt by the ACC and APS:



Arizona Corporation Commission

Docket Control

1200 W. Washington St.

Phoenix, AZ 85007


RE: MOTION TO INTERVENE in the Application of APS for its proposed opt out proposal fees DOCKET NO. O1345A-13-0069 Automated Meter Opt-Out Service Schedule No. 17 (“Schedule 17”).


My name, address and telephone number are listed below.


I wish to intervene in the application for proposed opt out fees for smart meters filed by APS on behalf of myself.  I am a residential customer of the Utility  and therefore have an interest in the ramifications of an additional increase in the electric rates.


I hereby certify that a copy of this Notice of Intervention has been mailed to APS,




CC:      Arizona Corporation Commission (13)

            APS Corporate Office

            400 N. 5 Street

            Phoenix, AZ 85004

Agenda item #13 at marker #00:49:54 and 01:17:34


Commission discussion, consideration and possible vote(s) concerning Interveners Warren Woodward’s and/or Patricia Ferre’s requests, filed pursuant to A.R.S. Section 40- 253, for rehearing and /or relief related to Decision No. 74871 (the Commission’s decision on Arizona Public Service Company’s application for approval of Automated Meter Opt-Out Service Schedule 17) (Commission Docket No. E-01345A-13-0069) - Chairman Bitter Smith ***The Commission may vote to go into Executive Session for discussion and consultation  with its attorneys in these matters pursuant to A.R.S. Section 38-431.03.A (3) and (4),  which will not be open to the public.***

Please see our "How to Opt Out Now" page for how to replace your "smart" meter with a non-communicating analog meter.

Also, check out our "RF Free" Program for information on how you can be one of its participants.

*  Those interested in helping to distribute our
trifold and put up our sign up around town,
please email me at

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Here are two newsworthy events for SSMA members to know about; the ongoing investigation of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) alleged collusion with PG&E and recently a whistleblower from the Arizona Corporation Commission stepped forward with similar allegations of collusion between the ACC and APS.


For those of you who haven’t seen this information about the Arizona Corporation Commission whistleblower, here it is below . . .


TV news coverage

Whistleblower's letter

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What did ACC Decide
About Smart Meters on 12/12/14?

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) decided:

After April 1, 2015, a "set-up" fee of $50 will be assessed to those who wish to have their smart meters replaced with non-transmitting analog meters. The $5/month also applies.

Please read the decision . . .

The decision, by previous agreement between APS and ACC (evidenced in Docket No. E-01345A-13-0069) did not include all of  the "opt out" details. The public is being left out of the process.

Here's the chronology of events:

12/10 Two days prior to the Open Meeting, APS requested that Schedule 17 be considered an "exception" and not part of the "open meeting" discussion. 

12/18/14 Document 7871:Item 22.  Docket Control, as a compliance item in this matter, stating when all customers have been provided the above referenced notice. Service Schedule 17, approved as discussed herein, should become effective with the first billing cycle in April, 2015, or the first billing cycle of the month following APS’s filing of this letter with Docket Control, whlchever is later.  

01/16/15 APS Application for Approval of Service Schedule 17

1/29/15 APS Compliance to a Decision
 Essentially a revised Service Schedule 17

SOLAR  RATE PAYERS   If you have solar, this issue has not been resolved additionally, the ACC is  scheduling a hearing sometime in the Spring to resolve an issue with solar companies alleged "deceptive" practices.

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Scientist Marsha Adams posed this question from her observations and photographs that documented visible injury to a prickly pear cactus on “a walk along the sidewalk at the Hyatt resort in uptown Sedona.”


Marsha Adams is a researcher with a multidisciplinary background. Originally trained in chemistry and biology, she has expertise in biological and geophysical measurements.

At Stanford Medical School, she collaborated with famed heart transplant pioneer Norman Shumway’s surgical team, co-authoring the paper that launched the popularity of coronary bypass surgery. Later, she was a Sr. Computer Systems Analyst at the California think tank, SRI International. She sits on the board of three scientific societies.

Most recently, she founded a non-profit organization the, International Earthlight Alliance (IEA). International Earthlight Alliance conducts research in a broad range of topics including health, anomalies, and solar terrestrial physics. IEA operates a geophysical observatory for the purpose of earthquake forecasting research. Last December, Marsha was invited to present her findings to the International Geohazards Research Society at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley California.    

  Marsha Adams
Web:  &

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ACC Docket No. E-01345A-13-0069

Sedona Smart Meter Awareness (SSMA) recently responded to the Arizona Department of Health Services' Report on Health Safety of Smart Meters for Docket No. E-01345A-13-0069.   We focused our efforts on the most obvious flaws - the list below gives some examples:

-  from ADHS' contractor's (Arizona Radiation Regulatory Association's) inexperience in measuring RF and its use of a meter unable to track smart meter pulses,

-  questionable methodology and results, to improper ADHS' interpretation of FCC's responsibilities,

-  impermissable use of "time averaging" for General population/Uncontrolled exposure, 

-  selecting the obsolete World Health Organization's statement regarding EMF instead of the current 2011 pronouncement when EMF was classified as a 2B Carcinogen,

-  misjudgment that "no harm" is equivalent to "safe," failure to conduct a "study," ignoring the 6,000 plus scientific peer-reviewed studies - many on the Arizona Corporation Commission's docket, e.g., the Oregon Physicians Report,

-  producing a report of reports not written by qualified individuals,

-  ignoring use and recommendation to State policy makers to apply "the precautionary principle."

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Arizona Corporation Commission  Open Meeting Friday Dec 12
10:00 am
1200 W. Washington 
Phoenix, AZ 85007

On the Agenda:

-   Smart Meters Staff Opt Out and Fee Proposals

-   Health Issues (or lack thereof, according to Arizona Department of Health Services' report) and

-    Privacy Policy Proposal

Commissioners will vote regarding whether to allow opt out and how much to charge for such option.

This is the time to voice your concerns, share your health stories, etc. at this meeting.

Anyone may attend even if you're not an APS rate payer.

*  For assistance or special accommodations Call or email Shaylin A. Bernal 602 542-3931

*  If you are affected by EMF and WiFi and can't attend the meeting in person, you can request to call in to voice your comments.

Out-of-state physicians and experts are encouraged to call in to show your support.

Arizonans need all the help we can get from all of you.

You can also write and ask to have your comments submitted to the Docket E-00000C-11-0328 and E-01345A-13-0069.

If there is not enough time to send your comments by mail, email it to the Commissioners and ask them to submit it to the Docket for you.

Commissioners' email addresses:

Please share this post widely.

POINT OF REFERENCE:  State of Vermont signed no fee opt out into law on May 18, 2012!

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Information & Opinion by Warren Woodward
October 19, 2014

I received a response from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) concerning the letter (see below) I wrote them last month about APS changing out thousands of “smart” meters due to overheating and possible fire concerns.

For your reading enjoyment, the ACC/APS response and my reply are below.

In a nutshell, here’s what we learn from the ACC and APS:

1) “Smart” meter related fires are occurring in Arizona but APS gets to blame the victims so the ACC doesn’t care.

2) We aren’t told how many of these fires have occurred or what the damage was.

3) We have our first Arizona “smart” meter house fire lawsuit.

4) Once again, the gullible (or is it corrupt?) ACC takes APS at their word.

5) If I don’t like any of this I get to do the ACC’s regulatory work for them once more by filing a formal complaint.

Read more the details here:

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Are tens of thousands of defective “smart” meters being stealthily replaced in Arizona?

5 September 2014, by Warren Woodward

In the wake of several massive “smart” meter recalls due to component overheating and subsequent fires, is Arizona Public Services Company (APS) replacing tens of thousands of “smart” meters?

An anonymous APS whistle-blower says, “Yes.”

Read more in my letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission below:

September 2, 2014
Arizona Corporation Commissioner (ACC)
Docket Control Center
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Re: Docket # E-00000C-11-0328
A source within APS has revealed that APS “smart” meters are failing, and failing in a way that presents a fire risk to ratepayers.

My source, whose privacy I must protect, tells me that APS has replaced thousands of faulty “smart” meters, and is scheduled to replace 50 to 60 thousand this year alone due to heat induced failure of the remote disconnect switch and LCD display. (I have seen the failed LCDs.)

Remote disconnect switch failure resulted in a recall of over 10,000 “smart” meters in Lakeland, Florida where 6 house fires occurred [Meters overheating, to be replaced in Lakeland]. And in Portland, Oregon, remote disconnect switch failure resulted in a recall of 70,000 “smart” meters after 3 fires there [PGE replacing 70,000 electricity meters because of fire risk]. “Smart” meter-caused house fires have resulted in massive “smart” meter recalls in Pennsylvania (186,000) and Saskatchewan (105,000).

You must investigate APS at once. State statute demands it:

A.R.S. 40-361.B – Every public service corporation shall furnish and maintain such service, equipment and facilities as will promote the safety, health, comfort and convenience of its patrons, employees and the public, and as will be in all respects adequate, efficient and reasonable.

A.R.S. 40-321.A – When the commission finds that the equipment, appliances, facilities or service of any public service corporation, or the methods of manufacture, distribution, transmission, storage or supply employed by it, are unjust, unreasonable, unsafe, improper, inadequate or insufficient, the commission shall determine what is just, reasonable, safe, proper, adequate or sufficient, and shall enforce its determination by order or regulation.

APS has painted a very rosy picture of their “smart” meters over the years, but have they told you about this dangerous and potentially life threatening inherent flaw, one that analog meters do not have? APS has a history of concealing information from the public and regulatory agencies. APS refuses to come clean about their “dark money” political donations, and, earlier this year, it was revealed that APS did not report an explosion at their Palo Verde nuclear plant for 5 months ['Explosion' at Palo Verde nuclear plant not reported for 5 months].

Also, if APS is replacing tens of thousands of “smart” meters, how long will it be until APS comes begging for a rate increase so that ratepayers bear the financial brunt of their (and your) “smart” meter fiasco?

Warren Woodward

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Smart Meter Hell in Sedona
Within hours after smart meters were installed in the 6 properties surrounding Marianne Hartsong's property, she began to experience strange phenomenon. Her bees swarmed and then suddenly died, her ch...

Within hours after smart meters were installed in the six properties surrounding Marianne Hartsong's property, she began to experience strange phenomenon. Her bees swarmed and then suddenly died, her chicken's egg laying pattern changed, and she still can't get her hands coordinated to return to playing her viola, despite the anti-microwave device she had installed in her home to minimize the radiation.   She spoke with APS about removing the meters and the representative was not at all helpful.   Hear it from her own lips and learn what we all may be facing in time.

It's not too late to have any smart meters that were installed, replaced with your non-transmitting non-analog meter. 

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On May 30, Sedona Smart Meter Awareness (SSMA) received a copy of Dr. Olle Johansson’s comments submitted to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), about the scope of ADHS’ study being done to determine health effects from radio frequency radiation emitted by APS smart meters. SSMA is a local group informing the community about health, safety and privacy effects of smart meters.    

Dr. Johansson, Associate Professor, Experimental and Dermatology Unit head, Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden is a world recognized authority in EMF radiation and health effects. 

He commented in response to ADHS’ study parameters focusing on “human toxicology” and “limited to examining the transmission signals to see if they conform to federally approved guidelines.” ADHS notes that if the transmissions “exceed/deviate from allowable federal standards,” it will then research the literature, consult with its “CDC partners to see if there is any cause and effect relationship documented that would be detrimental to human health.” According to SSMA, FCC guidelines are not related to health effects.  

Dr. Johansson observes the “consequences of chronic exposure to pulsed microwave exposure from smart meters is often denied…Exposure to electromagnetic fields not only may induce acute thermal effects to living organisms, but also non-thermal effects, the latter often after longer exposures. This has been demonstrated in a very large number of studies and includes cellular DNA-damage, disruptions and alternations of cellular functions like increases in intracellular stimulatory pathways and calcium handling, disruption of tissue structures like the blood-brain barrier, impact on vessel and immune functions, and loss of fertility. . . practically all animals and plants may be at stake.”  

He urges that “the “precautionary principle” should be in effect before the introduction of new technology to the public. This was not done with smart meters. Full comments ABOVE .      

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We use SurveyMoz as our Online Survey Softwareprovider

The purpose of the questionnaires are to determine any changes in your health status during the period that smart meters are being installed. While the results will be published, your identity will remain confidential.

We ask you to identify yourself only with initials and your Zip Code only so we can compare your first, second and final questionnaire responses. If you are at a business location, please feel free to send questionnaires for all employees willing to participate.

Providing your contact information will enable us to anonymously plot your location on a Sedona map to see if there are clusters around cell phone antennas and towers, high intensity electromagnetic antennas, or to identify other areas of concern including clusters of electromagnetic problems.

INSTRUCTIONS: These health questionnaires each contain 10 questions. You are invited to complete these questionnaires three times; once prior to APS smart meter installation, and again now as smart meters are being installed and finally after installation is complete.



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