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Post by lionking on Sat May 26, 2012 6:17 pm

Open letter to our Members of Legislative Assembly: Dear Madams and Sirs, re: BC smart meter program I am writing to all of our elected officials who ultimately will have to take responsibility for the smart meter program. Although the decisions for it were made without debate or consultation with most of you, if you allow it to continue you will share the blame for it. As you know, smart meters have been installed in several US states and in Ontario and we should be benefiting from their experiences.

Many serious problems have been reported consistently, regardless of the location or brand of meter. It follows that these same problems will be experienced here in British Columbia if we do not take proper heed. 1) Health: Contrary to what the government reports, the microwave radiation that is emitted is high (as much as 4000 microwatts per square centimeter, vs. maximum allowed of 600 microwatts per square centimeter) during the signal ‘spikes’ which occur several times a minute every day all day. People are being exposed to these high doses of microwave radiation within their homes from their own meters, and from their neighbours’ meters which are signaling to distant receivers. This is the same type of radiation recently classified as a 2b carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Many people are reporting health effects soon after the meter is placed on their homes.

2) Undemocratic: Non Consensual Exposure So far BC Hydro has not announced the opt-out option, thus meaning SM installation will be mandatory for every customer. SM radiation exposure is non-consensual. Most RF exposures (i.e. from household or personal digital devices) are optional. The imposition of this hazard via an essential service is undemocratic. Even persons who have been diagnosed as being electro-hypersensitive have not yet been given assurance from BC Hydro that they have the option to keep the conventional analog (safe) meters

3) Increased utility bills: More than 80% of smart metered homes in Ontario report significantly higher monthly bills, often more than 50% higher than prior to smart meter installation. In California many report bills doubling and tripling. This is without any change in utilization patterns.

4) Privacy: Meters keep records of personal daily use, recording what appliance is being used and when. Companies in the US have declared these records propriety information and have sold it to marketing companies, insurers and others. This truly is an invasion of privacy in the worst way.

5) Security: Wireless technology is notoriously insecure and can be easily hacked into. Hackers can access private information, determine by usage patterns when homes are unoccupied, or even interfere with the delivery of electricity.

6) Harmful interference: Smart meters interfere with household electrical appliances, even medical devices and home security systems, often causing them to malfunction or damaging the appliance itself.

7) Safety: Smart meters have exploded and many smart meter-related fires have been reported, most recently a major fire in Santa Rosa, California where several businesses were severely damaged. The fires are believed related to smart meters interfering with Arc-fault circuit interrupters. Several lawsuits are pending in California.

Cool Conservation: No energy is conserved by the meter. It merely reports usage, as does an analogue meter. Unless the user is educated on conservation techniques no reduction in utilization will occur. The smart meter contributes in no way to conservation – this is a false premise. It is the educated user that is key and the same reduction could be realized with the current safe, efficient analogue meter.

9) Program cost: A major concern of almost British Columbians is the cost of the program – more than $1 billion. We cannot afford a program which has no benefits and most likely no cost recovery potential. Better to spend this money on technology or products that will result in reduced energy utilization, such as better insulation, more efficient windows or furnaces, or solar panels. Not only are such investments well worth the money spent, they also would generate good, permanent jobs in our province.

Please answer the following questions i) – vi) from your personal point of view, not representing your party’s position: i) Were you involved in the discussions prior to the passing of the Clean Energy Act and the Utilities Commission Amendment? ii) Were you aware of the above-listed facts before the passage of the Clean Energy Act and the Utilities Commission Amendment? iii) Were you aware that BC Hydro’s SM program was excluded from the BC Utilities Commission’s scrutiny? iv) Please explain why hydro companies –other than BC Hydro-,like

Fortis BC have to go through a public hearing application process. v) Are you aware, that all the costs incurred with the SM Program are being paid by the very customers who don’t have a say? vi) Are you aware that insurance companies have excluded bodily injury, property damage or personal injury arising out of, resulting from, caused or contributed to by electro-magnetic radiation? I request a moratorium of the smart meter program until a complete and open public hearing has been held.

This would request an amendment of the BILL 17 — 2010 CLEAN ENERGY ACT, as well as an amendment to the BILL 15 — 2008 UTILITIES COMMISSION AMENDMENT ACT, 2008 in order to place BC Hydro's smart meter program under the scrutiny of the BC Utilities Commission as it is normal. More money must not be wasted on a program with no known benefits except to the companies. British Columbia cannot afford it, and British Columbians don’t want it. Hans Karow Lake Country, BC hansk@shaw.ca end of open letter to MLAs ***********************

PS.: According to Bill 23-2008 of the BC Public Health Act, section 83 (1), a municipality must take action when it learns of something that could be harmful to its residents. It must notify the Minister of Health or take immediate action. At its June 27 Council meeting, the City of Colwood passed a motion (at time of this writing 2 more communities have adopted similar resolution; more petitions have been submitted in other communities) to write to the Minister of Health and, due to the potential for wireless smart meters to cause harm or to compromise security, and that requests a moratorium on mandatory installations of wireless meters.

The Council also requested that concerned residents be offered safer alternatives at no cost to them. Since the provincial government is failing to care about the health and well-being of BC citizens, mayors and councilors of any municipality should fulfill their responsibility under the BC Public Health Act and advise the Minister of Health of the dangers associated with wireless smart meters. The municipality cannot order a moratorium because the program is in provincial jurisdiction, but that being so does not relieve the municipal-government of the responsibility to bring the potential danger to the Minister’s attention and to request action to ensure safety of the municipality’s residents.


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