2015-12-02 Fire report says Port Alberni fire was caused by smart meter

 

  • Attached is a report on a fire that occurred in Port Alberni on July 18/15. Please note the cause is mechanical/electrical distribution equipment and in comments, it says the smart meter was the cause. I have forwarded that information to the BCUC which is supposed to be reviewing other information I sent to them in July.  My entire list of emails to the BCUC on this topic is below in letters.

Report of smart meter fire in Port Alberni 2015 July 18

 

  • Below is a survey that the Saanich school district is circulating regarding wifi in schools.  I would ask that many of you will consider completing even if you do not live in Saanich. It is prefaced with wifi propaganda, much of which is not true.  The school boards believe, for some reason, that wifi offers things that wired internet access doesn’t. In fact wired access does everything that wifi does, and more efficiently and safely. The only thing wifi offers is the convenience of portability. But couldn’t plugging and unplugging the laptop afford that convenience??  Here is another one, too.  http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/np06/wifi-survey/ There is no reason to expose kids and teachers to this radiation all day every school day.
  • Josh del Sol was interviewed by a UK station. He provides some good info but know that his suggestions about letters of intent, etc. do not apply in British Columbia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAA5IGKsBv4

  • A reminder about the class action hearing in Vancouver starting Dec. 7. We will be meeting outside the court house at 800 Smythe St., at 9:30 am Monday morning and I would encourage everyone to carry a small sign like the one at the link below. No signs are allowed in the court house, so make it small enough to put in a bag.

http://www.citizensforsafetechnology.org/uploads/scribd/My%20Democratic%20Right%20Yellow%20CST.pdf

 

  • Carpool from Nanaimo area: Felix is offering to carpool with people from mid Vancouver Island. He has no email but his phone number is (250) 723-6401
  • From a member:

“Coincidentally, the subject of cyberattack was also discussed last night on Coast to Coast.

“Former anchor and managing editor of ABC News Nightline, Ted Koppel, reveals that a devastating cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

During the radio show, Ted expressed the same concerns about the digital grid and how vulnerable it is compared to the good old analogue system. He said “You can’t defend the internet 100%“, yet both government and industry haven’t taken the threat seriously enough to implement any real safeguards.

Ted also said he called Warren Buffet who put him in touch with his elite insurance specialist. While he acknowledged Ted’s estimate of $25 Billion in damages should a major cyberattack occur in the US, the specialist shrugged it off as a low probability and therefore a manageable risk.

Ted quoted a rep he spoke to from the NSA, “There are only 2 kinds of companies out there, those that were hacked and those that don’t know it yet

A Homeland Security head that Ted spoke to said, “The US is great at responding to disaster but not so great at preventing it

A cyberattack big enough to knock out the grid would be equivalent to an act of war” – Ted Koppel

Ted’s new book on the subject, worth checking out.   http://tedkoppellightsout.com/

 

  • Former Min. of Industry Canada under Stephen (shut the science up) Harper, James Moore has been named Chancellor of the Northern University of BC. This is a slap in the face of every honest, truth-seeking academic and the public should make their outrage known. Just shows how close the provincial liberals are to the federal conservations, IMHO.

“The biochemistry professor said Mr. Moore was part of a government that laid off thousands of federal scientists and blocked government researchers from speaking freely to the media.”

 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/faculty-members-decry-james-moores-appointment-as-bc-university-chancellor/article27545273/

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Letters:

My comments in red:  

Middle school staff in Saanich recognize that the use of technology supports student learning in a variety of important ways.  Consequently, we are advocating  increasing wifi access to 70% in all three Saanich middle schools for the following three reasons:

  1. Wifi allows students to have timely access to information that supports their inquiry and research projects. Wired access does this, but faster because cable (especially fiber optic cable) is much faster and carries more data.
  2.  Wifi increases the use of relevant technologies in the classroom that meet the goals of the new curriculum. Wired access does this, more safely. Why make it sound as if only wifi offers use of a computer and internet access?
  3. Wifi allows access to assistive technology that gives students more independence with their learning. No, internet access does this. Wifi isn’t needed.

* Please note that if we move forward with increasing wifi, we will commit to providing a wifi free environment for students who request it.  They aren’t providing wifi-free environments now in their schools. Would they really do this?

In order for you to make an informed decision, we are including two links with relevant research on the topic from both sides of the debate.

Here is the link to Health Canada:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/radiation/cons/wifi/faq-eng.php#a2  Not accurate, out of date.

Here is the link to information from Canadians for Safe Technology:

http://www.c4st.org/

We also ask you to familiarize yourself with School District 63 Policy 3130 which pertains to wifi use in schools.

Please click this link to the survey with three key questions for parents.  http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/np06/wifi-survey/

We would like to hear from all parents/guardians to ensure we have the support to move forward with the submission to the Superintendent of Schools.

_____________________________________________

From: X
Sent: December 1, 2015 11:07 PM
To: greg.reimer@bchydro.com
Cc: Anderson Keith <keith.anderson@bchydro.com>; Patrick.Wruck@bcuc.com; Complaints BCUC:EX <Complaints@bcuc.com>; bill.bennett.mla@leg.bc.ca; mike.farnworth.mla@leg.bc.ca; john.horgan.mla@leg.bc.ca; Dix.MLA, Adrian <adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca>; don.mcrae.mla@leg.bc.ca; andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca; info@greenparty.bc.ca; Dennis and Sharon Noble <dsnoble@shaw.ca>; citizensforsafetechnology <una@citizensforsafetechnology.org>
Subject: Re: Legacy fee

Today I have sent my cheque by Canada Post for $69.09 outstanding from my Oct. 26 hydro bill. This amount is for your so-called “legacy fee” plus $1.05 account charges. I am sending it to you before I receive any of your letters threatening to disconnect my power if I don’t pay up pronto. I am going away for a while and don’t want to come home to a cold house!

Be advised that though I continue to pay this fee, I do so with the strongest objection and only under threat of losing my power. I vehemently disagree with the legitimacy of this fee, despite what the BCUC has decreed. Their approval of the entire smart meter program only occurred because they were totally emasculated by the Liberal government’s Clean Energy Act. Had there not been political interference, our regulator would have been able to do its job properly, and I doubt that the smart meter program would have been given the carte blanche it now has.

I continue to refuse to have a smart meter (or a digital meter of any kind) mounted on my home. They are dangerous to living things, including human health. They are polluting (pulsed EMR and dirty electricity). They are a fire hazard. They are expensive. They are unreliable. They are insecure and easily hacked. They are an intrusion on privacy. They were introduced arbitrarily with no public input, and they have been forced on customers in belligerent and undemocratic ways. They offer no advantages to customers over the tried and proven analogue meter.

Of course they are valuable to BCH and the government for their ability to greatly increase corporate profits: they provide BCH with highly marketable voluminous data on customers’ personal lives, and they set the stage for time-of-use billing. Neither of these are of the slightest benefit to customers. And this is to say nothing of the enormously bloated profits they generate for their manufacturers, such as Itron – all at customers’ expense.

X

______________________________________________________________

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: December 2, 2015 1:23 PM
To:complaints@bcuc.com‘ <complaints@bcuc.com>; ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’ <Commission.Secretary@bcuc.com>
Subject: Smart meter fire

Dear Mr. Wruck,

Since I have not received any further response from you or your staff regarding the smart meter safety issue I assume you are continuing to investigate the information that I had sent to you. Please find attached another report on a smart meter fire that occurred in Port Alberni. This is yet another incident of an “electrical distribution equipment” fire, which specifies it was indeed the smart meter that was involved.

I have many fire reports that state that the fire was caused by “mechanical/electrical distribution failure”, and according to firemen, electricians, and even Len Garis (who states that smart meters do not cause fires) when such a failure is listed as the cause, it most often, if not always, means the meter is at fault.

I look forward to receiving the results of your investigation shortly.

Regards,

Sharon Noble
—————————

From: Complaints BCUC:EX [mailto:Complaints@bcuc.com]
Sent: September 1, 2015 10:44 AM
To: ‘Dennis and Sharon Noble’ <dsnoble@shaw.ca>
Subject: RE: BCUC;s responsibility re. safety — incidents

Dear Ms. Noble,

Thank you for your email. Commission staff are currently investigating this matter and we expect the investigation to conclude in the next few months (likely by the end of the year). Once more information becomes available I will provide you with an update.

Thank you,

Patrick Wruck
Customer Relations Analyst
British Columbia Utilities Commission
6th Floor, 900 Howe Street
Vancouver, B.C.  V6Z 2N3
Website: www.bcuc.com Email: complaints@bcuc.com
Phone: 604.660.4700 | Fax: 604.660.1102 | Toll Free: 1.800.663.1385

——————–

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2015 9:35 PM
To: Complaints BCUC:EX; Commission Secretary BCUC:EX
Subject: BCUC;s responsibility re. safety — incidents

Dear Mr. Wruck,

It has been more than a month since your last email regarding the incidents of smart meters that have overheated, melted, and burned. Could you please tell me what is happening and when the investigation will be complete?

I believe given the seriousness of this complaint, the evidence that fires have occurred, putting lives and property at risk, and the length of time review of the information is taking that the BCUC should call a halt to further installations of ITRON smart meters by both BC Hydro and Fortis BC. A fire during this drought could be even more disastrous.

Regards,

Sharon Noble

———————-

From: Complaints BCUC:EX [mailto:Complaints@bcuc.com]
Sent: July 24, 2015 10:38 AM
To: ‘Dennis and Sharon Noble’
Subject: RE: BCUC’s responsibility re. safety — incidents.

Dear Ms. Noble,

Thank you for your email to the BC Utilities Commission regarding “incidents of burned, melted, or failed meters”. Commission staff are currently reviewing your evidence and investigating this issue. Once our investigation is complete, we will provide you with an update. Thank you for your patience while we review this matter.

Regards,

Patrick Wruck
Customer Relations Analyst
British Columbia Utilities Commission
6th Floor, 900 Howe Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2N3
Website: www.bcuc.com
Phone: 604.660.4700 | Fax: 604.660.1102 | Toll Free: 1.800.663.1385

———————-

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: July 16, 2015 6:09 PM
To:complaints@bcuc.com‘ ; ‘commission.secretary@bcuc.com
Subject: BCUC’s responsibility re. safety — incidents.
Importance: High

Dear Mr. Wruck,

Thank you for your response of July 14, 2015.

I agree that Fortis acknowledged that fires had been associated with poor installation practice and determined to address this. I would note that no such discussion took place with regard to BC Hydro’s program. Damages did occur due to the fact that Corix installers were poorly/inadequately trained.

But during the Fortis application process there was no debate about the fact that the smart meters have design flaws and that they were being installed into a meter base that was designed, tested and certified to hold an analog — not a digital or smart meter. This area was neglected even though ITRON had experienced many failures in years prior to Fortis (or BC Hydro) having signed any contract. It would appear that either ITRON mislead those attempting to perform due diligence, or efforts to ensure the smart meters were safe fell short.

There have been quite a few incidents of burned, melted, or failed meters. Because BC Hydro often removes the meter (or what is left of it) from the scene of the fire before an investigation can be completed, evidence is difficult to obtain. Despite this I have obtained evidence and below are some examples. I believe these are sufficient to demonstrate that these meters are dangerous and to warrant the BCUC’s attention because lives are being put at risk.

1) Images 1 and 3 burned meter from #####, Burnaby, Jan. 2015

2) Image 2c and 3595 Triumph melted meter from #### Vancouver, BC Nov. 2014

3) Images 2781, 2777 and 2774 burned meter from #### W., Vancouver Oct. 2014

4) Photos 2 and 3 burned meter from ####., Revelstoke, May, 2014

5) FOI #2014-188 from BC Safety Authority regarding a fire in the meter base at 3466 Darwin, Coquitlam, Aug. 2012. BC Hydro paid for repairs.

6) http://www.cloverdalereporter.com/news/176510271.html No reports have been filed to BC Safety Authority even though electricians are required to do so about any such event. BC Hydro refuses to provide the trouble report about this incident even though I provided the owner’s name, address and date. They claimed that the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act allows them to refuse to divulge this information based on “third party privacy”. I spoke with the owner and he had been told it fault of the meter base which is his responsibility. BC Hydro did not include this on their annual “incident report”.

Mr. Wruck, will you please confirm that BCUC will complete a thorough investigation into the safety of these meters, both in British Columbia and elsewhere? If these meters are causing fires in Texas, Ontario and California, this is reason enough to determine that these meters are defective and should not be on homes in BC.

There are other design flaws in addition to the lack of compatibility of the meter base that cause these devices to pose serious fire hazards. If you would like information about these features, please let me know.

Regards,

Sharon Noble

——————–

From: Complaints BCUC:EX [mailto:Complaints@bcuc.com]
Sent: July 14, 2015 1:52 PM
To: ‘Dennis and Sharon Noble’
Subject: RE: BCUC’s responsibility re safety.

Dear Ms. Noble,

Thank you for your email to the BC Utilities Commission regarding your concerns about the safety of BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Program.

While the Commission has not had any involvement in the planning or implementation of the Smart Metering Program due to the Clean Energy Act, the Commission does have general supervision of all public utilities including safety. Accordingly, if we receive a complaint, with evidence about an actual safety incident, Commission staff or the Commission may investigate the incident. However, without evidence of an actual incident the Commission has no reason to undertake an investigation.

In your email you state that “the ITRON Openway meter has design flaws that can cause and has caused fires” and you provide a legal brief from Texas regarding this matter. However, you have not provided any evidence of an actual incident; therefore no investigation will be undertaken at this time.

Regarding your concern that the risk of fires was not considered during the FortisBC hearing, please note this issue was discussed and the Commission found “there is a low-risk of fires resulting from installation of the new meters” (please refer to pages 143-145 of the decision for more information about fire risks. The decision is available here: *_Decision).

Thank you for contacting the Commission.

Regards,

Patrick Wruck
Customer Relations Analyst
British Columbia Utilities Commission
6th Floor, 900 Howe Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2N3
Website: www.bcuc.com
Phone: 604.660.4700 | Fax: 604.660.1102 | Toll Free: 1.800.663.1385
————————-

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2015 11:33 PM
To: Wruck, Patrick BCUC:EX; Commission Secretary BCUC:EX
Subject: BCUC’s responsibility re safety.

Dear Mr. Wruck and Secretary Hamilton,

Attached is a form letter that has been sent to many people who have raised concerns about various aspects of BC Hydro’s and Fortis BC’s smart meter program. I would appreciate having some clarification please.

I am fully aware that the Clean Energy Act says that the BCUC cannot interfere with any aspect of BC Hydro’s smart meter program. Could you please tell me if that includes where the safety of the public is directly involved?

With reference to concerns about Fortis BC’s program, you, Mr. Wruck, have stated that BCUC has determined the meters to be safe. Never was the fire issue discussed or investigated during the application process. At the time, we didn’t realize that that there were many design flaws that caused the smart meters to pose a fire hazard.

According to the BC Utilities Commission Act, a major duty of the Commission is to safeguard the public’s safety and to ensure that service is provided in a safe manner.

General supervision of public utilities

23 (1) The commission has general supervision of all public utilities and may make orders about

(a) equipment,

(b) appliances,

(c) safety devices,

(d) extension of works or systems,

(e) filing of rate schedules,

(f) reporting, and

(g) other matters it considers necessary or advisable for

(i) the safety, convenience or service of the public, or

(ii) the proper carrying out of this Act or of a contract, charter or franchise involving use of public property or rights.

(2) Subject to this Act, the commission may make regulations requiring a public utility to conduct its operations in a way that does not unnecessarily interfere with, or cause unnecessary damage or inconvenience to, the public.

Public utility must provide service

38 A public utility must

(a) provide, and

(b) maintain its property and equipment in a condition to enable it to provide,

a service to the public that the commission considers is in all respects adequate, safe, efficient, just and reasonable.

Independent evidence is available that confirms that the ITRON Openway meter has design flaws that can cause and has caused fires. A legal brief from Texas is attached. Testimony in the brief states 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. I refer you specifically to the following statements and pages:

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 he meters used by CenterPoint Energy in Houston.” Pg. 25

#4 is particularly relevant because the meter bases on our homes were designed, tested and certified to be used only with an analog meter, and nothing else. Despite many requests, no certification by a professional electrical engineer licensed in BC has been made available. Such certification would confirm the meter bases to be compatible with the smart meters (or digital meters) and the meters themselves to be safe. We have been told by BC Hydro that there is no certification document, as is required by the BC Electrical Safety Standards Act.

Can you please confirm for me that the Clean Energy Act and Direction 4 preclude the BCUC from taking action even where lives and property of British Columbians are concerned because the equipment being used by BC Hydro is unsafe?

Can you please explain why the BCUC is not taking action with regard to Fortis BC’s smart meters?

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Sharon Noble

***************************

Newsletter prepared by Sharon Noble

“An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power, or money, or fame, but in fact driven slightly mad by some injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness – So much so that he or she is compelled by some moral engine to act to make it better.”- Eve Ensler