For four days, a Mission couple has been living in a home without any electricity thanks to a struggle between their landlord and BC Hydro. 
Jonathan Glasgow and Kendra Mangione, CTV Vancouver 
Published Friday, October 28, 2016 5:50PM PDT 

A couple renting part of a home in Mission has spent several days in the dark after BC Hydro cut them off.

Tanya and Robert Eely have been living without electricity for four days thanks to a power struggle between the Crown corporation and their stubborn landlord.

“We don’t have heat… we don’t have lights,” Tanya told CTV Vancouver on Friday.

Power struggle leaves Mission couple in the dark

Tanya and Robert Eely have been living without electricity for four days thanks to a power struggle between the Crown corporation and their stubborn landlord. 

“We’re going to have to throw out our food that’s been spoiled. That’s going to cost money to replace it,” Robert said.

The newlyweds rent the top level of a home, and the homeowner lives in the basement suite. The owner, Ewa Gryz, is in the middle of a dispute with BC Hydro over the home’s expired meter.

Mora Scott, a spokesperson for BC Hydro, said the company has to replace Gryz’s meter, but it’s located inside the home and she’s refused to let their crew inside.

The property has a legacy meter with an expired Measurement Canada seal on it, and the company is legally obligated to replace any meters when the seal expires.

Unable to do so, crews showed up on Tuesday and physically cut the power lines.

The Measurement Canada seals are made of nylon line or metal wire, and lock the meter’s case so they can’t be tampered with. All meters installed by utilities in Canada have an expiry period of between six and 12 years, and must be replaced before the end of the expiry date, according to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Gryz has the option of choosing a new smart meter or a radio-off meter.

Smart meters are installed for free, have no monthly fees, and include automatic reading and next-day consumption information. Some people have expressed concern about the possibility of health effects from exposure to the radiofrequency emitted by the meters. More information is available through Health Canada.

Radio-off meters do not feed a signal out, and can be installed for a $22.60 set-up fee and $20 monthly fee. The fees cover the costs of resources, equipment and systems that are automated with smart meters.

But Gryz has refused the mandatory replacement. She told CTV News that she’s concerned the new meters the corporation installs will cause health issues.

She said she wants a third choice – a digital meter like her son has – but BC Hydro says the device is being phased out.

Caught in the middle, Gryz’s tenant Robert says he understands where BC Hydro was coming from when they decided to cut off the power.

“They are wanting to do their jobs. But at the same time, you shouldn’t be forced to make people suffer,” he said.

The sides are at a stalemate, and the home will stay dark until a decision is reached.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Jonathan Glasgow


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Smart meter battle leaves Hatzic woman with no power

Mission Record – October 31, 2016

A desire to keep a 74-year-old “beautiful” BC Hydro meter and an unwillingness to accept a new unit has left Ewa Gryz without power for a week.

Gryz said BC Hydro shut off power to her Hatzic home on Oct. 25 over her refusal to have her meter replaced, either with a smart meter or a “radio-off” meter with no communication ability.

Gryz wants an old-style legacy meter, something the Crown corporation says it can no longer supply. Gryz claims she was told conflicting things, and is adamant that legacy meters are currently available as her son had one installed recently….

With people renting the upstairs of her house, Gryz said she has become “very stressed out” over what has become a three-year battle over the meter’s replacement.

Without power, her renters have moved into a hotel.

“They are just left without power, and I mean, where are they going to go?” she said. “They are not prepared, they have to work. They have nothing.”…

Although many other homes in her neighbourhood have recently converted to smart meters, Gryz insists she is prepared to battle with the company until she can have a legacy meter installed outside her home

“I’m just standing for those people who are being told they can do nothing about it, that it’s mandatory. This is bullying in a big way, and that should never happen.

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