2017-09-12 BCUC & Smart Meter Fires

[BC Hydro – BC Law Society – BC Safety Authority – BCUC – Claire Trevena – Consumer Affairs – David Morton – Design Flaws – Discrimination – Electrical Engineers – Electrical Inspections – Fire Chiefs – Fire Commissioner – FortisBC – Itron – JAG – John Horgan – Laws & Regulations – Len GarisMichelle Mungall – Smart Meter Certification – Sonia Furstenau – TRA – Tracking]

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BCUC & Smart Meter Fires:  The Failure to Protect

At  long last I am sharing with you my fire report, which is the result of approximately 3 years of research and tracking. The Report itself is at link #1 below. (http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/bcuc-smart-meter-fires-the-failure-to-protect/). Supporting documentation includes the actual reports that I received from the Fire Commissioner, the Attorney General’s Office (JAG), the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (TRA),  BC Safety Authority, BC Hydro, and victims.  Because there is so much, the documentation has been broken into 2 volumes. The reports in these volumes are in the same order as the summaries which are on the spreadsheet at the end of the report in Appendix W. Volume 1 holds reports for fires that occurred in municipalities beginning with A-M. Volume 2 holds reports for municipalities beginning with N-W.

The files are all large so please be patient when downloading them. It will take time.

On Sept 1 and 2, I delivered and/or mailed hard copies of this report to Premier Horgan, CEO and Chair of BCUC David Morton, Energy Minister Mungall, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Trevena, and Green MLA Sonia Furstenau. Copies of covering letters are at the links below. To date I have yet to receive a response from anyone. More copies will be provided to various media persons, Fire Chiefs and the BC Law Society.

The BC Utilities Commission’s prime reason for being, as stated in the BC Utilities Commission Act, is to ensure that the citizens of BC receive service that is safe and secure. Section 25 says:

If the commission, after a hearing held on its own motion or on complaint, finds that the service of a public utility is unreasonable, unsafe, inadequate or unreasonably discriminatory, the commission must

a) determine what is reasonable, safe, adequate and fair service, and
(b) order the utility to provide it

 

In July 2015 I lodged an official complaint with BCUC, charging that ITRON smart meters are not safe, have never been certified to be safe, and I provided 8 examples of fires and failures in BC that had put lives and property at risk. I asked for a formal investigation of this device and, if it was found to be unsafe, that a formal recall be made, with ITRON refunding all monies paid and charges incurred.

6 months later BCUC responded in a draft form, asking for me to respond, which I did. Included with my response were statements by Electrical Engineers who had inspected the smart meters and found them to have serious design flaws which cause them to be fire hazards. In addition I provided more evidence of fires in BC and elsewhere.

BCUC’s response was that my evidence was not “persuasive”, stating that they had been told, and were convinced, that the meters were safe based upon a report that had been commissioned and paid for by BC Hydro, a report that Len Garis wrote using one source only – the annual Fire Commissioner’s report. Nothing else. BCUC did not seek expert input from Electrical Engineers. Neither did they ask me for more information. Rather, they put the onus on me to prove them and Len Garis wrong.

This report does this, in spades. I now charge that BCUC has failed to do its job by ordering BC Hydro and FortisBC to provide “reasonable, safe, adequate and fair service” after having received a complaint with evidence that the public’s safety is being jeopardized.

I hope you will read the report and consider the following:

1)   No agency is tracking fires;

2)   Regulations and laws are being broken with impunity, e.g. meters are being removed from the fire scene, electrical inspections are not being done;

3)   Reporting is haphazard at best;

4)   The meter is combustible, poorly designed, and not certified by any agency to be safe;

5)   BC Hydro did not perform its due diligence by having an independent Electrical Engineer inspect the meter prior to signing the contract. Rather, it accepted ITRON’s assurances;

6)   Smart meters have burned, melted and caused homes to burn. BC Hydro and BCUC both deny this is happening.

None of these factors were taken into consideration by either Len Garis in his “report” or by BCUC in their rejection of my complaint.

Consumer Affairs recalls defective devices, e.g. cars, electrical appliances. But because a utility owns the smart meters, they are not considered consumer goods and Consumer Affairs has no jurisdiction. Who is watching out for us, ensuring that these devices that are being put on our homes without our permission, mandated by law, are safe?  No one. This is in our hands and this report provides the means by which we can and must demand a recall.

1) http://tinyurl.com/SMFireReport

2) http://tinyurl.com/AppendixWSpreadsheet

3) http://tinyurl.com/SuperReportDataVol-ISupporting Documentation (A-M)

4) http://tinyurl.com/SuperReportDataVol-IISupporting Documentation (cont’d)  (N-W)

5) Addenda (coming soon)

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Letter-to-Premier-John-Horgan-Smart-Meters-A-Fire-Hazard-by-Sharon-Noble-September-01-2017.pdf

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Letter-to-David-M.-Morton-CEO-BCUC-Smart-Meters-A-Fire-Hazard-by-Sharon-Noble-September-01-2017.pdf

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Letter-to-Energy-Minister-M.-Mungall-BCUC-and-Smart-Meter-Fires-The-Failure-to-Protect-by-Sharon-Noble-September-02-2017.pdf

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Letter-to-Transportation-Minister-C.-Trevena-BCUC-and-Smart-Meter-Fires-The-Failure-to-Protect-by-Sharon-Noble-September-02-2017.pdf

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Letter-to-MLA-Sonia-Furstenau-BCUC-and-Smart-Meter-Fires-The-Failure-to-Protect-by-Sharon-Noble-September-02-2017.pdf

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.”
~ Bernie Sanders