2014-10-11 Nearly 50,000 $$meters being read manually, according to Hydro

  • I received a response to my request for the number of $$meters being read manually. Hydro has admitted that as of January 1, 2014, more than 66,000 were, and as of Sept 1, more than 45,000 still were. This proves that we are being discriminated against and that we are paying fees that are illegally applied according to the Utilities Commission Act. Mr. Bennett will say, if he ever answers my letters (see below) that his Directive 4 applies, this is the order he gave to BCUC to charge us to have our meters read. How can his directive, that was never approved by the legislature, overrule a law? If this can be done, then democracy in British Columbia is in grave danger, because this government can and will do this over and over. Why have elected MLAs?


  • Comment from a very wise member re. my statement about wired access in schools having many advantages over wifi:

Absence of WiFi does not lose the convenience of carrying a laptop or wireless device from room to room. A cellphone will probably be picking up signal from source outside the school anyway; a laptop can plug in via cord/cable at each room to access internet; several non-iPad tablets have the ability to connect to internet via plug-in cord/cable at each room. As far as I know, it’s incorrect to say “hard wired via fiber optic cable” even for a stationary desktop computer—the fiber optic usually only goes as far as the building’s main connection, and if it goes beyond there to service each WiFi router that’s a maybe, and it would be extremely, extremely, extremely rare for the fiber optic cable to go all the way to each computer (I don’t think the cords/cables exist, and besides they’re sort of not necessary, as ethernet for the final smaller distance connection is ultra-fast anyway). I.e., fiber optic is an infrastructure thing, not an personal device thing. Note: obviously people will argue because, yes, iPads need WiFi … well then, they shouldn’t select iPad as their preferred device.


  • Another comment re. the MD’s personal story re. his sensitivity. To which I will add another. The doctor was incorrect when he said that the allow level of exposure is 100 uW (microwatt) per centimeter squared. In Canada and the US the levels are much higher than that – for wifi and cell phones (depending on the frequency) it is 600-1000 uW/cm2!!

I like that Doctor’s personal story, however, there’s implication in it that if a patient can’t consciously feel something happening to her/his body during an exposure then the patient isn’t EHS


  • A 20 minute interview of Josh Hart who is a leader in California smart meter resistance. In California people are allowed to opt out, there is no law requiring installation as there is in BC, so some of Josh’s suggestions will not apply to us.

Speak Up and Stay Alive with Josh Hart by SpeakUpandStayAlive’s channel – YouTube – October 11, 2014:
– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg_RgmjwJYk


  • Fortis is seeking electricians to exchange meters for their electrical customers. Perhaps they learned from Hydro’s mistake of allowing Corix to hire people straight off the street, give them about 50 hours training, and put them to work (with a daily quota) to do a dangerous job normally done by someone with specialized skills and far more training.


Kelowna, BC
Full-time, Contract

Corix Utilities has opportunities for Electricians for our Meter Installation Project in BC. We are looking to fulfill positions in Kelowna, BC. They will be responsible for accurately exchanging and recording consumption of electrical meters on both single phase and polyphase services. Please note that this is a contract position.

Please see the attachment for a detailed job description.

Electrician – Corix.docx >






From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: October 11, 2014 9:42 AM
To: Bill Bennett (mem.minister@gov.bc.ca); ‘bill.bennett.mla@leg.bc.ca’
Cc: Christy Clark (premier@gov.bc.ca); ‘adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca’; John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘commission.secretary@bcuc.com’; Patrick Wruck; David Beers (dbeers@thetyee.ca)
Subject: A charge of discrimination against BC Hydro


Dear Mr. Bennett,

I have written to you several times about the discrimination that is taking place with regard to fees and rates charged to BC Hydro customers, and have yet to receive any response. Below are some of them.  (for this update I’ve included my first letter only.)

Are you aware, Sir, that (according to information provided to me through a Freedom of Information request to BC Hydro) as of January 1, 2014  66,587 smart meters were being read manually. As of September 1, 2014  45,457 smart meters still are being read manually – for no additional fee.

The many thousands of people who are paying legacy fees deserve an explanation for this discrimination, Mr. Bennett. We deserve to know the rationale behind your decision to allow this to occur and to continue.

Yours truly,

Sharon Noble

Bcc. All MLAs


From: Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: July 21, 2014
To: Bill Bennett (mem.minister@gov.bc.ca)
Cc: Christy Clark (premier@gov.bc.ca); John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca’; ‘maurine.karagianis.mla@leg.bc.ca’; ‘mike.farnworth.mla@leg.bc.ca’; CKNW Mike Smyth (msmyth@theprovince.com)
Subject: Discrimination by BC Hydro

Dear Mr. Bennett,

As Minister of Energy, you are responsible for ensuring that the laws and intentions of the laws are followed by the utility companies providing services to British Columbians.

One of the key regulations of the BC Utilities Commission Act is that all customers who are receiving substantially similar services must be treated in the same manner, without “unduly discriminatory rates”.

BC Utilities Commission Act, section 59.

Discrimination in rates

59  (1) A public utility must not make, demand or receive

(a) an unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory or unduly preferential rate for a service provided by it in British Columbia, or

(b) a rate that otherwise contravenes this Act, the regulations, orders of the commission or any other law.

(2) A public utility must not

(a) as to rate or service, subject any person or locality, or a particular description of traffic, to an undue prejudice or disadvantage, or

(b) extend to any person a form of agreement, a rule or a facility or privilege, unless the agreement, rule, facility or privilege is regularly and uniformly extended to all persons under substantially similar circumstances and conditions for service of the same description.

In Directive 4 you ordered that legacy fees be charged to those who refused to accept a smart meter. Your justification and BC Hydro’s in its application to the BCUC for these fees is that additional work is being done and additional equipment is required to handle manually read meters. This implies clearly that the smart meters do not require additional work or equipment because they are being remotely read.

At the time the fees became effective, and continuing today, many smart meters are being manually read, requiring the same work, the same manual input of data, the same everything that “legacy” meters require. It is likely that this will continue for some time, during which legacy metered accountholders are being charged high fees every month, and smart meter accountholders are not.

Can you please justify this discriminatory practise?




Who will stop Hydro’s harm

B.C. Hydro disconnected my electricity on Sept 10. I am a disabled senior with environmental illness and own a condo apartment in Ucluelet.

I am not able to live in my condo without Hydro. There is no heat, no lights, no hot water, no stove and no fridge. There is no option to go off grid in my building.

I have always paid my B.C. Hydro bills on time. Now I have paid for my power usage but not the fee to keep my analog meter. B.C. Hydro disconnected my service for having an unpaid bill. I cannot pay the analog fees and I cannot pay these fees on an ongoing basis. It is impossible. The analog fee is far more than my actual usage.

The electric room in my condo building was posted with a “No Smart Meters” sign. I told B.C. Hydro that I lived there and could not have smart meters near me. Nevertheless, they illegally entered and changed the majority of the meters. I am 2.4 meters from this bank of meters and now they make me sick.

The office of Energy Minister Bill Bennett, who oversees B.C. Hydro, says they can do nothing about it. They hang up on me. What is this policy that forces disabled seniors into homelessness? Who is going to fix it?

Marlene Macfarlane, Ucluelet


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