Category Archives: Meter Removal

BC Politicians Ignoring Smart Meter Issue. Sharon Noble – May 4, 2017 – The Goddard Report with Jim Goddard

(audio 20:22) BC Politicians Ignoring Smart Meter Issue. Sharon NobleMay 4, 2017 – The Goddard Report with Jim Goddard by talkdigitalnetwork – YouTube – May 04, 2017:
(No proof smart meters reduce costs or energy use
Guest’s website: http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/)
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The Goddard Report Video Archives of Interviews with Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters re Smart Meters and Health Issues from Wireless Technologies:

https://www.youtube.com/user/talkdigitalnetwork/search?query=sharon+noble

Smart meter safety risk – Letter to BC Minister of Energy and Mines Bennett

June 26. 2015 – For Immediate Release

 A COURT TOLD ITRON SMART METERS ARE A FIRE HAZARD.

 What did ITRON know and when did they know it? They knew these smart meters were dangerous and they knew from the very beginning.

 We, the taxpayers who fund BC Hydro, demand a refund from ITRON for selling a defective, dangerous device.

 ITRON’s smart meters have design flaws that make them fire hazards. These were sold to many places before they were sold to BC Hydro, so ITRON had to have been aware of problems long before the contract was signed.

Failures and fires have occurred in BC.   How many no one knows because no one is tracking.

BCUC was told through the Clean Energy Act and Direction 4 it had no authority to interfere in the smart meter program in any way.   BC Safety Authority has been told to butt out of the smart meter program. And the Provincial Fire Commissioner doesn’t track specific causes of fires. So no one knows, except, perhaps BC Hydro and they’re not talking.

But now, through sworn testimony in a legal action in Texas obtained by Sharon Noble, Director of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, we learn that there have been many incidents of ITRON Openway smart meters — the same model used by BC Hydro and Fortis BC — failing and burning, palettes of them, according to one testimonial.

Now is the time, before more homes are damaged, and more lives put at risk, to say this program is a fiasco. WE WANT THIS PROGRAM ENDED, AND WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK.

Noble says, “Whenever we purchase something that doesn’t work the way it is supposed to, we can return it and expect our money back. These smart meters were purported to be safe, just as safe as the old analogs. But they aren’t and now we have proof from a completely independent source – a Texas court.   Bill Bennett needs to stop this program, recall the smart meters, demand that analogs be put back in place, and send ITRON the bill.”’

Certainly ITRON knew long ago that these meters were cheaply made with flaws that could cause the meters to fail catastrophically. They should have warned us – it should not be up to us to have to fight to protect our homes. WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK.

———————————————–

Letter to BC Minister of Energy and Mines Bennett

 

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: June 25, 2015 2:25 PM
To: Bill Bennett (mem.minister@gov.bc.ca); ‘bill.bennett.mla@leg.bc.ca
Cc: John Horgan. Leader NDP;
adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca;
Christy Clark (premier@gov.bc.ca);
elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca‘;
Atamanenko, Alex – Riding 1A; Atamanenko.A@parl.gc.ca; ‘andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca‘;
info@greenparty.bc.ca

Subject: Smart meter safety risk

VIA REGISTERED MAIL
June 25, 2015
Hon. Bill Bennett
Minister of Energy and Mines
Room 301
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

Dear Mr. Bennett:

In 2012 Armen Kassabian, Ontario Fire Marshal, wrote a report that expressed serious concerns about the safety of smart meters, regardless of the brand.  They fail.  They melt.  They burn.

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/FireMarshallReportSmartMeterFires-Canada.pdf

Mr. Bennett, for the last 2 years I have been tracking smart meter failures in British Columbia, and have provided you with evidence showing that there is justification for major concern. Just like the Sensus smart meters in Saskatchewan, the Itron meters in BC have overheated, melted and burned. More failures have occurred in BC than in Saskatchewan, yet you and BC Hydro have taken no steps to ensure the public’s safety. In fact, you and BC Hydro have denied that these meters have failed or put lives at risk.

There is now evidence that you cannot – must not – ignore.

With this letter I have provided a printed copy of a recent lawsuit in Texas that contains testimony given under oath by journeyman linesmen who have worked for utilities for many years. They state that ITRON Openway meters used by Centerpoint Energy in Houston, the very same model being used by BC Hydro and Fortis BC, have failed in large numbers. This document also is available at

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Reed_Answering_Brief-1.pdf

Of particular note:

1)            Those testifying had confirmed fires and failures with other linesmen and trouble-shooters prior to making the statements. Pg. 25

2)            The linesmen reported that the utility had “two pallets of burned up (Itron) meters”.  Pg. 8

3)            The linesmen reported problems with “meters’ communication with the remote site control and many issues with meters melting and burning up.”  Pg. 8

4)            Linesmen determined that “part of the problem was a loose connection between the meter and the meter base because the smart meters had thinner “blades” than the previous analog meters” (emphasis added)     Pg. 8 This gap could cause arcing leading to fires.

5)            Concerns were raised about the ITRON smart meters “creating arc flashes, which could burn the customers’ wiring and create ‘hazardous conditions.’ …These hazardous conditions include potentially causing arc flashes, which could result in anything from minor to third degree burns to technicians who remove the meters.”  Pg. 8

6)            An experienced trouble-shooter for a utility reported that he had “responded to more fire calls once the smart meters were deployed and these often involved heating problems at the meter base.”  Pg. 13

7)            “ Reed’s testimony concerned products used by Respondent. Landis + Gyr is the manufacturer of the AMS meter used by Respondent and Itron is the manufacturer of the meters used by CenterPoint Energy in Houston.”  Pg. 25

The model used in Houston is the ITRON C2SOD, Openway Centron II the same model used by BC Hydro and Fortis BC.

http://investors.centerpointenergy.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=553906

8)            At Oncor and Centerpoint there was a consistent corporate message that utility employees are to tell customers that any problem, whether it’s damaged appliances or a fire, was due to the meter base which is owned by the client, not the smart meter.  Pg. 10. This is the same message that, according to Hydro insiders, BC Hydro has given to its employees.

———-

Mr. Bennett, I could provide you with many statistics and data that I have gathered over the last 2 years that would help explain why the meters are a fire hazard, but I believe that is unnecessary. I have provided you with most of them already.   Instead, I will summarize what I have found in addition to the details provided above:

1)            Electronic digital and smart meters — which are combustible and vulnerable to heat — should have reliable means for immediately disconnecting them from the grid in the entirely foreseeable event of circuit failure (lithium-metal batteries, diodes, electrolytic capacitors, transistors, etc.). Such reliable means are apparently not provided. With an effectively unlimited current supply from the grid this lack of protection creates a significant fire risk when the meter is combustible as is the ITRON smart meter.

2)            I’ve been told by knowledgeable people that the remote disconnect switch apparently is unreliable and poorly designed, having been implicated in fires across North American. To function it relies on other components of the meter that, in all likelihood, would be compromised in the event of overheating or other failures. Arcing, arc flash, and heating from the disconnect switch are also serious hazards that derive from the unprotected grid connection.

3)            The meter installation process was questionable, given the lack of qualifications of the personnel recruited to carry out the installations. Use of inadequately qualified installation personnel significantly increases the risk of: (a) failure to observe existing meter base/wiring problems; and (b)  damaging the base during exchange; both of these can lead to “hot sockets” with the attendant risk of fire.

4)            The meter bases into which these meters are being placed were designed, tested, and CSA approved to hold an electro-mechanical analog meter which is not combustible. . Our multiple requests for proof of certification of the meter base in conjunction with a combustible electronic meter, either digital or smart meter, have been ignored. It is a highly questionable practice, probably illegal, to install electronic meters on a base designed and  CSA tested/approved only  for electro- mechanical analogue meters.

5)            In BC the BC Safety Standards Act exempts BC Hydro and Fortis BC from having their equipment certified by CSA and smart meters have been determined to be utility equipment.  The exemption is conditional under section 21-4 which states that utility equipment must be certified safe by a professional electrical engineer licensed in BC.  BC Hydro stated it does not have this certification.

6)            According to the Fire Commissioner’s Office, BC Hydro is allowed to remove and has removed smart meters from scenes of fires before the fire inspection has been completed “since it is their meter.” This runs counter to the BC Fire Safety Act.

7)            BC Hydro has reported that no smart meter has been inspected in its laboratory, Power Tech, after it has failed. Instead all failed meters are returned immediately to Itron for replacement. I have been told in response to a Freedom of Information request that BC Hydro is doing no investigation to determine the reason for the failure.

8)            There appears to be no agency that is tracking incidents involving smart meters.

The BC Utility Commission, according to the BC Utilities Commission Act, has responsibility to ensure BC Hydro’s products and practices will not endanger the public. With regard to the smart meter program, the BCUC informs me this responsibility has been overruled by the Clean Energy Act and Direction 4 because it has been told it cannot interfere in the smart meter program in any way, even with regard to public safety.

The BC Safety Authority, which normally ensures that electrical devices are safe and that any unsafe devices are reported, advised me that they have been told that they have no authority regarding the smart meter program.

9)            Fire reports have indicated the cause of some fires to be due to failed electrical distribution equipment. Len Garis, in the report commissioned by BC Hydro, stated that reference to electrical distribution equipment usually refers to meters.

10)          Budgets to fire departments have been reduced to the point where departments do not have the resources to determine causes of all fires. Many fires are not reported even after 2 years. In addition, one fire chief told me that they were told to rule out arson, and not bother going further. As a result in many cases, the fire’s cause is given as “undetermined.”  Of the fires for which I’ve requested reports from the Fire Commissioner, 50% have no determined cause!

11)          Because of the lack of resources, investigations are carried out by people with limited electrical fire forensics ability, and, therefore, it is possible that many fires that might be associated with smart meters are going undetected. As a result, it is possible that many problems are going undetected and unremedied, jeopardizing the property and lives of British Columbians.

12)          Regulations in Quebec require that Hydro-Quebec ensures that smart meters are not within 3 meters of a propane tank. If the tank or meter cannot be removed, then the remote disconnect switch, which has been found to have been involved in fires in Saskatchewan, must be disabled. It seems prudent that similar precautionary measures should be taken regarding proximity of smart meters to any flammable materials. I wrote to you, Mr. Bennett, and BC Hydro authorities on June 4 asking what precautionary steps BC Hydro would be taking, and to date I received no response.

Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 7, grants Canadian citizens the right to refuse actions by the government that the citizens believe to be harmful.

Further, “the Federal Court of Appeal has opened the door to lawsuits against government regulators for negligent administration of their regulatory schemes and created the possibility of suing a regulator for damages under public law if the regulator violates a clear duty to act or exercises its public power in an “irrational” or “clearly wrong” manner.”

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/beekeepers-abuzz-after-court-allows-clas-01297 /

Based upon the information I’ve provided to you, I believe it is safe to say that this smart meter program has major problems that cannot be ignored any longer. You, Mr. Bennett, as Minister of Energy, are responsible for allowing this program to continue.  With receipt of this package of material, which I am sending via registered mail, you cannot say you didn’t know that these smart meters are fire hazards.

I am sure that your concern for the safety and welfare of your constituents is paramount. Based upon the information I’ve presented, this concern is best addressed by halting the program and removing the smart meters, pending an investigation.

Should you wish further information about anything that I’ve said, please ask.

 

Sincerely,
Sharon Noble

 

This will be sent to  All MLAs

SaskPower’s CEO resigns over dangerous Smart Meter program; should BC’s Bennett be next?

PRESS RELEASE

After eight smart meter failures (minor fires with little damage and no injuries), an immediate independent investigation of the Saskatchewan smart meter program was demanded.

Installations ceased, and smart meters were ordered removed from homes.

In a highly critical report released on Oct. 27, Sask Power was found to have implemented the program without considering public safety a priority.

Upon release of the report, the CEO of Sask Power, Mr. Robert Watson, resigned immediately, without severance.

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE

BC’s Energy Minister admits Smart Meter FIRES … but will do nothing

CSSMBC

Energy Minister Bill Bennett admits to smart meter fires in British Columbia, but rather than do anything, he expresses disappointment that Saskatchewan is taking action to protect its citizens.
On July 30 Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bill Boyd called a halt to the smart meter program, demanding removal of 105,000 meters after 8 “failures”, that include fires and exploding meters.
www.globalnews.ca/news/1483134/saskpower-ordered-to-remove-all-smart-meters-in-the-province/
“I think the concerns about safety are paramount here, the concerns are significant enough, anytime families are at risk in Saskatchewan, actions have to be taken and that’s why we’ve directed SaskPower accordingly,” said Minister Boyd.
In British Columbia, where we’ve had more “failures”, which have also included fires and exploding meters, Bill Bennett and BC Hydro consistently have refused to acknowledge the danger and, instead, put the blame on homeowners’ meter bases and wiring.

It doesn’t matter why a home burns after a smart meter has been installed – whether it was because the inexperienced installer damaged the base or that the meter heated up due to design flaws.

The fact is that property and lives have been put at risk and our government is refusing to protect us.
Bennett is sorry that Saskatchewan is taking this action.

““It’s unfortunate that Saskatchewan is doing what it’s doing…”
Why? Because it shows that some provincial governments are more concerned about their citizens than others.
It puts BC to shame.

www.cknw.com/2014/07/30/while-saskatchewan-yanks-its-smart-meters-bc-wont-do-the-same/
Finally Bennett is admitting there have been fires due to smart meters in BC. This is a first, but it’s way too late.
Fires have been occurring for the last 3 years, and Hydro and Liberals have denied it. The evidence has been hidden and people have been living with a fire hazard on their bedroom walls. He’s told Hydro to find out how many have occurred. That may be difficult because no agency is tracking them.
Why is Bennett asking for a count? Is it just because he feels he must do something? Saskatchewan doesn’t know why the meters have caused fires – they are taking action because fires have occurred. We have had many fires and incidents in BC, and nothing has been done to protect us. Instead the program has been protected with lies and cover-ups.

Do we not deserve the same precautionary action as Saskatchewan?
The Coalition to Stop Smart Meters asks,

” Please tell us, Mr. Bennett, what is the right number, how many homes must burn before you will stop this dangerous program??”

 

Sharon Noble
Coalition to Stop Smart Meters