Utility group alleges SmartMeter sparked San Bruno explosion

Clean-energy advocates filed a federal complaint alleging that newly installed SmartMeter technology sparked last Thursday’s transmission pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

Federal investigators told The Examiner that they are not investigating SmartMeters as a potential cause of the deadly blast.

SmartMeters can be used to remotely control PG&E customers’ natural gas and electricity use. They also record energy use.

PG&E operators communicate with the electronic devices through radio waves.

SmartMeters were deployed in San Bruno from November 2009 until April, according to the company’s website.

“I allege EMF (electromagnetic field) from PG&E’s SmartMeters created the ignition source,” Californians for Renewable Energy founder Michael Boyd wrote in a complaint filed Wednesday, according to documents provided to The Examiner by the nonprofit.

PG&E officials did not respond over two days to questions about the safety of SmartMeters related to gas pipelines.

The company has previously issued assurances that the products are safe.

The complaint was filed against PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission with the Federal Communications Commission.

The complaint alleges that the SmartMeters do not meet FCC regulations related to radiation.

The National Transportation Safety Board, however, is not investigating whether SmartMeters contributed to the disaster.

“This accident involves a transmission pipeline and it does not involve residential metering systems,” NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson to The Examiner Wednesday in an e-mail. “That is not an issue that we will be looking at, since it has no bearing on this accident.”

jupton@sfexaminer.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SF police shoot burglary suspect in Mission District

Man allegedly attacked officers before being shot in first on-duty SFPD shooting since June 2018

Not even heavy rain can stop the 25th annual SantaCon

Jolly, drunken fun event for Santas is the ‘least wonderful time of the year’ for many locals

Ronen says $100M service expansion is ‘going to fix’ SF’s mental health crisis

Compromise mental health plan has backing of mayor, full Board of Supervisors

Civil liberties lawyer files to take on Pelosi

A San Francisco-based civil liberties lawyer, progressive advocate, DJ and poet is… Continue reading

Supes sound off against bill increasing housing density near transit hubs

Senator Wiener calls resolution opposing SB 50 ‘little more than symbolic political theater’

Most Read