1) I sent this around a few weeks ago but it is so important I thought I would again for our new members. In Europe, nearly half the countries are refusing to implement the $$mart program believing the benefits do not justify the costs. As many experts have advised, the ongoing costs are significant and do not end. Computers constantly need upgrading, and so will $meter software. The USA will be demanding dramatic security measures which will run in the millions, and will be never-ending. And the $meters themselves have a very short life span, much shorter than used in BC Hydro’s business plan. Nowhere have the promised savings in energy or costs been realized. Why won’t the NDP and Green Party take this on and call for a cessation of this very expensive bottomless pit? Every MP and MLA should see both of these articles.
A prime example in Pennsylvania. $meters were installed in 2002-2004, just 10 years ago. The technology is now considered obsolete and the utility company wants to upgrade all the $meters to new ones. A great deal for the meter manufacturers and companies like Corix. A never-ending income.
2) health concerns. Dr. Olle Johansson wrote a letter to the Arizona Department of Health re. dangers of RF from wireless devices such as $$meters. Please share this with your elected officials, too.
3) In Australia, “AN independent audit of electromagnetic radiation from smart meters will begin next month as critics claim reports of illness from hundreds of Victorians represent an emerging health crisis.”
4) Another good story from a member:
Just wanted to share a success story! I was happy to be home when the Corix truck pulled in to my driveway. I had written a note at my meter box in case I was at work when they came to exchange my meters. The driver, in clean blue overalls with name tag clearly displayed, knocked on my door and explained why he was here. He indicated he had read my note requesting analog meters and was happy to provide two clean, tested analogs to replace my old ones. They looked to be in much better shape than mine. He asked me to turn off any electronics as the power would be off for a few minutes, and I asked if I could finish what I was doing on the computer. He agreed. When I was done, I asked if he’d like me to throw the main breaker switch and he said that would be fantastic. When he was finished the replacement, he gave me my final meter reading on the old analogs as well as the reading on the new ones, so I could compare them to my next bill. He also told me my meter boxes were in very good shape (behind the units).
I asked if he had encountered much resistance from residents with analog meters. He frowned and said, “Actually, yes. I had to take a day off yesterday because I was so stressed out by my experiences earlier this week. It’s such a pleasure to meet people like you!” He asked if I’d like the phone number to call if I had any questions or concerns. I thanked him for being so professional and I promised him I would share my story. I think it’s important to keep in mind these Corix employees are not the ‘bad guys’ but simply ordinary guys with jobs.
But not all stories are so good. Please read a letter below about the experience of another member.
From: Sharon Noble [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: July 27, 2014
Subject: Exploding smart meter in Saskatoon
Dear Mr. or Ms. Slade,
Re: Fires cause smart meter halt in Sask. by Gillian Slade – Medicine Hat News – July 26, 2014:
With reference to the article you wrote on July 26, I would like to provide you with some of the things I’ve found out through my investigations of smart meter fires and incidents.
I am director of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters and one of my major concerns is that these meters have been responsible for many fires throughout North America, more than 1,000 in California alone. The industry and utilities say this is an insignificant percentage given the number of meters installed, but I don’t believe we should be forced to have something on our homes that has any potential of causing harm in any way.
You report that “Fire Fighting in Canada, a publication available online, says the fire safety of smart meters has been scientifically examined and concluded that smart meters are not the major fire risk they have been purported to be.” I would question the accuracy of this statement because I have asked for but never received any report that shows that these meters have been tested and confirmed to be safe. The Fire Fighting in Canada report was written by Len Garis when he was head of the BC Fire Chiefs Association. This is the report that he says was released by the University of Fraser Valley. In fact, BC Hydro commissioned this report and paid Mr. Garis $15,000 to prepare it. This alone questions its results and lack of bias.
But further, Mr. Garis bases his statements on reports gathered by the BC Fire Commissioner’s Office. I have looked at the reports to which he refers, and there are no specifics because there is no code for smart meters. Looking at the number of electrical fires alone should not give anyone comfort because I can tell you that the Fire Commissioner’s Office does not receive information on all fires. It is supposed to receive information on fires with “substantial damage”, but it receives nothing on other fires. And during my investigation over the last 2-3 months, I have learned that the Commissioner’s Office does not even receive reports on all substantial fires. Out of 25 reports requested, there have been 4 instances where reports were not filed. Of concern is the fact that no one is tracking incidents involving smart meters, whether they melted, damaged appliances, or caused major fires.
In his report Mr. Garis says, “There were no post-meter cases of fires related to the electrical panel board/switchboard on an exterior wall, although there was one case before the meters were installed.” He seems to be parsing words, but I have found many fires that have occurred on an exterior wall where a smart meter resided.
These meters are made of combustible plastic and have several design flaws that have been identified by electrical engineers, as well as the Ontario Fire Marshall. You can find more information about fires on our website: www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca
I have more information that I would be happy to share that indicates there is a problem with these meters, and that not all of the regulations that are in place to protect us are being followed. We deserve to know that anything that is being put on our homes is safe, and from the information available, smart meters are not.
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
July 24, 2014
Christy Clark – BC Premier – 3-2429 Dobbin Rd., West Kelowna, BC. V4T 2L4
Bill Bennett – Minister of Energy & Mines – 100C Cranbrook St. N, Cranbrook, BC. V1C 3P
Maurine Karagianis – MLA – 100 Aldersmith Pl., Victoria, BC. V9A 7M8
Jessica McDonald – CEO & President of BC Hydro and Power – 333 Dunsmuir, Vancouver BC V6B 5R3
Ombudsperson – Box 9039, STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC. V8W 9A5
RE: BC Hydro Billing July 18, 2014
I write this letter in desperation and in hopes of receiving assistance in rectifying this current unmerciful situation with BC Hydro. Phone calls and emails appear to have no effect as no one listens or cares.
On May 5th, 2014, I received a call from BC Hydro (Lindsey) informing me that my analog meter had expired, needed to be replaced and someone would be coming around to do the job. I asked for an appointment and was told appointments were not being made. I asked a time frame and told “5 or 6 weeks”. I stressed the fact that I would ONLY ACCEPT AN ANALOG REPLACEMENT and asked Lindsey to make note of that.
On June 3rd, 9:00 am, a BCHydro/Fortis man showed up saying he had come to replace my expired meter. I specifically asked if he had an analog replacement and he assured me that he had and would meet me at my meter once he retrieved it from his truck. He did, in fact, NOT bring an analog as he’d agreed – a deliberate lie! In addition during our ‘discussion’, I found him to be a bully in his intimidation tactics. I refused the digital replacement and he left waving his arms, “It’s up to you if you want to throw your money away. Eventually everyone will have a smart meter.”
This man’s behaviour was as unacceptable as has been my dealings with BC Hydro. I do not understand why I cannot have an analog meter when such replacements are available to others in this province. I had brain tumor removal surgery in 1999 with subsequent MRI’s to insure no regrowth and am aware of the dangers associated with electromagnetic radiation on human cells and chemistry. Why do I have to fight so hard to protect my health against an apathetic company who is only concerned with their profit margin?
Further, I am a senior on a fixed income and find I must forgo groceries to cover this extortion fee called a ‘Legacy Fee’ for a meter that’s only read every other month; knowing that customers with smart meters and digital meters, which still require a meter reader, pay nothing! It was my understanding that BCUC had reduced the legacy fee and yet I’ve paid over $227 so far this year and it jumps from $52.93 in January (Jan. 16 – $13.81, Jan. 20 $39.12) to $36.22/month. The only two consistent legacy fees are in the statements for Feb & Mar at $35.00 each.
This situation with BC Hydro is taking a toll on my health! Threats, extortion and intimidation are not conducive to compliance. Had the man brought an analog meter as replacement as requested numerous times, I would have gladly allowed the installation. The ‘failed installation fee’ and monthly ‘legacy fees’ are deliberate and hostile actions aimed at the vulnerable who have taken the time to research the adverse health effects in refusing to have a smart meter.
I still hope and believe that justice will prevail and would ask your assistance on three action items:
- The “failed installation” fee must be rescinded from my account.
- An end to the harassment from BC Hydro/Fortis (no more bullies at my door please)
- If necessary, installation of an analog meter replacement by appointment please.
Thank you for your prompt and kind attention to this serious matter.
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters