2017-04-22 Utility in US applying for prepaid service

[BC Auditor General – BC Hydro Legacy Meter Reading Fees – BCUC – Burger King Ad – Electric Shock – Letter to Douglas Routley – PECO Pre-paid – Radio Off Smart Meter – Remote Disconnect Switch – Smart Devices Vulnerability  | Gabriola Island, BC – Pennsylvania, USA] & (video)

1)    Non-smeter or RF, but involves electric shock. I’ve never heard of electric shock drowning before.

What is electric shock drowning?

The current that shocked Carmen Johnson was caused by water seeping into a light switch box at the family’s dock, according to her mother. When the metal ladder was put in the water, the electrical current from the switch traveled through the dock, down the ladder and into the water.

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/04/what_is_electric_shock_drownin.html

2)    In Pennsylvania one utility, PECO, is presenting an application for prepaid service in which customers are “offered” the opportunity to pay for electricity in advance. This concept is new to North America, as far as I know, but in places where it is used, people have their electricity turned off when the money runs out, quite like a parking meter. Utilities would most likely “offer” this to those with poor payment history or bad credit ratings.  If it is accepted as a pilot here, I would imagine other utilities would like to offer it too, and smeters makes it possible because the meters are turned off and on remotely by the utility. It is this remote disconnect switch which has been identified by Electrical Engineers as being a major design flaw and could spark, causing fires.

(click on photos to enlarge)

http://www.puc.pa.gov/about_puc/press_releases.aspx?ShowPR=3849

3)    A member shared this demonstration of how easily our “smart” devices can be hacked.

Vulnerability of smart home devices

Last week, Burger King ran a television ad asking, “Okay Google, what is the Whopper Burger?” which triggered smart home device in viewers’ homes. Many users are understandably annoyed, but the effect of the ad might not be all bad.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/burger-king-ad-1.4072855

Letters:

From: X
Sent: April 21, 2017
To: douglas.routley.mla@leg.bc.ca
Cc: adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca; Commission.Secretary@bcuc.com; cbcnewsvancouver@cbc.ca; bchydroregulatorygroup@bchydro.com; bcauditor@bcauditor.com; derek@soundernews.com; info@bcndp.ca

Subject: Fwd: BC Hydro Smart meters program issues…

Dear Mr. Routley,

I sent you an email (attached) about two months ago about a couple of issues I had with BC Hydro. I am still waiting for a reply from you. I have to say that this is not the first email that I had sent you that had gotten not even a response or acknowledgment from your office. I believe the courtesy of a reply is the least we should expect from our MLA. I am writing again as I just received a phone call asking me to support you and the NDP in the next election. I have always voted NDP, but I am not sure if I can do it again if my MLA is not even responding to my emails.

Sincerely,
X

—–Original Message—–

From: X
Sent: February 15, 2017
To: douglas.routley.mla@leg.bc.c
Cc: adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca; Commission.Secretary@bcuc.com; bcauditor@bcauditor.com; bchydroregulatorygroup@bchydro.com; cbcnewsvancouver@cbc.ca; derek@soundernews.com

Subject: BC Hydro Smart meters program issues…

Dear Mr. Routley,

I am writing to request your assistance as I have contacted BC Hydro by phone in order to complain about a couple of issues that I believe are not fair to me as a customer.

Unfortunately, on both issues I was told that the law – passed in our legislature – gave BC Hydro the right to act that way. Let me explain the issues to you:

First, my digital (legacy) meter was changed for a smart meter with the radio off this last December.

Unfortunately, I was not given a choice in the matter, and to add insult to injury in my last bill, I’m being charged a $22.60 + GST for a Meter Choice Program Set Up. I called BC Hydro Smart Meter Program and I was told that the law allows BC Hydro to charge me that fee. I question such charge if, as a customer, I had no choice in the matter. And, second, it has come to my attention that some smart meters on Gabriola are being read manually, which is happening in rural areas a lot due to environmental constraints. I question the fact that I have to pay a fee of $28.93 for the reading of my radio off meter and owners of smart meters are not, even though their meters are read manually! Why I’m being discriminated or put in a different category as a customer if their meters are also read manually?

Sincerely,
X

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it…….    
~ Upton Sinclair