Update on MA Bill H2868 – utility meters and ratepayer’s rights

Please call your Senator and ask that they support MA Senate budget amendment #868 
MA Bill H2868 
An Act Relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers rights, 
was sponsored by former Rep. Steven DiNatale
and supported by Petitioners:
Stephen L. DiNatale, Jennifer L. Flanagan, Michael O. Moore, Paul McMurtry, Donald H. Wong, Marjorie C. Decker, John V. Fernandes, Michelle M. DuBois, Dennis A. Rosa, Angelo L. D’Emilia, Brian M. Ashe, Geoff Diehl, Jennifer E. Benson, Keiko M. Orrall, Diana DiZoglio, Richard J. Ross
The bill was held in committee by the Telecom, Utilities and Energy Subcommittee, meaning that it did not move forward  for further action.
Senator Michael Moore of Worcester has submitted the bill as an amendment to the Ways and Means budget.  The number for the smart meter amendment  to the Senate Ways and Means Budget is #868.
Be sure to mention this number when you call your senators and ask them to support this amendment and, if possible,to sign on online as co-sponsors, Friday May 20th or Monday May 23rd.
Senator Jamie Eldridge, Jason Lewis, and Jennifer Flanagan have signed on as co-sponsors as of Friday afternoon.
Potential co-sponsors should contact Julia.DelSobral@masenate.gov at Senator Moore’s office.
You can see when additional senators sign on here:
Open the amendment, and you will see all co-sponsors signed on at the top.
Please call your Senator and ask that they support amendment #868.
Here is the list of Senate members of the Joint Committee on Public Health. Note that Senators Timilty, Lovely and Ross are also members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, so some of you may have contacted them on that basis.Jason M. Lewis, Senate Chair, of Winchester,  617-722-1206
Jennifer L. Flanagan, Senate Vice Chair, of Leominster, 617-722-1230
Eric P. Lesser, of Longmeadow, 617-722-1291
James E. Timilty, of Walpole, 617-722-1222
Joan B. Lovely, of Salem, 617-722-1410
Richard J. Ross, of Wrentham, 617-722-1555
To find your Senator, go to: https://malegislature.gov/People/Search
Here is the list of all the members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee:Karen E. Spilka, Chair, of Ashland, 617-722-1640
Sal N. DiDomenico, Vice Chair, of Everett, 617-722-1650
Patricia D. Jehlen, Assistant Vice Chair, of Somerville, 617-722-1578
William N. Brownsberger, of Belmont, 617-722-1280
Kenneth J. Donnelly, of Arlington, 617-722-1432
Benjamin B. Downing, of Pittsfield, 617-722-1625
Thomas M. McGee, of Lynn, 617-722-1350
Michael F. Rush, of West Roxbury, 617-722-1348
Kathleen O’Connor Ives, of Newburyport, 617-722-1604
Viriato deMacedo, of Plymouth, 617-722-1330
Donald F. Humason, Jr., of Westfield, 617-722-1415
Sonia Chang-Diaz, of Boston, 617-722-1673
Eileen M. Donoghue, of Lowell, 617-722-1630
John F. Keenan, of Quincy, 617-722-1494
Michael O. Moore, of Millbury, 617-722-1485 (agreed to sponsor)
James E. Timilty, of Walpole, 617-722-1222
Joan B. Lovely, of Salem, 617-722-1410
Richard J. Ross, of Wrentham, 617-722-1555If you are in any of these senators’ districts, , call and ask them to consider co-sponsoring Senator Moore’s smart meter amendment to the Senate Ways and Means Budget.

Thank you to Helen Walker for spearheading this effort, to Jean Lemieux and Janet Johnson for meeting with legislators, and to Leslie Saffer for her work with Senator Moore.
Here is the text of the Bill:
An Act relative to
a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Electromechanical analog meter”, means a purely mechanical device, using no electronic components, no switch mode power supply, no transmitter, no antenna, and no radio frequency emissions
(2) “Utilities”, shall mean an electric, gas, or water company, or town or city-owned utility or other utility provider.
(3) “Wireless meter” shall mean: Any transmitting metering device with electronic components and/or any electric or battery operated meter that is capable of measuring, recording, and sending data from a utility consumer or member to a public utility, municipality, or cooperative association in a manner utilizing one-way communication, two -way communication, or a combination of one-way and two-way communication with any entity or device, or a device ancillary to the meter. (Common names include, but are not limited to, AMR, ERT, smart, AMI, and Comprehensive Advanced Metering Plan CAMP)
(4) “Equivalent Technology” shall mean utility infrastructure such as WiMax that extracts data using wireless frequencies, but which may be undisclosed due to proprietary rights (eg NStar)
b) The department of public utilities shall direct utilities to provide to ratepayers the following:
(1) a choice of the type of utility meters to be installed and operated on their places of residence, property or business;
(2) the ability to retain “Electromechanical analog meter” at no cost
(3) the right to replacement of a wireless meter with a non-transmitting electromechanical meter at no cost
c) The utilities shall be required to obtain the ratepayer’s written consent
(1) before installing wireless meters or equivalent technology on the ratepayer’s property
(2) before altering the functionality of said meters
d) The utilities shall provide written notice to ratepayers within 90 days of the effective date of this act for the purpose of informing said ratepayers if wireless meters have been installed on their properties. Ratepayers shall have the right to request that the utility companies remove said wireless meters and the replacement installation of electromechanical analog meters that emit no radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation at no cost or other periodic usage charges to the ratepayer for such removal, replacement installation, and use of a non-wireless utility meter. The utility company shall promptly comply with such removal and replacement installation request made by the ratepayer to said company.
e) Utility Companies are:
(1) prohibited from shutting off service to a ratepayer based on the amount of utility usage the ratepayer uses or the ratepayer having wireless meters;
(2) prohibited from imposing any disincentive on a ratepayer for not consenting to the installation or use of wireless meters;
(3) required to notify ratepayers in writing that the installation and use of wireless meters are not mandated by state or federal law and are not permitted without the ratepayer’s consent;
(4) prohibited from discriminating against ratepayers who may have medical conditions that are exacerbated by exposures to pulsed microwave radio frequencies;
(5) prohibited from installing wireless repeaters or nodes on poles in lieu of a wireless utility meter on or near the home or business of an individual requesting a non-transmitting meter.
f) The DPU shall insure that MA residents, including those who live in multi-family residences, are not adversely impacted by proximity to wireless utility meters and infrastructure.
g)The DPU shall monitor the safety of utility wireless infrastructure for all MA residents, in accordance with
(1) its mandate to provide the safe and reliable delivery of electricity for all ratepayers
(2) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including Article 17 (No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property)
(3) requirements for informed consent specified in Federal Regulations for Human Subjects Research, federal regulations (45CFR46) prohibiting experimentation without knowledge or consent
(4) the Precautionary Principle
(5) recommendations of the Jan. 2015 European Economic and Social Committee on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
h) The DPU shall establish terms and conditions to comply with the requirements of this section.
i) This section shall take effect upon its passage
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