2017-01-06 “Odd installers” in Qualicum Beach

[ANSI – Artemis Networks – AT Maintenance – BC Hydro – Bluetooth – Cars – Cellular Antennas – EHS – Fires – Health – IEC – IEEE – Insurance – Legal – Meter Choices Program – pCell – Privacy – Safety – Security – Smartphone – Steve Perlman – Theft – TOU – Wi-Fi – Wireless]

1)    New types of cellular antenna that will be hidden inside cable, so tiny that it will be impossible to see. If these things are so safe and everyone loves them, why must they be disguised or hidden?

hidden-antenna

Cellular antennas often wear disguises. Chances are, your smartphone has at some point connected to an antenna that looks a lot like a pine tree, a palm tree, or even a cactus. But in typical fashion, serial Silicon Valley inventor Steve Perlman aims to push this idea much further. He and his company, Artemis Networks, just unveiled a cellular antenna disguised as a cable. Yes, it’s wireless technology that looks like a wire.

But Perlman, best known for developing Apple’s Quicktime video and Microsoft’s WebTV, didn’t build this new antenna just for the irony. It’s part of his ongoing effort to expand the internet bandwidth available to mobile phones so that everyone can stream more data and more video with fewer hiccups. His new antenna is the latest incarnation of pCell, the Artemis technology that significantly improves bandwidth by providing a kind of personal signal you needn’t share with anyone else. Now, the pCell is only 15 millimeters wide and can fit in the palm of your hand.

When slipped into a cable, Perlman says, telcos can not only install it discreetly but without a permit.

https://www.wired.com/2017/01/wireless-antenna-disguised-wire/

2)    Below in Letters are some very rough comments I made as I read through BC Hydro’s smeter financial report that was published in the Black Press throughout the province. There no doubt are many things I’ve missed and I would appreciate having significant things identified. Of particular note is that many costs and recoveries are not identified:

  1. Where are the $24 million + in legacy fees? Who got them? How are they being used?
  2. Where is the contingency fund for replacement of smeters after 5-7 years instead of the 20+ BC Hydro projected?
  3. The security measures need to be reviewed by experts in the field to find if they are enough – which is doubtful. Is there money set aside for additional measures?
  4. Implementation of time-of-use billing has been postponed. In an earlier financial report, the infrastructure had been completed on time. Was the rest delayed for political reasons – perhaps until after the next election?
  5. Where are legal fees and payments to insurance companies and victims for fires, damages, installation problems?

3)    Complaints have been made about the Bluetooth device (and perhaps other Wi-Fi devices) in cars that are making people sick during trips. Apparently in new Dodges there is no way to turn the Bluetooth off. Has anyone had any problems from any car? Has anyone been able to disable the Bluetooth or had the company disable it? If so, what was the type of car?  Please provide info to a member who is gathering this info to aid in his investigation [http://emrabc.ca/?page_id=8721].

wi-fi-off

contact@emrabc.ca

4)    “Odd installers” in the Qualicum Beach area. This from a member. I have advised that people should demand to see photo ID which should have names and to ask for qualifications. All of this should be recorded or videoed if possible. We have a right to know that the people who are working on something that could burn our homes down are qualified and are not people off the street as the Corix workers were. I have suggested that these homeowners lodge an official complaint to:

Greg.reimer@bchydro.com and david.morton@bcuc.com

There is every reason to expect that these odd people will try to charge for a “failed installation”.

at-maintenance  atmp

Our friends called us this morning, all alarmed, and asked us for advice on what to do. This couple has been paying the BC Hydro extortion fee for quite some time.

The so called ‘installers’ appeared unannounced at 9 in the morning. 

They used intimidation tactics to install the ‘radio/signal off meter.’  The home owners were told, BC Hydro would cut the power off if they did not comply and they would have to pay $700.- dollars to have the power turned back on!

They were also told that there are no more analog meters available.

Our friends were told that they will be back at noon to install the meter.  Our friends stood their ground, when the two workers from A.T. Maintenance arrived around noon, and asked them for their names.  This ruffled their feathers and they made a quick getaway!

I suspect that these so called ‘installers’ received counsel not to reveal their names or they, or the company they work for, might be held liable or accountable, in case of court actions against BC Hydro or sub contractor.  I have never heard of trades people/workers who would not reveal their names, ever!

This is absurd!”

__________________________________________________________________________

Letters:

bc-hydro

The 2 issues I would like to pursue most are the cost savings re theft. How do they know and what means are they using? Given recent statements from various experts in this field, which say it is easier to steal from a wireless grid than an analog one, and that there is little that can be done, I’d like to send this info off to one of the experts for comment.  Second, I’d like to get input about the supposed security measures BC Hydro has taken. Are they any good at all and what more is needed. Anybody willing to do some investigation into these issues?

It would be helpful to have an accountant, or someone with financial accounting experience, to review the numbers to see if they see anything that jumps out. Any suggestions?

https://www.scribd.com/document/335162423/BC-Hdyro-Smart-Meters-FNL-RPT#from_embed

Comments/Questions by Sharon Noble

1)    on-time at the end of 2015 and about $150 million under budget.   

How on time? Clean Energy Act deadline was Dec. 31, 2012 for all the smeters to be installed.

2)    Smart meters have delivered $235 million in benefits to BC Hydro customers in the first five years

3)    Reduced theft

: Smart meters have reduced electricity theft by more than 80 per cent; 

How determined?  Ask for input re specifics and send to experts.

Release 6   (pg. 11)

Advanced Theft Detection

Release 6 developed the advanced theft detection solution, including distribution system metering devices (SCADA and Check Meters), and their associated applications. Release 6 also implemented the Energy Analytics Solution that combines theft analytics and energy balancing with business processes to automate timely identification of potential revenue losses. Additional supporting applications were implemented, including the Field Investigation Tool, Connectivity Manager (to support GIS connectivity model data quality improvement), and Investigation Case Management software.

4)    Ninety-eight per cent of customers with smart meters are  receiving automated bills thanks to remote meter reading.

This leaves 30-40,000 being manually read. Why? Where? How long?  What consideration for theft that is easier with smeters?

5)    At the completion of the program, the business case was updated to reflect the actual implementation costs, benefits realized to date, as well as current expectations and assumptions. The program is now projected to deliver $1.1 billion in benefits by fiscal 2033.

In 25 years, the benefits will total $300,000 over costs, for an ROE of $15,000 a year.  Request the updated business case to see what is included for fires, security, legal fees, theft.

6)    It was amended on December 21, 2012 so that BC Hydro was not required to install smart meters where it was impractical due to factors such as distance, electromagnetic interference or physical obstructions.

Where has this occurred? Many people forced to have smeters even when there is no possibility of them working.

7)    On March 6, 2014, the Lieutenant Governor in Council issued Direction No. 6 (B.C. Reg. 29/2014), which authorized BC Hydro to defer the net operating costs incurred in fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016 arising from the SMI Program and net operating costs arising from Commission Order No. G-166-13 (refer section 2.2).   

Until when?

On March 6, 2014, the Lieutenant Governor in Council issued Direction No. 7 (B.C. Reg. 28/2014), directing that when setting rates for BC Hydro under the UCA the Commission must not disallow the recovery in rates of the costs with respect to the SMI Regulatory Account.

Meaning?

8)    Pg. 13-14  Although the vast majority of customers accepted a new meter, a small organized group opposed the installations. Their main concerns were related to health, privacy and safety. Significant effort was required to combat the misinformation spread by the opponents and to share the facts about the program.  

What misinformation? Sample?

Our commitment to building awareness of the Smart Metering Program and addressing our customers’ questions and concerns resulted in the majority –  99.9 per cent  – of customers accepting smart meters as a necessary and beneficial upgrade.

Was it awareness or extortion and harassment/trickery that resulted in the 99.9% acceptance?  Was it that threat of loss of this essential service if a smart meter were refused?

9)  Where are the justifications for the legacy fees – what additional services were provided and what additional costs were incurred?  How much money has been received as legacy fees and where is the accounting for this money?  Shortened lifespan?

10)  Under section 2.4 Program requirements and deadlines, where is “time-of-use billing”?  It was in the initial business case with a July 2012 deadline and it was completed.  Ticking time bomb?

12)  Sec. 2.8  Privacy and Security 

Ask experts to review adequacy of security measures. 

13)  2.9. Electrical Safety

Smart meters used by BC Hydro are fully compliant with electrical safety standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). BC Hydro’s smart meters underwent quality assurance testing both by Itron, the meter manufacturer, and by BC Hydro.  

What agency and what professional EE certified them to be safe?  The IEEE and ANSI standards are not sufficient as proven by the many smeter fires, many brands, all of which satisfied IEEE and ANSI protocol.

14)  Section 3 Risk Management.

Nothing re safety. Nothing re poorly trained installers. Where is Corix?

15)  Scope Variance:

Voluntary Time-of-Use Rates and Critical Peak Pricing –

The program implemented the infrastructure necessary to bill customers using rates that  encourage the shift of the use of electricity from periods of higher demand to periods of lower demand. The program also included a proof of concept that billing according to time intervals was possible. In accordance with government policy direction, Time-of-Use Rates were not implemented.

16)  Sec. 4.2 Cost Variance

The higher solution integration costs are due to an increase in the number of applications implemented, compared to the original business case. An example is the introduction of applications required to support Internet Protocol Version 6.  

What other applications?

17)  In addition, meter installations for the 75,000 customers who refused smart meters were put on hold until the announcement of the Meter Choices Program in July 2013. Meter installations for the Meter Choices Program customers who ultimately selected a smart meter commenced in January 2014. As a result of the delays in smart meter installations related to customer installations put on hold, and the resulting delays in optimizing the telecommunications network, actual cumulative manual meter reading costs (including related vehicle operating costs) to fiscal 2016 were higher than estimated in the business case by $13 million.

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

Not every battle can be won, but every battle must be waged. This is the proving ground. Are you prepared to stand your ground?