1) Below, in Letters, is a summary of a Small Claims court case a member brought against BC Hydro. Hydro tried to charge him for power after they neglected to turn it off after his tenant left. They lied, giving him several reasons for not turning the power off and he called them on these lies and on their error. I hope more people will consider similar action. BC Hydro should not be allowed to extort, lie, and mis-use their power.
2) A member sent this terrific “liability notice” that was written in the UK for people in the UK and is on the Stop Smart Meter UK website. There are aspects of this that we cannot use, but there is a lot of good info that we can.
3) EcoJustice is tackling the pesticide industry on behalf of our pollinators, the bees. Perhaps soon they will tackle the wireless industry for additional protection.
4) As we all know, it is up to us to educate people about the dangers of Wi-Fi. Some of our members take this duty very seriously, making “business cards” with links and info that they hand out, even printing flyers that they hand out. A couple of members made a major document with info about the dangers of Wi-Fi in airplanes – dangers to customers, pilots, stewardesses, etc. – and handed out a front page with summary info in a recent flight to each flyer. The document has been put on one of our websites, and is available to any who would like to print it. There is some great info:
5) Lawsuits against Dupont for allowing exposure to chemical that was known to be a “likely” carcinogen are not that dissimilar to what likely will happen to telecom companies in years to come. Many companies have done their own research and have found evidence that microwave radiation from cell phones, for example, can cause serious health problems. This info has been stifled or ignored. Hopefully, people who have suffered serious problems, such as brain cancer, will succeed in their lawsuits. I believe it will be only when the companies and their directors are held financially and legally responsible that things will change.
6) 500,000 hoverboards have been recalled in the USA because they have lithium ion batteries which have caught fire.
ITRON $$meters have lithium metal batteries which also can catch fire when overheated or exposed to moisture, still these are on our homes. Lithium batteries are considered hazardous goods.
Cause for Concern
While most lithium batteries are safe, some have overheated and caught fire. Once ignited, they can cause any nearby batteries to overheat and catch fire. These fires are difficult to put out and produce toxic and irritating fumes.
When shipping lithium batteries, it is not always clear which mode of transport will be used. Your shipment may end up on an aircraft, and an aircraft’s fire suppression system may be unable to extinguish all types of lithium battery fires.
Counterfeit and no-brand lithium batteries are also of concern, because they may not have been safety tested. These lithium batteries may be poorly designed, have little protection, or contain manufacturing flaws.
Recent reports of incidents involving the failure of lithium batteries include:
- Computer batteries have heated up and caused fires on cargo and passenger aircraft.
- A charging lithium ion battery exploded on a mini-submarine designed to carry U.S. Navy SEALs to shore.
- A passenger’s camera batteries began smoking at the boarding gate.
- Two large battery packs in a checked baggage began smouldering. The bag burst into flames when an airline agent picked it up.
- During a flight, crew found a flashlight’s counterfeit lithium metal battery overheating and giving off a strong odour. The damaged battery burned the inside of the flashlight.
Sent: July 6, 2016
To: SmartMeters@bchydro.com; Complaints@bcuc.com; Jessica McDonald <email@example.com>
Cc: Sharon Noble; firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill Bennet <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: BC Hydro Meter Exchange
Attention BC Hydro,
I do not give BC Hydro consent to conduct a meter exchange in my residence until October, November or December 2016. My current meter is certified until the end of 2016. I have provided you with a window of 3 months in which to exchange my meter. The exchange MUST occur AFTER I have paid a qualified electrician to move my meter socket to the utility pole on the road. My analog meter is currently on my bedroom wall. I will NOT accept a meter exchange while the meter socket is in this location. This is for health, and fire safety reasons.
Your email states:
“We can’t delay meter exchanges because we have to coordinate work across the province. Work has to be completed when resources are available in your area. We’ve asked our authorized installer to call you in advance of their visit. We can’t guarantee this call, so please ensure that there’s free and clear access to the meter at all times. The meter exchange will likely take place before October.”
My reasons for requiring an appointment is well laid out in my previous communications. I do not consent to my meter being disconnected under load because of unnecessary risk to my person and property. I have also clearly communicated reasons why I require my personal electrician to be present during a meter exchange while BC Hydro may have deemed an electrician is not required but they also assume no risk, instead all risk falls on the property owner. Under BC Hydro Tariff Section 97, “Liability”, BC Hydro has no responsibility for any harm or injury done by its employees or agents, whether done through negligence or wilful misconduct.
Since the Tariff protects BC Hydro from responsibility and risk, my family and property is therefore left to assume all risk related to the changing of a meter and inspection of my meter socket. When fires were linked with meter exchange BC hydro made it clear that the meter base (socket) is the responsibility of the home owner, but I have no authority to remove a meter to inspect it, so the appointment would be the only way to allow my electrician to be present to inspect the meter socket along with BC Hydro. As stated, your installer is not an insured qualified electrician so I would be left with their ‘unqualified’ best guess on the status of my meter socket. Unlike analog meters, BC Hydro smart meters are made of combustible materials and have lithium batteries, Thinner blades, that unbelievably have no surge protectors. All of this leaves my home and family more vulnerable than with my current legacy meter. I’m sure BC Hydro will argue that there is no increased risk, but when smart meters have been implicated in fires elsewhere leading to mass removal, it remains my determination as to what risk my home and family is exposed to, especially when risk is very easily avoided.
In summary, I will not accept a meter change and inspection of my meter socket by a non-electrician and without my qualified electrician present. This is a personal safety issue and I therefore require an appointment to protect my family and home. This appointment must take place between October and December 2016.
Since I have given BC Hydro a reasonable 3 month window to exchange meters to a so called “radio off” meter I will not accept or pay any penalty for a “failed meter installation”.
I do not give consent for BC Hydro to attend my property until October 2016. Of course my meter can still be read as needed.
Please note that I will be measuring this “radio off” meter to see if there is any electromagnetic frequencies emitting from it.
Sharon: Just an update on this, I did win the case easily. Details are posted here
and my last post explains what happened (included). Thanks for your help on this file. If anyone has any questions, this member has agreed to allow me to provide his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just an update on this. Before I do that, I want to clarify something. My tenant did tell BC Hydro to turn off the power when they moved out (March 31, 2014); this was confirmed by BC Hydro in print, when I complained to them at the Better Business Bureau, and when I took them to Small Claims Court.
What BC Hydro did was keep the power on until September of 2014. As the owner when I wanted it connected in November 2014 for the winter and to do renovations. BC Hydro told me I owe them for the power use from March 31, 2014 till September 2014, even though they were told from my previous tenant to disconnect it. I had no choice but to pay it, if I wanted the power to be turned on.
First bill I received was $2,200, and then they dropped it to $864 due to an error they made by charging me a “right of way fee”
What I did was take them to small claims court to get this money refunded. The small claims trial was in downtown Vancouver, and is called a simplified trial. What happens in a case like this, is the plaintiff, and the defendant exchanges there documents on what they are basing their case on, 1 week before trial. These documents also go to the judge so he can review them. This is for all other parties to review it and see what evidence you have. If you do not forward these documents one week before trial, you lose your case.
BC Hydro did not file these documents, thus did not put forward a defence. However in going to court at 6 p.m. at night, BC Hydro had a Lawyer present, and a BC Hydro employee there. The judge did not have to go forward with the trial, but he did. This took close to an hour, and for almost all of this hour, the Judge berated the lawyer for not filing any documents, and/or defence. BC Hydro lawyer kept saying that it should go to BC Utilities commission for this case. The Judge would have nothing to do with that. I would have said no more than 50 words. It was that cut and dry, and BC Hydro lost.
BC Hydro felt that they could charge me this, as it is an investment property, and they are looking to raise money. My feelings on why they would take action like this are that they need the money. They have high public sector wages and benefits to provide, and they have a dam to build.
This is not a one off case. When I first talked to them they said I had to pay the Hydro cost because
• The City of Port Alberni mandates it, as the owner I have to.
• That my insurance company makes me do it.
• That they could not shut if off for safety reasons. Even though they shut it off by themselves 5 months later without telling anyone.
Those reasons they gave are all falsehoods. When I am dealing with a business and our Crown Corporation, and people are telling you falsehoods, while have nothing to do with them. However when you have a government monopoly, normal business rules do not matter.
It is all about the money, and they need the money.
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
“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