2015-06-04 Why aren’t Hydro and Fortis moving meters away from propane tanks, etc.?

1)   Below is a letter I wrote to BCHydro and FortisBC asking if they are taking precautionary measures like those Quebec Hydro is taking. Please share with your MLA, media, etc. This must get out – that other utilities are doing things in recognition of the fire hazard, but apparently BCHydro and FortisBC are not.


2)   In Europe discussion continues about how to use the data collected from $meters:


“Peder Andreasen, incoming president of ENTSO-E, the association of transmission system operators, called for openness on access to consumption data.

“Of course, protect the customers, but make this data available for retailers. I strongly believe this is the right way to go,” Andreasen said.”


3)   More on the Collingwood fire over the weekend. The meter was a Sensus Flexnet, from what I can tell the same basic model as used in Sask. although the provider says it’s different. The utility removed the $meter from the home supposedly to test it, but at the same time advised the homeowner that the problem was with the base – just as they do here.

Ontario NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky demanded action on the smart meters as early as last August, saying the government should treat them like they “could be ticking time bombs attached to people’s homes.”   The NDP in BC remains silent about these time bombs.



Attached is an article about a major $meter incident that happened in Ontario a couple of years ago – 70+ smeters blown when there was a power surge, similar to the incident last winter in Summerland. Note: I have not been able to find anything like this ever happening with an analog.


4)   Massive hack of US govt. data centres, China is suspected source of hack. Wonder if BC Hydro will confirm our data is safer that the US govt’s….



5)   A letter from Devra Davis to Pres. Obama, asking him to consider the full costs of wireless technology,  written last year but this is the first I’ve seen or shared it.



6)   Discussion about brain cancer of the type that killed VP Biden’s son and use of cell phones:





From: Dennis and Sharon Noble [mailto:dsnoble@shaw.ca]
Sent: June 4, 2015 8:33 AM
To:smartmeters@bchydro.com‘; ‘greg.reimer@bchydro.com‘; ‘jessica.macdonald@bchydro.com‘; ‘michael.mulcahy@fortisbc.com
Cc:dennis.swanson@fortisbc.com‘; ‘commission.secretary@bcuc.com‘; Bill Bennett (mem.minister@gov.bc.ca); Christy Clark (premier@gov.bc.ca); John Horgan. Leader NDP; ‘Ian.Dix.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘gary.holman.mla@leg.bc.ca‘; ‘jane.shin.mla@leg.bc.ca

Subject: Smart meters remote disconnect switch, precautionary action


Dear Mr. Reimer, Ms. MacDonald and Mr. Mulcahy,

As you know, smart meters’ remote disconnect switch  has been implicated in fires across North America. This has been identified by independent electrical engineers as one of the several design flaws of the ITRON Openway smart meter that BC Hydro and Fortis BC are and have been installing on homes.

Hydro-Quebec has been told to ensure that no smart meter is closer than 3 meters from any stationary gas tank because of the potential fire risk. It is visiting every home and deactivating the remote disconnect switch, as described in the article below.

“The RBQ is of the opinion that a next-generation meter should be located at least three metres from a stationary propane tank. Hydro-Québec employees are currently making the rounds of customers who have outdoor meters to make sure that there is enough clearance. Remote service interruption is totally safe for the close to a million customers who have their meters indoors.


Hydro-Québec would like to reassure its customers. Only one of the new meter’s functions—remote service interruption—is in question. Although the risk has not been confirmed, Hydro-Québec is eliminating any potential risk by deactivating this function.”


This fire risk applies similarly to any situation where the ITRON smart meter is near any flammable material, such as chemicals/paints in garages or sawdust in mills.  


What precautionary steps are BC Hydro and Fortis BC taking to reduce the risk of fire caused by the remote disconnect switch?


For your information, another smart meter exploded a few days ago, this one in Collingwood, Ontario. Fortunately the home is made of brick so there was so fire. If that had occurred, with the meter so close to the gas line, a major incident would have ensued.


 I look forward to receiving a response to this important question at your earliest convenience.


Sharon Noble

Hydro Outage-Forest-11-07-13 (1)

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