BC Hydro sues Vancouver landlord over refusing smart meters

Tenants want smart meters, but the property manager and landlord are blocking them, says BC Hydro


CBC News Posted: Jun 17, 2015 12:17 PM PT Last Updated: Jun 17, 2015 5:09 PM PT

BC Hydro employees have been trying since November 2013 to install 100 smart meters in two buildings owned by Rockmill Myers’ company Puppy Holdings, according to the claim. (CBC)

BC Hydro is seeking a court injunction against an “aggressive” property manager and landlord who it claims have blocked tenants in two Vancouver buildings from getting smart meters for more than a year.

Hydro employees have been trying since November 2013 to install 100 smart meters in two buildings owned by Rockmill Myers’ company Puppy Holdings and managed by Miro Jackanin, according to the notice of civil claim.

Nearly 70 tenants in the two buildings have registered for smart meters, the claim states. People using the old meters are charged extra each month.

“[Jackanin] conducted himself in an aggressive manner … stating he would ‘get even’ with BC Hydro”– Notice of civil claim

But Jackanin has repeatedly refused access to installation crews, and in March 2014 he parked a vehicle in front of the meter room at 1869 Comox St., the claim alleges.

Later that day, when the BC Hydro employees moved on to another property he manages on West 13th Ave., he “conducted himself in an aggressive manner … stating he would ‘get even’ with BC Hydro,” the claim states.

This is the first time the crown corporation has sued a customer over refusing smart meters, said a BC Hydro spokesperson.

“As a final resort we are pursuing legal action because the property manager continues to prevent us access to our equipment,” said Simi Heer

Manager says meters make rooms unrentable: claim

Jackanin disputes that tenants want the smart meters, and told CBC News Wednesday that most have signed a petition opposing them.

He said BC Hydro can install the meters anytime, provided they agree to certain conditions, including guaranteeing the safety of devices and covering any loss of revenue.

“If they feel the smart meter as a fixture is so safe, there should be no problem to accept it,” he said.

But BC Hydro has already rejected Jackanin’s terms — including a request in August 2014 asking for compensation for the loss of rental revenue that would come after smart meters were installed.

“Smart meters would render rooms adjacent to the meter room unsuitable for habitation due to excessive microwave radiation,” said Jackanin in a letter, according to BC Hydro.

According to the court document, Jackanin has told BC Hydro he was acting as a representative of Puppy Holdings, owned by Myers.

Myers’ wife has told BC Hydro he is in a nursing home, and “not in a frame of mind to understand the problem.”

BC Hydro is asking for a court injunction to prevent anyone from stopping the smart meter installation, and unspecified damages.

A statement of defence has not yet been filed.

Read BC Hydro’s notice of civil claim




BC Hydro sues landlord over smart meters 13

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

BC Hydro is pulling out the big guns in its fight to get smart meters installed.

After being repeatedly told to go away, Hydro has filed legal action against a Vancouver landlord and property manager — arguing that dozens of their tenants want the meters despite their objections.

According to the notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Hydro is taking issue with two of Rockmill Myers’ properties — one on Comox Street and another on West 13th Avenue.

Hydro said there are 114 accounts at the two properties and 67 of them registered to have smart meters installed. A further 29 accounts are vacant or new, Hydro said, and those must have smart meters installed.

Twice Hydro visited the properties in question to install the meters, but were rebuffed by Miro Jackanin, the property manager of the locations. The first time, Hydro claims, Jackanin merely told them to go away.

The second time, a vehicle was parked in front of the meter room, preventing access by Hydro staff, and Jackanin refused to budge even when police were called.

Following the two incidents, a series of legal negotiations occurred from May 2014 to April 2015, with no progress made.

Neither Myers nor Jackanin could be reached by 24 hours on Tuesday. However, Jackanin said in a previous interview that he had four conditions for BC Hydro, among them a requirement that he be shown signed and dated copies of consent from Hydro account holders.

Hydro is seeking from court a permanent injunction to give them access to the properties — it’s also seeking damages.

BC Hydro spokesman Greg Alexis, in a statement, said the move towards legal action was a “last resort.”

“We have exhausted every possible option to try and work with them … This is the first time we have had to proceed with legal action to access our equipment,” he said.

“The majority of customers at both buildings have requested a new meter and we have an obligation … It’s a very difficult situation when a third party blocks access to a customers’ meter.”



Landlords divided over Hydro smart meters

by Jordan Maxwell18 Jun 2015

A landlord in B.C. is facing a hefty lawsuit from B.C. Hydro for denying its attempt to install smart meters despite tenants allegedly requesting them for their units in two Vancouver buildings.

B.C. Hydro says there are 114 accounts at the two properties and 67 of them registered to have smart meters installed in two buildings owned by a company called Puppy Holdings, according to court documents.

In addition, 29 accounts are vacant or new, B.C. Hydro said, and those must have smart meters installed. B.C. Hydro filed legal action against the owner of the two properties.

B.C. Hydro tried twice to install the meters at the properties, but were denied access by the property manager, Miro Jackanin, who shooed officials in their first attempt to install the smart meters.

The public utility company also alleges that during the second attempt, a vehicle was parked in front of the meter room, preventing access by staff, and Jackanin allegedly refused to budge even when police were called.

The case highlights a hot-button issue for landlords when it comes to smart meters and how it affects energy costs, as well as the health risks smart meters impose.

Some landlords have also publicly been opposed to the smart meters because many believe they don’t save money or power, as advertised, among other issues. In July 2013, following significant opposition by customers, the provincial government directed B.C. Hydro to provide an opt-out program (with associated charges), available only to those customers who did not already have a smart meter.

The B.C. Utilities Commission allowed for some to keep their analog meters on the condition that they pay a monthly operating fee of $32.40. That follows an order from former B.C. premier, Bill Bennett.

David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord BC, told CREW, “It’s a unique case and something else must be going on there, but in general embracing technology is a good thing that we encourage and have never really had an issue with.”

That may be true, but not everyone feels it’s a non-issue. Most recently, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen called for a complete stop to the installation of smart meters because of a science report that said the technology poses a health risk due to electric signals.



1 Comment

  • #1 by Norm Hutton on August 6, 2015 - 4:39 pm

    From what i read from above, B.C.Hydro appears to be “aggressive”, not Mr.Jackanin. Mr. Jackanin appears to be actively protecting his property and his tenants.
    If the meters that B.C.Hydro are wishing to “deploy” are the same model Itron meters recently found to be flawed in Texas, it adds to the problem.
    I pay an extortion fee to keep an analog meter. My reasons?
    (1)The smart meter is a form of illegal wire tapping.
    (2)They emit radiation inside and outside the home. It may not be harmful-just like asbestos and tobacco products
    (3)They are prone to failure and fires.
    (4)They have not yet proven to be reliable as the analog meter
    (5)B.C.Hydro will not guarantee safety.
    (6)The standard meter base is CSA approved for analog meters, not CSA approved for”smart meters”
    (7)The smart meter “used” lacks surge protection
    (8)The r/f and associated damages may not be covered by insurance companies
    Bottom line: If it works, don’t fix it”

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