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Smart Meters

Could the radiation from smart meter networks affect your health and well-being?

There’s no definitive answer at this stage because the technology is so new. But already there are some indications that all may not be well.

Smart meters networks operate using radiofrequency (wireless) radiation to relay information about electricity usage. These signals are sent sporadically, either to a WiMax base station, or from one meter to another (the MESH system) till the information reaches the electrical utility.

These meters send out intermittent signals – so they will not be present or measurable at all times of day.

How much radiation do they emit? A 2011 report for the Victorian government concluded that the emissions complied with Australian standards but did not specify emission levels. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has undertaken measurements of radiation from some types of smart meters but has not released its results.

Utilities claim that the emissions from smart meters are 'low’. However, that doesn’t explain the large number of reports of uncomfortable effects from those who have had smart meters installed on – or even near – their homes. They include headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, mental confusion, eye problems and sleep problems. Some have felt it necessary to leave their homes. EMR Australia is regularly contacted by people who have experienced health problems that coincide with the installation of ‘smart’ meters.

Because of the potential risks of the radiation they emit, some authorities have called for a moratorium on the installation of smart meters. This includes the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

Smart meters are currently being rolled out in different states of Australia. Eventually, the technology is expected to be extended so that the meters will connect with electrical appliances in the home and transfer information using radiofrequency radiation back and forth. This will lead to even greater exposure in the home.

The Tasmanian Government is considering introducing smart electricity meters to the state. You can read our submission here.

You can read our submission to the NSW Smart meter Taskforce discussion paper here.

NSW Smart meter taskforce discussion paper NSW Smart meter taskforce discussion paper (53 KB)

You can read our submission to the Energy Safe Victoria report on Smart meter safety.

Smart meters ESV sub Smart meters ESV sub (246 KB)

Smart meter solutions

1: Block radiation from your smart meter

You can block the radiation from your smart meter with our shielding paint. You can apply the paint to the inside wall from the meter, covering the wall in each direction from the meter. One litre of paint covers approximately 7 square metres. 5L quantities of paint are also available.

2:Block smart meter radiation with shielding fabric

shielding fabricThis is a good solution for people who are renting and don't wish to make structural changes. The fabric can be hung in front of the smart meter, even when no window is present.
You can use it to block radiation from yours and other people’s smart meters – and other wireless sources.

3:Check your exposure

acoustimeter.jpg If you’re concerned about your exposure to wireless radiation from smart meters, why not check your exposure from other wireless radiation in your home or workplace? Hire our Acoustimeter for measuring wireless signals to measure the radiation from cordless phones, WiFi and other wireless devices.

Beware: products that claim to ‘harmonise’ smart meter radiation do not reduce the radiofrequency signal which is still present and measurable.