2016-03-03 Hydro “offering” online bills with a new account number. Beware.

  • From the people who succeeded in getting the “right to know” law passed in Berkeley, Calif. It was certain that the telecoms would fight this, but the explanation is nuts. The retailer will be harmed??

The ordinance will be implemented on March 21.  Stay tuned……..

Ellie Marks

CA Brain Tumor Association

 CTIA Urges 9th Circuit Court of Appeals To Halt Berkeley’s Cellphone Warning Law

Because the Federal Court refused to block implementation of Berkeley’s landmark cell phone “right to know” ordinance, the CTIA has asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the law from going into effect.

The CTIA claims that cell phone retailers would be harmed by delivering a message they don’t believe, and that the ordinance is likely to be eventually overturned by the courts.

According to the City Attorney’s office, the law will go into effect on March 21.

For more information: http://bit.ly/berkeleycellordinance

Also see:

Berkeley Cell Phone “Right to Know” Ordinance: Media Coverage

http://bit.ly/berkeleymedia

 

  • Intrusion into our privacy is one of the major concerns we have with $$meters and the $$mart grid. The smeters are capable of gathering data not needed for billing, and there is evidence in places where these things have been around for a while that this is happening. In the US the ACLU has addressed this issue as it pertains to cell phones in testimony yesterday. There should be similar concerns about smeters and our privacy.  We need to get the BCCLA involved.  The one I was contacting is Micheal Vonn (Ms. Vonn) micheal@bccla.org

https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2016-03-02-Guliani-Testimony-ACLU.pdf

http://stopsmartmeters.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/smart-meters-ACLU-hawaii.pdf

 

  • A member has received a letter from BC Hydro telling her she was going to start getting bills via email and that Hydro was assigning her a “new account number”. This member was well aware that one “rule” in the Meter Choice program is that anyone with a new billing account number would have to take a smeter, so she refused. She said she wished to keep her old account number and receive paper bills. Hydro did not respond.  A month later and she has not received her normal bill, and neither has she received an online bill. She paid the same amount as last month to ensure hydro couldn’t do something because she hadn’t paid. I suggested she look at bchydro.com and look at her account. All info is there, quite easy to follow. There is also the consumption history by month under “view usage”, and “consumption history” (look under “consumption data table.”  It seem Hydro is getting desperate – so please be aware of things like this happening.

 

  • Below is a letter from a member who has had her $$meter replaced due to “failure”, with no explanation. She lives in a rural area where her meter was manually read, when it was read at all. I suspect that this home received ITRON’s new 4G LTE meter that sends signals kilometers to the closest cell tower. She has a right to know this – but Hydro told her nothing. I suggested she demand a complete explanation as well as an accounting of the basis of her bills.

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Letters:

From a member to Bill Bennett, Energy Minister:

Dear Sir,

I did try to contact BC Hydro’s customer service, but there is no e-mail contact information, and I do not have the time to wait more than 30 minutes on the on the telephone just to have an employee tell me that they are unable to help me.

On February 29, 2016, with absolutely no advance warning or any other such common courtesy, a Corix employee appeared on my doorstep informing me that the “smart” meter installed on my home in August, 2015 had failed and needed to be replaced.  The analogue meter previously installed on my home had lasted 15 years with no problems, and yet this “smart” meter had lasted only a year and a half before requiring replacement.  I can probably safely assume that the meter installed on my home is not the only faulty one, and I wonder how much more over the originally projected budget this “smart’ meter program has cost BC Hydro customers and taxpayers?  What is the failure rate of the new “smart”

meters?

In addition to the meter replacement, the sub-contracted Corix employee was unable to tell me when the meter failed. I happen to live in a rural area where the meters must still be manually read, and according to my BC Hydro bills, I have received only estimated bills for the past few months.  The last actual meter reading, as far as I can tell from my past bills, was on July 31, 2015.  How can I be assured that my bills from BC Hydro are accurate and that I am not being over-billed?

As your ministry oversees BC Hydro, I am hoping you will be able to speak to my concerns regarding BC Hydro’s lack of customer service skills and functional technical equipment.

X

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Sharon

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”    Martin Luther King, Jr.