From a member re. Qualicum Beach area: This morning, two men showed up at the house of a friend of mine in Qualicum Woods, Qualicum Beach, to remove her legacy meter and replace it with a radio off meter. She refused, and was told that she would be receiving a bill for refusal of installation. When she asked them to identify themself they took off, post haste.
Another member spoke with BC Hydro about installers coming to the home without ID and in an unmarked van wearing unmarked clothing. She was told that Hydro contracts installation out and it’s up to us to “take it up with them” on the spot, at that time. This is against everything Hydro has told BCUC. As above, installers are refusing to identify themselves. Please keep your camera handy. Take photos of faces, vans, license plates. This is evidence to give to police, to the BCUC, etc. You have every right to call 911 if any unidentified stranger approaches your home, attempts to tamper with your meter, or confronts you.
1) In the USA, auctioning of the spectrum raises billions $$$ for the government. A recent auction was for the use by cell phones of an area used now by FM radio stations. These lower frequencies travel farther and are much more dangerous. A frequency like this going into heads!! Thank goodness the set price was not met.
“Law360, New York (December 6, 2016, 7:09 PM EST) — Bids to convert 108 MHz of spectrum from broadcast to mobile broadband use failed to meet a $42 billion clearing target by a wide margin, triggering a soon-to-be-announced fourth stage of bidding under lowered targets, the FCC announced Monday.
The third stage of the forward auction to reallocate low-band broadcast spectrum licenses in the 300 MHz to 3 GHz UHF broadcast range to wireless providers generated $19.7 billion in combined bids, falling short of the $42.3 billion target set after two previous stages, in which offers…”
2) Now, after all the bad decisions that have put Hydro One into debt, the Crown Corporation is being privatized gradually as shares are being sold, probably to government buddies.
The government has already sold about 30 per cent of the shares in Hydro One, and plans to sell another 30 per cent to raise a total of $9 billion to pay down debt and to fund public transit and infrastructure projects.
The province has raised about $3.8 billion so far from selling shares, but also gained another $3 billion from a deferred tax asset benefit, a special dividend and payment-in-lieu of taxes as part of the privatization process.
The ramifications of privatization will last decades because the province is giving up most of the hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed revenue Hydro One turns over to the government each year, added Hahn.
3) Puerto Rico considering cancelling its smeter program because the costs exceed projected benefits.
“The results of PREPA’s pilot indicate that it had not achieved some of its goals,” the report by experts Ariel Horowitz and Jeremy Fisher reads.
For instance, 57% of the 10,216 meters it received had to be returned for recalibration. On the other hand, it detected theft in 169 out of 6,844 meters installed.
There is no evidence that Prepa’s system will actually be benefited in the near or mid‐term by the deployment of smart meters, and smart meters do little to mitigate a generation, transmission and distribution system that simply fails to operate reliably, the experts said. “
4) Please send this to any MLA, MP or environmental group, like Sierra Club, who supports the smeter program based on the misconception that smeters are good for the environment. Another reason smeters are not green is that they are made of plastic and have lithium batteries. Every 5-7 years these end up in the landfill and new plastic meters and batteries replace them. Analogs are made of glass and metal and last 30+ years.
“A recent joint study by Northwestern’s Kellogg School and University of Chicago’s Booth School found that smart meters most likely will not lower customer bills or greenhouse gases
Again the public has been unnecessarily fooled out of more of our hard earned money. Exelon CEO John Rowe was quoted as saying, “It costs too much, and we’re not sure what good it will do. We have looked at most of the elements of smart grid for 20 years and we have never been able to come up with estimates that make it pay.” Until Obama provided the incentive with his stimulus funds, the smart meter was not economically feasible. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan added, “The utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters, but they have shown they know how to profit.” We consumers are paying for the new infrastructure through higher rates. ComEd requested a rate increase to fund improvements to update its technology (i.e. Smart Grid) and an additional increased charge for delivery…
The study even inferred that smart meters could contribute to increased greenhouse gases since typically greener options fuel peak load plants while coal produces most base load electricity.”
5) I would appreciate it if everyone would sign this petition re. microcell siting, which is attempting to give people the right to refuse having a cell transmitter outside their home. It is happening all over BC. If Telus can be forced to remove microcells in one neighbourhood, a precedent will have been set that will help those in other areas.
6) Below is an article that was in Salt Spring Island’s “Driftwood” about BC Hydro cutting off a person’s power. Online only a small portion is available unless you are a subscriber, so I have cut and pasted the entire article below, with my comments to the reporter about it.
From: Sharon Noble
Sent: December 8, 2016
To: ‘Sean McIntyre’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Some corrections/clarifications and comments
I am very grateful that you put this article in to alert people on SSI about what Hydro is doing, but there are a few things that I would like to clarify. I also have some comments. Rather than write a long letter, I will make my comments below. If you are able to do a follow up that would include these that would be great, but if I have to write a separate letter that would be included in the Driftwood, would you please let me know?
I so hope you can give more info to the people of SSI, and so appreciate what you have given them.
Hydro cut over meter battle by Sean McIntyre – Gulf Islands Driftwood – December 07, 2016:
A Salt Spring family of four that refused to let BC Hydro crews swap out their old electrical meter accuses the Crown corporation of playing tough to impose the new generation of smart meters on consumers.
BC Hydro cut power to Melissa Weigel’s home last week after the company failed to get authorization to visit the family’s south-end property. Hydro staff asked for a site visit to replace the home’s outdated meter.
The family spent several days without power as temperatures dropped to the low single digits. They resorted to using a camping stove on their deck to cook meals and relied on nearby friends to make phone calls and do laundry.
“The hardest part is that all the food in our fridge and freezer is spoiled,” Weigel said.
Since the power was shut off, the family has reluctantly agreed to let BC Hydro install a radio-off meter. These are new smart meter units that are not connected to the wireless network. Readings are taken manually and residents who choose the radio-off option are required to pay a monthly service fee of about $20.
BC Hydro has also slapped the family with a $700 reconnection fee.
“It’s been intimidating,” she said. “We’re just hoping that it stays ‘radio-off'”.
The family is among about 15,000 households across British Columbia who refuse to let BC Hydro connect their homes to the wireless smart meter grid based on fears about potential health and safety concerns.
Sharon Noble, who heads up the Victoria-based Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, said that number is down from about 250,000 residents who opposed smart meters when BC Hydro rolled them out about five years ago.
Noble said she’s seen a sharp increase in the number of confrontations between BC Hydro crews and smart meter skeptics. In an email newsletter distributed to members of her group shortly before Weigel lost power, Noble wrote, “Be warned that, on Salt Spring, workers are coming to homes unannounced seven days a week and from before 8 a.m. in the morning.
“I assume the efforts will be sustained as the end of the year nears.”
When asked to comment on the Weigel matter in an interview late last week, Noble said she’d yet to hear about the family’s plight but is keen to get in touch and document the experience so that it can be added to her growing file of similar conflicts reported across the province.
At the heart of the matter, Noble said in an interview, is the right of residents to reject smart meters due to health and safety concerns associated with wireless smart meter technology.
Noble said BC Hydro has repeatedly promised residents who have rejected smart meters that meters due for replacement would be replaced with digital meters. Trying to sway smart meter opponents to have new meters installed represents a doubling back on that original promise, Noble said.
I don’t think I said this. Rather BC Hydro is required by law to provide “legacy” meters (those used before the smart meter program was implemented) so long as they had them. For months now Hydro has been telling everyone they didn’t have any more legacy meters, so everyone was forced to take a smart meter with or without the transmitter turned off. But recently someone on Salt Spring discovered a batch of legacy digital meters in a Hydro van. She was promised one (and she has received one.). When others have been asking for them and refusing smart meters because of health and safety concerns, Hydro has cut their power.
Now she wants the British Columbia Utilities Commission to force BC Hydro to “amend its ways and provide all of these people with the digital meters they should have been given, even if the Crown corporation needs to go out and buy more.”
Again, I would be surprised if I said this. What I have been arguing is that those who were forced to take a smart meter or who had their power cut when Hydro had legacy meters available should be given legacy meters. Hydro has violated the Tariff’s meter choice regulations that it wrote.
Use of the radio-off smart meters represents a step beyond the threshold of acceptability and opens the door to the possibility of smart meter network connectivity, she added.
It’s not connectivity that is the concern. It is that these meters not only emit microwave radiation that is a 2b carcinogen and which has been shown by many thousands of studies to cause harm, but the meters are fire hazards. We have a right not to have something that is dangerous on our homes.
Company spokesperson Ted Olynyk said BC Hydro is required to inspect and replace meters on homes and businesses across the province to comply with regulations set out by Measurements Canada, a federal government agency that’s responsible for the integrity and accuracy of measurement in the Canadian marketplace.
This is not true and Mr. Olynyk knows it. Measurement Canada has no new requirements that would force the analogs to be replaced. I called Measurement Canada and asked and was told that Measurement Canada does not care what type of meter is used so long as it’s accurate.
He said BC Hydro faces the prospect of steep fines if it doesn’t make sure electricity meters are replaced according to a pre-established timeline.
In theory this is true but Measurement Canada is unlikely to assess the fine.
Olynyk said BC Hydro has offered non-smart meters when requested but said the company is no longer restocking them and supplies are nearly out. Residents who are unable to get an older version are given the option of having a radio-off smart meter.
BC Hydro destroyed most meters as they were taken off homes, even those legacy digital meters that were only a couple of years old. Analog meters, which have a much longer lifespan (30-40 years vs. 5-7 for the smart meters) are much more dependable and cheaper. Places like California are allowing people to keep their analogs if they wish, yet Hydro is telling people they are no longer available. Again, Hydro is not being honest with British Columbians.
Visits to inspect and replace meters are always preceded by efforts to notify the homeowner by mail and telephone and disconnection is used in a minority of cases, he said.
Not true. Hydro and its contractors often show up at homes without any pre-notice. And in many instances strangers do not even come to doors, and just appear in the yard. When asked for identification, some have refused to show any and have proceeded to disconnect power. Hydro has written into the Tariff, our contract with them, that BC Hydro can disconnect the power without any pre-notice at all. And this has happened. Hydro did commit to a pilot project of not disconnecting power during winter months. Somehow this has been forgotten. In this cold, not only is it inconvenient it is life-threatening to have power disconnected. Electricity is an essential service and to cut it for people who have paid all their bills and fees is unconscionable in addition to being dangerous.
“We don’t just show up,” he said. “Disconnection is pretty harsh, and we don’t want to do that, but if we are continually blocked then we’ll disconnect.”
Though Weigel’s power has been reconnected, the experience has left her thinking about ways to go off-grid when solar and wind-generating technologies become more affordable.
“We’d love to do something like that,” Weigel said. In the meantime, the family has filed a complaint with the B.C. Office of the Ombudsperson about their treatment.
December 3, 2016
Dear Mr. Reimer, Mr. Horgan, Ms. McDonald, Mr. Wruck, Ms. Popham, Green Party
PLEASE NOTE: A COPY OF THIS WILL BE SENT TO THE BC OMBUDSMAN TODAY.
Please see examples of your “Smart” Meters – the ones you install on people’s homes without a care to human safety and lives!! We have paid our LEGACY FEES promptly as requested. You have repeatedly given out information which has proved time and again to be incorrect. One of the latest is that many of the DIGITAL “RADIO OFF” METERS were caught sending microwave radiation into trusting people’s homes who, under duress, were forced to accept a “Smart” Meter. Another one is “there are no fires and never have been”. Perhaps try reading the Ontario Fire Marshall’s report of 39 pages!! Why are the Hydro companies removing Smart Meters which caught fire BEFORE the Fire Marshall can ascertain the cause. Also, would it not be prudent to invent a category called Smart Meter Fires rather than just “put it casually” under Electrical Fires?
We want our LEGACY METER as promised by Mr. Bennett live on TV and in the press. IF you read the attachment you will see that EVEN PG&E in California is finally giving up and letting people keep their analogs. WHY? Because they know they are culpable. They have been given the research and they know IF they proceed they will be prosecuted. ANALOGS ARE AVAILABLE – you know it AND WE KNOW IT. SO WHY DO YOU PRETEND THAT THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE?
Why don’t you just give the public ALL the information that you know about the fires and the information you have been given about the dangers of microwave radiation from leading international scientists who have spent decades researching and publishing their results about the damage to biological cells. Are you afraid if they knew, they would also refuse as we are????? Just give them the truth and let them vote!
We also requested that you call for appointments. Instead, your people suddenly appeared banging down our door at 8:20 am and scaring us half to death. We do have a telephone and a doorbell. How you people can look yourself in the mirror each morning in unbelievable. To do this to people who lived next to a war zone is unconscionable.
We wrote you recently and, shamefully, you did not even bother to respond or acknowledge receipt of said email. We reiterate once again:.
- Due to fire risk and safety issues we require a written confirmation that you are responsible for any fires in our home due to installation of or replacement of meters. Although, if we are already deceased due to your fire, we require that replacement amount for our home and contents is given to our beneficiaries and estate. Also, please note in case of fire YOU WILL NOT REMOVE any meter from our home until the Fire Marshall has made a full investigation. Once this letter is received, our insurer will have to be notified to see if it is adequate. You are no doubt aware that insurers charge the innocent home owners deductibles and consequent higher insurance rates.
- As already mentioned in writing several times, no installation will take place here without prior appointment so as to have an electrician available to oversee your “workers” and to let us turn off all electricity so as not to damage our belongings.
- We have been asking since last spring for you to prove that our meter is no longer functional. It is very odd that “suddenly” anyone who does not have a “Smart Meter” and has an analog has their meter expire in December 2016. You have major trust issues to resolve with us taxpayers who, by the way, pay your salaries and pensions.
- Hacking is another issue which your “Smart” Meters leave us vulnerable to. We do not want to be hacked, radiated or burnt to death.
- Have you made any headway with any of these persistent concerns which have been raised time and again by many people?
Confirmation has been received that there are still legacy digital meters available. The meter choice regulation in the Tariff, section 4.2.3 https://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/tariff-filings/electric-tariff/bchydro-electric-tariff.pdf says that analogs will be replaced with legacy meters so long as they are available.
Please see the link below regarding PG&E letting people keep their analogs. Over the last few years many cities in California refused to allow smeters and implemented a moratorium. They demanded that the Calif. Public Utilities Commission recognize their right to protect their health and safety. The PUC agreed to allow people to keep their analogs permanently for a minor monthly fee. This letter from PG&E shows they are indeed available.
Off grid TIPS
From a member:
[update: a member shared this negative review – https://www.reddit.com/r/TinyHouses/comments/2o79vo/the_kimberly_wood_stove_review/]
My friend just sent me this link and I wanted to share it with you.
It looks like an amazing off grid heat solution, and can even be installed in an RV.
In one video they have a TEG Thermoelectric Generator hooked up to it to generate electricity. Here is that website: http://www.tegmart.com/