1) Adrian Dix has written a letter to Bill Bennett about the legacy fees that are being charged, pointing out that our fees are substantially higher than other places, and in fact punitive. We should applaud this action, the strongest statement by any politician about the unfair treatment “legacy” customers are receiving. His letter is attached. Please respond, letting him, your MLA and Bill Bennett know that we appreciate this , and reminding Bennett that the Utilities Commission Act is being violated by charging us for the same services provided to nearly 50,000 $$metered customers for no additional fee. Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The official press release is at http://bcndpcaucus.ca/news/%EF%BB%BF-new-democrats-call-reduction-fees-paid-meter-choices-b-c-hydro-users/
2) BC Hydro’s harassment continues, with threats of disconnection for small amounts for services that may never have happened. Please see letters below.
3) Important: A member has sent photos of a $meter with a significant amount of moisture in it. This is the second $meter on this house that gathered moisture from condensation or leaked. The first $meter’s moisture was noticed in March, 2014, and Hydro replaced the $meter within 2 hours of receiving the report. Moisture has been the cause of fires in BC just as it has been in Saskatchewan. Please keep watch on your $meter and tell your friends/relatives to do the same. If you find moisture, any amount, take a photo, and immediately call Hydro, and please let me know. If you have had or know of a smeter that has been replaced due to moisture, or failed due to moisture please let me know with an email to email@example.com and Moisture on the subject line.
4) The World Health Organization drafted a report on RF and cell phones, and asked for input. A group of experts has responded, calling the draft biased, written by long-time industry affiliates, ignoring scientific research by independent experts. It’s time things changed because the risk of harm is increasing because of failure to take precautionary steps. (The article and letter have been translated from Swedish, hence the grammatical and syntactical errors.)
5) Telus will be providing internet access to West Van. Island via fiber optic cable, which is, as they admit, faster and much more efficient. This is great news, and will be safer re. RF emissions and hacking but only if the “last mile” is also via fiber optic cable. If Telus does not connect cable to homes, schools and businesses then they will be installing more cell transmitters for the final step. This will mean more RF and lack of security. It is vital to find out the complete plan.
[BC Hydro – Fibre Optics – Telus – Tofino – Ucluelet, BC] Faster, Higher Capacity Internet Service Coming to West Coast Vancouver Island Communities by District of Ucluelet – Market Wired – December 17, 2014:
6) Using solar panels with “net metering”, or using means to generate your own electricity, selling surplus back to the utility company, is not going well in Iowa, especially with very low participation rates allowed.
December 18, 2014
Adrian Dix, MLA
Your press release and letter to Bennett, belated though it is, warrants much appreciation. However, you have let an implication take root in your text that I believe you will likely find it necessary to disavow. I refer to your statement regarding the contradictions in Hydro’s stated policies; on one hand a Hydro spokesman states Hydro will not turn off electricity of those refusing to pay Smart Meter Legacy fees between November and March, and a contradictory policy in which electricity is being cut off of persons in November and December. Your letter urges Hydro to settle on one consistent policy.
This argues with the balance of your letter which urges that the Legacy fees are excessive, punitive and inconsistently applied. If the fees are wrong, turning off anyone’s electricity at any time for these reasons is wrong, unjust and amoral. As a result, I find no fire in your objection about individuals and families spending the holidays in the dark and cold. Indeed, I don’t find even the expected force of political objection. This faint aside about this disgraceful situation shows me that these shockingly objectionable tactics have yet to rouse anyone in the NDP into a substantial denunciation, in this case via the press.
I think your position, given the actual facts, needs an immediate amendment and clarification.
Sent: December 18, 2014 9:32 PM
Subject: Fw: New Democrats call for a reduction in fees paid by Meter Choices B.C. Hydro users
On Thursday, December 18, 2014 9:30 PM, Y wrote:
Dear Mr. Horgan,
I want you to see my response to Adrian Dix’s letter to Bill Bennett on the smart meter fees issue… I truly appreciate his efforts to get something done about this mess. I hope the NDP continues to distinguish itself from the other parties by addressing this serious issue in this serious manner.
On Thursday, December 18, 2014 9:22 PM, XXXXXX wrote:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your attention to this matter!! I very much appreciate you taking this on, especially when the government shows no interest in this unjust and even inhumane situation.
There are many other serious issues with the government smart meter program…another shameful story is their denial of the fire risk and the record of fires -yes, even with BC’s Itron meters! – especially when compared to Saskatchewan’s and Ontario’s responsiveness.
However, your letter to Mr. Bennett has hit the mark on one of the worst aspects of this program.
Thank you again,
Sent: December 18, 2014 7:52 AM
To: Smart Meters; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: email@example.com; Patrick.Wruck@bcuc.com; John.Horgan.MLA@leg.bc.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; citizensforsafetechnology; Complaints BCUC:EX; Commission Secretary BCUC:EX; firstname.lastname@example.org; Office PREM:EX Office of the Premier
Subject: More extortionist fees
Dear Mr. Reimer and the BC Hydro Smart Meter team,
On Dec. 18 I received your latest letter, dated Dec. 8,2014, in which you once again threaten to disconnect my power if I don’t promptly pay the “past due” charges on my account of $65.94. This is the amount left outstanding from the “failed meter installation” fee that I have been contesting with you for your alleged attempt to replace my analogue meter with another, certified one.
A little history:
- On April 29, 2014 you sent me a letter informing me that the certification of my present analogue had expired, and it needed replacing. I received this letter on May 5.
- In a conversation with Michael in your smart meter department, I was informed that a technician attempted to replace my meter on May 5, but was unable to do so because access to my meter is not possible without my presence. Note that this is the same date as the arrival of your letter — so I received no timely notice, and was not able to take steps to ensure a successful meter swap. No notice, business card or phone message was left by this technician, and there is no evidence he/she was even here.
- In a subsequent conversation with Jessica in your smart meter department I was informed that the date this technician actually arrived to attempt the meter swap was May 15 — again, I was not aware that the technician would be arriving and so was unable to facilitate access to my meter. And again, no evidence at my home that the technician had actually been here.
- In yet a further conversation with your smart meter department (this time it was Michael again), I was told that the date the technician was here to exchange my meter was actually May 16. Again, no evidence of any kind at my home that this had actually occurred.
Some months later, on my August 26 bill, I received a failed meter installation fee, with no explanation of where and when this fee originated.
It certainly appears that BC Hydro’s billing department is just making up stories and foisting them on customers as though they are true.
To recount: On May 5, I received a letter telling me my meter needed changing, which gave me no notice to make arrangements for this to happen before an apparent attempt to make the change. Then three conflicting dates that the technician allegedly arrived at my home to make the change. Absolutely no physical evidence at my home to let me know anyone from BC Hydro had been here to make the change. Three months later, I am charged penalty for a failed installation. One certainly wonders what is going on at BC Hydro!
On May 29 I responded via email to your initial letter of April 29, informing you that in order for my meter to be exchanged I needed prior notice so that I could arrange to be present when the technician arrived to provide access to my meter. I detailed the reasons for this, which I won’t reiterate here — I’m sure you have them on file, as I have written you a number of times about this matter.
Because of all this confusion, and especially because BC Hydro did not make any attempt to provide sufficient notice for me to cooperate with the planned exchange, I have contested your “failed meter installation” penalty. Through a number of conversations with people (usually Michael) in your smart meter department, we more or less agreed that resolving this matter would be deferred until I finally do have my meter properly swapped with a certified one. It was agreed that this would now happen sometime in January, 2015, and that I would receive a phone call the day before the planned swap so that I could arrange things for this to happen smoothly.
I have no desire to block BC Hydro from exchanging my meter, so long as it takes place in accordance with my wishes as communicated to you in previous correspondence. BC Hydro has agreed.
Therefore, I will not be paying the fine in question. Please note that for the past 20-plus years I have ALWAYS paid my electrical fees due to BC Hydro on time. Under great duress I now have also reluctantly paid your infamous and extortionist “legacy fees.” There is absolutely no reason for BC Hydro to threaten me with disconnection over this issue. It can and will be resolved in due time. I ask for your patience and understanding.
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 2:56 PM
Subject: RE: more harassment
The BC Utilities Commission is in receipt of additional correspondence from X (see below).
At this time Commission staff are awaiting a response from BC Hydro regarding this complaint. Accordingly, Commission staff request BC Hydro to please confirm that locks have been placed on the account until the file is closed.
Commission staff also request BC Hydro to please respond to the additional questions raised in X’s email below, specifically regarding the outstanding balance on the account.
Customer Relations Analyst
British Columbia Utilities Commission
6th Floor, 900 Howe Street, Box 250
Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2N3
Phone: 604.660.4700 | Fax: 604.660.1102 | Toll Free: 1.800.663.1385
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 7:08 AM
To: Minister, MEM MEM:EX; Greg Reimer/B.C. Hydro; Stilwell.MLA, Michelle LASS:EX; Complaints BCUC:EX; Sharon Noble; Horgan.MLA, John LASS:EX; Dix.MLA, Adrian LASS:EX
Subject: more harassment
FROM A B.C. RESIDENT WHO OPTED TO KEEP AN ANALOG METER
B.C. Hydro is once again harassing me with a threatening letter. This letter dated Dec. 5, 2014 opens with: “Disconnection Notice for Total Amount of $499.25 Owing Today and Security Deposit of $432.00 Required by Dec. 15, 2014”
My last B.C. Hydro bill is dated: Nov. 6/14
B.C. Hydro Invoice # xxxxx
B.C. Hydro Invoice Amount: $414.14 due Nov. 28
Nov. 17/14 – I have paid $88.81
Nov. 17/14 – I have sent a letter to B.C. Hydro stating I was deducting the “Failed Meter Installation Charge” of $65.00 (never came to my door)
Nov. 28/14 – I have paid $64.80
Nov. 28/14 – I have paid $195.53
My account is current and this harassment is unjustified.
PLEASE, can someone PLEASE let me know when this bullying and harassment is going to stop? Maybe it is time that the citizens of B.C. ask that the people who are responsible for this harassing, bullying and hydro debacle, lose their jobs/positions. B.C. residents are being treated unfairly. This is outrageous.
Member of the Class Action Suit against B.C. Hydro