2015-05-20 No reports at Hydro on failed, melted, burned meters

 

  • At a conference this month, person from a large utility in the US speaks about how excited they are about all the data they are getting, how this data is ITS ASSET.  Once they have obtained it, it becomes theirs to do with as they wish.  This is our data, information about us, our families, our lives that they are so excited to obtain.

 http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/05/19/utilities-excited-about-mining-smart-meter-data/

  • A major win in Indiana where Duke Energy’s application for $$meters was rejected.

Although smart meters involve many risks to consumers and society such as health issues, privacy invasions, cyber threats, fires, etc., just based upon an objective financial analysis alone, they cannot be justified.”

 

http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/05/11/indiana-customers-safe-from-smart-meters-for-now/

 

  • Below is a very long stream of emails, from as early as Nov. 2014, (sorry for the length) that I have written in an attempt to find out if the smart meters that have overheated, melted or burned have been inspected to determine the cause. Hydro has often removed the smart meters before an independent inspection could be done, on occasion telling the firemen that their laboratory will inspect and report back. I have included all of the responses I’ve received, including the latest which was received today. Hydro confirms over and over that they do not inspect the meters. They say the meters are sent to ITRON for replacement. Hydro is showing its lack of concern and failure to be responsible for our safety. All it wants is a replacement meter. Why aren’t these being inspected to determine cause? I hope that you will share my emails widely, write to Scott MacDonald, the Privacy Commissioner, your MLA, Adrian Dix, et al, as well as your local media if you are as concerned about this as I am.

 

  • The term “Electrosensitivity” is being added in the Larousse Dictionary.

 On Monday, the venerable Larousse dictionary unveils 150 new words to his edition 2016, among them: electrosensitivity, with this definition:

“All physical disorders, according to the description of people, excessive sensitivity to the waves and ambient electromagnetic fields.”

http://www.priartem.fr/L-electrosensibilite-fait-son.html

 

  • For those interested in RF disorienting animals, insects, birds, here is a study showing the effect on snapping turtles.

 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0124728

 

  • New products are being created all the time that use new technology to get us off the grid. Look at the one minute mark where the analog meter is spinning backwards. Yes, despite what Hydro and Fortis are saying, you do not need a smeter to have solar panels and to realize the sayings.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltp6IfZv6TI

 

  • The lithium-ion battery in cell phones can catch fire when overheated. Now that summer is coming, imagine the $meter’s lithium-metal battery, which is more likely to burn when heated, sitting in the hot sun.

 http://news.nationalpost.com/news/exploding-smartphones-why-your-electronics-might-catch-fire

 

  • Decision re. allowing US Navy to carryout RF warfare exercises over the Olympic Peninsula delayed due to flood of comments, many from us!!

 http://m.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/comments-delay-navy-expansion-of-electronic-warfar/nmH7F/

 

Letters:

 

From the Penticton Herald on behalf of the high percentage of residents who do not want to have a smart meter:

http://www.pentictonherald.ca/opinion/article_d4b44688-fe86-11e4-8b42-5f8ff2d717ee.html

Please comment.

 

Result of recent poll in the Herald: s

“Are you in favor of Smart Meters?”
YES : 7.6 %
NO : 84.7% 
I don’t know enough about them :    7.6%

——————————————–


From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: May 20, 2015 8:54 PM
To: Information and Privacy Commission (info@oipc.bc.ca)

Subject: Complaint re BC Hydro

 

Dear Commissioner Denham,

The safety of the ITRON smart meters that are on 1.8 million homes in BC is paramount. Electrical engineers have determined that these meters have many design flaws that could cause fires. For years I have been attempting to obtain details about the testing of the meters both before they were installed and after, when failures have occurred. BC Hydro has consistently refused to answer any questions in a meaningful way.

 

Below are emails from me which were prompted by a news report about BC Hydro having removed a smart meter from the scene of a fire which the firemen believe to have been caused by the meter. BC Hydro told the firemen that the meter would be taken to BC Hydro’s lab to determine if the meter had indeed failed.  You will see that starting in November 2014 I began asking for any inspection report, getting no answer except denial that any meter has been removed from a fire scene. As an aside, I have reports from fire departments and BC Safety Authority to the contrary, that meters are often removed illegally from the scene of fires before the fire inspector has completed his work.. When I asked Hydro’s laboratory, Powertech, directly, I was told that it has never inspected a smart meter.

BC Hydro consistently states, as recently as today, May 20, that if a meter fails it is sent to ITRON for replacement. Nothing more.

I believe we, as customers of BC Hydro who are forced to have smart meters on our homes as a condition for electricity, deserve to know that these meters are safe. From the correspondence below, you will see that BC Hydro refuses to provide any information concerning inspection of failed meters or the reasons for these failures.

As a final insult, BC Hydro failed to respond in a meaningful way to my Freedom of Information request which I made as a final resort, after months of attempting to obtain information from every possible source.

Commissioner Denham, I am lodging an official complaint against BC Hydro for failing to provide basic information and for ignoring the Information and Privacy Act which requires public bodies to be open and forthright in answering requests.

Sincerely,

Sharon Noble

—————————————–

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: May 20, 2015 6:07 PM
To: FOI Officer Scott MacDonald (scott.macdonald@bchydro.com)
Cc: John Horgan. Leader NDP; adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca; ‘gary.holman.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘jane.shin.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘maurine.karagianis.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘commission.secretary@bcuc.com‘; ‘gary.reimer@bchydro.com‘; ‘jessica.macdonald@bchydro.com

Subject:  BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

 

Dear Mr. MacDonald,

 

Once again a request for information to which I, as a customer of BC Hydro, have a right is being ignored. For more than 6 months now I have been asking, in essence, a simple question: What happens to meters that fail, perhaps burn, and are removed illegally before any official independent inspection can be completed. Finally, I submitted a formal Freedom of Information request and I get a bland, incomplete response from someone who doesn’t even give a full name.

You have tried to deny that smart meters are being removed from the scene of a fire by BC Hydro, but there is too much evidence for this to stand.

You have denied that meters have failed, causing damage to property and putting lives at risk. There is too much evidence for this to stand, as well.

Why, Mr. MacDonald, should the BC public trust BC Hydro when we have been misled so many times, and so many reasonable requests for information that could provide assurance that BC Hydro is acting on our behalf are being ignored?

Please consider this notice that I am submitting a formal complaint to the Office of the Privacy and Information Commissioner. It is insulting that you and your office are not taking Freedom of Information requests seriously as is required by law.

Sincerely,

Sharon Noble

———————————–

From: Smart Meters [mailto:SmartMeters@bchydro.com]
Sent: May 20, 2015 10:48 AM
To:dsnoble@shaw.ca

Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

 

Dear Ms. Noble,

BC Hydro acknowledges your March 3, 2015 email regarding BC Hydro meters. I apologise for the delay replying.

As with any new electrical equipment, a small number of meters have stopped working due to component failures. This has always been the case with electrical equipment, including the digital meters BC Hydro used for over a decade.

These meters are currently being replaced under the manufacturer’s warranty. They are returned to the meter manufacturer, Itron, and inspected and repaired. Itron then issues a report to BC Hydro explaining the failure.

As previously explained, in the event that a fire occurs in proximity to an electricity meter, the area would be secured by the fire inspector and BC Hydro would cooperate with their investigation fully. BC Hydro has no further information to share with you regarding the process of fire investigation in B.C.

Sincerely,

Fay

—————————

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: 2015, March 03 4:23 PM
To: Macdonald, Scott
Cc: John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Dix, Adrian’; ‘Holman.MLA, Gary’; ‘Shin, Jane Jae Kyung’; maurine.karagianis.mla@leg.bc.ca; ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’; Reimer, Greg; McDonald, Jessica

Subject: FOI

 

Dear Mr. MacDonald,

I have attempted to get this information several times but no one will answer my questions. Therefore I am submitting a Freedom of Information request for the following information about failed smart meters and the process that follows when a meter overheats, melts or is involved in a fire determined to have been caused by  “electrical distribution equipment ”, which, Len Garis said on page 3 of the smart meter report commissioned by BC Hydro, is “most closely related to the meter base, which is directly relevant to the smart meters.”

1)   Is every failed smart meter inspected to determine the cause? If not why not?

2)   If so by whom?  BC Hydro, ITRON, or another company?

3)   If they are inspected by someone other than BC Hydro, does BC Hydro obtain a report explaining the reason for the failure?

4) Or is the failed meter merely returned to ITRON for a replacement with no investigation into the cause, as suggested by Fay in her email of January 27, 2015?

“BC Hydro’s smart meters are currently under warranty. On the rare occasion that a meter fails, BC Hydro sends the meter back to the manufacturer, Itron, and they are replaced free-of-charge.  BC Hydro’s smart meters are under warranty for 66 months from the date they leave the Itron factory.”

Thank you.

Regards,

Sharon Noble

 ————————

From: Smart Meters [mailto:SmartMeters@bchydro.com]
Sent: March 3, 2015 2:10 PM
To:dsnoble@shaw.ca

Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

 

Dear Ms. Noble,

As previously provided, BC Hydro did not remove a meter from this premise.

BC Hydro is not responsible for the investigation of fires in British Columbia and has no further information to share with you regarding this incident or the process of fire investigation in B.C.

BC Hydro suggests that you contact the appropriate authorities with any further enquiry on this matter.

Sincerely,

Fay

————————

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: 2015, February 13 2:26 PM
To: Reimer, Greg; Macdonald, Scott; McDonald, Jessica
Cc: John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Dix, Adrian’; ‘Holman.MLA, Gary’; ‘Shin, Jane Jae Kyung’; maurine.karagianis.mla@leg.bc.ca; ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’

Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

 

Mr. Reimer, Mr. MacDonald, Ms. McDonald,

I would appreciate receiving confirmation that the meter was not removed by anyone prior to the fire inspector’s completion of his investigation. And that no agent of Hydro, Corix, ITRON or electrician removed the meter.

In essence you are saying that the reports from the time of the fire are incorrect. If this is so, was the smart meter examined after the fire or not?  If so, by whom? If not, why not?

If you would please provide information which I have been requesting for months  it would facilitate this Q & A session significantly. When a meter fails, and by this I mean when it overheats and melts, and perhaps burns:

1)   Is the meter inspected to determine the cause?

2)   If so by whom?  BC Hydro, ITRON, or another company?

3)   Or are the meters disposed of without further investigation because they are under warranty?

I do not believe it is not the responsibility of a fire chief to answer these questions, and neither is this type of information addressed by the report provided to the Provincial Fire Commissioner.

 

I would appreciate being given complete answers to these questions and not a repetition of the letter by “Faye”.

 

Sincerely,

Sharon Noble

—————————

From: Smart Meters [mailto:SmartMeters@bchydro.com]
Sent: February 13, 2015 9:52 AM
To:dsnoble@shaw.ca

Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

Dear Ms. Noble,

BC Hydro acknowledges your February 8, 2015 email regarding a September 2013 fire in Vernon, B.C.

BC Hydro has reviewed the Global News report and, as previously communicated, BC Hydro did not recover a meter from this property following this incident and send it to a laboratory for testing.

BC Hydro has no further information about this incident.

In event of a fire BC Hydro cooperates with the authorities responsible for fire investigations as necessary, but is not responsible for leading these investigations. Please contact the Vernon Fire department with any further enquiries regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Fay

——————————————–

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: 2015, February 08 12:59 PM
To: Reimer, Greg; Macdonald, Scott; McDonald, Jessica
Cc: John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Dix, Adrian’; ‘Holman.MLA, Gary’; ‘Shin, Jane Jae Kyung’; maurine.karagianis.mla@leg.bc.ca; bill.bennett.mla@leg.bc.ca; ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’; fire@vernon.ca

Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program — laboratory reports.

 

Mr. Reimer, Mr. MacDonald, Ms. McDonald,

BC Hydro has said that failed meters were being removed from homes and sent to their laboratory for further inspection to determine if they were responsible for any damages or fires.

Over several months I have been asking for the name of the laboratory to which BC Hydro has sent these failed smart meters for inspection. PowerTech, BC Hydro’s facility, has responded that they have never inspected a failed smart meter.

Below the response is not as direct but the implication is that there are no laboratory reports. Rather it sounds as if BC Hydro returns these problem meters directly to ITRON.

According to the news from the scene at the time, Hydro took the meter to its lab for further investigation. http://globalnews.ca/video/825052/smart-meter-sparks-fire/   In the attached response to my FOI request for the lab report associated with this specific fire that occurred on Aug. 14, 2013,  BC Hydro stated that it had asked no laboratory to conduct analysis or tests regarding the meters involved.

What happened with this specific smart meter?

Did BC Hydro ask for it to be examined? If it was inspected, where is the report for which I have been asking?

If the smart meter was not examined, why wasn’t it? Isn’t this part of the due diligence required by this public agency?

Sharon Noble

—————————

From: Smart Meters [mailto:SmartMeters@bchydro.com]
Sent: January 27, 2015 2:09 PM
To:dsnoble@shaw.ca

Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

 

Dear Ms. Noble,

BC Hydro acknowledges your December 18, 2014 regarding laboratories used by BC Hydro to investigate failed meters.

BC Hydro’s smart meters are currently under warranty. On the rare occasion that a meter fails, BC Hydro sends the meter back to the manufacturer, Itron, and they are replaced free-of-charge.  BC Hydro’s smart meters are under warranty for 66 months from the date they leave the Itron factory.

Fires in British Columbia are investigated by the appropriate authorities and BC Hydro fully cooperates with these investigations as required. To date, no fire in B.C. has been attributed to BC Hydro’s new meters.

In the event of a fire, if an electricity meter is not located near the area affected by the fire, BC Hydro may remove the meter for future use.  In the event that a fire occurs in proximity to an electricity meter, the area would be secured by the fire inspector and BC Hydro would cooperate with their investigation fully.

Sincerely,

Fay

==============================

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: 2014, December 18 10:05 PM
To: Reimer, Greg; Smart Meters; McDonald, Jessica
Cc: adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca; John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Holman.MLA, Gary’; ‘Shin.MLA, Jane Jae Kyung’; ‘Karagianis.MLA, Maurine’; Bill Bennett

Subject: RE: Laboratory used by BC Hydro to investigate failed meters

 

Dear Mr. Reimer, Ms. McDonald,

Since Nov. 4 I’ve been attempting to obtain the contact information for the laboratory that inspects failed ITRON smart meters that BC Hydro removes from homes. Certainly this is information that should be readily available to you, and to which I have the right.

If you do not have this information, would you please tell me who would?

Thank you,

Sharon Noble

———————-

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: December 9, 2014 12:56 PM
To:greg.reimer@bchydro.com‘; ‘Smart Meters’; ‘jessica.mcdonald@bchydro.com

Subject: Laboratory used by BC Hydro

 

Dear Mr. Reimer, Ms. McDonald,

In several instances smart meters have been removed from the scene of a fire prior to a fire inspector having been able to inspect it, often saying the meter is being taken to BC Hydro’s lab for inspection.

Could you please provide me with the contact information for this laboratory?

Thank you.

Sharon Noble

————————–

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: December 1, 2014 7:45 PM
To: ‘Smart Meters’

Subject: RE: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

 

Dear Fay,

Thank you for responding to my request. Could you please tell me then what laboratory does test smart meters? In several incidents BC Hydro has removed failed smart meters, telling inspectors that they were being sent to their laboratory to determine the reason for the failure.

All the best –

Sharon

=========================

From: Smart Meters [mailto:SmartMeters@bchydro.com]
Sent: December 1, 2014 10:22 AM
To:dsnoble@shaw.ca

Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

Dear Ms. Noble,

BC Hydro acknowledges your November 4, 2014 email regarding the Smart Metering Program.

Powertech is a wholly owned subsidiary of BC Hydro. It is a multidisciplinary testing, research and development facility that supports the power utility industry, equipment manufactures and other industries such as automotive.

Powertech has not had a role in testing or investigating anything related to smart meters other than their telecom performance.

Warm regards,

Fay

——————————-

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2014 9:26 PM
To: Dubois-Phillips, Mark

Subject: RE: Smart Meter Testing

 

Dear Mr. Dubois-Phillips,

Would you be kind enough to acknowledge my request and advise when I might receive a request?

Thank you.

Regards,

Sharon Noble

 ———————————–

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: November 4, 2014 9:05 PM
To:Mark.Dubois-Phillips@powertechlabs.com

Subject: RE: Smart Meter Testing

 

Dear Mr. Dubois-Phillips,

Thank you very much for responding to my inquiry.

I understand that Power Tech is a partner of and a subsidiary of BC Hydro. As such, I would like to request the following information with regard to the BC Hydro smart meter program.

1)  All internal investigative reports prepared since 2009 related to meters and to meter base installations.

2) Any report (documents, files, charts, etc) pertaining to the circumstances under with BC Hydro staff or their contractors/subsidiaries would remove an electrical meter from a fire scene prior to the investigation by the fire inspector or the homeowner’s insurance investigator.

3) Any report (documents, files, charts, etc) pertaining to any circumstances where the electrical meter or any part of the service installation was removed by BC Hydro staff or their contractors/subsidiaries from a fire scene prior to the investigation by the fire inspector or the homeowner’s insurance investigator, including the results of any investigations.

I would appreciate receiving confirmation that this information is available and will be provided at your earliest convenience.

Thank you very much.

Regards,

Sharon Noble

———————————-

From: Mark.Dubois-Phillips@powertechlabs.com [mailto:Mark.Dubois-Phillips@powertechlabs.com]
Sent: November 3, 2014 5:05 PM
To: dsnoble@shaw.ca

Subject: Smart Meter Testing

Hi

Just following up on your inquiry about smart meter testing. Feel free to call or email me to provide more details.

Thank you

Mark Dubois-Phillips
Director Smart Utility Services
Powertech Labs Inc
12388 88th Avenue
Surrey, B.C., Canada
V3W 7R7
Office:     604.590.7470
Mobile:    604.315.1552
Fax:         604.590.6656
Email:      mark.dubois-phillips@powertechlabs.com

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