2018-08-24 BC Hydro has no accounting for our extortion fees

[5G Microcell / Small Cell Towers Antenna Siting Legislation – Analogs – Appliances (Interference, Malfunctioning) – AT&T – Benefits – BCUC – Bills (Higher Consumption) – Cancer – CDC – Chandu Vyas – Chi Home Design (Kiah Bosy) – Clean Energy Act – Duke Energy (Jeff Brooks) – EHS / ES – EMF Safety Network (Vicki Sievers) – FCC – Fires – Fourth Amendment Search – Frequency of Readings – Full Signal by Talal Jabari Gary Phillips – Health – Intrusive Energy Consumption Data Storage – IoT – Measurement Canada – Misleading Wording – NCDHHS – N.C. Utilities Commission (Doctor’s Note, Andrew McAfee) – NSMA vs. City of Naperville Lawsuit re Privacy (Case 1:11-cv-09299) – Oona McOuat Letters to Esther Enkin, Jennifer McGuire, Treena Wood re Bethany Lindsay Article on BC Human Rights Tribunal & Decision by Walter Rilkoff – Radio-off Smart Meters – RF – Safety – Security – Sharon Noble Letters to BC Hydro (Greg Kozak) re FOI 2019-035 (Accounting, Itron Warranties, Manual Readings, Life Span, Meter Choices Costs, Opt-out Fees, Smart Meter Replacements) – Smart Grid – Studies – Third Party – Verizon – Wi-Fi – Wired – Wireless Devices | BC – Fairfax & Marin & Mill Valley & San Anselmo & San Rafael & Sebastopol, California & Florida & Naperville, Illinois & Indiana & Kentucky & North Carolina & Ohio & Pennsylvania & South Carolina & Vermont, USA] & Documentary & (videos) & Websites

**I will be away from the computer from Sat-Wed, so there will be no updates. You may need all that time to read this one.**

1) Problems with smeters installed by Duke Energy in the USA continue and range from high bills to appliances malfunctioning and fires.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Duke Energy Opt-out Fees – Itron Smart Meters
– https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/health-care/article213805099.html

 

Excuses, Excuses: Duke Energy on Their Smart Meters Catching Fire, Causing Appliances to Malfunction and Break, etc.

“Duke has installed AMI “Smart” Meters in 6 states and problems have been reported in 6 states by residents, organizations, and various news sources including Activist Post.”

https://www.activistpost.com/2018/08/duke-energy-smart-meters-fire-appliances-malfunction.html

According to this article, ITRON smeters are the ones being used by Duke. Same old problems that we continue to experience.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/health-care/article213805099.html

2) In one city in California, people are organizing before the telecoms come to install microcells / small cells. Notice that one person said that he had suffered headaches after receiving a smeter and they disappeared when he opted out (which is allowed in California).

– https://www.activistpost.com/2018/03/trump-no-love-5g-cell-towers-everywhere-dr-oz.html

San Rafael residents take pre-emptive strike against 5G installations

“According to the EMF Safety Network website, those symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, heart problems, learning and memory disorders, ringing in the ears and increased cancer risk.

“We’ve experienced 2G, 3G, 4G and now, on the horizon, is a fifth generation called millimeter wave technology,” Sievers said after her presentation that brought standing applause from about 20 people at the packed meeting. “Around the world, doctors and scientists are gravely alarmed about the biological and physiological effects of that technology.”

San Rafael resident Chandu Vyas said Monday he is wary of EMFs after a health challenge about five years ago. He said he developed severe and constant headaches after a smart meter was installed at his home. The headaches went away after he “opted out” and had the smart meter at his property removed.”

http://www.marinij.com/general-news/20180821/san-rafael-residents-take-pre-emptive-strike-against-5g-installations

3) Years ago, a terrific DVD was made about cell towers. “Full Signal” is now available in some libraries. A member recommended it.

Full Signal by Talal Jabari
https://www.amazon.com/Full-Signal-Hidden-Cost-Phones/dp/B00427VBVO

https://virl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1385189107

4) In an earlier update, I included an article about an Illinois Appeal Court that found that the invasion of privacy done via smeters is offset by the benefits realized by the customers and company. I have yet to see any benefits to the customers – only to the company because of eliminating salaries of meter readers. But these savings are offset by additional technical positions required for IT. What benefits? – health endangered, home and safety threatened by fire hazards, privacy and security put at risk, higher bills because of never-ending costs associated with this program….

https://smartgridawareness.org/2018/08/23/smart-meter-data-collection-a-search/

Smart Meter Data Collection is a “Search,” but Court Allows Anyway

“The Appeals Court rejected the District Court’s conclusion that granular smart meter data is no different than analog meter readings collected once per month for billing purposes. The Court cited NSMA’s “well-pled allegations” that “energy-consumption data collected at fifteen-minute intervals reveals when people are home, when people are away, when people sleep and eat, what types of appliances are in the home, and when those appliances are used.” For the first time, recognizing evolving technology, smart meter energy usage data was given Fourth Amendment protection at least, for example, in instances where law enforcement may be gathering evidence for a criminal prosecution.

The Court also provided a warning that collecting energy usage data at intervals less than 15-minutes might tip the balance towards a conclusion that the collection would be too intrusive and therefore unreasonable.

Smart Meter Data Collection is a “Search,” but Court Allows Anyway

5) For the last 8 months or so, I’ve been trying to get BC Hydro to tell me some basic information to which we have a right:

https://www.bchydro.com/index.html

1. How much in extortion fees has BC Hydro collected since Dec. 2013? (It is at least $20 million and probably much more.)

2. How much in costs has been spent on the “opt-out” program?

3. How many smeters have been replaced since January 2015, and for what reason? Failure, fire, upgrading. We know that in January 2016, 88,000 faulty ones were replacedhttps://theprovince.com/news/b-c-hydro-must-remove-more-than-88000-smart-meters

I have been told that the final financial statement for the program was prepared and presented to the BCUC two years ago and that is that. But in that financial program, there was no accounting for the items above. After many months of asking over and over, I got an answer – and it is below as the last letter. The truth is – they say they don’t have an accounting. Also, they say they have not replaced many smeters and that these will last 20 years!!

We deserve to have honest and complete information – this is our money. This program was built on BC Hydro’s inaccurate, misleading statements, which justified the Clean Energy Act forcing us to accept these things:

– Measurement Canada will not allow analogs any longer. NOT TRUE. Measurement Canada will allow any meter as long as it is accurate.

– Analogs are no longer available. NOT TRUE. Many states, including California, are allowing people to keep their analogs permanently. They are getting analogs.

– The grid will not work unless every home and business has a smeter. NOT TRUE. It’s working now with many people having analogs or smeters that are not working. In the USA, many states are allowing analogs – and their grid is working.

– Customers will realize savings. NOT TRUE. Smeters have not resulted in cost savings, or rate reductions, in any jurisdiction after smeters. The only savings is to the utility, e.g. firing meter readers. But then new IT positions must be filled.

There is no justification for forcing everyone to have a smeter. The law must be changed to allow choice not to have something that endangers health, safety, security, privacy and costs.

Letters:

A stream between a member and CBC.  Please read from the bottom up.

Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman
– http://www.ombudsman.cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/about/

From: Oona McOuat  (name given with permission)
To: CBC Ombudsman <ombudsman@cbc.ca>
Cc: Jennifer McGuire <jennifer.mcguire@cbc.ca>
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2018 1:38 PM
Subject: Re: CBC Response

Thank you for your prompt reply, Ms. Enkin.

I do note that the Court Reporting Principles of CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices – which Ms. Wood mentioned in relation to this article (Quote: “For better or worse, we invest in tribunals to determine facts and findings in various disputes, and reporting on the results is a form of responsible journalism, much the same as reporting on a judgement in a court case.”) – state:

Fair Treatment and Reporting of Outcome of Legal or Disciplinary Proceedings

When we cover a legal or disciplinary proceeding, we are aware of the importance of reporting its outcome and we treat the persons concerned with dignity.

Rigour in coverage requires that we report fairly on the evidence and the claims of the parties involved.

The Science and Health section of  CBC’s Standards states:

Science and Health

·  Implications and Validity of Results of Scientific Research

We take care to understand properly and reflect the true implications of medical or scientific study results that we obtain

·  Reporting of Results of Sponsored Research

When the information is available, we generally identify to the audience the sponsors of a scientific study whose results we are reporting.

All the Best,

Oona McOuat

Oona McOuat.com

= = =

From: CBC Ombudsman <ombudsman@cbc.ca>
To: Oona McOuat
Cc: Jennifer McGuire <jennifer.mcguire@cbc.ca>
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2018 7:18 AM
Subject: Re: CBC Response

Dear Oona McOuat:

I will conduct a review as soon as possible and share the findings with you and the programmers involved.

Please consult the Complaint Review Process on my website, so that you will be aware of the public nature of the review.  Points 13 and 14 state that my reviews are posted to my website and that complainants will be identified.

Sincerely,

Esther Enkin
CBC Ombudsman

 

= = =

From: Oona McOuat

Sent: August 22, 2018 9:21 PM
To: TREENA WOOD <treena.wood@cbc.ca>
Cc: CBC Ombudsman <ombudsman@cbc.ca>; Jennifer McGuire <jennifer.mcguire@cbc.ca>
Subject: Re: CBC Response

Dear Ms. Wood and Ms. Enkin,

Thank you for your response, Ms. Wood, and for editing the article as noted in your message below.

I also appreciate you clarifying that the journalist, Bethany Lindsay, referenced the WHO and Health Canada because they were sources used by the Tribunal to justify/support their ruling. But why was this not made clear in the article? Once these sources were quoted, and not linked directly to the Tribunal, they became Ms Lindsay’s sources and the article entered the arena of bias.

Furthermore, in this report on the Tribunal’s ruling, why was it not also mentioned that evidence was presented to the Tribunal by reputable medical and scientific sources that linked T’s EHS to EMF, but that these findings were ignored by the Tribunal?  These small changes to the article would indeed have:

“contribute(d) to the understanding of issues of public interest” .

Wording is everything, and in this article bold statements were made, and most likely absorbed by the reader as “truths”, before they read the attributions that followed:

No proof B.C. boy’s migraines caused by Wi-Fi, tribunal rules.

But there is no scientific evidence linking those symptoms to EMFs, according to a report from the World Health Organization.

In fact, in studies where EHS sufferers have been intentionally exposed to EMFs, they did not exhibit symptoms of the condition or even detect they were being exposed, according to Health Canada.

Interestingly enough, attribution comes first when quoting the family’s perspective, which weakens their position by word-order choice. The sentence below was given two attributions, further weakening the family’s credibility.

Compare this (order used)

According to his family members, T has a condition called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), a bundle of non-specific symptoms that they attribute to EMF exposure.

To this:

T has a condition called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), a bundle of non-specific symptoms attributed to EMF exposure, according to his family members.

Pure and simple, the framing of the article as it now stands gives the public the dangerous impression that the Tribunal’s decision was anchored in scientific truths (“Right”), and that the family is misinformed (“Wrong”).

WHO

Please note that the current online version of this article found here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/no-proof-b-c-boy-s-migraines-caused-by-wi-fi-tribunal-rules-1.4749336 differs a bit from the change you sent me below. The article now reads:

“But there is no scientific evidence linking those symptoms to EMFs, according to a report from the World Health Organization.”

That particular section of the article is still misleading, Ms. Wood, especially to a general audience who knows nothing about the issue and will not likely bother to click on the link provided.

At the very least that sentence should read:

“But there is no scientific evidence linking those symptoms to EMFs, according to a 2005 report from the World Health Organization, who in 2011, declared EMF a Group 2B possible carcinogen.

(This 2017 peer-reviewed article from the International Journal of Oncology sheds light on “who” makes up the WHO, and how their decisions are made.)

Health Canada

“In fact, in studies where EHS sufferers have been intentionally exposed to EMFs, they did not exhibit symptoms of the condition or even detect they were being exposed, according to Health Canada.

Good journalism requires that everything in an article is researched and presented in context, and that nothing is simply passed on without being verified and contextualized.

This article presents as a “fact” that studies show that EHS sufferers, when exposed to EMF, do not exhibit symptoms, according to Health Canada. But as mentioned in my first letter to you, this Health Canada link leads to one study done by King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry between 2003-2005 which exposed 60 electrosensitive people to a 900 MHz GSM mobile phone signal for 50 minutes.   https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/332/7546/886.full.pdf.

Conclusion

Reading this article, the average reader – who is not going to bother clicking on links and researching sources – will conclude that the CBC says that the BC Human Rights Tribunal, the WHO, and Health Canada say that there is no scientific evidence linking symptoms associated with EHS to EMF.

This article, does in truth “promote a(ny) particular point of view on matters of public debate”.

I now request that Ms Enkin review this matter,

Sincerely,

Oona McOuat  (name given with permission)

Oona McOuat.com

Smile, breathe, and go slowly.Thich Nhat Hanh  

= = =

https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2018/03/29/treena-wood-cbc-british-columbia/

From: TREENA WOOD <treena.wood@cbc.ca>
To: Oona McOuat
Cc: CBC Ombudsman <ombudsman@cbc.ca>; Jennifer McGuire <jennifer.mcguire@cbc.ca>
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 10:44 AM
Subject: CBC Response

Ms. McOuat –

Thank you so much for reaching out to the CBC Ombudsman with your concerns around Bethany Lindsay’s story on July 17, 2018 detailing a decision by the BC Human Rights Tribunal in the case of a family’s fight to designate part of a school in Saanich “wifi free.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/no-proof-b-c-boy-s-migraines-caused-by-wi-fi-tribunal-rules-1.4749336

In your correspondence with the Ombudsman, you call the article “much more than a straight-up report on the Tribunal’s decision” and point to Ms. Lindsay’s “specific facts to prove there is “No Scientific Evidence – (her words, not mine) – for EHS or T’s claim.” You say the “two primary sources she chose to substantiate this statement are one-sided and ridiculously out-dated.”

You also take us to task for taking quotes from the Tribunal ruling that you believe portrays “T’s mother and grandmother as controlling, medically uninformed, and frankly, cruel” and omitting a physician’s report contained within the ruling that supports the family’s case.

You suggest we consider a retraction and an apology as “inept and inaccurate journalism is not what [you] expect from the CBC.”

As the News Director for CBC British Columbia, I am happy to respond to your concerns.

The CBC’s commitment to fair and impartial journalism is laid out in our Journalistic Standards and Practices:

Our mission is to inform, to reveal, to contribute to the understanding of issues of public interest and to encourage citizens to participate in our free and democratic society.

We provide professional judgment based on facts and expertise. We do not promote any particular point of view on matters of public debate.

I regret that you are disappointed by the CBC in this instance. The debate around wireless technologies and the consequences to human health can be a heated one, and one that you clearly care passionately about. I fully understand why you would want a reporter to explore that debate as part of the entire story, and as a way of reaching a more complete version of the truth.

With respect, though, in this instance our reporter was not tasked with investigating all the facts in this Tribunal case. She was reporting on what the Tribunal ruled. You say the WHO and Health Canada positions on EHS are “one-sided and ridiculously out-dated,” but in his ruling the Tribunal member cites both organizations in his reasons for its decision. We would not challenge that fact in our journalism.

Part of our job is to share with our audience the findings of our public institutions, including the BC Human Rights Tribunal. That is all we did here. For better or worse, we invest in tribunals to determine facts and findings in various disputes, and reporting on the results is a form of responsible journalism, much the same as reporting on a judgement in a court case or a ruling from a parole board. You may not agree with the decision, but in the context of the Tribunal ruling, the evidence used, and the member’s comments, we reported the situation accurately.

I don’t know that we will choose to revisit this story and investigate the facts around EMFs and any links to adverse health effects. But if we do, of course we would want to speak to as many people as possible.

That being said, I do agree with you that the line in the article stating “But there is no scientific evidence linking those symptoms to EMFs” is presented without obvious attribution. The hyperlink within the article is meant to serve as the attribution, but to my mind, that’s not immediately clear to the reader. We have since amended that line to “But there is no scientific evidence linking those symptoms to EMFs, according to this report from the World Health Organization.” Thank you for bringing that to our attention.

Finally, it is also my responsibility to tell you that if you are not satisfied with my response, you may wish to ask the CBC Ombudsman to review the matter. The Office of the Ombudsman, an independent and impartial body reporting directly to the President, is responsible for evaluating program compliance with the CBC’s journalistic policies. The Ombudsman may be reached by telephone at 416-205-2978, or by mail at Box 500, Terminal A,Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6, or by fax at (416) 205-2825, or by e-mail at ombudsman@cbc.ca.

Thank you again for your email.

Treena Wood
News Director

CBC British Columbia
700 Hamilton Street
P.O. Box 4600

__________________________________________________________________________

Please read from the bottom up. I have clipped the initial response because there are quite a few very technical questions that still require responses.  I will include it when I follow up. Neither did I include the many letters that either went unanswered or in which I was told to contact another dept., etc.

https://www.bchydro.com/accounts-billing/rates-energy-use/electricity-meters/meter-choice.html

From: greg.kozak@bchydro.com
Sent: August 24, 2018 1:13 PM
To: Sharon Noble
Cc: FOI.Requests@bchydro.com
Subject: RE: FOI Request 2019-035 – Partial Response/Extension

Dear Ms. Noble,

Further to Julie’s message this morning, I forwarded your questions and received the following information.

·        By March 2016, the SMI Program had delivered the required scope components adhering to the ‘Clean Energy Act’ and ‘Smart Meters and Smart Grid Regulation’.  All components of the smart metering solution were in production.  Operational accountability, and responsibility for the continued benefit realization, had been successfully transitioned to the appropriate sustainment business groups.  SMI as a stand-alone project was completed and smart metering Is now fully integrated into routine business functions, including BC Hydro’s routine financial and regulatory reporting.

Further, as of March 31, 2016, there were about 14,900 meters not yet installed, of which 12,225 (82%) were meters under the Meter Choices Program.  The Meter Choices program is also now in sustainment, under the responsibility of Customer Service Operations who bill, manage, and report on the costs and revenues of all customer services provided by BC Hydro, including Meter Choice services.

For a number of logistical and operational reasons, about one and a half percent (1.5%) of standard smart meters are being read manually today, well within business service levels.

·        During the most recent Rate Design Hearing, BC Hydro sought the BCUC’s endorsement that Revenue Requirement Applications are the appropriate forum for updating existing Standard Changes to reflect current costs. In its decision, the BCUC stated that it had no issues with BC Hydro’s proposed approach. In line with this approach, BC Hydro will be supplying an update of its Standard Charges, including costs associated with the Meter Choice Program, as part of our next Revenue Requirement Application expected to be filed in February, 2019.

·        After 5 years of experience in operating with smart meters, BC Hydro is confident in our expectation that smart meters will last for over 20 years. Our annual budgeting assumes a meter failure rate of one half of one percent (0.5%), and BC Hydro’s experience provides no basis on which to adjust this budgeting assumption. “Meter Failure” describes any meters that become unable to measure electricity consumption as per Measurement Canada standards, and other service support and communication issues. This would not include those meters pulled under our annual meter sampling program, which is designed to verify BC Hydro’s continued regulatory compliance. All costs associated with managing our meter fleet are appropriately accounted for.

·        BC Hydro’s smart meter warranty period is commercially sensitive information under section 21 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  However, we can confirm the warranty period is longer than one year.

Please be advised that should you seek further information through a formal freedom of information request, your request must specifically ask for records. For example, “under the freedom of information act, I request records that contain the following information….” Any request that is not for records is considered outside the scope of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Sincerely,

Greg

= = =

From: Sharon Noble
Sent: 2018, August 23 11:48 PM
To: FOI.Requests@bchydro.com
Cc: greg.kozak@bchydro.com
Subject: RE: FOI Request 2019-035 – Partial Response/Extension

Hello, Julie,

I have yet to receive an acknowledgement of my email of Aug. 12. Could you please tell me when I might expect to receive a response?

Thank you.

Regards,

Sharon

= = =

From: Sharon Noble
Sent: August 12, 2018 6:08 PM
To: FOI.Requests@bchydro.com
Cc: greg.kozak@bchydro.com
Subject: FOI Request 2019-035 – Partial Response/Extension

Dear Julie,

I received your response on Aug. 9, as was promised. I will provide clarification to the questions where requested, but in the meantime I would appreciate having clarification from you regarding these points:

1. The last report filed by BC Hydro on the status of the smart meter program that I am able to find online is dated Dec. 21, 2016. Can you please tell me if there is a more recent one? If there is, would you please tell me where I can find it? Would you please ensure that the financial report includes the opt out fees received and the costs associated with the opt out program?

BC Hydro filed the final report ‘Smart Metering & Infrastructure (SMI) Program – Program Completion and Evaluation Report’ on December 21, 2016. No subsequent reports have been created on the status of the smart meter program.

1.a. Am I correct in understanding that even though the program was not finished, with many thousands of smart meters not yet installed and many other smart meters still being read manually, no further financial reporting has been or will be provided to the BCUC or the Minister of Energy?

1.b. Am I correct that there has been no accounting for the opt out fees received and costs associated with the opt out program?

2. Has BC Hydro submitted any reports regarding the number of smart meters that have been replaced since the inception of the program, the reasons for the replacements and the costs incurred for these replacements? If so, would you please provide copies of these reports?

BC Hydro has not submitted any reports regarding the number of smart meters that have been replaced since the inception of the program.

2.a. Is it correct that the costs associated with the replacement of smart meters after the one year warranty period are not being accounted for?

I would appreciate receiving this information as quickly as possible so that I may meet the 30 day deadline should I wish to ask the OIPC for a review.

Thank you,

Sharon Noble

= = =

From: FOI.Requests@bchydro.com
Sent: August 9, 2018 4:02 PM
To: Sharon Noble
Subject: FW: FOI Request 2019-035 – Partial Response/Extension

Dear Ms. Noble,

I am writing in response to the above-noted request for records under the Act.

As I outlined in the acknowledge letter to you sent on June 26, 2018, the Act gives the public a right to access records held by a public body. A record is considered anything on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic, mechanical or other means. This Act does not extend to answering questions where no records exist, or where an employee is required to create information that is the result of their training, experience or expertise. With regards to your request, there are questions that fall into the latter category (i.e., unable to respond with records that existed at the time your freedom of information request was received).

Your request contained fourteen parts that have been listed below. You will note that we are seeking your clarification on three of them.

BC Hydro will await your clarification prior to responding to these questions and consequently will be extending the time period of our response by thirty days according to section 10(1)(a) of the Act. This section permits a public body to extend the time for responding to a request if not enough detail is provided to enable the public body to identify a requested record. We will require your input by 21 September 2018 to continue with this part of your request.

1. The last report filed by BC Hydro on the status of the smart meter program that I am able to find online is dated Dec. 21, 2016. Can you please tell me if there is a more recent one? If there is, would you please tell me where I can find it? Would you please ensure that the financial report includes the opt out fees received and the costs associated with the opt out program?

BC Hydro filed the final report ‘Smart Metering & Infrastructure (SMI) Program – Program Completion and Evaluation Report’ on December 21, 2016. No subsequent reports have been created on the status of the smart meter program.

2. Has BC Hydro submitted any reports regarding the number of smart meters that have been replaced since the inception of the program, the reasons for the replacements and the costs incurred for these replacements? If so, would you please provide copies of these reports?

BC Hydro has not submitted any reports regarding the number of smart meters that have been replaced since the inception of the program.

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
 
“An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power, or money, or fame, but in fact driven slightly mad by some injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness – So much so that he or she is compelled by some moral engine to act to make it better.”
~ Eve Ensler

Smart Meters, Cell Towers, Smart Phones, 5G and all things that radiate RF Radiation