144 Durrance Road,
Victoria, B.C.V9E 2G6
April 4, 2011
Premier Christy Clark,
PO Box 9041, Stn prov. govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E1
Dear Premier Clark,
We of the EM Radiation Health Alliance of BC call upon the government of BC to implement a moratorium on the installation of the “smart meter” network by BC Hydro. We recommend that this moratorium remain in place until it has been shown that the proposed wireless network is safe for humans and for the environment, does not saddle tax payers with unnecessary debt, does not over charge consumers, saves on energy consumption, and keeps the information collected secure. Our research to date has shown that none of these concerns have been addressed.
Further, information has come to light suggesting possible conflicts of interest among insiders of the former administration, and associates of B.C. Hydro. The removing the BC Utilities Commission from acting on behalf of the citizens of BC on this issue, with the Clean Energy Act, also appears to have been an effort by the previous government to keep the public uninformed. We recommend that the revelations of questionable business arrangements, in conjunction with unfair legislation and the above-noted deficiencies warrant a full and open Public Inquiry. Therefore we call upon the government of BC to instruct BC Hydro to conduct a full and open public hearing process in which all citizens concerns and the responses from Hydro are put on the record.
BC Hydro has failed to show that this technology is safe for health and the environment according to the internationally-recognized precautionary principle. Central to our concerns is the ecological and health threat posed by the radio frequency radiation – RFR – emitted from the new “smart” meters and related wireless Wi-Max infrastructure. RFR has been shown in numerous scientific studies to have detrimental effects on human health and that of the natural world. The EM Radiation Health Alliance Society has reviewed both Hydro’s information as well as the scientific literature. Together with many authorities we conclude that these health threats have not been properly considered.
This plan is slated to cost around $1 billion and to require additional and very unreasonable rate hikes, estimated by Hydro at 50% over 3 years. In areas where “smart” technology has been deployed, there have been alarming increases in power bills. A survey by Toronto Hydro revealed that wireless meters have increased electric bills for about 80% of customers. For senior citizens and the poor this has caused great hardship. The study found, that despite the huge cost to taxpayers for this flawed technology, there was no energy savings, and that the costs would never be recovered. This plan was introduced without due public consultation as to costs, and putative benefits.
B.C. Hydro is positing this momentous change to our electricity infrastructure as an energy-saving initiative, while not allowing public review of the data used to support this claim. Those who study the issue know that “smart meters” do not save energy. In fact the transmission of messages by harmful RFR, requires energy, and actually increases the overall use of power. In addition “smart meters” draw yet more power just to function. The meters add substantially to the ‘phantom’, or ‘standby’ power load phenomenon that represents a huge portion of North American electrical usage.
On examination of various “smart meters”, U.S. electrical engineers caution that each meter, in addition to an RF radiation transmitter, also has a component known as a switching mode power supply (SMPS). This device is how the unit powers itself, and in so doing, it emits powerful high frequency voltage “spikes”, lasting milliseconds, constantly, 24/7. This is the phenomenon known as “harmonic distortion”, or “dirty power”, and this constant high frequency pulsing, in addition to the RFR for data transfers, travels through wiring systems, causing interference with other electric and electronic equipment, as well as causing harm to living things in its field of exposure. These “transients”, or high frequency harmonics are found to be an important reason that power bills suddenly increase in all areas where this new form of radiating meter is installed, as these bursts of voltage interfere with the accuracy of the meter. Likewise wireless meters are found to be vulnerable to interference (EMI) from strong, local sources of RFR.
In addition to damage to public health, loss of privacy and risk to personal data security by “smart grids”, another great concern is the issue of the security of these wireless grids. The person in charge of cyber security for the “North American Electric Reliability Corp.”, which manages the North American power grid, Chief Security Officer Mark Weatherford, warns that there is consensus among top cyber experts that “smart meter technology has gotten way out in front of the security technology”. And just as we saw recently in Canada when hackers in China invaded ultra secure Federal departments including Finance and Defense, all wireless systems are vulnerable to cyber attack. Thus with “smart grids”, experts warn that entire areas can be shut down with a few key strokes. And research, engineers have likewise found that the “smart “meters themselves are “hackable”.
Public information sessions held by Hydro recently around the province failed to constitute an open public review, or to demonstrate how this technology is safe or how it would allegedly lessen energy consumption. With few exceptions, the only outreach by Hydro on this ill-advised wireless plan consisted of display tables, with brochures and charts, but no representatives able to answer questions, or to register public concerns. These sessions do not satisfy the need for true public consultation.
We request that you usher in a new era of responsible government and in particular that you please allow all citizens the opportunity to examine the entire “smart grid” business and technical case. We recommend that the “smart” plan as advanced by B.C. Hydro, be rejected; it saves no energy while adding to financial and health stresses for B.C. families.
With thanks and respect,
Walter P. McGinnis,
Co Chair, EM Radiation Health Alliance of B.C. www.emrabc.ca (250 652 5606)
Hon.Terry Lake, Minister of the Environment
Hon. Mike deJong, Minister of Health
Hon. Rich Coleman , Minister of Energy