2015-12-03 The financial report, at last

 

  • I received the Smart Meter financial report finally (after first asking for this in June) for the period April-July. It is attached. My response with questions and comments is below in “letters”.  I am not an accountant. If anyone receiving this is, I would appreciate receiving your comments on the report.  I forwarded this to the Auditor General, asking for an audit, and to John Horgan. (copies below). Hopefully you will write to these people, including your MLA, asking for a review of this situation.

08-14-2015_BCH Smart Meter Infrastructure_F16_Q1_RPT_21_FF

  • Ronald Powell, PhD in Maryland has written many excellent papers re RFR. He has graciously put all of them on a website for everyone to use and share, on the condition that they are used without modification.

“The index to all of those documents is here

http://www.scribd.com/doc/291507610 and will be maintained current from now on.

You may make any use of these documents that you wish, such as linking to them, or posting copies of them on other web sites.  I ask only that they not be modified, as I endeavor to make all of them as accurate and supportable as I can.

I occasionally update documents; so if you link to them on Scribd, then you will always be linking to the latest versions.  I also expect to add new documents as they are completed.”

 

  • Dr Devra Davis have a lecture in Sidney, Australia last week entitled “The truth about mobile phone and wireless radiation: what we know, what we need to find out, and what you can do now”. It is excellent and a well worth the hour it takes to watch it.

http://www.eng.unimelb.edu.au/engage/events/lectures/davis-2015

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Letters:

 

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: December 2, 2015 5:28 PM
To: ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’ <Commission.Secretary@bcuc.com>
Cc:bchydroregulatorygroup@bchydro.com‘ <bchydroregulatorygroup@bchydro.com>
Subject: Smart Meter Infrastructure Program Report 21

Dear Ms. Hamilton,

Thank you for sending me a copy of the quarterly report, April-June 2015 for the smart meter program.  I have questions which I expect that you or Mr. Loski can answer.

  • Page 2 the following statement was made:

“In F2015 SMI Program activities focused on completing the network optimization and the installation of telecommunications infrastructure, migrating the meters and the network to a more advanced networking protocol (IPv6)…”

Can you please explain what “migrating the meters and the network to a more advanced networking protocol (IPv6)” means?

  • Page 5 Table 2 “Activity: Advanced Telecom: WiMAX”. Can you please explain what this is?
  • Page 15, the following statement was made:

“In F2015 there was an unfavourable variance of $1.6 million due to a higher number of smart meters requiring manual meter reading services compared to plan. The cumulative unfavourable variance through F2015 is $6.6 million. Meter reading savings in F2015 were the same as plan at $20.4 million.”

  • How many smart meters require manual meter reading services?
  • Why do these require manual meter reading services?
  • How long will these smart meters require manual reading?
  • Page 16, the following statement was made:

“Since grow-ops are an illegal activity, it is difficult to estimate the amount of electricity consumed by this segment with the same degree of accuracy as for traditional residential and commercial uses. The revenue from individual grow-ops is not tracked due to security and privacy concerns.”

Given this statement, how were estimates made in the initial business case to project benefits that would be realized?

I could find no reference to the following. Could you please provide?

  • Payments for damages to insurance companies and customers due to fires, failed meters or poor installations, both in quarter and to date. Are these included in general operating expenses?
  • A contingency fund for future payments to insurers or customers.
  • Legal costs associated with claims and/or payments to insurers and customers. Are these included in general operating expenses?
  • Cybersecurity costs. Are there plans for increased security measures as recommended by various agencies such as CSIS and the US CIA?
  • Contingency costs for meter lifespan that is shorter than the 20 year amortization period used in the initial business case. Experts within the industry advised and now confirm that a 5-7 year span is more realistic. Meters are being replaced by many US utility companies at the 5-7 year point. How is this probable future cost accounted for?
  • How much money has been gathered from “legacy fees”?  Where is this included in this financial report?
  • How much money has been spent for additional services required due to the “meter choice” program? What are those additional services?

Can you please tell me when the next report for the period July-Sept will be available?

I appreciate your help and look forward to receiving your comments and responses to my questions.

Sincerely,

Sharon Noble

———————

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: December 2, 2015 10:06 PM
To: ‘bcauditor’ <bcauditor@bcauditor.com>
Subject: Smart Meter Infrastructure Program Report 21

Dear Ms. Bellringer,

After waiting for nearly 6 months, I finally received the financial report on the BC Hydro Smart Meter Program for the period April-June, 2015.

I sent the request for information to BCUC Commission Secretary (below), but I am sending this report to your office because I am not an accountant and I believe this report is weak and misleading – deserving of your attention.

Like the report on the smart meter program in Ontario, I believe you will find that the program has been mismanaged and oversold from the beginning. Cost estimates have been understated and benefits/savings overstated. http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/en14/311en14.pdf

I realize you have many audits on your list, but I will ask that you consider this a priority. The people of BC deserve to know the real cost of this program and to know that the costs are never ending. With lifespans in the range of 5-7 years (as the industry admits in US Congressional Testimony: Mr. Bennett Gaines,

Senior VP and CIO of First Energy Service Company

http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/10/29/smart-meters-have-life-of-5-to-7-years/ ) the first batch of meters will need replacing within the next 1-3 years. Inevitably we will be paying for at least 2-3 at a time. In their initial business case, Hydro amortized the costs over 20 years which was the lifespan they projected and I see nothing in this quarterly report to indicate that this shortfall has been taken into account.

Respectfully,

Sharon Noble

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From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: December 2, 2015 9:51 PM
To:John.Horgan.MLA@leg.bc.ca‘ <John.Horgan.MLA@leg.bc.ca>
Cc:adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca‘ <adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca>
Subject: Smart Meter Infrastructure Program Report 21

Dear John,

I hope you will receive this personally, and that you will review the attached quarterly report which I received after asking for several months. I have identified many areas that have not been addressed and I’m sure an accountant could find many more.

Over the last few months many communities in the US have begun to have to replace smart meters after only 5-7 years because the meters had “outlived their usefulness.” Industry people have acknowledged that these devices are merely computers and, like all computers, they need constant maintenance and upgrading and have very short lifespans.

Please take a minute and listen to the Congressional testimony of Mr. Bennett Gaines, Senior VP and CIO of First Energy Service Company who confirms this short period of “usefulness”.

http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/10/29/smart-meters-have-life-of-5-to-7-years/

The people of BC and the BCUC have been duped into buying something that is defective and so expensive that it will be never-ending. We cannot afford this.

Earlier I sent you a Fire Commission report on another smart meter fire. There is ample evidence to demand that ITRON remove these defective devices and give us our money back. Replace these computers with a safe, dependable, and inexpensive analog meter that will last for decades. I ask you, John, to consider the alternative. I repeat, we cannot afford this.

Sincerely,

Sharon Noble

Cc. NDP MLAs

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Newsletter prepared by Sharon Noble

Power of the People is stronger than the people in power.