Before you go looking for smart meters, you should hear something very important: smart meters, like any other device that emits RF radiation, do not pose a risk to your health.
There is a lot of noise on the internet right now about the dangers of smart meters. People claim that because smart meters use radio frequencies, they can cause cancer, anxiety, insomnia, and other complications. These are not just harmless internet conspiracies; There are real protests against the introduction of smart meters across the state, with protesters citing their health as their top concern. But what are smart meters, how do they work, and why is RF radiation harmless?
Smart meters are walkie-talkies that measure energy consumption
Smart meters are digital devices used to measure the energy consumption of your home. They accurately measure your electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours and use wireless radio frequency (RF) technology to report your energy consumption to the utility company in real time. This is the part that people consider dangerous — radio frequencies. But we’ll get back to that in a second.
Electric meters, both smart and dumb, measure the amount of electricity consumed in kilowatt-hours. They are usually installed outside of your home, but as you can guess, they are connected to your building’s circuit.
Old mechanical meters measure energy consumption using two metal conductors and an aluminum plate. The two conductors use the electricity that circulates through your house to form an electromagnetic field (a form of radiation) that causes the aluminum plate to rotate. The plate rotates faster when you use more electricity and slower when you use less electricity. As the plate rotates, it rotates on a five-panel display called the indicator that shows the energy consumption in kilowatt-hours.
Smart meters use AC sensors to measure the voltage and current in your home’s circuit. These are precise digital sensors with no moving parts and are not at risk of failure due to mechanical defects or wear. Unlike mechanical meters, smart meters communicate energy consumption information with the utility via radio frequency, eliminating the need for meter verification agents and allowing the utility to view energy consumption in real time.
Don’t confuse smart meters with energy monitoring products like Sense or Smappee. These are devices that plug into your electrical panel and allow you to control the power consumption on your phone or tablet, and they tell you how you can save money on your electricity bill.
Do you think?
Many people spread the myth that smart meter RF radiation causes cancer, insomnia, anxiety, and a host of other health problems. But smart meters have been installed in US homes since 2006, and according to the US Energy Information Administration, nearly half of all US homes have a smart meter. Where does this disinformation come from and why is it so sudden?
Well, some Americans were concerned about smart meters when they were first introduced in 2006, but as time went on, those concerns began to fade. But in the UK, a nationwide transition from mechanical meters to smart meters (which are already equipped with energy monitors, happy Brits) has recently begun, and this has caused some controversy.
Initially, only part of the UK was concerned about how smart meters were affecting their health. But after British utility companies found themselves in the news for inflating people’s electricity bills and ignoring manufacturing defects in thousands of smart meters, the «health concerns» of smart meters became a common complaint and a hot topic for second-rate internet news sites that fast wanted to make. dollar. People needed a reason to hate smart meters, so half-baked Internet sites began to claim that smart meters cause cancer. And because the Internet is global, these nonsensical issues have reverberated across the Atlantic.
But these problems are complete nonsense. RF radiation is harmless.
Low frequency radiation is harmless
We’ve already explained why Wi-Fi and other RF applications aren’t dangerous, but we’ll talk a little more about that. It’s a little tricky, but if you know that ionizing radiation is dangerous and non-ionizing radiation is harmless, then you’ll be fine.
The dangerous radiation you hear about in Chernobyl documentaries and Godzilla movies is ionizing radiation. These forms of high frequency radiation occupy the far end of the radiation spectrum and are powerful enough to deprive atoms and molecules of their electrons. The most powerful forms of ionizing radiation are gamma rays and x-rays, and they are caused by internuclear and intranuclear decay.
Will your smart device cause some form of nuclear fission? Of course not. Your house will evaporate.
Smart meters operate in the 902 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands, so they are classified as radio frequencies that occupy the lower end of the radiation spectrum. Radio frequencies are non-ionizing and completely harmless. They are less powerful than the infrared light you have in your TV remote or the ultraviolet you suck up on the beach to get a rough tan.
You do not trust me? The most powerful Wi-Fi routers operate in the 5.8GHz band, which is much higher than any smart meter. Put your hand next to the Wi-Fi router and let me know if it gets hot.
This science is not without results; it is a fact. Every American who has been alive for the past 100 years has been bombarded with radio frequency radiation every day of their lives, yet life expectancy continues to rise. More testing has been done on the safety of radio frequencies than on the chemicals in your carpet or toothpaste.
How to make money with online conspiracy
According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, health concerns are one of the top reasons for canceling smart meters or delaying installation. This is a harmless symptom of a very serious problem. The Internet is saturated with disinformation and affects the real world.
In the writing business, we have something called a «niche.» A niche is what makes a website or author stand out from the crowd, it’s what gives voice authority in the online community, and it’s what makes money. Unfortunately, even when a website produces quality content in a niche, it is difficult to drive traffic.
But if you build your business on conspiracies, then it is very easy to create a niche and make a profit. The written word has a certain amount of authority, and if you make a big fuss about something the average person doesn’t know much about (such as low frequency radiation), then there’s a good chance people will believe what you’re saying, especially if you say them that their health is in danger.
Do you want to make money on an online conspiracy? Here is a quick guide:
Find something common yet mysterious and pretend it’s deadly. It doesn’t matter if science is against you, because people don’t believe science.
Create a sense of community. People will feed on each other to make their beliefs more valid.
Easy-to-read reviews are worth over a million scientific papers. But if you can find a half-finished scientific article or an outdated study, then you should use it.
Try to get on the news. They also want to make money.
Come up with a call to arms. When people publicly protest something, they are less likely to listen to opposing views.
Convince the people that they are in the community of «truth» and that they are fighting against a powerful conspiracy.
Blame the government. People hate the government.
It is convenient to ignore logical equivalence. In the case of smart meters, you should suggest that people use mechanical meters, even if the mechanical meters produce electromagnetic radiation.
Join hands with other conspiracy communities. Your followers may overlap.
Any website or blog review that claims your health is making a profit. They do this not because they care about you, not because they want to save the children; they do this because every click on their site generates some form of ad revenue.
The radio frequencies from a smart meter won’t kill you, but believing what you’re reading online can lead you to make some stupid health decisions. Always look at where a website gets its information from and try to weigh things in terms of evidence, not speculation.