Condo Complex: GET OUT, Smart Meters!


Patrick Roddie’s apartment building unfortunately already got “smart” meters, 80 of them mounted behind one resident’s bedroom—but he isn’t going to let that happen in his girlfriend Luvi Lui’s condo complex at 1655 Mission Street, in San Francisco [California]. This building has 210 units, with five banks of about 40 electric meters, each mounted behind someone’s bedroom wall.

The building got notice of impending installation late last Friday—it was to begin this morning, Monday, July 25, 9:30 am. By working furiously over the weekend, Patrick and Luvi flyered every door—but then someone scooped up all the flyers. So they did it all over again, and knocked on as many doors as they could, talking to their neighbors about “smart” meters, and getting people onboard with the idea of refusing the installation. They posted notices announcing their nonconsent to these radio-frequency surveillance devices on all doors, using text found below this video.

By Monday morning they had enough of their neighbors to cover all the doors, and the building manager on board as well.

When the Wellington installer arrived, they turned him away.

Buildings such as these raise the same questions about legality, health and safety, and informed consent as single-family houses, but with a twist. The shared common space legally and contractually belongs to all owner-members of the complex, and they manage this space through a democratic process of meetings and votes. Leaving aside that that sounds somewhat like how our society is supposed to function at the macro level, here questions about liability and devaluation of property are very real and particular, and utterly unaddressed by the ludicrous opt-out plan currently being considered by the CPUC.

PG&E has stated clearly that it is not liable in any way for any health, safety, or fire problems arising from “smart” meter installations—something that should raise a red flag for home owner associations everywhere. Insurance companies won’t insure against any “smart” meter damage or liability. Given that these devices have no health and safety testing, no environmental impact report, and have left electrical fires in their wake, the liability that will fall to the association and its owner-members is no trivial matter.

Luvi wondered how they could come to her building and install these on such a scale without the consent of the owners and their advisory board. That is a good question here, and everywhere, in the Wild West territory of outlaw PG&E.

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