2015-12-18 BCUC needs to provide BC Hydro’s justification re. $700 fee

1) The list of countries going the $$mart grid route continues to grow. Why all at the same time? Can’t be a coincidence of this magnitude.
Atrias Selects Accenture to Centralize Belgium’s Energy Market Data in the Cloud – Financial – December 16, 2015:
http://finchannel.com/index.php/technology/item/53258-atrias-selects-accenture-to-centralize-belgium-s-energy-market-data-in-the-cloud

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if Ireland will opt into the mandatory smart metering system. [44815/15] by Michael Colreavy (Sligo-North Leitrim, Sinn Fein) – Written answers by Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Energy Conservation – KildareStreet.com – December 15, 2015:

https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2015-12-15a.41

 

Siemens implements grid application platform EnergyIP for the first time in Japan – Siemens – December 17, 2015:

http://www.siemens.com/press/en/pressrelease/?press=/en/pressrelease/2015/energymanagement/pr2015120115emen.htm&content[]=EM

Smart water meters to detect tampering attempts by Hana Namrouqa – The Jordan Times – December 17, 2015:
http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/smart-water-meters-detect-tampering-attempts

“2) With many service providers looking for new ways to fit wearable technology with their M2M offerings in order to route the masses of data being collected, IoT service providers may receive service revenues of up to $231 billion by the end of 2020, suggesting a CAGR of 40% between 2015 and 2020.
With consumer voice and data service revenues reaching a saturation point, mobile operators are looking for new avenues to increase revenue growth, and providing connectivity for M2M (Machine to Machine) devices could be the next big opportunity.”

 

http://cloudtweaks.com/2015/12/m2m-iot-wearable-technology/
3) Kamloops is increasing its property taxes saying that conservation of water is the driving force. Might it be that the “$$mart water meters” are the real cause, driving rates to pay for them?
http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/foulds-wallets-tapped-for-being-too-good-at-conserving-water/
4) People in Memphis, Tennessee have benefited from all the smeter controversy elsewhere. They are demanding their rights up front.
http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/30759589/city-council-to-review-mlgw-smart-meter-resolution
5) On July 18, I sent fire reports and photos of burned, melted meters to BCUC asking for them to do their job which is to ensure that utilities provide safe service to the citizens of BC. On Sept. 1, I was told the “staff” was reviewing the information and I would receive their response in a few months, likely by the end of the year!  On Dec. 1, I sent the fire report on the Port Alberni fire and now I have sent the UL admission. (email below)  I’m sure this will mean a further delay in obtaining a response. Perhaps if some of you wrote with your concerns it might indicate that this issue is important to the people of BC.

BCUC does not seem able or willing to provide BC Hydro’s justification for a $700 reconnection for those with legacy meters who refuse access or meter exchange, resulting in loss of power. I asked and was given a link to nothing, and a member asked also – the response he received is also meaningless. (It’s below in Letters)  I suggest everyone write and ask for an explanation for this outrageous fee that is 23 times higher than the fee charged to another customer. Is there more work? I doubt it. Is there some special effort that is unusual or onerous? If so, what is it? We have a right to know, and BCUC has the duty to ensure all customers are treated equally, fairly, and without discrimination.  I hope others will write to the BCUC and express concern/outrage about this proposed fee on the basis that it is punitive, unfair and highly discriminatory.  At some point, BC Hydro could turn any of our power off for refusing to accept a $$meter.

With regard to Corix/BC Hydro men coming to a member’s home holding a pole and saying they were testing the accuracy of the analog, a retired BC Hydro person said this:
“….the process that the two hydro technicians were using is one often used to check for a power diversion….the box at the end of a stick is a clip on amp meter..it measures amperage at the weather head, while they check consumption readings at the meter”.

 

Obviously BC Hydro/Corix are doing other things as well because only one person so far has mentioned the “pole” yet many homes have been “visited”.   Snooping, I suspect, to see who has protected their legacy meters, perhaps?

Attached is more information about the Google Loon project which is to begin with pilots on January 1, 2016.  Also attached is a formal objection filed to the FCC asking for denial of this horrible project.

We are writing in opposition to the request by Google, Inc. for an experimental permit to blanket 88.6 – 99.6% of the land area of the continental U.S. with radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Due to the documented harmful effects of RF radiation exposure on human health and the environment, along with the fact this project violates the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, several sections of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and International Human Rights Law in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approval of this  permit should be denied.”

Google filing for 1-1-2016 – redaction permission application-1

 GUARDS Google FCC Informal Objection0747-EX-PL-12-16-2015Final-1

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Letters:

From: Sharon Noble
Sent: December 18, 2015
To: ‘Complaints BCUC:EX’ <Complaints@bcuc.com>
Cc: ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’ <Commission.Secretary@bcuc.com>
Subject: RE: Smart meter fire

Dear Mr. Wruck,

I now have more information for you and your staff to consider regarding smart meters as fire hazards.

Underwriters Laboratory, an agency that certifies electronics as I am sure you know, now acknowledges that smart meters have design flaws that raise serious concerns about their being fire hazards. As well, UL states that utilities and manufacturers know about this.

… design flaws in smart meter units have been known to cause serious fire hazards and spotty performance. This has caused a lot of concern for utilities and manufacturers of smart meters.”

 http://www.metlabs.com/blog/meters/new-ul-2735-electric-utility-meter-standard-ensures-safety-and-performance/  

It is doubtful that the “voluntary” certification will address all of the fire-causing features of these devices which are mandated by the BC Liberals for every home and business. For example, legal testimony in Texas stated that the smart meters do not fit properly into the meter base, a base that was certified to hold an analog and nothing else. The smart meters’ blades leave a gap which causes arcing and fires.

“Childers explained 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. (JD slip op. at 12, LL 36-38; Tr. 265, LL. 3-6).  Childers told Reed that the loose connection caused heat, which, in turn, caused an electrical arc, which resulted in “two pallets of burned up meters” in CenterPoint’s meter shop. (Tr. 265, LL. 13-22).”
(http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Reed_Answering_Brief-1.pdf  pg. 8)   

The meters used by Houston’s CenterPoint Utility are the very same model, ITRON Openway,  used by BC Hydro and FortisBC.

(https://www.itron.com/na/newsAndEvents/Pages/CenterPoint-Energy-Completes-Itron-Smart-Meter-Roll-Out.aspx

I am not suggesting or asking that BC Hydro submit the ITRON meters to UL for certification because that would not prove anything, or ease my concerns. After several fires and failures of Sensus meters, Saskatchewan authorities submitted their meters to UL and they were certified to be safe. This seems very odd given the fact the meters were being recalled because they had proven to be unsafe.  It would appear that UL is applying standards that are not adequate or applicable to smart meters. This in no way invalidates their contention that smart meters pose fire hazards.

Rather, I am submitting this information to BCUC as yet another piece of evidence to support my contention that these meters are defective and should be recalled.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Happy holidays.

Sincerely,

Sharon Noble

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A member’s response to a request for an explanation of the $700 reconnection charge for those who have analogs and are disconnected.

Complaints BCUC:EX <Complaints@bcuc.com>

Dear Mr. X

Thank you for your email to the BC Utilities Commission regarding your concerns about BC Hydro’s $700 meter reconnection charge. Please note this charge has only been approved on an interim basis. “Interim basis” means that the charges are still subject to a public hearing review and if the final approved charges are different from the interim charges, the difference will be reflected in rates.

Furthermore, this charge is only for situations where the customer refuses access to the meter. If access is provided, the reconnection fee of $30 is charged (also only approved on an interim basis).

If you have concerns about these charges you may wish to participate in the BC Hydro Rate Design Proceeding which is ongoing. More information about the process is available on our website at: http://www.bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?ApplicationId=511.

In order to participate you may wish to submit a letter of comment. Letters of comment must contain the commenter’s name, contact information and a statement of their position on the application. Letters of comment form part of the public record for the proceeding and are posted on the Commission’s website. Prior to posting your submission to the website, your contact information will be removed unless requested otherwise. A copy will be provided to the Commission Panel and all participants will be notified of your submission. To submit a letter of comment, please provide your letter to the Commission Secretary:commission.secretary@bcuc.com.

I trust this information helps to clarify your concerns. Thank you again for contacting the Commission.

Regards,
Patrick Wruck
Customer Relations Analyst
British Columbia Utilities Commission
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Newsletter prepared by Sharon Noble

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”  Thomas Jefferson.