2014-11-21 Major testimony in US congress re. vulnerability of electrical grid.

1 – A member sent me an update to the list of medical doctors signing on to the letter I sent out last night. More than 50 have now signed. (letter attached)  Please, give this to your doctor, write CAPE, we need to help educate the care givers about this danger. And they need to help put pressure on the government at all levels, local, provincial and federal.

See Attachment

2 – From a member, re. net metering:

I just sat through the BC Hydro net-metering webinar which you mentioned in one of your emails recently.

For what it’s worth, it was explicitly stated that people with analogue meters may connect their domestic power generation systems to the grid and feed the grid… but they won’t be paid for what they put into the grid.  You probably knew this already.

At least the option is there for any of us with analogues to put up home solar systems to reduce/eliminate/wean ourselves off our reliance on BC Hydro without having to do it cold turkey.

BC Hydro’s net metering program is a one-lady operation.  Her name is Alevtina Akbulatova and she is passionate about people being able put power into the grid.  She gave the presentation and claimed that for people generating under 27kW the application process to BC Hydro is quite simple with a turnaround of just a few days.  The contact details of BC Hydro’s net metering program are:


3 – Confirmation from the highest levels of US govt., testimony that cyberattacks, bringing down the grid, will occur. When is the question. People will die, we will be in dire straits. So why is this continuing?
4 – Insurers seem to becoming aware of the potential dangers from a What about fires? Personal security attacks?


5 – A Russian hack into webcams just happened:  http://venturebeat.com/2014/11/20/the-russian-webcam-attacks-are-just-the-tip-of-iceberg-for-potential-home-network-attacks/


6 – Another good youtube giving a good overview of the dangers of $meters and the grid. This was done last year in New Zealand and is of a presentation by Don Maisch.


7 – Hydro’s new form letter is below. I have made comments in red in response to some of their lies and twists.


From: Gagnon, Mike
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:27 AM
To: mail
Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program
Dear xxxxxxxxx

Thank you for contacting the BC Hydro Smart Metering Program.

Beginning in August 2014, BC Hydro has refunded the portion of the fee related to meter reading if BC Hydro is unable to read the meter as scheduled, unless the reason is attributable to the customer.

Since manual meter reading is scheduled every two months, for:

radio-off meters – $30.08 of the $40 will be refunded; and
old meters – $27.90 of the $64.80 fee will be refunded.

These refunds are provided as retroactive credit adjustments, with interest, on customers’ BC Hydro bills.

They have been backed to the first time the fees were applied to customers’ bills.

The Meter Choices Program fees cover the cost of providing alternatives to standard smart meters. In fairness to all customers, those customers who want customized services need to cover the additional costs. What customized service when 50,000 smart meters are being read manually?

The costs for non-communicating meters offset the additional and ongoing expenses of providing and maintaining these options, specifically:

Adding additional infrastructure to ensure the smart grid can work around the non-communicating meters.
Smart meters work together to create a communications network that supports the electricity grid. Non-communicating meters create gaps in this network and BC Hydro is having to install additional equipment to bridge the gaps so the modern grid can work as planned.  Gaps occur with smeters that are not functional.
Setting up and maintaining separate metering and billing processes.
BC Hydro’s metering and billing processes are set up to process information from smart meters. To accommodate non-communicating meters, we have set up and maintain additional processes. For example, trucks, equipment and people must be retained to read the meters and manually input the data back into the billing system. Just as with non communicating smart meters
Manually performing services that are now automated by smart meters.
There are a number of other systems that are automated by smart meters including: outage management, grid-load forecasting, voltage alerts, and equipment maintenance alerts. For example, the new system automatically sends a voltage alert when equipment needs upgrading because it is overloaded. The new system also enables us to address billing inquiries on the spot because we can now view the bill-to-date while the customer is on the phone helping to resolve billing inquiries. Ditto. Outages are not being reported via the “smart” grid  –people are still having to call in.

BC Hydro’s meters use multiple layers of security, starting with the data being encrypted similar to online banking, transmitted through secure channels, processed in secured facilities, and managed by rigorous access control policies.  See articles above

The smart metering system has also been subject to comprehensive testing by an independent security services firm which uses a technique called “ethical hacking” to identity any weaknesses so that we can take appropriate measures. No serious flaws have been identified.

Fees for non-communicating meters are not new in North America. They vary because operating costs vary across jurisdictions and metering programs offset different business costs. Fees are intended to cover the incremental cost of accommodating customers who choose to opt out.   But Hydro is charging more than any other, and unilaterally, unfairly.

And in terms of costs – Hydro Quebec is charging customers an initial fee of $98.00 plus a monthly fee of $17.00 and in Portland, the initial fee is $254.00 plus a monthly fee of $51.00.  Not true, Quebec is charging $5 and in Portland the smeters are being removed due to fires. In other parts of Oregon there is no fee for opting out and keeping the analog.

If you have any further questions or concerns about BC Hydro’s Meter Choices Program, please contact BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Specialist Team at 1 800 409 8199.


BC Hydro
Smart Metering Specialist Team
Smart Metering Program
E-mail: smartmeters@bchydro.com
Phone: 1 800 409 8199

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