- Many BCHydro and FortisBC customers feel frustrated because of the lack of choice being given, mainly because electricity is an essential service and we have no choice as far as provider is concerned: monopolies are not democratic. Some have gone off grid in response, many are considering going off grid. More significant, I think, is that some communities are looking at this approach, the one that Dr. Timothy Schoechle has advised for years, local grids that would not suffer the consequences of a cyberattack or accident involving the large international grid. I think it’s time we started looking at ways to distance ourselves from these arrogant monopolies which are, in truth, in a death spiral of spending money on unnecessary projects that will never provide promised benefits.
BCHydro’s Affordability Program for Low-Income Customers:
The BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre is asking BCHydro to put an affordability program in place for their low-income customers. As part of the rate design proceeding, they plan to put forward evidence the increasing unaffordability of BCHydro rates for low-income residential ratepayers. If you have been disconnected by BC Hydro because you were unable to pay your bill, or you are low income and are falling behind on your BC Hydro bills, please contact BCPIAC at 604-687-3063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre
208-1090 West Pender St.,
Vancouver, BC V6E 2N7
Coast Salish Territory
- A debate in the UK about the cost benefits associated with smart meters, of which there are and have been none.
- From a smart meter resister in Arizona, all the 1.2 million smart meters are being replaced within the next year as “upgrades”. This information from that member:
“APS (Arizona Public Service) has hired subcontractors from a company headquartered in Virginia called Apex Covantage to replace all of APS’s Elster brand “smart” meters with Landis & Gyr ones. The explanation I was given for this so-called “upgrade” is that the 2G cellular system that the Elsters use will soon be obsolete.
APS informed me that they intend to change out the “smart” meters in their entire service territory by December of next year.
With roughly 1.2 million customers, this so-called “upgrade” will be quite a payday for APS.
The so-called “upgrade” is really an upgrade to APS’s rate base…..
As it turns out, APS’s Elster “smart” meters did not even last 15 years. The ones just replaced in Phoenix lasted 7 years. APS’s Elster “smart” meters installed in Sedona and the Verde Valley in 2014 will end up being replaced in 2016, a two year life. Be sure to thank the corrupt and incompetent ACC when your electric bill increases to pay for this foolish, colossal waste, waste that the ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission) was warned about repeatedly but, negligently, only encouraged.
The ridiculously short life of “smart” meters is not a fluke unique to APS’s Elsters. Testifying just last month before a joint hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and the U.S. House Subcommittee on Research and Technology, Bennett Gaines, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services and Chief Information Officer of FirstEnergy (the nation’s largest investor owned utility with 6 million customers) said this about “smart” meters: “These devices have a life of between 5 to 7 years.” (See him say it at 1:40:56 in the hearing’s video minutes, here: https://science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/subcommittee-energy-and-subcommittee-research-and-technology-hearing .) (recording starts at 00:49:00 – ends at 2:25:00)
By the way, Gaines is not a “smart” meter critic. His company uses “smart” meters (not the Elster brand), and his company got a federal “stimulus” grant for them.
APS’s new Landis & Gyr “smart” meters will be transmitting microwave radiation at roughly four times the strength of the Elsters, a 300% increase. So watch for more people getting sick, and watch for more interference with other wireless stuff. For example, our ceiling fans are already getting their speed and direction adjusted – thanks to our neighbor’s APS “smart” meter – from a distance of more than 30 yards away. I wonder what else we’ll have to look forward to when our neighbors get their “upgrade.”
By the way, using a Gigahertz Solutions HF35C microwave analyzer, I have measured the microwave radiation of our neighbor’s APS “smart” meter from inside our house. In our house it is three times the intensity of the microwave radiation that the huge cell towers one half mile away on Airport Mesa transmit into our house. So, utility claims of how weak “smart” meter microwave radiation is are just lies.”
This “churning” of smeters is inevitable. They are computers, and cheaply made ones at that. I’ve heard from many in the US that the failure rates of these things is very high, e.g. 20%. This is a fertile field for the industry. They keep installing and we keep paying. And it is likely the cost of this “upgrade” will be hidden in the rate increases, so that the public and rate payer (even perhaps the BCUC) will never know how much money this program is really costing us. Is this why I haven’t been able to get a financial report?
- In case you or someone you know might be interested, here is an audio of an interview I did on Saturday with Jim Goddard, largely about cybersecurity.
Newsletter prepared by Sharon Noble