Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

BC Hydro is being called on its efforts to mislead the regulators, politicians, BCUC and the public – its customers.  Now is the time for our voices to be heard, loudly and clearly about the smart meters. I have written one letter to Rob Shaw, the writer of the article, it is below. More will be sent to BCUC, the Auditor General, Premier Horgan and Energy Minister Mungall. Please consider writing, too [http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/z/bc-contact-e-mail-lists/]. If BC Hydro is being dishonest about programs over which BCUC has oversight responsibility, what are they doing when there is no oversight????

 

B.C. Hydro misled regulator: report

“B.C. Hydro misled the province’s independent regulator about an expensive technology program, thereby avoiding scrutiny on how it spent millions of dollars in public money, according to a report by the B.C. Utilities Commission…

The BCUC stopped short of agreeing with Dix’s allegation that the errors were deliberate. Instead it pointed toward a culture at B.C. Hydro of confusion, misunderstanding and fear of dealing with the independent regulatory process.

“Therefore, the panel finds that there was a culture of reticence to inform the BCUC when there was doubt about something, even among individuals that understood or should have understood the role of the BCUC,” read the report.”

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/b-c/b-c-hydro-misled-regulator-report-1.23426832

 

Letters:

From: Sharon Noble
Sent: September 11, 2018
To: rshaw@vancouversun.com
Subject: B.C. Hydro misled regulator: report

 

Dear Mr. Shaw,

 

Your article opens the door to other instances where BC Hydro has “misled” not only BCUC but also the government and the public.  The smart meter program is an example where inaccuracies and false information have led to an initial expenditure of a billion dollars, and there is no final bill in sight. These are just a few of the justifications for the program which have proven to be false:

 

1. BC Hydro said that Measurement Canada said that the analogs did not meet their new standards and needed to be replaced with smart meters.  This is not true. I contacted Measurement Canada and was told that there was no requirement regarding the type of meter being used – only that meters were accurate.

2. BC Hydro said that analog meters were outdated and could not be re-certified or replaced. This is not true. Many US states allow their customers to keep their analogs permanently, e.g. California, Arizona, Vermont, Oregon, Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico, just to name a few.  Many states charge no additional fee for those who elect to keep their analogs.
3. BC Hydro said that the grid would not work if there were gaps where analogs remained. This is not true. Today, the grid is working with 10-15,000 analogs remaining and 50,000 non-functioning smart meters. The grid is working in all those [US] states where people are allowed to keep their analogs permanently.
4.  BC Hydro said the smart meters would have a 20 year life expectancy. This is not true. Industry representatives testified before a US Congressional committee that the expected life expectancy for smart meters is 5-7 years because they are plastic computers. Also in Jan. 2016, BC Hydro replaced 88,000 smart meters. BC Hydro refuses to provide any replacement figures to the public and has not provided them to BCUC. Analogs, being made of glass and metal, have a life expectancy of 30-40 years, or more.
5. BC Hydro said that smart meters would result in cost savings. Not true. Rates have continued to increase and will because the smart meters will require continual upgrading and replacement. Analogs are cheaper to buy and last indefinitely.  Also, power usage has remained fairly constant.
6. BC Hydro said that costs would be reduced due to meter readers no longer being needed. Not true. Meter readers were replaced with technical (IT) people required to run Head Office computers and others to maintain/replace the smart meters on a regular basis.
7. BC Hydro said that smart meters would be good for the environment. Not true. Not only have they not resulted in changes in habits that reduce usage, but the meters themselves are not  “green”. The smart meters are made of plastic and have lithium batteries – both of which are environmentally harmful. Analogs, being made of glass and metal, are far better ecologically.
8. BC Hydro said that smart meters are not a health hazard. Not true. In fact, before BC Hydro began installation, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that microwave radiation, like that emitted by smart meters, is a possible human carcinogen like lead, DDT, or many industrial chemicals. Such toxins are not allowed to be used commercially yet microwave radiation-emitting devices were put on our homes, near children, the elderly and the infirm.
9. BC Hydro said that smart meters are not a fire hazard. Not true. Before BC Hydro signed the contract with ITRON, many smart meters had caused fires in the US. Design flaws had been found that cause smart meters to be prone to causing fires. Dozens of smart meter fires and incidents occurred in BC from 2013-2016, damaging property and putting lives at risk. I provided a complete report [http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/bcuc-smart-meter-fires-the-failure-to-protect/] with 600 pages of documentation to Premier Horgan, Energy Minister Mungall and others in Sept. 2017 and have yet to receive even an acknowledgement. Incidents continue to occur, with 30 reported during the first 6 months of 2018.
If the government had known the truth about smart meters, would the Liberals have mandated that every home and business in BC have a smart meter without exception?  If the public had known, would they have refused more vigorously having this dangerous, unnecessary and expensive program from being part of the Clean Energy Act?  If BCUC had known, would it have approved the application for FortisBC’s program?
Furthermore, Mr. Shaw, BC Hydro has collected perhaps more than $50 million dollars in opt-out fees since Dec. 2013 which have not been accounted for.  I have asked BC Hydro several times and have been refused any information. BCUC says they have not received any separate reporting for these or the costs incurred due to having to read analogs. Are our opt-out fees, which are among the highest in North America, subsidizing those smart meters that are non-functioning because they were installed in areas where there is no cell tower support, or others that are failing after the one year warranty period?  Many questions remain unanswered and I do hope you will ask them.

If you need documentation regarding anything I’ve said, please let me know. I have it.

Regards,

Sharon Noble

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