2016-12-07 Digital meter installed on Salt Spring, and BC Hydro cuts power despite cold weather.

1)    A member on Salt Spring Island was given a legacy digital meter, a brand new one “straight out of the box”, according to an installer.  There is no way for us to know how many more BC Hydro has – after all, they have been saying for many months that they had none. One more lie that we need to bring the attention of BCUC.

bc-hydro-digital-meter

Is there anyone who would have the time to go through all the many letters, pamphlets, webpages, reports about smeters in which BC Hydro has tried to sell us on smeters to catalog the lies that they have told everyone, including the BCUC?  There are many of us who have kept files and folders – and we could share them.

2)    Below is a letter written by a member to the Regional District Board in the area where he lives. I think he makes a very important point about microcells. These are replacing cell towers which makes the proliferation of cellular signals easier for companies. They don’t have any of the restrictions or requirements that many of us fought so hard to get, e.g. Antenna Siting Consultation Policies, because these cell transmitters are being put on existing structures. We need to regain control over what is being put up outside our homes.

I suggest we need to bring these issues to our local Councils and then to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. A couple of years ago, the FCM negotiated what was believed was a major concession – to notify regardless of the height of new towers – but I suspect the CTIA (the telecom industry) agreed to this knowing there would be far fewer new towers in the future.

3)    Telus continues to install microcells throughout BC without providing information to those living within feet of the transmitters. In Langford, residents are not taking this lightly. The microcells are being put on poles approximately 100-200 meters apart, often right outside bedroom windows. In this article, published in today’s Goldstream Gazette, Telus tells everyone these transmitters are safe. I hope that many of you will express your concerns and help educate people about the hazards and health issues associated with RF emissions, and the lack of oversight by either Health Canada or Industry Canada.

goldstream-news-gazette-dec-07-2016

Letters can be written to:

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

or to the author:  katie@goldstreamgazette.com

http://www.goldstreamgazette.com/eeditions/?iid=i20161207034242841

4)    Families continue to have power cut, even in this cold weather, if they refuse to accept a smeter. There was a commitment by BC Hydro to not cut power when the temps were low, as a “trial”, I believe. So much for compassion or commitment by Hydro. People could die – but BC Hydro says in the Tariff that they are not liable for any injury or damages even if caused by negligence or willful misconduct. I believe disconnecting power during winter weather is unconscionable and, perhaps, criminal.

bc-hydro

The utility will also begin taking a customer’s health into consideration before it disconnects their power, it says. “BC Hydro is implementing changes that will allow a customer to delay a disconnection where they are able to demonstrate a medical reason for requiring power.”

It is also starting a pilot project that would prevent disconnections during the winter in some areas and is planning to establish a low-income advisory group, it says.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/10/07/Plea-to-Make-Hydro-More-Affordable/

Hydro cut over meter battle by Sean McIntyre – Gulf Islands Driftwood – December 07, 2016:
–  hydro-cut-over-meter-battle-by-sean-mcintyre-gi-driftwood-dec-07-2016

5)    Vets are noticing that exposure to wireless devices, especially a cordless DECT phone, can cause serious, debilitating problems for animals.

electrosmog-makes-animals-sick

Animals don’t know anything about electromagnetic pollution. It just makes them sick. The effects of cellular and wireless phones on the health of dogs, cats, horses and cows.”

https://www.facts-are-facts.com/article/antenna-towers-make-it-a-dogs-life#.WEdFVQCopa0.facebook

Letters:

rdos

From:  X
Sent: December 2, 2016
To: bnewell@rdos.bc.ca; cmalden@rdos.bc.ca
Cc: tsiddon@shaw.ca; Mark Pendergraft <mpendergraft@rdos.bc.ca>; smckortoff@osoyoos.ca
Subject: Fwd: Update 2016-12-01 Hacking and cyberattacks on the increase

Dear Mr. Newell and Ms. Malden,

This is the 4th e-mail that I promised to forward to you about the “gag order”.  Point (1) describes the situation: “microcells” is all that 5G Technology is about.  “Cell towers” are indeed “old hat”, and the RDOS “location policy” that was promised (I do not know if it was ever finalized) is a dinosaur.

The letters at the bottom show the objections that are already raised to the BC Safety Authority and Industry Canada about this dangerous future that Telus is “dumping” on all of us.  (refer to the Letters in the 2016-12-01 update)

Now I understand why the PR consultant for Rogers wrote me an e-mail in the spring of 2015 – stating that they had abandoned the proposed cell phone tower just north of 92nd Avenue, Osoyoos.  They knew about 5G Technology and how they would zap all of us without having ANY proper process.  I kid you not.

Please rescind the RDOS Board’s decision to meet with Telus in “closed meetings”.  We are all being harmed.

X

_________________________________________________________________________

bcuc

(Please read from the bottom up.)
 

From: Sharon Noble
Sent: December 6, 2016 11:04 AM
To: ‘Complaints BCUC:EX’ <Complaints@bcuc.com>
Cc: ‘Laurel Ross’ <commission.secretary@bcuc.com>; patrick.wruck@bcuc.com

Subject: RE: Discrimination by BC Hydro

 
Hello, Mr. Ho,
 
I understand fully the implications of and the instructions in Direction 4. The point of my letter is that I believe that the BCUC was given information relevant to the costs pertaining to the Meter Choices Program based on assumptions at the time, and that BC Hydro’s assumptions were not borne out.
 
At the time, BC Hydro told BCUC that the additional costs assumed that all smart meters would be fully functional and that additional services would be required for those who had opted ou
This was not the situation and still is not the situation. Therefore, I ask that the BCUC review the current Program as required by Direction 4 to determine what the additional costs actually are and what they have been for the last 3 years.
 
As a member of the Meter Choices Program I believe I and all others who are paying the legacy fee have the right to know what additional services are being provided to us that is not being provided to the many people who are having their smart meter manually read. In many cases these are neighbours, living side by side, where one has a legacy meter and the other has a manually-read smart meter. What is different between the two as far as services are concerned?
 
If there are no additional services, then I assert that the fees we are being charged are discriminatory and punitive. Even with Direction 4, it is BCUC’s responsibility to ensure that BC Hydro’s customers are being treated fairly and equitably.
 
I would ask for answers to these questions and not just a repeat that BCUC has to follow Direction 4.
 
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to a meaningful response.
 
Regards,
Sharon Noble
 
= = =
 

From: Complaints BCUC:EX [mailto:Complaints@bcuc.com]
Sent: December 6, 2016 9:26 AM
To: Sharon Noble
Subject: RE: Discrimination by BC Hydro

 
Good morning,
 
Our Commission Secretary forwarded your email to me. Thank you for your email in which you express concern because you believe that the rate is discriminatory.
 
As you know the Commission’s review of BC Hydro’s application for the charges related to the Meter Choices Program was limited by Order in Council No. 391, Direction No. 4 from the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Direction No. 4 required the Commission to set rates that allow BC Hydro to recover, among other things, program costs, investigation costs, and infrastructure costs. This Direction is available at: http://www.bcuc.com/Documents/SpecialDirections/2013/OIC-391-SD4-BCHSMI-Options.pdf.
 
The Commission Panel issued its Decision and Reasons regarding the BC Hydro Application for Approval of Charges Related to the Meter Choices Program on April 25, 2014. The Commission’s Decision, particularly in s.3.6.5, addressed concerns regarding differences in the allocation of costs between Program customers and non-Program customers that require meter readings. For more information, you can review the Commission’s Decision on our website at: http://www.bcuc.com/Documents/Decisions/2014/DOC_41269_04-25-2014_BCH%20Meter%20Choices_Decision_G-59-14_WEB.pdf.
 
As the Commission has reviewed and approved the charges related to the Meter Choices Program in accordance with Direction No. 4 and the Utilities Commission Act, we will not be investigating your complaint. Thank you for contacting the Commission.
 
Regards,
 
Canon
Canon Ho, B.Com., J.D.
Customer Relations Analyst
British Columbia Utilities Commission
6th Floor, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2N3
Phone: 604.660.4700 | Fax: 604.660.1102 | Toll Free: 1.800.663.1385
= = =
 

From: Sharon Noble
Sent: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 8:44 AM
To: ‘Laurel Ross’ <commission.secretary@bcuc.com>; ‘Complaints BCUC:EX’ <Complaints@bcuc.com>

Subject: RE: Discrimination by BC Hydro
 
Dear Ms. Ross,
 
It has been 3 weeks since I wrote what I consider to be an email of significance for the BCUC, and I have yet to receive an acknowledgement. Could you please tell me when I might receive a response in kind?
 
Thank you.
 
Regards,
Sharon Noble
 
= = =
 

From: Sharon Noble
Sent: November 16, 2016
To: ‘Laurel Ross’ <commission.secretary@bcuc.com>; ‘Complaints BCUC:EX’ <Complaints@bcuc.com>
Cc: oppositionleader@leg.bc.ca; adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca
Subject: Discrimination by BC Hydro

 
Subject: Discrimination by BC Hydro
 
Dear Ms. Ross,
 
I believe that thousands of British Columbians have been and continue to be discriminated against by BC Hydro.
 
The Smart Meter Program has been fought by many of us, and starting in December, 2013, we were allowed to keep our “legacy” meters (those in use prior to the smart meter) if we paid $32.40 a month. This fee was granted by the BC Utilities Commission after BC Hydro claimed that many services would have to be provided to those us who “opted out” that were not being provided to those with smart meters. This included the manual meter reading by meter readers.
 
A year or longer ago, through a Freedom of Information Act, I learned that approximately 50,000 smart meters were being read manually, and when I asked for the reason, BC Hydro said that most were in rural areas where the grid was not operational. These people are not being charged. When I asked why those living in the same area who had kept their legacy meters were being charged for the same service, I was told it was because they had not accepted the smart meter.
 
Recently, I learned that smart meters in settled areas of Victoria and Kelowna are being read manually 5 years after they were installed, while neighbours living right next door are paying $32.40 for the very same service. It must be emphasized that there are no special services being provided to those of us with legacy fees that are not being provided to these people with manually-read smart meters. We are just being punished.
 
Is this not discrimination?
 
In December 2013 when the “Meter Choices” Program that allowed the opt out was introduced, 250,000 homes were refusing to have smart meters. Soon after, the number began to decrease due to the high monthly costs. As of earlier this year, in an annual report, Hydro said that approximately 15,000 continued to pay for their legacy meters. BC Hydro has been paid many millions for this “special” service. Even using the low average of 20,000 legacy fees paid at $32.40 per month for 3 years, the total charged would be over $23,000,000.
 
BCUC is forbidden to get involved with any aspect of the smart meter program except rates and fees. These fees were approved by the BCUC based on incorrect, inaccurate, dare I say deliberately misleading information. You have the responsibility to review what is being charged, if in fact the additional services upon which these (the highest opt-out fees in North America) are based are being provided, and if the fees are justified, reasonable and fair. Are “special” services being provided to those who have opted out that are not being provided to those whose smart meters are being read manually? Or are the fees just punishment?
 
Please, for the sake of the British Columbians who are fighting to protect their homes and families, consider what the actual situation is, not just what BC Hydro says it is. The BCUC did not approve the fees as punishment. That would be extortion which would not be tolerated by anyone.
 
I look forward to receiving your response. Thank you for your time.
 
Regards,
Sharon Noble

 

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
 
 
“We have never had this kind of impending risk to society.”
~ Dr. George Carlo – Author of Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards In The Wireless Age