1) A member has done some digging into wired “stupid” grids as a result of Hydro’s having close to 50,000 smeters that are being read manually, and most likely will be read manually. He found the attached article by someone in the Idaho wired smeter project. Wireless meters’ signals are not strong enough to communicate in urban areas where there are many buildings with concrete walls, etc. Also they need major infrastructures to be able to function in sparse, mountainous areas.
In 2010-11 when Hydro was asked about wired options and why they didn’t use them, the initial response was that there were none. When we provided evidence to the contrary, the response was that wired options were available only for commercial users, at a cost of $35,000 per meter. When we proved that to be false, we were told that Hydro gave a list of things they wanted the system to do and got back only wireless options. No one even checked into the wired grid. No due diligence was done to see if this approach would be safer, cheaper and more efficient for BC.
This is definitely something the Auditor General should investigate. Why did our meters, that have all of these problems, cost $550 when Idaho’s wired cost $150? Read The Tyee articles by Will McMartin, http://thetyee.ca/Bios/Will_McMartin/ and the reason becomes pretty clear. Besides incompetence, the cozy relationship between politicians and corporations is obvious.
2) Nevada is investigating $$meters as a cause of fires after only a couple of incidents, one of which resulted in a death. We need an independent investigation into the many failures and the design flaws of the ITRON meters as has been required in Saskatchewan, Portland, Oregon, Nevada and some parts of Florida.
3) I am attempting to convince our politicians that ITRON meters have failed, just as Sensus meters failed in Saskatchewan. Below is a letter I wrote to Adrian Dix, with the photo of the burned meter attached. The file to which I refer is one from the BC Safety Authority which says they have no record of the incident, which was attended by an electrician and Hydro employees. I included several other emails which all resulted in no information being available. Here is the article that was in the local newspaper. I believe it’s about time the people we elected to work for our benefit began to acknowledge that these meters are fire hazards.
From: “Dennis and Sharon Noble” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: “adrian dix mla” <email@example.com>
Cc: “John Horgan. Leader NDP” <John.Horgan.MLA@leg.bc.ca>, “Gary’ ‘Holman.MLA” <Gary.Holman.MLA@leg.bc.ca>, “Jane Jae Kyung’ ‘Shin.MLA” <Jane.Shin.MLA@leg.bc.ca>, “Maurine’ ‘Karagianis.MLA” <Maurine.Karagianis.MLA@leg.bc.ca>
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2014 5:59:15 PM
Subject: smart meter failure FoIPPA BCSA 2014-186 – July 10/12 – Jim Cameron – Supreme Convenience – 7185 Market Street
Attached is the type of file that I am facing. It is incomplete because Hydro did not follow the Fire Safety Standards Act which requires all electrical events to be reported. I will be submitting an FOI to Hydro to see if they have a report but I am not optimistic. This is the type of failure that occurred in Saskatchewan, and there have been many in BC – 2 in this store alone. Neither BC Hydro nor BCSA has included this event in their annual summaries, so Len Garis would not have included it in his report.
As you can see from the attachment, no report on this incident has been filed with the BC Safety Authority by either BC Hydro or the electrician, ___ Electric. According to a news article, this was the second failed meter, the first failure occurring a year earlier soon after the analog was replaced by a smart meter.
I included quite a bit of my file so you can see the trail that I have followed.