1) The Jessica Ernst battle is very much like our battle against mandated transmitters being put on our homes. We must continue to demand that our Charter Rights and Freedoms be respected.
2) In Victoria, the film festival will be showing a short film on Feb. 8, 8:45pm
David Bryant, Karl Lemieux • Canada • 14min
A deep dive into the world of those who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
3) Below is an excellent letter written to the Auditor General, and the AG’s response. Why is it that the AG of Ontario and elsewhere does an annual review of these programs, yet we have seen no review since the inception of the smeter program? Is it because the Liberals have cut budgets and staff so that reviews are not possible? If more of us write the AG, telling her about our own personal experiences, how some people are having to choose between heat and food, perhaps the smeter program will be reviewed NOW!! If she can’t schedule it, then someone needs to figure out where all of our money is going and how our program differs from Ontario’s.
4) The agenda behind the smeter program is greed and profit. Nowhere has there been any reduction in energy usage, as claimed by companies demanding the smeter program implementation. Now, according to this article, the US Dept. of Energy is promoting the smeter program as part of the Paris Agreement.
“I have now discovered that a website maintained by the U.S. Department of State, ShareAmerica, posted an article on January 27th that other countries need to install smart meters as their “first actions” to meet the goal set by the recent Paris agreement to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius”
Dear Ms. Bellringer,
I would like to request that you instigate a provincial audit of BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Program, paying special attention to the Meter Choices Program.
As you are no doubt aware, The Liberal government of Gordon Campbell exempted the very costly smart meter program from any oversight by the BC Utilities Commission, with the result that each smart meter in BC cost $550.00 – much more than in any other jurisdiction in North America, with no measurable benefits in return. This is not surprising, since in every other jurisdiction where smart meters have been made compulsory, costs to ratepayers have skyrocketed and much-touted benefits have failed to appear. See, for example the 2014 report of Ontario’s Auditor General in regard to that province’s smart meter program:
I am particularly concerned about the monthly fees BC Hydro is charging customers who wish to exercise their democratic right to keep their analog meters. This fee was set at $35.00 in December 2013 and, although marginally reduced to $32.40 in a review by the BCUC, remains the highest such fee in North America. The fee in many jurisdictions is in the single digits, and in some there is no fee at all.
The costs claimed by BC Hydro both for retaining an analog meter and for choosing a radio-off smart meter (fees for radio-off meters are not included in my figures) are blatantly overinflated, such as claiming it takes two hours and involves both a field technician and administration staff to enable or disable the communication function of a smart meter, when the operating manual clearly shows that it is simply a matter of flipping to the right screen, then clicking F1.
The best estimate I can find of the number of people still paying $32.40 monthly to retain their analog meters is 14,000. Multiply $32.40 x 14,000 and you find that BC Hydro is collecting more than $453,600.00 per month. In the 25 months since December 2013, this adds up to $11,340,000.00, not including a considerable sum collected in radio-off fees.
What has BC Hydro been doing with this money? They claim higher expenses for having to read analog meters manually, but residential meters are read only every two months, making the cost per reading $64.80. This in spite of the fact that meter reading costs have always been factored into the monthly rates. Meanwhile, approximately 50,000 smart meters are not transmitting as designed and are being read for free. (This is happening in most other jurisdictions as well, due to basic design flaws in the meters. See:
BC Hydro claims that part of the cost for retaining analog meters is for “extra equipment,” the nature of which has never been explained. More than eleven million dollars and counting for what kind of equipment, where? How much of it has already been installed, and what is it for? Where is the accounting for such an expense?
To put this outrageous amount into even greater perspective, BC Hydro also claims that no analog meters will exist after the end of 2018, since their Measurement Canada seals will all have “expired” by then (a claim never stated or substantiated by Measurement Canada) and there will be no more replacement analog meters. By the end of 2018, assuming all 14,000 ratepayers with analog meters continue to claim their right to keep them, BC Hydro will have collected (including the fees for radio-off meters) well in excess of $27,669,600.00 for the costs of manual reading of meters and extra equipment. But by then, according to BC Hydro’s own projections, there will be no more analog meters to read and no need for “extra equipment,” whatever that may have been. It will all be obsolete.
How can this be a prudent use of public funds? Or of any possible benefit to the taxpayers of BC, who are the owners of BC Hydro? I urge you to begin a thorough audit of BC Hydro’s Smart Meter Program and especially its Meter Choices Program at your earliest opportunity.
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Here is the reply:
January 29, 2016
Thank you for the information contained in your email of January 14, 2016, and your request that the Office of the Auditor General undertake an audit of BC Hydro’s Smart Meter Program.
In planning our work we welcome all suggestions from members of the public as to what we could be looking at, and we attempt to work those suggestions into our existing and future work plans. This has been the case with your submission, and I thank you for it.
BC Hydro does fall within the mandate of our Office – we have been overseeing their financial statement audit process and monitoring significant business risks for some time, as noted in our current Financial Statement Audit Coverage Plan. For example, we are currently starting to plan a performance audit regarding BC Hydro’s Site C Dam project, which you can read about in our current Performance Audit Coverage Plan. To stay up to date on these and other work in progress, please visit our website at www.bcauditor.com.
Thank you for taking the time to write to our Office. We do appreciate it when members of the public take the time to bring forward their ideas and concerns.