2015-02-08 BC Hydro says it is not testing failed Smart meters.


  • As you know, I’ve been investigating failed meters – ones that overheat, melt or cause fires. So far I’ve found quite a few and have been attempting to get information from Hydro that would explain which of the many design flaws would be the cause. In several fires, Hydro has taken the meter from the scene, on occasion saying it was doing so to have it investigated at their lab. Below, in the letter section, are just the most recent emails to and from me asking for lab reports. As you will see, the response I received on Jan. 27 said there had been no fires. The response to my Dec. 12 request, dated for a specific lab  report is attached, dated Jan. 28.


I responded with the final email below, sent today. I believe we have the right to know what is happening with these meters and Hydro keeps denying. Why are they causing fires? In the specific one referred to in my Dec. 12 email, 2 homes were destroyed. Fortunately no one was hurt or killed. But people lost irreplaceable things, memories and were up-rooted.


Why is no one asking important questions? The BC Safety Authority and the BC Utilities Commission have been told they must not interfere with any aspect of the program. No agency is investigating the causes. What about our safety?? Our lives and homes? Why am I the only one trying to get answers about this? I hope others will write to Bennett, Horgan, Dix and others because I suspect my emails go directly into their junk box.



  • Girish Kumar, a well -respected electrical engineer who has been warning people about cell phones and cell towers for many years, warns that in 2 provinces alone in India there are 25,000 reported cases of brain tumors. This is amazing on several accounts. I don’t know what percentage of the population this is but the number puts a great strain on medical services, no doubt.  Also noteworthy is the fact that in India brain tumors are being counted and tracked. No agency in North America that I know of is doing this. The American and Canadian Cancer Societies say cell phones are fine, no problem, so they are not tracking. Many researchers have warned for years that this is an epidemic waiting to happen.



  • Ian Dyck, the person in charge of Fortis’s Smart meter program, is telling the same misleading and dishonest things to their customers as BC Hydro (and all other utilities) did. Thankfully the Fortis people have learned from our experiences and know that much of what he is saying is untrue.




  • “Incidents” are beginning to occur in the Fortis area. Will Fortis accept responsibility or will they, like Hydro, shift the responsibility for their cheap,  poorly trained labour and dangerous devices to the home/business owner?  Here is one that was sent to me by a member:


On Friday January 27th 2015, Fortis was changing out an Analog meter for a smart meter. The business was asked to turn off the main breaker so they could change out the meter which they did shut off the breaker. After they finished exchanging the meters, when they turned the power back on the smart meter exploded and sent the worker backwards. As a result the electrical surge destroyed all their computers and valuable corporate information was lost.


  • Several people have asked how to sign the petition being started by someone in Campbell River. It can be found at:





 Please read from the bottom up.

From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: February 8, 2015 12:59 PM
To:greg.reimer@bchydro.com‘; FOI Officer Scott MacDonald (scott.macdonald@bchydro.com); ‘jessica.mcdonald@bchydro.com
Cc: John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Dix, Adrian’; ‘Holman.MLA, Gary’; ‘Shin, Jane Jae Kyung’; ‘maurine.karagianis.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘bill.bennett.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘Commission Secretary BCUC:EX’; ‘fire@vernon.ca
Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program — laboratory reports.

Mr. Reimer, Mr. MacDonald, Ms. McDonald,

BC Hydro has said that failed meters were being removed from homes and sent to their laboratory for further inspection to determine if they were responsible for any damages or fires.

Over several months I have been asking for the name of the laboratory to which BC Hydro has sent these failed smart meters for inspection. PowerTech, BC Hydro’s facility, has responded that they have never inspected a failed smart meter.

Below the response is not as direct but the implication is that there are no laboratory reports. Rather it sounds as if BC Hydro returns these problem meters directly to ITRON.

According to the news from the scene at the time, Hydro took the meter to its lab for further investigation. http://globalnews.ca/video/825052/smart-meter-sparks-fire/

In the attached response (dated Jan. 28)  to my FOI request for the lab report associated with this specific fire that occurred on Aug. 14, 2013,  BC Hydro stated that it had asked no laboratory to conduct analysis or tests regarding the meters involved.

What happened with this specific smart meter?

Did BC Hydro ask for it to be examined? If it was inspected, where is the report for which I have been asking?

If the smart meter was not examined, why wasn’t it? Isn’t this part of the due diligence required by this public agency?

Sharon Noble

(I bcc’d several media persons. Please feel free to send to more.)


From: Smart Meters [mailto:SmartMeters@bchydro.com]
Sent: January 27, 2015 2:09 PM
Subject: BC Hydro Smart Metering Program

Dear Ms. Noble,

BC Hydro acknowledges your December 18, 2014 regarding laboratories used by BC Hydro to investigate failed meters.

BC Hydro’s smart meters are currently under warranty. On the rare occasion that a meter fails, BC Hydro sends the meter back to the manufacturer, Itron, and they are replaced free-of-charge.  BC Hydro’s smart meters are under warranty for 66 months from the date they leave the Itron factory.


Fires in British Columbia are investigated by the appropriate authorities and BC Hydro fully cooperates with these investigations as required. To date, no fire in B.C. has been attributed to BC Hydro’s new meters.

In the event of a fire, if an electricity meter is not located near the area affected by the fire, BC Hydro may remove the meter for future use.  In the event that a fire occurs in proximity to an electricity meter, the area would be secured by the fire inspector and BC Hydro would cooperate with their investigation fully.




From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: 2014, December 18 10:05 PM
To: Reimer, Greg; Smart Meters; McDonald, Jessica
Cc: adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca; John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Holman.MLA, Gary’; ‘Shin.MLA, Jane Jae Kyung’; ‘Karagianis.MLA, Maurine’; Bill Bennett
Subject: RE: Laboratory used by BC Hydro to investigate failed meters

Dear Mr. Reimer, Ms. McDonald,

Since Nov. 4 I’ve been attempting to obtain the contact information for the laboratory that inspects failed ITRON smart meters that BC Hydro removes from homes. Certainly this is information that should be readily available to you, and to which I have the right.

If you do not have this information, would you please tell me who would?

Thank you,

Sharon Noble


From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: December 12, 2014 5:45 PM
To:greg.reimer@bchydro.com‘; Bill Bennett (mem.minister@gov.bc.ca)
Cc: FOI Officer Scott MacDonald (scott.macdonald@bchydro.com); ‘adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Karagianis.MLA, Maurine’; ‘Shin.MLA, Jane Jae Kyung’; ‘gary.holman.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘commission.secretary@bcuc.com
Subject: Fire report, Vernon homes, Aug. 14, 2013

Mr. Reimer and Mr. Bennett.

Attached is a report from the BC Safety Authority on a fire that began at the meter site and destroyed 2 homes. You will note that the fire is said to have been at the meter base due to arcing. The fire inspector was unable to determine the cause of the arcing because the smart meter had been removed by Hydro, an act which is in violation of the BC Safety Standards Act, section 36.2.


According to the news from the scene at the time, Hydro took the meter to its lab for further investigation. http://globalnews.ca/video/825052/smart-meter-sparks-fire/   I asked Powertech if it, as Hydro’s official lab, has tested smart meters that were removed from fire scenes, and I was told they did not.  Nearly 2 weeks ago I asked Powertech for contact information for the lab that does the testing but have yet to receive a response.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I am asking for the official report and all associated records from the laboratory that studied the remains of this meter to determine the cause of the arc that resulted in the destruction of 2 homes.

Would you please acknowledge receipt of this request and provide me with the date by which I can expect to receive a response.

Yours truly,

Sharon Noble



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