2016-10-25 BC Hydro disconnects without notice because the Tariff allows it.

1)    More people talking about the hacks of last week being the precursor to a major attack. Please write to your MPs, MLAs, the Privacy Commissioner, and the media. Someone needs to begin to take this seriously before the grid is brought down. This, more than anything, will drive people off the grid, and hopefully communities will consider developing micro-grids. This could provide some protection from attack. Contact info can be found on www.stopsmartmetersbc.com under “contact”.

ddos

The cyberattacks are the latest in a series of major distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks , whereby the target is flooded with web traffic to the point the website overloads and crashes. Several security experts believe the attacks are part of tests designed to probe for vulnerabilities ahead of a much larger attack.

“The attacks are slowly escalating, similar to the way America developed the atomic bomb,” cybersecurity veteran John McAfee, who created the eponymous antivrus computer software, tells Newsweek. “They will analyze this attack and come back later with a more serious attack.”

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/10/internet-attacks-are-precursor-to-cyber-atomic-bomb/

2)    In my update of Oct. 9, I shared the argument I presented to BCUC regarding several changes being made to the Tariff. All of these questions I had asked at least twice before and never had BC Hydro provided information that explained or justified the changes. BC Hydro has responded to one and one alone. It has agreed to amend the definition of the “radio off” meter so that it says the meter will neither send nor receive wireless signals.

bcuc  bc-hydro

I find the arrogance of BC Hydro unacceptable. How can they say they will have no liability for any damages, even committed through willful misconduct? How can BC Hydro say it is not held to the terms of the Tariff? How can they say they can disconnect power without notice or liability for any consequences? They are disconnecting without notice – just as I said they would now that the Tariff allows it.

I do believe it is now in your hands to speak to these horribly irresponsible changes. You can read my final argument at:

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/z/2016-10-09-sharon-nobles-final-argument-re-the-tariff-changes-being-made-by-bc-hydro/

Your emails should be addressed to: Ms. Laurel Ross <commission.secretary@bcuc.com> .  How can the Tariff be a service agreement that we must abide by but which requires no similar response of BC Hydro? An agreement is something reached by more than one party.  It’s not too late for you to help influence BCUC’s decision on granting these changes. Please bcc dsnoble@shaw.ca so that I can share your letters.

 

3)    A music video sent in by a member – lost in a world of technology.

In case you haven’t seen this yet. The new official music video for Moby’s new song “Are You Lost In the World Like Me” was released a few days ago. The entire 3:15 is important. If you look really carefully near the beginning, it even shows a lot of cell towers, Wi-Fi, and then even the satellites. It has been viewed over 1.6 million times on this official YouTube, on facebook 13 million.

You might want to watch it more than once. I see more detail each time I watch it. If you do watch it more than once, you might want to pause it once in a while to notice the deep complexity of all the points included in some of the drawings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VASywEuqFd8

https://www.facebook.com/mobymusic/videos/vb.6028461107/10154690698776108/

4)    Below in Letters is a detailed letter from the head of a major smeter resistance group in Quebec with some “clarifications” of the “Untruths” in the article about the pressure being put on those keeping analogs. Also, note that 100,000 smeters that were installed in 2012 need replacement. It’s been 4 years and they need to be “upgraded”…..  I have advised Jean that according to Electrical Engineers, the UL certification means nothing. It does not take into consideration some of the design flaws, most notably the remote disconnect switch which has been responsible for many fires. The UL standard 2735 does not test or even mention the remote disconnect switch. No meter has been certified by the CSA which, I’ve been told, is a stricter/higher standard than the UL. Until we get a CSA certification, or a certification signed by a professional Electrical Engineer licensed to work in BC, we have no assurance that these things are safe, and many Electrical Engineers believe this will never happen.

Letters:

cqlpe

Here is a translation of a detailed explanation I sent yesterday to another lady wondering about such fees…  and there is much more I cannot tell at this point for good strategic reasons.

“You may be referring to the following article …

COMPTEURS INTELLIGENTS : DE NOUVEAUX FRAIS OU UN DÉBRANCHEMENT, TRANCHE HYDRO:

hydro-quebec

Otherwise, know that the final decision in this matter will not be made before the middle of next summer. Public hearings are scheduled from May 1 to14, 2017 according to the schedule that was given to interveners last Thursday.

In fact, the monthly manual reading fee should drop to $2.75/month (in about 8 months when the final decision will be made) as Hydro [Hydro-Québec] now wants to do just one reading annually instead of 3 – which is perfect and logical as far as I’m concerned, especially if you pay a fixed amount per month, with an annual adjustment.

The costs related to the inaccessibility of a meter (new name) which is $85 – once! (Hydro wanted to put it at $115 but the Energy board has refused for the time being) has already been approved in a preliminary decision of the Board last July 19 (see details at http://www.cqlpe.ca/#LUTTE – all in French) and Hydro can therefore apply it when a customer refuses access to the meter and don’t want their opt-out option, but only after sending a written notice still giving him/her eight days to comply, this being preceded by several (unsuccessful for sure!) attempts to make him/her change his/her mind. If the meter certification (under Measurements Canada regulations) has expired (which concerns for now a very small number of electromechanical meters – about 2,000), Hydro could even cut the power to force the client’s hand but only outside the winter period where power cuts are prohibited by the Energy Board – between December 1 and March 31.

Note that even if Measurements Canada can theoretically punish with fines utilities using meters whose certification seal is expired, in fact, this has never happened and will not happen because this federal agency wishes to maintain good relations with these companies and they understand very well that this is not Hydro-Québec’s fault if they cannot withdraw these expired measurement devices that are still perfectly functional in 99.99% of the cases. Finally, Measurements Canada will not want to take the blame for actions that Hydro could undertake if such fines are actually imposed upon them by Measurement Canada and if Hydro then invokes this rude excuse to cut power to its customers who have become allergic to their methods which are deeply disrespectful of the rights and freedoms of their customers.

Furthermore, if the certification is still good, the customer will simply keep his/her electromechanical meter (after the notice giving him/her eight days to comply) and therefore he/she will pay $85 in fees related to counter inaccessibility (just once because if he/she later decides to opt for the non-communicating meter, that $85 will not be charged again) + the cost of monthly readings $5 (or $2.75/month later on).

You should know that it is complicated and expensive for Hydro to send an employee to cut off the power in the pole then send one again to restore power when the client has given up the fight. With smart meters, they can do it remotely and without any cost. Cutting power to 120,000 customers with an improper installation or to so-called “recalcitrants” (and proud of it!) is an expensive and nightmarishly complex logistical operation which could take a number of years to execute and would result in huge problems in terms of reputation for this company, not to mention the risks that their employees will face if they decide to embark on this risky adventure – because the reactions of some customers might be “difficult to manage”. They must expect cries, bawling and wailing, especially from the thousands of electrosensitive people in Quebec, as well as the resulting nervous breakdowns, nightmares and burnouts among their employees who will certainly not remain insensitive when faced with the abject misery that such an arm-twisting method would trigger, as savagely cutting power to a person who merely wants to protect his/her health – and his/her life in terms of fire risk – and those of his/her family is an inhuman behavior, worthy of a military dictatorship.

I still believe that common sense will prevail and that the culture of impunity and arrogance that has prevailed for years in Hydro is changing.

Also, be aware that Hydro has already recently ordered from Landis+Gyr (according to my information) 100,000 smart meters of a still newer generation (these are approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and are supposed to be a little better to resist the overheating problem occurring in millions of outdated meter sockets whose jaws have weakened with every change of meter) to soon begin to replace the first smart meters installed in 2012 – yes, already! – because the real life expectancy of these practically disposable-BEFORE-their-use and dangerously incendiary meters is at best 7 years and at worst 5 years only. I do not know if they will still entrust their installation to Capgemini’s apprentice electricians/wizards (who had received a mere 3-hour training rather than 3 weeks training as falsely claimed) or if they are going to give the job to their own employees. In short, they do not have the manpower needed to tackle head-on 120,000+ customers still having an electromechanical meter, and the staff they have to pay to manage this huge mess and try to force the hands of the irreducible Quebecers is costing them a fortune.

So let’s NOT give up our dignified resistance because we are perfectly right to insist, calmly, patiently in persuading our dear Hydroquébécois friends to see things as we do and to make them understand that flexibility and openness have a much better flavour and are much more profitable financially than rigidity and closed-mindedness.

Jean Hudon
CQLPE

PS I just saw that Maria confirmed already some of what I explained – except that her mention of a $1,000 fine for those whose meter certification has expired (a fine that would be paid every day by Hydro-Québec) while factual (it’s in Measurements Canada regulations) will never actually be charged to Hydro according to what a senior manager at Measurements Canada told me on the phone – mostly for the reasons I explained above in my translated reply. It is just such a ludicrous amount for a daily fine! Hydro admitted to having over 2,000 analog meters still on clients’ houses whose certification seal is expired. If there was any risk they would be fined $1,000 every day for these 2,000+ meters (that’s a $2 million fine per day overall!) you can bet those meters would have been long yanked from those meter bases and these clients’ power cut off… Just another smoke screen in Hydro’s arsenal of utterly fake threats… We have a much stronger hand than we realize because of the scope of the resistance we have co-created over the past several years in Quebec…

 

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
 
“A government” and BC Hydro “has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.”
~ Albert Camus