- Next Vancouver Island Health Authority meeting will be in Sidney, Nov 26. Time and location to be confirmed. http://www.viha.ca/about_viha/board_of_directors/meetings/ This would be a good opportunity to ask questions about wifi in schools and hospitals, etc. If people would like to connect to organize, let me know. Put “VIHA” on the subject line.
- In Massachusetts, Verizon is suing a city council for denying a permit to have a 2nd tower close to the first. Cell companies believe they should be allowed to put these things anywhere they want, and law in the US give very little room for the public to fight. As in Canada, arguments regarding health concerns or property value are not allowed. What else is there?
- A website from some fellow resisters in Australia, with some very interesting articles.
http://www.emraware.com/newsletter_october_november_2015.html which includes this great graphic Ignored health research: The elephant in the room.
- The electrical grid as “updated” today has become more vulnerable to cyberattacks and people might not even know it has occurred for some time.
“As utilities update their older systems to newer, digital ones, they often are using third-party software so there’s more overlap from utility to utility, which makes things easier for hackers….
Andy Bochman, a grid security expert with Idaho National Laboratory, compares the threat posed by hackers to that of a large hurricane. But Bochman says there’s a key difference: “With cyber, you don’t see it coming, you don’t know what it is at first. In fact, the fact that it’s taking some of your systems out may make it even harder to know it’s a cyber attack.”
And unlike storms, hackers are constantly getting smarter.
“As the defenders get stronger, the attackers see that, and they develop ways around some of those defenses,” said Bochman. “It’s a real cat and mouse game.”
- From an industry journal, utility companies will be investing billions to get and “manage” our data. We won’t know what is being gathered, how it’s being used, or by whom.
“Big data is a critical element to solving key business problems for utility companies. It can turn the information from smart meter and smart grid projects into meaningful operational insights and understandings about their customer’s behavior.
As smart grid and smart meters become crucial to the industry, they will likely start generating hundreds of terabytes of data every year—or unstructured text data compiled from maintenance records and Twitter feeds. The accuracy, breadth and depth of these new data points present new opportunities for the utility companies that are prepared to take advantage of them.
Meanwhile, becoming a customer-centric, information-driven organization is no longer simply an option for most utility companies, it’s a business imperative. Technology shifts, regulatory changes and the emergence of empowered consumers all demand a new approach to customer engagement. With analytics, energy companies can make the shift to engage with customers in highly personalized ways that can increase customer satisfaction, lower the cost of service and promote new products and services.”
- Many people see large increases in bills due to increased consumption figures after being Smart Metered. Attached is an explanation from an electrical engineer in Colorado for those increased consumption figures . He suggests the program in the device can be “rigged” to calculate in different ways, thereby increasing profit without a rate change, aka stealing.
Please read from the bottom up .
From: Complaints BCUC:EX [mailto:Complaints@bcuc.com]
Sent: 2015, October 06 2:21 PM
To: Customer, Relations
Subject: RE: Unexplained Denial of Meter Choices Program – X
The BC Utilities Commission is in receipt of correspondence from X who states that she recently received a letter from BC Hydro advising that her meter must be exchanged. Furthermore, X states that BC Hydro is requesting to install a smart meter even though she is a Meter Choices customer requesting to retain a legacy meter.
Please review the correspondence below and respond to the Commission and X on or before October 21, 2015. In your response please explain whether or not X is eligible to have a legacy meter installed at her residence.
Customer Relations Analyst
Sent: October 5, 2015 9:28 PM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Unexplained Denial of Meter Choices Program – X
October 5, 2015
Dear Patrick Wruck, BCUC Complaint Officer:
Please consider this a formal complaint.
I am the registered account holder of BC Hydro account number #### pertaining to the service address of xxxxx
I have recently received a letter from BC Hydro, dated September 22, 2015, requesting access to the hydro meter at the above address. The letter requests “Please ensure there is unobstructed access so that BC Hydro can exchange the electricity meter(s)”. It further instructs to contact BC Hydro within 10 days at 1-800-409-8199 to confirm unobstructed access to conduct the meter exchange, and says, “If BC Hydro revisits your premises and cannot access the meter, your service may be subject to disconnection”.
I called as requested to arrange for this to happen on September 28, 2015, where I spoke with Jeremy. I told Jeremy that I was calling to arrange the requested meter exchange, and happy to do so, but to please note on my file that I was still not prepared to take a smart meter.
Jeremy informed me that “I had no choice but to accept a smart meter at that location”. When I explained that I was aware of the mandate of the Meter Choices Program, established by Minister Bennett in July of 2013, he continued to say “you have no choice at that location but to take a smart meter”. I continued to ask why, and he kept repeating “you have no choice at that location”. He would not answer any of my questions about the Meter Choices program. I asked Jeremy for the name of his supervisor, and he told me he didn’t have one. This conversation felt like extreme bullying. I had legitimate questions that were being purposefully ignored, and it was most upsetting.
I phoned back on September 30, and spoke with another Rep named Jim. This conversation was practically identical to the conversation I had previously with Jeremy. When I asked Jim why the Meter Choices Program applied to every other account in BC and why it didn’t apply to mine, again I was just told “you have no choice at that location”. I asked what is different about my location? I was told “you have no choice at that location”. When I asked if there had been some recent change to the Meter Choices Program that might shed some light on what he was talking about, I was told “you have no choice at that location”.
Apparently Jim is also at the top of the chain, since he too does not have a supervisor. Neither of these Hydro reps was able to answer my most basic questions, and acted like bullying robots reading a script. I know what my rights are and I will not be intimidated into accepting a smart meter.
I came away from the conversations feeling at a complete impasse. I know what my mandated choices are, but the reps I spoke with gave me no reasonable answers at all. When the Meter Choice program was being implemented, I received correspondence telling me that I had until Dec. 1, 2013 to make my choice. It is very clearly outlined on the Meter Choices correspondence section “Will I Always Have These Choices?” that YES, I will continue to have this choice to not have a smart meter.
Also, under the section “What if I don’t reply to BC Hydro?” it clearly states that BC Hydro will not exchange the meter and the cost of servicing the Legacy meter will be added to the bill. Section 4.2.2.D
I did, however, reply. My response is dated November 27, 2013 . I have the proof of the sent email. I clearly indicated that I would not accept a smart meter on my home, as I had stated in earlier correspondence to BC Hydro. I have paid in full and on time, every bill that Hydro has submitted to me. They have never charged me the Legacy fee. This is by no fault of my own. If they had charged it, I would have paid it.
Nowhere in the Electric Tariff does it say a customer must pay the fees even if they are not billed. I understand that if they failed to bill correctly, according to the Tariff they can collect outstanding fees for the prior 6 months, maximum. Nowhere does it say if Hydro fails to bill correctly that the customer must have a smart meter.
I will continue to cover my analog meter, preventing an exchange until I am assured by BC Hydro that I will get either a legacy meter or a clear explanation why I am being treated differently than every other person in the Meter Choice program. Also, should an unsuccessful attempt be made to install a smart meter, I will not pay a “failed installation fee”.
Could you please advise how I should best proceed with my dealings with BC Hydro? I am prepared to take a non-smart meter, but they seem to be trying to proceed outside of the mandate of the Meter Choices Program, and I am baffled as to why.
Newsletter prepared by Sharon Noble
“If we remain silent, we kill freedom, justice and the possibility that a society armed with information may have power to change the situation that has brought us to this point.” – Anabel Hernández