The BC Utilities Commission’s prime reason for being, as stated in the BC Utilities Commission Act, is to ensure that the citizens of BC receive service that is safe and secure. Section 25 says:
If the commission, after a hearing held on its own motion or on complaint, finds that the service of a public utility is unreasonable, unsafe, inadequate or unreasonably discriminatory, the commission must
(a) determine what is reasonable, safe, adequate and fair service, and
(b) order the utility to provide it.
In July 2015 I lodged an official complaint with BCUC, charging that ITRON smart meters are not safe, have never been certified to be safe, and I provided 8 examples of fires and failures in BC that had put lives and property at risk. I asked for a formal investigation of this device and, if it was found to be unsafe, that a formal recall be made, with ITRON refunding all monies paid and charges incurred.
6 months later BCUC responded in a draft form, asking for me to respond, which I did. Included with my response were statements by Electrical Engineers who had inspected the smart meters and found them to have serious design flaws which cause them to be fire hazards. In addition I provided more evidence of fires in BC and elsewhere.
BCUC’s response was that my evidence was not “persuasive”, stating that they had been told, and were convinced, that the meters were safe based upon a report that had been commissioned and paid for by BC Hydro, a report that Len Garis wrote using one source only – the annual Fire Commissioner’s report. Nothing else. BCUC did not seek expert input from Electrical Engineers. Neither did they ask me for more information. Rather, they put the onus on me to prove them and Len Garis wrong.
This report does this, in spades. I now charge that BCUC has failed to do its job by ordering BC Hydro and FortisBC to provide “reasonable, safe, adequate and fair service” after having received a complaint with evidence that the public’s safety is being jeopardized.
I hope you will read the report and consider the following:
1) No agency is tracking fires;
2) Regulations and laws are being broken with impunity, e.g. meters are being removed from the fire scene, electrical inspections are not being done;
3) Reporting is haphazard at best;
4) The meter is combustible, poorly designed, and not certified by any agency to be safe;
5) BC Hydro did not perform its due diligence by having an independent Electrical Engineer inspect the meter prior to signing the contract. Rather, it accepted ITRON’s assurances;
6) Smart meters have burned, melted and caused homes to burn. BC Hydro and BCUC both deny this is happening.
None of these factors were taken into consideration by either Len Garis in his “report” or by BCUC in their rejection of my complaint.
Consumer Affairs recalls defective devices, e.g. cars, electrical appliances. But because a utility owns the smart meters, they are not considered consumer goods and Consumer Affairs has no jurisdiction. Who is watching out for us, ensuring that these devices that are being put on our homes without our permission, mandated by law, are safe? No one. This is in our hands and this report provides the means by which we can and must demand a recall.
The files are all large, so please be patient when downloading them – it will take time.
3) http://tinyurl.com/SuperReportDataVol-I – Supporting Documentation (A-M)
4) http://tinyurl.com/SuperReportDataVol-II – Supporting Documentation (cont’d) (N-W)