Minister Walter Roban On Smart Meters

June 9, 2018 | 13 Comments

‘We’ve heard a great deal about smart meters, so I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to members of the public and try to ease some of their concerns by providing factual information,” Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban said in the House of Assembly.

The Minister said, “We recognize the concerns of the public, and so we urge any member of the public with a particular concern to report the matter to the Regulatory Authority [RA], whose function it is to monitor and survey, when necessary, equipment being imported and used in Bermuda in connection with a regulated industry.

“We will have learned from the RA’s recent press release that the smart meters being used by BELCO comply with strict specifications set by the Federal Communications Commission of the United States, and the RA has approved the use of radio frequency spectrum for the smart meters to transmit data.

“Although the RA has already ‘spot checked’ the smart meters currently in use, it is carrying out additional ‘Maximum Permissible Exposure’ testing this month to ensure continued compliance with approved FCC standards. The RA will release its findings to the public within the next ten days. We ask that the public await the results of the RA’s further testing.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks, we’ve heard a great deal about smart meters, so I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to members of the public and try to ease some of their concerns by providing factual information.

Mr. Speaker, I’d like to start by reaffirming to the public that we are listening and we do care. One of the words associated with smart meters is ‘radiation’, a word that can inspire fear. ‘Radiation’ brings to mind images of Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island. In actual fact, visible light from light fixtures is a kind of radiation, as is heat or radio waves. There are different types of radiation, and that which is ‘dangerous’ is the radiation that can cause changes in human cells at a molecular level, thus prompting health concerns. That dangerous radiation is called ‘ionizing’ radiation, and some examples are x-rays, gamma rays and radiation from nuclear waste. The radiation emitted from smart meters has no ability to alter molecular structure at all. It is well within the range of emissions known as ‘non-ionizing radiation’. The non-ionizing radiation that comes from smart meters is of a much lower energy level when compared with the radiation emitted from our cell phones or wi-fi.

Mr. Speaker, smart meters were actually contemplated as long ago as 2011, with the Energy White Paper. Section 3.2.1 of that Paper discusses the goals of smart metering, one of which is to enable customers to have an improved ability to control their energy consumption by accessing more detailed and timely information. Armed with real-time information, customers are better able to understand what behaviours and equipment uses result in higher consumption, thereby allowing them to make different choices, or at least more informed choices, about their energy use. Mr. Speaker, smart metering is a technology that will benefit Bermuda, and BELCO will be publishing additional information in the coming weeks about the specifics of the smart or ‘advanced’ metering system here on island.

Mr. Speaker, we recognize the concerns of the public, and so we urge any member of the public with a particular concern to report the matter to the Regulatory Authority [RA], whose function it is to monitor and survey, when necessary, equipment being imported and used in Bermuda in connection with a regulated industry.

Mr. Speaker, we will have learned from the RA’s recent press release that the smart meters being used by BELCO comply with strict specifications set by the Federal Communications Commission of the United States, and the RA has approved the use of radio frequency spectrum for the smart meters to transmit data. What the public may not realize, Mr. Speaker, is that data transmission from these new meters amounts to less than one second over the course of an entire day.

Mr. Speaker, although the RA has already ‘spot checked’ the smart meters currently in use, it is carrying out additional ‘Maximum Permissible Exposure’ testing this month to ensure continued compliance with approved FCC standards. The RA will release its findings to the public within the next ten days. We ask that the public await the results of the RA’s further testing.

Mr. Speaker, in the meantime, we want the public to know we are here, we are listening, and we do care about public health and Bermuda’s concerns.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Rocky5 says:

    The SUN gives off huge amounts of radiation. Stay in the shade.

    • Warren says:

      Precisely why hats were invented!

    • Jen says:

      Radiation from the sun is not pulsed. Wireless microwave communication signals are pulsed millions of times a second making them far more harmful than continuous waves. Thousands of independent non-industry research shows that pulsed communication signals are implicated in DNA breakage, opening the blood brain barrier to allow in toxins, genotoxic effects and cancer, depression, calcium efflux in brain and heart tissue, decrease in nightly melatonin, endocrine disorders, thyroid cell apoptosis, and a whole plethora of disorders. US FCC exposure guidelines are based on industry and military desires and not on protecting the health of people, animals and the environment and should never be used to assure the public that smart meters are safe.

      • SMH says:

        Jen, your post is complete BS.
        Have a teenager explain the science to you.
        You’re embarrassing yourself.

  2. Marilynne says:

    The real question is – Does complying with the FCC exposure guidelines ensure public safety? Answer – No.
    National Toxicology Program just finished their decade long study and found “clear evidence” of cancers of the heart as well as other organs associated with wireless well below the current FCC exposure guidelines.
    Also remember that the signals are being conducted onto home wires without adequate filtering. See you tube video, Nerve Disrupting Frequencies Radiating from “Smart” Meters
    https://youtu.be/4NTSejgsjTc

  3. Stinky D. says:

    Minister Roban, Go catch a bus

    • Trump supporter says:

      Or give us an update on the buses. Always seems to avoid the subjects that need some thought, obviously not cut out to fix it.

    • Paul says:

      What bus !!! what did Roban do before becoming the transport minister ?
      what was the job of Col Burch , before becoming the minister of works and trash ? how the hell do these so called HONOURABLE ministers get elected… it says a lot about those who elect these lot.

  4. Toodle-oo says:

    I think that another question that should be answered is if these meters need ‘our’ electricity to operate and thus cause our bills to increase .

    Remember the old days when cable TV just plugged right into the back of your television ? Now we have to have stupid boxes that consume power 24 hours a day whether on or off and generate heat the whole time as well .

  5. Need Peace says:

    Minister Roban, two major issues you are missing is that these meters were installed stealthily and without consultation from the public. There was no Environmental Impact Study conducted either. You say they have been approved by the FCC, whose standards have not been revised since 2013? This is as sure as cigarettes and some pharmaceuticals “are safe’ until they are pulled.

    Belco really needs to go further to protect our community as Bermuda has a different environment from the US and Canada. We are surrounded by saltwater.

    Have mercy on us when 5G will be introduced.

  6. Kathy says:

    “strict specifications set by the Federal Communications Commission of the United States” isn’t saying much!

  7. Where Is It? says:

    Ten days are up. Where is the report promised by Roban?

    Can they do nothing right?

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