[Active Grid Sensors – Analogs – BCUC & Smart Meter Fires: The Failure to Protect Report – Clean Energy Act – Constantly Connected: B.C.’s obsession with personal electronics and how it’s shifting household electricity use – Costs – CSA – Data for Sale – DE – Design Flaws – Digital Addiction – DTE – EHS / ES – Electric Tariff – EMFs – EPRI – Health Canada Safety Code 6 – Illegal Uses of Smart Meters – IoT – Len Garis – Lifespan – Measurement Canada (Accuracy) – Nevada Consumer Protection Bureau – Nevada PUC – Opt-out Fees – Power Surges (Appliance Damages, Explosions, Up-surge) – Privacy – Radio-off Smart Meters – RF Microwave Radiation – Safety – Sharon Noble Comments to Chris O’Riley, Customer Relations (Gord Doyle), David Lebeter, Janet Fraser, Mark Poweska, Michelle Mungall on BC Hydro Statements re Itron Smart Meters – Site C – Smartphones – Smart Grid Mesh Network Signals – SMPS (Chopper Circuit) – Transmissions per Day – Wireless Devices Cause Higher Consumption of Electricity | Summerland, BC – Canada – USA] & BC Hydro Report
1) A member sent me an email she received from BC Hydro in response to her telling them about her concerns with smeters. The letter is filled with twists, inaccuracies and plain old lies. But there is one “AHA” statement. We have been told all along that one of the reasons we had to accept the smeter is that analogs are no longer available. In this letter, Gord Doyle of Customer Relations admits that analogs are available in the marketplace but they are “ineligible”!! Ineligible just because of the Clean Energy Act?? There is no other reason for us to have our health and safety jeopardized???
(click on photos to enlarge)
I responded to Doyle (see Letters) but didn’t point out that BC Hydro has been lying to us all along because I wanted to concentrate on the “ineligible” part – now you have this statement to use as best as possible. With all the millions we’ve paid in the opt-out fees, meter readers could be paid for many years!!
2) BC Hydro is reporting that usage of electronic devices has increased their power usage by 150% since 1990. Watch – this will be used to justify Site C. Some data that, if true, are shocking e.g. 1/3 of 18-24 yr. olds would give up heating in their home on a cold day before giving up their “smart” phone. These statistics make fighting the expansion of the IoT in our lives problematic.
Report: Obsession with personal electronics is changing how British Columbians use power at home
“Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic shift in how people use power in their homes. The popularity of small personal electronics – like smartphones, laptops and tablets – is driving this trend,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “While none of these devices use a lot a power individually, taken together, household electricity use from these devices has increased from 7 percent to 17 per cent since the early 1990s.”
The report titled “Constantly Connected: B.C.’s obsession with personal electronics and how it’s shifting household electricity use” found more than three-quarters of British Columbians own a smartphone and spend, on average, 4.7 hours a day on their device. In addition, the number of tablets in B.C. households has increased by more than 200 per cent since 2010.”
Cc: chris.o’firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Michelle Mungall <EMPR.Minister@gov.bc.ca>
Sent: October 27, 2018 9:45 PM
Subject: ITRON smart meter
Dear Mr. Doyle,
Below is the email you sent to someone who was expressing concerns about having a smart meter on her home. I couldn’t help but comment on your statements, many of which I found quite inadequate. Please see my comments below, which I hope will help you to understand why many tens of thousands of British Columbians have refused or wanted to refuse to allow the smart meter from being installed on their homes, and, many of those are angry that they had to submit due to various types of pressure by BC Hydro. I have numbered your statements to which I am responding for ease of reference.
If you have information to add or questions to pose, please do respond. Mr. Doyle, I do not know what authority you have to allow people to keep their analogs, but I would ask that you, or whoever does have authority, to consider the many points I’ve raised below and to grant people a choice. It is not without just reason that people have been paying huge fees (the highest in North America) in order to keep their analogs.
– These smart meters emit dangerous radiation that is a 2b carcinogen, the same classification as lead and DDT. Many people are being made ill from the RF and/or the dirty electricity. They are begging for an exemption like those given by utilities across North America.
– These meters are combustible and have caused fires.
– ITRON declares that it will use these meters for purposes that are illegal under our current laws, the Clean Energy Act and the Electric Tariff.
– The life expectancy of these meters is very short, and the expense is hard to justify without any proven benefit in any jurisdiction where smart meters have been in place for years.
It is far beyond the time for a review of the Smart Meter Program, for the sake of the health and well-being of BC Hydro’s customers, many of whom have or will go off grid to escape having a smart meter.
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
= = =
[Sharon Noble’s comments]
Subject: P. (Oct) This is a 2016 report on the itron smart meter
I am writing in response to your email dated October 19, 2018 [see below @ Sent: 2018, October 19 10:23 AM] regarding concerns with a meter exchange and key obstacles to accepting a radio-off meter. I appreciate the opportunity to provide the following information.
1) With regards to privacy, BC Hydro has been collecting electricity consumption information, and protecting the privacy of their customers’ information for over 50 years. In BC, customer’s personal information is protected by law.
All personal information collected by BC Hydro is managed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. BC Hydro does not provide nor sell customer information to third parties (e.g. Itron).
According to ITRON’s own documents, the motive for the smart meters from the start was to allow them to be used for purposes other than to measure and report consumption. In essence, ITRON is making these smart meters part of the IoT, available to other companies as part of the “Active Grid”. Inevitably, our data will be vulnerable.
With a powerful distributed computing platform, the Active Grid transforms the smart meter from a consumption measurement device to an advanced grid sensor with metering being one of multiple applications…
This distributed computing platform also provides the ability to run multiple “apps” on meters and other edge devices, thereby unleashing a growing ecosystem of developers to innovate on the platform…
This type of self-directed device interaction has always been central to the vision of a smart distribution network but never possible until now… https://www.engerati.com/system/files/welcome-to-the-active-grid-web_1.pdf
2) Smart Meters, like the meters they replace, are only used to record consumption. For this reason, like BC Hydro’s analog and digital meters, smart meters are not covered by the Canadian Standards Association as they are not considered to be consumer products.
This is not true, Mr. Doyle.
First, analogs are not CSA certified because they are not electrical devices. The bases, which are, are CSA approved.
Second, as I said above ITRON’s intention is to use these meters for purposes other than those allowed by the Clean Energy Act and the Electric Tariff , e.g. recording consumption.
Third, whether the device is a consumer product or not has no bearing on whether a device is tested for safety by the Canadian Standards Association.
According to the CSA, it is a government and industry funded organization that has set standards for electrical products ranging from medical devices, gas processing equipment, power transformers to toasters and lamps for more than 100 years. You and BC Hydro are deliberately misleading the public by stating that the smart meters do not need to be certified safe because CSA does not certify consumer products.
From all of the information that I have been able to obtain over the last 8 years of trying is that the BCUC, Dept. of Energy, the BC Hydro & Power Act allow BC Hydro to use this technology with no oversight. When challenged, BC Hydro has refused, multiple times, to provide any information about the certification of these electrical devices that on our homes. As far as I can determine, no independent electrical engineer has ever tested every aspect of ITRON’s smart meter and certified it to be safe.
3) Modernizing the electricity grid is a critical part of the BC Hydro plan to provide a secure and reliable power system. The replacement of obsolete mechanical meters with modern smart meters is a critical part of this transformation. Though analog meters are still available in the market place and in other jurisdictions, they are no longer part of BC Hydro’s standard metering equipment and are not eligible for use in B.C.
Why are analogs ineligible? These meters are much cheaper to buy initially, have a lifespan of 30-40 years vs. 5-7 for the smart meters, are more secure because any wireless device is easily hacked, are non-combustible, being made of glass and metal where the smart meters are combustible being made largely of plastic, are far safer because they do not emit microwave radiation. BC Hydro could, like many utilities across North America, allow people to keep their analogs. As you acknowledge, analogs are available in the marketplace and the grid will work if some homes do not have smart meters.
4) BC Hydro’s meters are accuracy tested to ensure they meet federal accuracy standards established by Measurement Canada, in accordance with the Electricity & Gas Act.
And accuracy is the only thing with which Measurements Canada is involved. Not safety. And neither, despite what BC Hydro has been saying for years, are there new standards that the analogs do not meet. Every meter, whether analog, digital or “smart” must be re-certified periodically to ensure accuracy. Measurements Canada has confirmed that analogs meet those accuracy standards.
5) However, if there is a concern with Radio Frequencies, the radio-off meter provides a viable solution where the communication component that transmits the signal is disabled.
Microwave radiation is a major concern but it is not the only one. The switch mode power supply [SMPS] adds dirty electricity (voltage transients or harmonics) on to the home wiring.
“These new meters have what’s called a chopper circuit—the name is illustrative of what we’ve just been talking about—which rapidly switches the voltage on and off. In so doing, it creates ultra-high frequencies, and very sharp, fast transient voltage spikes, up to 70,000 volts/second.” http://www.smartmetereducationnetwork.com/dirty-electricity-and-smart-meters.php
Scientists have found that dirty electricity is comparable to microwave radiation in its effects on our health. Many people suffer seriously when exposed to this as it runs throughout their homes.
6) If you have concerns with an up-surge; it is important to note, smart meters do not cause an up-surge. Instead, there is a built in protection from power surges since smart meters are designed to absorb higher voltages and stop the surge at the meter. As a result, surges are prevented from flowing into your property.
Mr. Doyle, can you provide proof that the ITRON smart meter has a built in power surge protector? Many electrical engineers in the US and Canada have inspected them and have found nothing of the sort. In fact this is one of the many design flaws that have been identified. BC Hydro is definitely aware that many homes and appliances have been damaged as a result of power surges during the meter exchange. I have documentation in a Fire Report which includes more than 3 years’ worth of tracking fires and surges. There are many incidents of smart meters exploding, flying off homes, and causing fires during a power surge. One example occurred in Summerland, BC in Dec. 2014 where many homes were damaged. http://www.pentictonherald.ca/news/article_4fb71f48-800d-11e4-b9d8-3f79e1376503.html
7) BC Hydro has installed over 2 million smart meters since 2011, with no evidence a smart meter has ever been the cause of a fire in B.C.
Absolutely untrue. As I stated above, I tracked fires for more than 3 years, obtaining fire commissioner reports, BC Safety Authority reports, and speaking with victims. Documentation was provided to BC Hydro in Sept. 2017, and there has been no refutation of the charges I made. Neither has BC Hydro corrected the information they give to the public. I believe this is dangerously irresponsible in many regards. If you are interested, Mr. Doyle, my report is available at http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/bcuc-smart-meter-fires-the-failure-to-protect/ .
8) Len Garis – Surrey Fire Chief, former President of B.C. Fire Chiefs Association, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Fraser Valley for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research – has researched, written, and updated statistical reporting of fires in B.C. His most recent report titled Assessing the Safety of Smart Meter Installation in British Columbia: Analysis of Residential Structure Fires in BC between July 2010 and June 2017 https://cjr.ufv.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Smart-Meters-UFV-Research-Note-October-2017.pdf, continues to find that the “available data does not indicate that there
This is terribly misleading. Len Garis was paid by BC Hydro to write a report on the safety of smart meters and merely looked at a numerical summary of electrical fires. As I reported in my Fire Report, he looked at incomplete data and did not go to the sources, as I did. A very significant fact that Mr. Garis overlooked (or was not aware of because he did not go to the sources) is that BC Hydro removes meters from the scene of the fire, often before the fire inspector has had a chance to do his job. Even if all evidence points to the smart meter as the likely cause of the fire, if the meter is missing or has been consumed by the fire (after all, it is combustible), the inspector must say he cannot determine the cause. In many instances the meter is gone. This information is not gathered by the Fire Commissioner’s system, which is the only thing that Mr. Garis considered in reaching his decision. This is one example of the many things that Mr. Garis omitted from his “research”.
9) Magnetic fields are measured in milligauss units. Because smart meters are based on digital technology while old electro-mechanical meters use electromagnets, smart meters have half the level of milligauss emissions of electro-mechanical meters.
This is highly unlikely given that the smart meter has a switch mode power supply and the analog does not.
10) BC Hydro’s smart meters were independently testing against Health Canada’s new Safety Code 6 standards, and results showed our meters operate well within the required limits. Further, the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducted testing on smart meters similar to BC Hydro’s and results showed that meter signal strength behind the meter socket and wall dropped by 99.5%.
First of all Safety Code 6 is one of the worst standards in the world, allowing exposure at thousands of times higher than many other countries allow. Being within the “required limits” is no indication that the device is safe.
Second, the EPRI measured and reported only on the “average” emission levels. As we know, these meters emit extremely short (some reports say as short as 20 milliseconds) all day. There will be longer periods where there are no signals. There will be 20 miiliseconds of RF and then perhaps 2 minutes of nothing, followed by another 20 millisecond signal and so on. On average, the signal might be fairly weak, but it is not the quiet period that does the harm. It is the period during the signal, the pulse, that does. It is the peak that stresses the cells our bodies. And the EPRI did not measure or report on the amount of RF at the peak.
It can be compared to a tomato on a vine in cool weather. The average temperature might be +2, which is fine. But for 30 minutes the temperature dropped below freezing. The average might have been fine, but the 30 minutes of freezing temps did the damage.
Independent experts have measured the peak and found that in many cases it exceeds that allowed by Safety Code 6.
But even if it were below Safety Code 6, thousands of studies have found serious health effects caused by exposure to microwave radiation a mere fraction of the power density reported by the EPRI.
11) Our repeaters and range extenders send and receive information in the same way as smart meters, using the same radio with low-power, short signals. This equipment is installed high up on utility poles, usually 18 to 24 feet off the ground, and are inactive 99% of the time.
As I stated about, it is the very short signals, the pulses that cause the harm. And for the meters to be active 1% of the time is very concerning. And that might be only to send data signals. We know that Hydro must be in constant contact with smart meters to know if there is an outage or some tampering is occurring. But let me accept your figure of 1% of active signal time each day.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day. 1%= 864. Each second has 1,000 milliseconds. That means that the 864 seconds have 864,000 milliseconds. If each signal is 20 milliseconds long, that means there are 864,000/20 = 43,200 signals a day. Or one every 2 seconds. This is just from the smart meter. Then add to that the signals from the repeaters, collectors, and range extenders. BC Hydro is inundating our environment with microwave radiation just for its smart grid.
The energy used to power smart meters is drawn from the grid before measuring usage for an individual household. It uses very little energy and customers are not billed the energy used to power the meters.
Once again, thank you for writing. We’re here to help; your meter expires in 2018 and needs to be replaced, if you would like to be present for the meter exchange administered by one of our qualified installers, we would be happy to arrange the appointment. Please contact our Customer Metering Team at (800) 804-8199.
Senior Manager, Customer Service Operations