An alert for the Nakusp, New Denver/Silverton and Salmon Arm areas. One member was told by a contractor (who had no identification, just a sign “BC Hydro Contractor” on his truck) that he had a work order to take the analogs off 500+ homes. Please get your videos ready and ask for identification that clearly shows this contractor is qualified to remove your analog.
1) $$meter fires involving Landis+Gyr meters, these in Missouri. Some Electrical Engineers in the USA have compared L+G and ITRON, and have told me that L+G have some features that make it safer than ITRON. All of these meters meet the IEEE and ANSI guidelines, which are industry based and, as I’ve been told, are inadequate. Note that, like BC Hydro, the utility company blames the meter base, etc. How on earth is the homeowner supposed to “maintain” the meter base? It is locked to the meter and only the utility can access it.
One of our members is trying to find some agency that has authority over BC Hydro’s treatment of its customers but, so far, there seems to be no one out there to help us. I had suggested that Consumer Affairs (Federal) might be concerned about BC Hydro’s and ITRON’s false statements and outright lies that we’ve been told to support this dangerous, expensive and unnecessary program. Below is the member’s emails to the BC Consumer Protection Agency. He is hoping that others will join with him in expressing outrage. Anyone want to write to the Federal Consumer Affairs re. false statements in PR and marketing materials, etc?
3) A member discovered that the Vancouver Better Business Bureau gives BC Hydro an A+ rating and believes people should complain. If you look at the rating info, the BBB says there are 2 reviews and 62 complaints. Both reviews are negative so what do they base their A+ rating on? Nothing, apparently, and doubt that more complaints will change the rating. I have found through personal experience that the BBB works for the companies, and even very disreputable companies get good ratings with complaints basically ignored.
4) In Naperville, Illinois, where there have been many protests against the smeter program, the city is trying to ensure that usage data access is secure from cyberattack.
“The city is soon to commission a cyber security study to ensure data transmitted through a new online energy management system will be safe before launching the service to customers early next year, Mark Curran, electric utility director, said.”
5) At a recent EU meeting, the future of traditional utility companies was described as being a thing of the past. With increasing rates, poor service, combined with renewables like solar, will result in the death spiral of companies like BC Hydro.
“The consumer will have a choice of much closer integration or disconnection. This choice, with its clear menace, means the utilities now want to be more “consumer-centric”. The consumer will have a more powerful role in this new world. There seems to be little space for the traditional utility — and no place at all for business models built on fossil fuels.”
6) A member has offered this suggestion when dealing with “contractors” threatening or carrying out disconnection, harassment, etc. Within a smaller community, this could be a powerful strategy.
We should consider the boycott idea for contractors accepting BC Hydro money to take out meters. If these people realize they can’t just fall back on the “I’m just doing my job” excuse but will suffer for it, maybe BCH would have a tough time finding anyone who wants to accept those contracts. This would mean warning the contractors that you will tell others how you’ve been treated, telling them that you and others will boycott their businesses.
Sent: November 18, 2016
To: Sharon Noble
Subject: no protection – Consumer Protection BC
A couple of days ago, I spoke to Consumer Protection BC about the corruption and the lies by BC Hydro, to which I and thousands of others were witness to.
The man informed me that Consumer Protection BC does not protect consumers against utility companies!
Below is my email, requesting clarification.
Must be nice to get paid so much, for doing so little!
= = =
Two days ago, I spoke to a gentleman from your office regarding BC Hydro’s unethical behavior, which extends to willfully deceiving thousands of customers, even by senior staff members.
Add to this – threatening and intimidating behavior by BC Hydro staff and contractors, towards many of BC Hydro’s customers.
Add to this – ‘Al Capone Style’ extortion fees, cloaked as ‘Legacy Fees’.
Add to this – massive re-connection fees, which far exceed cost to BC Hydro, which are used as a deplorable tool of compliance, which many citizens simply cannot afford.
I told the gentleman from your office, that I, like thousands of other BC Hydro and Fortis customers, was boldly lied to on many occasions, even by senior staff.
To my disbelief, he informed me that Consumer Protection BC will “not protect consumers” against the uncontrolled, immoral behavior of utility companies in BC, regardless how severe the human rights violations against citizens of British Columbia are!
Please be so kind and reiterate his statement in writing, that Consumer Protection BC offers ‘NO PROTECTION’ for BC consumers against utility companies in BC.
If I, as a small business, was to behave in the same highly irresponsible and unethical manner as BC Hydro and Fortis are allowed to behave towards customers, I would find myself in jail on corruption charges.
I would appreciate clarification from your office.
= = =
Here is my short second email, to which they replied that they are not a government organization as they receive their funding from licensing fees. However, if I have any concerns, I can contact them.
It is so upsetting that they take no responsibility whatsoever, that I immediately hit the delete button!
To the Consumer Protection Agency:
So much for consumer protection, and the encouragement of a fair market place in BC!
Why do we pay for a ‘consumer protection agency’ that does not protect the consumer?
Their website banner states: “Encouragement of a Fair Market Place”
Feel free to share what I have sent to you. It would be good if several others can ask them: what exactly is the purpose of the Consumer Protection Agency, when utilities are allowed to lie and cheat, leaving the consumer without any protection whatsoever!
A couple of complaints they will brush aside, but when there are more, it might become a problem for them.