Smart Meter Fires, Bills, US & Internet! Feb 26/14
Until funds are released I need donations to keep website on internet and pay bills due now so patronizing emails do not help or show spiritual maturity or respect. Tami
Current Events Nesara GCR go to www.IQDcall.com/matrix.html and or www.tntdinar.com
1) Bill Good at CKNW has not been very interested in the smeter problems until he has learned about billing problems his neighbour has had – a large bill while he was away. On Thursday, he had a segment about this, and has asked for people with billing problems, especially high bills after getting a smeter, to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. (please bcc me) Here is the link to the segment. Go down to the Feb. 20 program that is 1 hour long, to the 17 min point. If anyone knows “Ed” who is suing Hydro, would you please ask him to contact me at email@example.com.
Subject: update 2014-02-16 ITRON's financial report not so good!!
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 23:47:32 -0800
1) Another fire, this one in Pennsylvania, which has been attributed to an “incendiary” meter. This was the same area where the initial meters were recalled and replaced after many smeter fires occurred. There have been many reports of fires and damaged appliances here in BC – although Hydro continues to deny them or any responsibility. Please report any unusual electrical problems, like flickering lights, heated circuit board or strange smell seeming to come from the circuit board or meter to Hydro emergency. If they will not respond immediately (and in some cases they have refused to come), call the fire department. Please document via video camera what happens and what hydro does. If the smeter is removed, video or photo the back of the meter – insist on seeing it. It is your right to know what is happening on your home’s wall.
Here is an article about the rash of fires in 2012 that lead to a halt in the program for a while: http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/19399874/state-utility-regulator-steps-into-smart-meter-controversy
2) DEBATE. The World Health Organization has released a bleak future forecast. The number of new cancer cases is expected to increase from 14 million to 25 million per year over the next 20 years - an increase of 70 percent. Dr. Olle Johansson asks, “Will it soon be too late” to prevent the pandemic of health problems/cancers due, at least in part, to the proliferation of wireless devices and microwave radiation?
3) ITRON’s financial picture is not as rosy as it has been, and the company is looking at ways to increase revenue.
“One key driver on this front will be “focusing on the value of the data coming out of the system,” he said.” Our data is very valuable and ITRON is partnering with companies to figure out how many ways it can be used!!
4) Non-smeter, but an important legal step toward allowing the public to be informed about health risks from RF exposure. A state senator who is also a medical doctor introduced a bill into Hawaii Senate Health Committee, which has passed and now moves on for further debate, to require labelling on every cell phone sold.
Full Bill: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2014/bills/SB2571_SD1_.htm
LEGISLATION FOR LABELS on GMO foods and cell phones passed out of the state Senate Health Committee this week, according to its chair, west Ka`u senator and physician Josh Green. SB 2571 SD1 would require all new and used cellular telephones sold or leased by a retailer in Hawai`i to bear this label:
"To reduce exposure to radiation that may be hazardous to your health, please follow the enclosed product safety guidelines.” The bill would require the warning label be "conspicuous, legible, non-removable and printed in bold lettering, and affixed to the front and back of all cellular telephone packaging."
The senator stated: “We need to make sure cell phones are as safe as possible to use and that consumers are clearly informed that over-exposure to radiation from cell phones can be harmful to your health. Cell phones are an almost universally used tool and are here to stay, which makes it even more important that they are used safely and that consumers are aware of the potential hazards. The cell phone manufacturers themselves include legal disclaimers and health warnings buried deep in the packaging and instructional materials of their products, and in the phone software menus themselves. This measure is intended to clearly inform consumers of the health warnings that are buried in cell phone product safety guidelines.”
5) AMR meters differ from the ones we have (AMI) in that they are supposed to gather and maintain data until a meter reader comes by with a handheld computerized reader. But many AMR meters in fact emit signals often throughout the day, perhaps not every few seconds like “our” meter, but perhaps every few minutes. This type of meter has resulted in causing health problems for many, including Josh Hart, director of the large California resistance group. If Hydro or Fortis attempts to put on an AMR meter as a smeter with the transmitter turned off, it must not be allowed.
6) A comic view of the new world of smeters by the New York Times: http://robertmcgrath.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/mcfadden-on-the-home-of-the-future/
To BCUC regarding reconsideration of the directive to charge fees:
Comments regarding Reconsideration of Order G-186-13, in response to the questions posed by BCUC in Letter L-9-14
• Should there be reconsideration by the Commission?
Many members of the public have written to the Commission stating unequivocally that the fees are excessive due to the expenses that the fees are supposed to cover having been inflated and exaggerated, with many examples cited showing much less expensive options available. Further, many Letters of Comment testified to the inaffordability of the program under circumstances of illness and disability, fixed pensions, inability to achieve adequate income due to medical conditions including EMF-EHS, and other mitigating factors.
Some spoke of how they would be (or had already been) forced to accept a smart meter against all their judgement and conscience, because otherwise they would be at risk of finding themselves unable to cover their other normal living expenses. Others questioned whether any government or governmental utility can legally require payment from citizens for the utility refraining from actions that science has shown may cause harm. From the evidence submitted by many parties, there can now be little doubt of valid grounds for reconsideration, and the required threshold for that has been met.
• If there is to be reconsideration, should the Commission hear new evidence and should new parties be
given the opportunity to present evidence?
New evidence should be heard by the Commission. Even through the period of time that this process has been running, significant new evidence has become more widely available and more widely known, and the input of well-grounded scientific research from qualified parties, among others, would without doubt assist the Commission in reaching a wise and fair decision on the matter. As noted by Mr Middleton in his recent comments, intervenors should then also have an opportunity to respond to that evidence.
• If there is to be a reconsideration, should it focus on the items from the application for reconsideration,
a subset of these items or additional items?
It has been mentioned elsewhere that the Clean Energy Act does indeed accord to the BCUC the right to make its own investigation into the factors that are relevant to setting rates in a fair and reasonable manner. I submit that those factors definitely include the number of persons who are ultimately permitted to retain an analogue meter, for how long, and with what changes in fee (if indeed required) in the foreseeable future. The number of persons eligible has been skewed improperly from the total that would freely choose an analogue meter if they were permitted to decide for themselves without financial pressure, threats of disconnection, misleading facts, and installers willing to skirt the edge of trespass and misrepresentation. That skewed number has direct and obvious effects on the MCP costs and fees that result. The Commission may apparently not have previously considered the full extent of unreasonable influence upon the numbers that was occasioned by the utility's actions, in which event such an error merits correction through reconsideration now, so that truly appropriate fees if any can be assessed.
Significant numbers of BCH customers had the experience of communicating to either BCH, Corix or both, that they did not wish to have a smart meter installed. Yet they ended up with just that. In many instances, customers were given no opportunity to either refuse or accept. If this protocol of forced installation (through misleading and coercive tactics) in every case that it was achievable by the utility, is both just and "democratic", as we understand that term to apply in modern societies like British Columbia, then why would there be any resistance at all to the idea of customers having a free, informed and un-coerced choice at this time?
In my view, and apparently in the view of thousands of other residents of BC, these questions deserve to be examined by the BCUC, before they can truly be said to have examined all the relevant issues that pertain to a fair decision. Previously, customers shared the costs of metering and billing and it cost just cents per customer - why not now? The group of customers who have been denied the possibility of continuing safe, simple, accurate metering as they had been accustomed to it, have a valid case for their situation to be examined, since the scale of that cohort is not even reliably known. Once determined however, there is a high likelihood that the addition of those many thousands more customers sharing the costs associated, would result in a very significantly altered apportionment of that burden.
There are many people who wish to have their smart meter removed and their analogue meter replaced - why is that now illegal or impossible according to BCH and Direction No. 4?
If questions as simple, rational and widely asked by customers of BCH as these, constitute "additional items" for the Commission to consider, then yes, it seems that there does need to be consideration of additional items. Metering and charging for electricity does not have to be as complex as this has become, it seems to many of us, nor as coercive, risky and expensive.
Once the full facts are given an opportunity to emerge and be examined in the light of day, the work of the Commission (and of BC Hydro) will benefit in the long run, and the people of the province will find new confidence that their affairs are justly handled, and that the actions of the monopoly utility are indeed "regulated". That alone would make the reconsideration worthwhile.
• Are there any other pertinent facts or issues regarding Mr. Hurd's application that the Commission
reconsiders the Order and vary it accordingly?
If even one person who is afflicted by illness or disability from exposure to a smart meter's pulsed transmissions of microwave radiation is left unable to prevent themselves from having further continuation or worsening of their condition due to being forced by financial duress, or coerced by cleverly-worded "choices" and the threat of disconnection, then the work of the Commission has surely not yet been completed, and further consideration on the part of the Commissioners seems called for.
As it is, we have heard from not just one, but rather a great many individuals who have recounted their own particular circumstances, attesting to the hardship, stress and medical effects that being unable to afford BCH's applied-for fees will occasion in their lives. And further, some 40,000 customers so far have indeed been induced to submit, to "change their mind" and "accept" what they quite clearly chose to refuse. That is not right.
The material implications of the present situation must by now be very evident, since the disparity between the number of people "allowed" to have an analogue meter, and the number of people who would actually choose an analogue if given an informed and realistic option, is likely different by an order of magnitude. The costs and hence associated fees, if any still needed to be separately charged, would then be concomitantly different from what is presently being proposed.
The Commission has a vital role that it serves in the life and the practical affairs of this province, and a serious reconsideration by the Panel of Order G-186-13 is a necessary first step in re-balancing the interests of all the various parties in the issue at hand. At every stage, there has been an attempt to have the Commission left with very little influence or ability to actually regulate those areas that were assigned to it by law. If that process is permitted to continue without reconsideration and reassessment of the questions that so obviously lie at the heart of this matter, then both the Commission and the public will have been deprived of what is their right, their privilege and their true legacy from generations who understood that simply following orders is never enough. The questions that remain about the program will have to be answered, sooner or later. It will save a great deal of public money, time and effort if those questions are permitted to be fully addressed, and to be answered with the honesty, transparency and inclusiveness that they deserve. Further manipulation of the outcome will not be in anyone's long-term best interests.
1) Please be aware that Hydro has taken more analogs that should have been left alone under the “meter choice” option. These were not protected, but it appears that Hydro has acted in ways that contravene the Tariff Act, to which they are bound. This must be reported and charges laid. I encourage everyone to protect your meters and even put a Hydro DO NOT TRESPASS sign on the meter in such a way that the sign will have to be moved, removed or damaged in order to take the analog. It is a crime to tamper with such a sign. Make it hard for Hydro to break the law.
2) California (Silicon Valley) – Last year there was an attack on a major power substation:
People are finally discussing the implications: http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201402170900 -- lots of interesting comments.
Some good letters in media:
Smart meters not so smart:
No smart meters in Boston (February 13, 2014) – BCUC should be protecting us.
Hydro’s smart meters are anything but.
Subject: 14 Feb 2014 meter reading of a/c #: XXXXXXX
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Premier@gov.bc.ca, MLA Adrian Dix <email@example.com>
Attn: Janet Fraser, Chief Regulatory Officer or whoever in charge of meter reading and billing
Re: ### Street, xxx BC.
Pursuant to my email below, I have read Hydro’s analog meter at the above address on 14 Feb 2014 and the reading is 08777.
Kindly credit my account $35 for my meter reading service for Hydro.
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 11:56 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; Commission.secretary@BCUC.com
Cc: Andrew.Weaver.firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Smart Meters , Privacy and Health
To: BC Hydro, Elizabeth Denham, Privacy Commissioner, and British Columbia Utilities Commission secretary,
I am writing to express my sincere outrage at the lack of accountability to those of us, citizens of BC who have decided after careful consideration over a long period who wish to protect our health and our privacy that BC Hydro has willfully gone ahead and charged us a ‘fee’ for non-compliance after we have chosen to retain our analog meters.
I am a third generation British Columbian and hydro charges have been paid at this address by my parents, grandparents and myself for over 80 years. It is the utmost affront to my democratic rights, knowing what I do from my research that in many jurisdictions including the US, New Zealand and the UK that smart meters have been proven to cause fires in some instances and also that there are concerns about radio-frequency radiation. In addition my personal choice and freedom has been violated by what I consider bullying tactics by BC Hydro to attempt to install a smart meter on my property.
I have had no assurance that BC Hydro will properly protect information about our electricity consumption and whether BC Hydro will improperly share our consumption with third parties. It is also my understanding that BC Hydro is not complying with the requirement to notify customers of the purposes for collecting personal information in relation to the SMI ( Smart Meter and Infrastructure Initiative).
Therefore for the above reasons I am requesting that the British Columbia Utilities Commission rule that the ‘legacy’ meter fee be removed from our hydro billing. I will of course continue to pay for my electricity consumption. I am also appalled that the installation of smart meters in British Columbia have cost us the taxpayers $ 1 billion.
I also request that as the Legislature is currently sitting that this urgent matter of concern to British Columbians be brought up in the House by the Minister and by my MLA who are copied in this email.
A response from BCUC to a complaint. I’m sure we all will be receiving one like this, but I am including for those who haven’t written.
From: Complaints BCUC:EX
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 11:29 AM
Subject: RE: BC Hydro billing/smart meter issues
Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for your letter to the BC Utilities Commission regarding BC Hydro’s Meter Choices Program. I appreciate you taking the time to write to us.
The Commission is currently reviewing BC Hydro’s Application for Approval of Charges Related to Meter Choices Program through a public proceeding and has set the charges as interim and refundable until the Commission Panel makes its decision. The final terms of the charges will be based on the outcome of this proceeding. Any difference between the interim and final charges will be adjusted following the Commission's decision. Further information on this proceeding can be found on the Commission's website at: http://www.bcuc.com/ApplicationView.aspx?ApplicationId=417.
The evidentiary record for this proceeding closed on January 17, 2014. BC Hydro’s final submission was filed on January 24, 2014; final submissions from Registered Interveners are scheduled to be filed on February 7, 2014, and BC Hydro’s reply submission is due on February 14, 2014. Following this, the Commission Panel appointed to hear the proceeding will deliberate the evidence filed during the course of the hearing and will enter the decision writing phase. The Panel’s decision, when issued, will be posted to the Commission’s website at the link provided above.
In your email you make a statement regarding the charges associated with BC Hydro's Meter Choices program. As this matter is currently before a Commission Panel, our office is not in a position to answer questions related to the content of the application. For more information, BC Hydro’s application, and all the evidence filed on the public record of this proceeding, is available on the Commission’s website at the link above.
Thank you again for contacting the Commission.
Kristine Bienert on behalf of,
Customer Service Specialist
British Columbia Utilities Commission
6th Floor, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2N3
Phone: 604.660.3632 | Fax: 604.660.1102 | Toll Free: 1.800.663.1385
Email: email@example.com| Web: www.bcuc.com
Subject: update 2014-02-19 BC Hydro produces a submission that is misleading and shallow
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:07:53 -0800
1) In its final submission to the BCUC, BC Hydro has confused, misled, and connived, just as it has consistently since the introduction of the smeter program. For example, BC Hydro and the govt. said in the media that the fees would vary on the number of people opting out. This was when they said there were in excess of 60,000 with analogs (we believe the number was double that). Then the govt. proceeded in saying the fees would be set high enough to incent people into accepting the smeters – the definition of extortion. Within a short period, the fees were announced and the govt. set out Directive 4 instructing BCUC to approve, on an interim basis, the fees that Hydro would set.
Then the Meter Choice campaign began, with multiple threatening letters and phone calls, which resulted in many analogs being sacrificed, by people who couldn’t afford the fees and fearful of having power shut off in the middle of winter.
In earlier submissions, our lawyer called Hydro on these actions of intimidation, and suggesting that people be asked if they would have selected the opt out if the fees had been lower. Hydro says “no do overs”, that the Tariff Act is binding.
Well, they amended the Tariff Act after the fees were announced and during the harassment campaign. IT was written and the BCUC approved it on Hydro’s terms, with no consideration for our concerns or rights. A shameful response – “no do overs”!!
Another ridiculous statement at #42, as if the Tariff Act is immutable. Then, let’s change it!!
“Re-canvassing customers that chose a smart meter during that period would accomplish nothing because a change of heart would not make them eligible now for the legacy or radio-off meter options.”
2) In Illinois, people are fighting hard against mandated smeters. Of special note in this article is the acknowledgement of the personal data being collected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology:
Excerpt from a National Institute of Standards and Technology report about smart meters and the smart grid:
“In the current operation of the electric utilities, data taken from traditional meters consists of basic data usage readings required to create bills. Under the smart grid implementation, smart meters will be able to collect other types of data. Some of this additional data may constitute personal information or may be used to determine personal activities. Because of the associated privacy risks, only the minimum amount of data necessary for services, provisioning, and billing should be collected.”
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1138649/illinois-residents-fight-back-against-smart-meters/#iPAHhxuCFFqOcagP.99
To: "elizabeth may C1" <elizabeth.may.C1@parl.gc.ca>
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014
Subject: BC Hydro Meter Choice Program - Intervenor Final Submission
Dear Elizabeth May
Attached, for your information, is my Final Submission as an intervenor in the BCUC review process of the BC Hydro Meter Choices Program (i.e. smart meter opt-outs) [already circulated]
Thank you for all your recent newsletters, and for your good efforts around the issues of surveillance and privacy.
I wrote to you and to the Green Party recently concerning the party's stance on the forced installation of so-called smart meters throughout BC (and North America), pointing out what I see as significant inconsistencies in the Green approach to privacy, security, health effects, safety, cost to disadvantaged citizens including those also with existing health/disability issues due to prior exposure to RF technologies.
As a person with long involvement as an advocate for issues related to the environment, human rights, global militarisation, corporate takeover of the commons, privacy of individuals and NGO's and similar concerns, I sincerely applaud all the work you are doing on behalf of private Canadian citizens who wish to retain some of their dwindling sense of privacy in the face of a tidal wave of corporate and government surveillance, but I nevertheless feel compelled to ask the following questions.
Why is it that the Green Party does not seem to make the connection between:
A) the surveillence currently aimed by NSA-CSEC-CSIS at you, me, all of us - individual citizens and those of us working on these campaigns (on the one hand), and...
B) B) (on the other hand), the enormously detrimental surveillence and information-gathering, an encroachment into the until-now private world of the individual's home and domestic habits, that is being enabled and installed with every smart meter (1.9 million of them so far in BC) that transmits by RF the details of our minute-by-minute domestic activities to an unaccountable, profit-driven web of interlocking corporate/governmental bodies, operating without any kind of oversight or knowledge by the public?
Do you really not see that the issue of concern in one case is simply the same issue continued by different means in the other case? Surveillance is surveillance, whether by one means or another. The destination of the data is not to some above-board, transparent process whereby individual citizens decide for themselves to what use their data will be put, what is useful to them, what they agree to divulge to a properly constituted authority for clearly defined purposes or something like that. It is instead more or less "vacuumed up" by smart meter / AMI technology and transmitted to places, parties, functions, analyses and purposes that the individual that is the source of the data will never have either knowledge, oversight nor any opportunity to consent / deny to.
To me, that is a problem. Is it not so to you, or to the Green Party?
For so many reasons to do with the excellent work you accomplish as our MP and as apparently a life-long environmentalist, I would like to be a staunch Green supporter and work with you and thousands of other Greens to achieve the goals we envision for our nation and our world. Yet intermittently, I come to a place where I'm left feeling: They Just Don't Seem To Get It! So the Green Party continues without my full support, my donations and my vote. In some ways, that's a regret, because I really approve of so much that you are doing.
There are many reasons for being opposed to the anti-democratic forced installation of smart meter systems:
-- health effects associated with close proximity to RF transmitters (and impacts on young children, the foetus, those with compromised immune systems, with electro-hypersensitivity, with existing tumours, with cardiac arrhythmia, with pacemakers etc);
-- costs to environmental systems such as bees, migrating birds and all the rest we are only just beginning to understand;
-- surveillance and information-gathering, accompanied by erosion of domestic privacy and the peaceful enjoyment of one's own home environment;
-- safety (fire and explosion etc.);
-- accuracy and reliability of metering;
-- retaining existing jobs in small communities where they are not easily come by;
-- security of the web and the grid (just in BC, 1.9 million additional portals through which hacking or problems can now be engendered);
-- possibility for criminal diversion of the unencrypted data stream to enable house-breaking, theft & similar activities, using devices already available for less than $20;
-- unaccountability for data loss;
-- economy and simplicity;
-- appropriateness of technology;
-- concentration of power in corporate/governmental hands;
-- increased hydro rates and charges being forced onto the consumer;
-- questionable accounting practices to disguise actual future cost liabilities.
I could continue with that list, but let us agree that it is already quite lengthy enough and sufficiently diverse (and worrying), for me to now reasonably ask the following:
Does the Green Party still support the installation of AMI as it has been happening in BC and elsewhere?
Is it the position of the Green Party that the supposed benefits, promoted by BC Hydro (in their 'greenwashing' campaign) as part of the reason for the expense and inconvenience being justified, are "benefits" that still convince the Green Party of their validity and likelihood of one day coming about, despite other jurisdictions having abandoned their claims of future benefit, or reversed themselves on the choice for AMI roll-out?
Is the Green Party now ready and willing to take a public stance comparable to the 55 municipalities and cities in BC that voted for a moratorium on any further smart meter installations? Or comparable to the national governments of Germany, Austria and Italy who have all made public their decisions not to aggressively pursue AMI as is still being done in Canada and the US?
I would appreciate hearing back from you personally as my MP, or from the Green Party, with any answers you may be able to offer to me for the questions I have posed above.
Yours sincerely (and thanks again Elizabeth!)
Subject: update 2014-02-20 "the internet of things"
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 00:10:11 -0800
1) The smeters on our homes are going to be connected, via the internet, to the other wireless devices which are being hacked every day.
2) Industry is admitting that until/unless data is secure, the grid will not have support of the public. A major concern for us in BC is at what price? It will cost hundreds of millions to add the necessary safeguards (which will keep changing. Hackers are very inventive.) No such costs were included in the business case.
3) Ontario from January – the initial meters were installed in 2006, and Hydro Ottawa wants to replace them with the “newest” version. As with all software, there is always a newer version. A bottomless pit that we will face in BC. But the Ontario Energy Board is saying the customers should not face the costs for replacing meters that still work.
4) Security persons in the US Homeland Security are warning that an attack on the grid is 100% certain, and, like former CIA director James Woolsey said, when (not if) it happens, we will return to the dark ages, for a very, very long time. Navy seals talk about a recent attack.
5) I am getting emails from members like the one below all the time. It is obvious that there are many people like us fighting to keep our homes smeter-free!! FYI, Ten Mile Point is a very small neighbourhood in Victoria. Note that management is being called on to read meters!!
Just had a pleasant chat with the older gentleman now reading our meter. He informed me that he used to be a meter reader and is happy to get out and resume his past...I think he may be in management now....
Anyway, I asked if I was one of the last holdouts in this area, Ten Mile Point in Victoria,...his response. “No it takes me a day to read meters in this area. Like mine, the legacy meter, and the smart meter recipients that have chosen the turn off option.”
6) The ideas that having smeters = saving energy has been shown not to be true. Nowhere has the grid actually saved money or energy. This explains part of the problem:
An editorial written by the Mayor of Metchosin to the major newspapers. He received no responses and no publication. Please consider submitting to your local newspapers, as an example of a politician who is speaking out for his constituents re. smeters.
Guest Editorial from John Ranns November 2013
What I find most disturbing about BC Hydro’s forced imposition of smart meters is how readily politicians of all parties have abandoned fundamental principles of a free society in order to accommodate bureaucratic expediency. Individual freedom demands that government has boundaries. As far back as the 1600s the concept that individuals need sanctuary from government was established in British Common Law ( still applicable in British Columbia) clearly stating that your home is your castle and the sovereign will not cross your threshold without following due process. Except now they have. In one stroke the Province is saying that lawful citizens no longer have a choice in what enters or leaves their homes.
Although debate has been carefully steered to encompass technical arguments and ignore principle there are two facts about smart meters which cannot be denied. They emit radiation into your house and, when Hydro chooses, they will gather and disseminate personal information which previously would have required a court order.
Whether the radiation is harmful or ultimately proves to be safe is not the point. What is critical to the issue is that many people believe it to be harmful and now their sanctuary along with their peace of mind is denied them. . Nor does it matter how little you may care what government, corporations and hackers know about what you do in your home, What matters is that the safeguards protecting others who do care must remain in place..
And forget the argument that they are free to go somewhere else. In our current economy most people in this province who have a job and a mortgage have no choice but to stay where they are and do what BC Hydro dictates. For populated areas supplied electricity has become more essential to life than supplied water. Urban regulations will not permit alternative sources and those who could legally go off the grid can rarely afford the expense. BC Hydro is a government established monopoly so there are no competitors to turn to for service provision. Under these circumstances the only protection an individual has are our elected representatives. Except in this case, regardless of party, they have determined that what is good for business is more important than long established individual rights.
Recently, politicians of all description prominently displayed poppies and paid homage to the sacrifices made by previous generations who understood that to maintain a free system over time it is necessary for certain principles to be inviolate. Government must conform to the principle rather than change the principle to accommodate the wishes of whoever happens to be in power. It is why we have Constitutions. Unfortunately many politicians these days don’t seem to think that way. They do not recognize that our jobs are not only to represent our electorate, majority and minority, but also to serve as guardians of the free system. Sadly we seem all too willing to thoughtlessly forfeit our freedom for the latest of fleeting conveniences that our runaway technology may provide.
John Ranns Mayor, District of Metchosin
2) Follow up to the “internet of things” last night.
3) From a member on Salt Spring, re. BC Hydro’s final response provided to BCUC:
“Re-canvassing customers that chose a smart meter during that period would accomplish nothing because a change of heart would not make them eligible now for the legacy or radio-off meter options.”
Another canvassing of customers that I see as useful, were we to do it ourselves (which BC Hydro makes me feel like doing, avaaz-style) is to ask those who DID opt out and kept their analogue meters, if they will "“participate in a voluntary self-read program and commit to timely and accurate reading of the meter at their premises” (BC Hydro phrasing)
See my unpublished musings below:
Re resuming a meter self-read program to assist BC Hydro in continued practicability and cost-effectiveness of customers’ choice to retain a legacy meter.
Referencing 2.9 - 67 Reply to Submissions of Mr. Mansell and Reeferencing 2.12-77 Reply to Submissions of Mr Polden page 28
BC Hydro states in 2.12-77 ‘BC Hydro has not said a meter self-read program would be "impossible”.’
Nevertheless, BC Hydro states in 2.9 - 67 “Although Mr. Mansell is confident that his views would be shared by a majority of legacy meter customers, there is no evidence that that is a reasonable assumption.”
BC Hydro then presents its ‘evidence’ that their own assumption is a reasonable one; I don’t accept that. BC Hydro should base their own assumption on evidence based on a response to the question asked of their customers - “would you commit to self-metering once every two months, if we reduced the cost-assessment fee currently arrived at by presuming that you would not?”
BC Hydro’s assumption, as written, is that “It might be safe to assume” that 13,000 people “would not participate in a voluntary self-read program or commit to timely and accurate reading of the meter at their premises”.
On what evidence does BC Hydro base its self-proclaimed ‘”safe assumption” that its own assumption is more reasanable than that of Mr Mansell and Mr Polden?
“As shown in Exhibit B-8, more than two-thirds of legacy meter customers were deemed to choose the legacy meter option because they did not respond during Meter Choices Program enrolment.”
NOTE WELL: If those who were deemed by BC Hydro to have been among those who “did not respond” include those who, as a result of a thorough engagement in the issues, chose not to SIGN UP, because they did not agree to the terms of the “choice” imposed, those should indeed be “deemed” to have “chosen the legacy meter option” but .
“This evidence suggests the majority of legacy meter customers are not engaged on issues related to the Program such as meter self-reading, at least not to the extent Mr. Mansell and the other active interveners are.
WOW! What a statement!!! I suspect they meant to insert the word “majority” of the 13,000, if not the more advisable “we submit the above data-based reasoning as evidence that two-thirds” etc
[I’d bet that the majority of active intervenors did not sign up, and each intervenor represents a swath of other self-metering customers who did not sign up - surely we could FIND OUT, get a petition signed, and thus discredit BC Hydro’s assumption skills]
“A small-scale voluntary self-read program would be unlikely to result in cost savings.”
Does that not suggest that a larger-scale voluntary self-read program would be likely to result in cost savings?
In the absence of an expectation that BC Hydro would not be prepared to collect firmer evidence of commitment, I wonder if we could get a resounding response from a petition to submit to BCUC indicating that a verified number of analogue holders would MOST CERTAINLY commit to self-metering once every two months.
As an additional thought, Mayor Ranns of Metchosin made a wise suggestion that is very reasonable. Why can’t communities hire their own readers for regular readings and then report to BC Hydro? This would provide home owners the assurance of accurate, timely readings, and reduce Hydro’s costs which are unreasonably high – obviously they pay their meter readers at the same rate they pay their executives, confirmed by the report from the Ten Mile Point meter reader – even management is being asked to read meters.
4) Many people have wondered how their bills are calculated, using tiers.
An explanation of tiers for calculating bills from a member, using 67 days in the billing period as an example:
BC Hydro Calculation for Tier 1 = # of Days in billing period x 22.1918kWh (Hydro assumes a base of 22.1918 per day)
67 days x 22.1918kWh = 1,486.85 = 1487kWh for Tier 1
+ Remainder of the kWh.used for the 67 day period @ Tier 2 (Total Electricity Used -Tier 1)
Legacy Meter Fee = $1.15/day
[Bills - Penticton, BC] Letters: Fortis a year-round headache by Mary Churchill - BC Local News - February 20, 2014:
(Please Comment & - http://www.bclocalnews.com/contact_us/?curSection=&c=y&returnPath=%2F%3Ftime%3D20140220&bc09=true)
Dear Ms. Hamilton, Dear Mr. Wruck,
This is to inform you that my recent payment of the money that BC Hydro has demanded for refraining from attaching a hazardous device to my house, was made under protest and under duress. I live in an isolated situation in a colder part of the province, where temperatures can drop below minus 30 degrees Celsius, as they recently did during the prolonged cold snap. If BC Hydro was to carry out its threat to cut off my electricity supply if I did not pay, I could die. I made BC Hydro aware of that danger, but received no response. BC Hydro has thus exacted money from me under threats of inflicting bodily harm, either by disconnecting my power supply, which is vital to me, or by inescapably subjecting me to a smart-meter device that emits radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, which is increasingly being recognized as a serious health hazard and which has been designated by the World Health Organization as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This device also is a fire hazard, especially on older houses like mine, infringes on privacy, compromises national security, and will likely contribute to escalating electricity rates. This is extortion—a criminal offence!
I am shocked by the ruthlessness with which BC Hydro, aided by the BC Government, presses on relentlessly with its mad quest to subject every last one of its customers to its unnecessary and risky smart metering experiment, with complete disregard for our concerns, our well-being, and our constitutional right to live free from potential dangers. It is stunning to see the BC Government simply making new laws to sanction whatever new coercion measures BC Hydro decides to try on those who resist. This is not the kind of conduct one expects from a responsible government/Crown corporation acting in the public interest—this is the behaviour of bullies abusing their position of power to further their own self-serving agenda!
As has already been expressed over and over in the numerous submissions to the public hearing on the issue, BC Hydro’s attempt to disguise its extortionary opt-out legacy meter charge as merely a recovery of opt-out-associated costs is ludicrous. None of BC Hydro’s arguments are credible. The charge, which in my case greatly exceeds the cost of my electricity consumption, is clearly just another pressure tactic to wring smart-meter “acceptance” from the remaining customers who have resisted earlier tactics that relied on misinformation, intimidation, or stealth.
For example, if the opt-out charge was truly intended only to recover opt-out costs, then why does BC Hydro refuse to let customers eliminate the costs of manual meter reading (the second largest cost component underlying the charge) by self-reading their meters, a common practice routinely employed by utilities around the world? The arguments BC Hydro offers to justify its refusal are too preposterous to be taken serious, such as its contention that customers may be incapable or unwilling to take a regular, accurate meter reading every two months. Please be assured that I am entirely capable of reading and recording the 5-digit number on my digital meter, that I am even able to read an analog meter, and that other British Columbians are equally capable of performing those feats. I have told BC Hydro that I am happy to report my reading to them every two months, free of charge. In fact, a BC Hydro representative called me on 10 January 2014 and asked me to read my meter myself that day, which I did. BC Hydro has thus forced me to pay for a service that I do not need, that I do not want, that was not even rendered, and that I am already paying for through BC Hydro’s basic charge!
One point I have not seen mentioned in the public hearing is that even if no one opted out, BC Hydro would still have to maintain the ability to collect and process manual meter readings and the ability to keep the grid functioning without smart meters, as a backup in the event of smart meter system failure. BC Hydro must not be allowed to force opt-out customers to bear the costs of retaining a backup system that is necessary for its entire operations.
A fundamental flaw in BC Hydro’s position is its assertion that the smart metering program is beneficial for its customers. This assertion has never been independently verified because the government prohibited the Commission from carrying out its mandate of reviewing the smart metering program to ensure that it is in the public interest. The reality is that the smart metering program is highly detrimental due to the many serious risks associated with the technology and due to its enormous, ongoing costs, while purported customer benefits are unproven or trivial. Customer benefits have consistently failed to materialize in other jurisdictions that have switched to smart meters. Those, of course, are the reasons why there is such a strong and growing, worldwide public outcry against smart meters, and why BC Hydro and the BC Government must resort to deception and coercion to get the program implemented. BC Hydro’s argument that anything that adversely affects the smart metering program (such as the increase in the number of opt-out customers that would likely occur if the Commission eliminated the opt-out charge) is bad for its customers, is therefore twisted. In reality, any decision made by the Commission that would delay, downsize, or completely terminate this dangerous program and its never-ending costs would be extremely beneficial for BC Hydro customers.
Any normal company would soon be out of business if it tried to coerce, intimidate, harass, and generally torment its customers the way BC Hydro’s smart metering team is currently doing. But BC Hydro is a monopoly providing an essential service, so its customers cannot simply go shop elsewhere or decide to do without the service. The very reason for the Commission’s existence is to prevent such abuses of monopoly power. It is therefore the Commission’s duty to order BC Hydro to stop holding its customers hostage and to eliminate the unjustifiable, extortionary, and unconstitutional opt-out legacy meter charge or to minimize it to a nominal amount, such as $1.00 per year.
Furthermore, BC Hydro must be ordered to continue to honour the choice of customers who do not want a smart meter. I do not believe BC Hydro’s improbable claim that the seals on most non-smart meters will soon expire and that they cannot be re-certified, and I will resist any attempts by BC Hydro to install a radio-off smart meter at my house. It is only too obvious that once BC Hydro has succeeded in forcing such a deactivated smart meter on every opt-out customer, its next step will be to proclaim that the disabled transceivers must be turned on and that dire consequences await customers who try to resist. After all, BC Hydro has repeatedly stated that its goal is to eventually operate a smart meter at every customer premise. BC Hydro’s ongoing destruction of more than 1.8 million fully functional analog or digital non-smart meters to make them unavailable to those wanting to opt out, is an outrageous display of its contemptuous disregard for the wishes of its customers. If the Commission does not, at this time, have the power to order BC Hydro to replenish its inventory of analog meters, then it must at least order BC Hydro to not prevent customers from buying a new analog meter themselves when replacement of their old meter truly becomes necessary.
Should the Commission fail to provide us—BC Hydro’s victims—with complete relief from the monopoly’s reprehensible acts of extortion and continued forced smart meter installation (radio-on or radio-off), then it will have lost its credibility as an independent regulator. We will then be compelled to defend ourselves on our own, as we have already begun to do by initiating legal action against BC Hydro. We have no intention whatsoever of bowing to bullies who violate our basic rights and freedoms, because if we did, worse acts of oppression would be sure to follow.
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.
Major U.S. Utility Says “No Rational Basis” for Mandating Smart Meters
Posted on February 13, 2014
Northeast Utilities (NU) operates New England’s largest utility system serving more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
In a written submittal filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Northeast Utilities was highly critical of a proposed state plan that would require utilization of “advanced metering” or smart meters within the state of Massachusetts as part of an electrical grid modernization plan. In fact, the comments are quite remarkable in that they appear to reflect reality without undue political spin or bias. Let us hope that other utilities, public utility commissions, and politicians everywhere can soon come to similar unbiased conclusions that are based upon economic realities and reflect consumers’ and societal best interests.
) From Dr. Timothy Schoechle, author of “Getting smarter about the smart grid.”
The following link is to the 29-page filing to the Massachusetts PUC "Comments submitted on behalf of NSTAR Electric Company (“NSTAR Electric”), and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (“WMECO”)(collectively, “Northeast Utilities”)". I can't tell you how gratifying and validating this document is in regard to our work. The highlighted text is related to smart meters, but there is also a lot more good stuff in this document on broader issues like distributed energy and demand response.
Here on Page 11 is a sample that you will like:
"industry studies show that only 46 percent of customers are aware of the concept of
“smart metering,” and of that percentage, 33 percent associate smart metering with complaints of
meter inaccuracy, higher customer bills, invasion of privacy and health concerns... Certain customer segments, particularly the commercial and industrial sector, have significant reservations about AMI and TVR. Many customers have a deep aversion to technology that links them to the “grid” in a way that they perceive as an invasion of their privacy and/or detrimental to their health."
To Bill Good:
Sent: February 23, 2014 1:47 PM
Subject: The Bill Good Show - Mr. Reid of BC Hydro Interview
Good day Bill,
I'd like to take exception with a couple of points your guest, Charles Reid of BC Hydro made on your show last week. Mr. Reid spoke at length about the quality of his "award winning" office and front line staff. He said they did everything they could to reach an amicable solution with the customer as it pertained to complaints of over billing. That is patently not true. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of complaints by respectable, hydro customers. In some instances people have been brought to tears over the handling of their legitimate complaints and general queries. The elderly have taken the brunt of much Hydro bullying. Contrary to Mr. Reid’s statement, there are many hydro customers who would suggest that the front line office staff have never received training in people skills prior to their assignments. Empathy? They don't know what that word means.
Now the most important point I will ever make regarding what I perceive to be the blatant negligence of BC Hydro/Mr. Reid. You will recall that during the early roll out there were substantiated reports of fires, arcing and electrical surges of lights and appliance motors. BC Hydro's now infamous answer to these hydro customers was, "It's not the smart meter's fault, it is a defective mounting plate. That is the responsibility of the homeowner." Now let us dissect Hydro's position. They are at your home to change a meter. I'm sure you'll agree that their intent is to make sure it is a safe installation. How can it be a safe installation if they don't first make sure that what they are about to mount the new meter to is in a safe, operable condition? In yet Hydro continued to say, "It's the customer's responsibility." Now you must know that any judge on this planet would ask a few questions of this installer? 1. Did you first have the homeowner turn the main breaker off before you began installation? 2. Did you make sure that what you were affixing the new meter to was in good working condition? Now, should the installer answer that, "no, I didn't, that's the homeowner's responsibility," you have a judge that would immediately say, "guilty as charged." At no time do you hear that the installer tried to alert the homeowner that they needed to employ an electrician before BC Hydro could safely install the new meter. Corrix installers simply proceeded with the installation hoping that all would be well. It's to be remembered that Corrix were given a timeline and budget to follow. They meant to honor that contract.
You will also recall that eventually BC Hydro had an attitude adjustment. They began to say that as a favor to our customers we will start inspecting and changing the connector plate if they are deemed to be faulty before we install the new meter we won't charge the customer for this service. I suggest to you that had BC Hydro not altered its' tact on, "our property, your property" they would have been litigated against and most surely would have lost. You see you can't knowingly attend an installation location, install a new meter and assume all is well if you don't first make sure it is a safe install. Hydro put the lives and properties of their customers in jeopardy because they didn't do the job.
By the way, do you remember prior to the" smart meter roll out" if any Hydro spokesman ever announced to the public that they should hire an electrician to make sure the connecting plate is sound before we begin changing your meters? No you don't because they didn't.
During the early days of the "smart meter" roll out there were numerous complaints of meter fires (houses completely burnt down) and fried electronic devices. I was given the name of a TV repair shop in Kelowna. They had banks of TV's brought in by customers that had been fried do to arcing caused during smart meter installation (caused by rocking back and forth trying to make the new meter fit the mounting plate without having the main circuit breaker turned off first). This has been verified, Bill.
Feb. 22, 2014
Attention: BC Hydro Accounts
Re: Account # XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Enclosed please find my cheque # 351 in the amount of $36.75 which I have calculated to be the portion of my current billing that relates to the “Legacy Meter Charge” recently added to my bill.
I am paying this charge under protest because I do not feel that BC Hydro is acting in a fair manner by charging me with this charge.
Before the charge was added to my account I called BC Hydro and learned that over the past 12 months my meter had only been read about twice and the rest of the bills have simply been estimates.
I note on my current bill that the meter is alleged to have been read Feb.5,2014 and that the next reading is expected to take place on or about April 7th.
This further supports my allegation that the Legacy Charge is discriminatory as I expect to be charged the Legacy Charge in March 2014 when Hydro does not intend to actually ready my meter in March.
In reviewing my monthly bills it appears that BC Hydro has been estimating meter readings for some considerable time and I do not therefore feel a meter reading charge is warranted as a once a year reading would result in the same thing that BC Hydro has been doing all along.
I will gladly read my meter once a year or more frequent and provide Hydro with the figures in order to keep my account up to date.
In the alternative charging me $35.00 per month when my meter may only be read once or twice a year seems an unwarranted charge in my view and I would ask that BC Hydro stop charging me this fee.
Sent: February 23, 2014 3:45 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Response to Fiona Taylor, Director, Smart Meter Program
Dear Ms. Taylor,
I am sending this email to the only address I can find that might reach you.
On January 29, you sent a response to my letter to the editor of the "Golden Star" of January 1. I would like to make a point that actually seems very obvious. You stated in your letter regarding the choices of meter through the Smart Meter Choices Program that "This is a fair solution as it ensures that the vast majority of customers who have a smart meter are not subsidizing the choices of a very small number of people." If we flip that coin over, then why would it be fair for the "very small number of people" who do not have a new smart meter to subsidize "the vast majority of customers who have a smart meter" for which the cost has apparently been over $1 billion? I should then be able to presume that by paying an extra legacy fee, I am exempted from paying any increase resulting from the Smart Meter program. Is this correct? If so, how can I trust that rate increases will not apply to me when I hear of many people already having inflated bills and getting no help in sorting them out. It would seem much easier to eliminate the $35 legacy fee for this "very small number of people", many of whom will gladly read their own meters and send the readings in to BC Hydro.
I totally believe that the Smart Meter Choices program is not a "fair solution".
Please be aware that there are many unhappy people as a result of your un"fair" choices program, particularly people who feel they were harassed and bullied into accepting a smart meter. We have lost faith in BC Hydro.