1) Attention Salt Spring Islanders from Linda.
I received 2 separate e-mails re BC Hydro coming to Salt Spring to replace meters.
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 12:41:51 PM
I did have a phone message today from BC Hydro saying that crews are in my area (Salt Spring Island) over the next few weeks to replace expired analog meters with digital [radio] turned off meters and to have my meter not obstructed as otherwise my power would be cut with the reconnection fee up to $700. I have never given permission for any digital meter. I will be going off the grid. Thought I would share so other islanders know it is next happening here.
PS – Jessica from the Customer Meter Department left a message with the call back number 1-800-409-8199, and yes I did have a letter a few months back stating that my analog meter expired this December.
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 10:22:42 PM
“Came home to a message on my phone from BC Hydro stating they were coming to install a smart meter at my residence in the next few weeks. If they were unable to install the new standard smart meter my hydro would be turned off and reconnection would be $300. If anyone has info on how to stop this from happening please let me know. I’m up to date with payments and Hydro knows I’m opposed to having A Smart Meter installed.”
– Try to get the name of the BC Hydro employee who calls you and which department they work in.
– Make a complaint to BCUC and contact the media:
Commission.firstname.lastname@example.org & Patrick.email@example.com
https://stopsmartmetersbc.com/contact/ & http://www.driftwoodgulfislandsmedia.com/contact.html
– Signs: https://stopsmartmetersbc.com/z/signs/
– If you plan to go off the grid, please share your info/experience to help others.
2) The media is exceedingly quiet about the health risks associated with wireless devices. In Canada, I don’t recall seeing a single article about the National Toxicology Program’s report. It’s time that some major investigative journalist took this issue as his own and lead the way to changes at the federal level.
3) In case you’re interested in seeing the huge salaries at Ontario’s Hydro One’s employees, below “Letters” there is a list of 182, all of whom make more than $250,000. People in Ontario are suffering mightily by the huge and multiple rate increases, having to choose between feeding their families and having electricity. These salaries seem outrageous and hard to justify.
You can see salaries of BC public employees at the following link and BC Hydro by clicking on “crown corporations”. Not all people are included. I could not find the salary for CEO of BC Hydro, Jessica McDonald.
4) I believe that those of us who are paying or who have paid Legacy Meter fees are being discriminated against, big time. I have charged BCUC with allowing this and my letter is below. I hope many of you will support this. We and the BCUC have been lied to by BC Hydro. We deserve our fees returned.
A follow-up re Telus Microcells.
To: “darren entwistle” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: “josh blair” <email@example.com>, “david fuller” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “eros spadotto” <email@example.com>, “phil bates” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “richard gilhooley” <email@example.com>
Sent: November 15, 2016 9:51:10 AM
Subject: Chemainus Microcells
Dear Mr. Entwistle:
I have been patiently waiting for a response from someone other than Mr. Anastos on the issue of a planned Microcell installation in the ### block of xxx Street in Chemainus, BC. It’s apparent Mr. Anastos has been assigned the duty of fielding correspondence from the public and replying to their concerns and regardless of how well versed he is in assuring those citizens with health concerns that “everything is ok’, he remains ineffectual in being able to provide anything concrete about how Telus plans to address my concerns.
I’ve copied my email from Nov. 2, 2016 below. I would appreciate an answer from someone other than Mr. Anastos this time please.
Will look forward to a response.
November 2, 2016
Re: Microcell Transmitter installation (Chemainus, BC)
Dear Mr. Entwistle and Mr. Anastos,
Under the current rules and regulations of both our federal and municipal governments, Telus is allowed to install microcell transmitters on utility poles on public right of ways anywhere in our town of Chemainus. I can understand with the new advances in wireless technology Telus’ desire in capturing as much of the market share as possible by improving cellular reception for their customers by installing these units as quickly as possible while legislation allows you to do so.
However along with this new technology come the invisible adverse health effects of the Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation these units will be transmitting 24/7 to the largely unsuspecting and uninformed public, whether Telus customers or not. Exposure to EMF emitting devices affects each and everyone and is cumulative over time.
I limit our exposure to EMF’s by turning my cell phone off when I’m home, using a “hard-wire” connection to access the internet and refusing to have a Smart Meter installed on our home. My home is my castle and I cannot have Telus install a microcell transmitter on the utility pole directly in front of my house. Our master bedroom is less than 50’ away and Spring through Fall our outdoor time is spent enjoying the sunshine in our courtyard at the front of the house, which is less than 30’ from the utility pole.
From previous correspondence you are aware a member of my family has a compromised immune system with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) and has faster and stronger reactions to EMF’s. A few of these symptoms experienced include chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances/insomnia and soft-tissue pain. There are people who are EHS in communities where you’ve been installing Microcell Transmitters and after Telus is made aware of their health concerns and the fact that the majority of neighbors do not want any microcell transmitters on their street you’ve obliged and not installed a transmitter.
I’m a customer of Telus and have paid tens of thousands of dollars for your cellular service for well over a decade now. I would like to continue our relationship and keep Telus as my cellular service provider; however, it is essential that the Microcell Transmitter mounting bracket, circuit breaker box, grounding cable, power cable etc. planned for installation on the utility pole at xxxx Street in Chemainus be removed. The majority of my neighbors including families with young children across the street from me in the 9900 block of xxxx Street do not want any Microcell Transmitters on their street regardless of the wireless carrier.
As distance is the only safe EMF protection, the Microcell Transmitter located at the intersection of XXX and YYY is sufficiently far enough away to limit my family and my neighbors’ exposure to continuous EMF radiation from these units.
You’ve agreed in the past to halt installations on streets where you’ve experienced opposition and I’m expecting the same outcome in this situation. By doing the right thing and halting installation of any more Microcell Transmitters on xxxx Street would go a long way in gaining my respect with Telus’ handling of this situation.
I trust I can expect a favorable written response of reassurance from Telus affirming abandonment of plans to install any Microcell Transmitters at xxxx Street in Chemainus.
I look forward to your timely response.
From: Sharon Noble
Sent: November 16, 2016
To: ‘Laurel Ross’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>; ‘Complaints BCUC:EX’ <Complaints@bcuc.com>
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Discrimination by BC Hydro
Dear Ms. Ross,
I believe that thousands of British Columbians have been and continue to be discriminated against by BC Hydro.
The smart meter program has been fought by many of us, and starting in December, 2013, we were allowed to keep our “legacy” meters (those in use prior to the smart meter) if we paid $32.40 a month. This fee was granted by the BC Utilities Commission after BC Hydro claimed that many services would have to be provided to those of us who “opted out” that were not being provided to those with smart meters. This included the manual meter reading by meter readers.
A year or longer ago through a Freedom of Information Act, I learned that approximately 50,000 smart meters were being read manually, and when I asked for the reason, BC Hydro said that most were in rural areas where the grid was not operational. These people are not being charged. When I asked why those living in the same area who had kept their legacy meters were being charged for the same service, I was told it was because they had not accepted the smart meter.
Recently I learned that smart meters in settled areas of Victoria and Kelowna are being read manually 5 years after they were installed, while neighbours living right next door are paying $32.40 for the very same service. It must be emphasized that there are no special services being provided to those of us with legacy fees that are not being provided to these people with manually-read smart meters. We are just being punished.
Is this not discrimination?
In December 2013 when the “meter choice” program that allowed the opt out was introduced, 250,000 homes were refusing to have smart meters. Soon after, the number began to decrease due to the high monthly costs. As of earlier this year, in an annual report, Hydro said that approximately 15,000 continued to pay for their legacy meters. BC Hydro has been paid many millions for this “special” service. Even using the low average of 20,000 legacy fees paid at $32.40 per month for 3 years, the total charged would be over $23,000,000.
BCUC is forbidden to get involved with any aspect of the smart meter program except rates and fees. These fees were approved by the BCUC based on incorrect, inaccurate, dare I say deliberately misleading information. You have the responsibility to review what is being charged, if in fact the additional services upon which these (the highest opt-out fees in North America) are based are being provided, and if the fees are justified, reasonable and fair. Are “special” services being provided to those who have opted out that are not being provided to those whose smart meters are being read manually? Or are the fees just punishment?
Please, for the sake of the British Columbians who are fighting to protect their homes and families, consider what the actual situation is, not just what BC Hydro says it is. The BCUC did not approve the fees as punishment. That would be extortion which would not be tolerated by anyone.
I look forward to receiving your response. Thank you for your time.
Sent: November 3, 2016
To: Ross, Laurel <email@example.com>
Cc: Bellringer, Carol <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Bennett, Bill <email@example.com>; Clark, Christy <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Dix, Adrian <email@example.com>; Horgan, John <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Wruck, Patrick <email@example.com>
Subject: fees collected for legacy meters
Dear Ms. Ross,
As one of approximately 12,000 BC Hydro customers paying a monthly fee for retaining an analog meter, I would like to make an official complaint regarding BC Hydro’s on-going collection of this exorbitant amount of money while refusing to honor many thousands of requests for analog replacement meters when the seals expire.
When the Meter Choices Program began in December 2013, approximately 60,000 account holders chose to retain an analog meter, even though a fee would apply. As of February 4, 2016, as stated by the Hon. Bill Bennett in the Hansard record of April 11, 2016, there were 12,761 legacy meters (analog or non-smart digital meters) still installed, and another 661 smart meters with the transmitter turned off.
As of November 2, 2016, it has been 36 months since monthly fees of $32.40 per month per legacy meter (or $20.00 per month for a radio-off smart meter) have been charged. Even given the ever-shrinking number of legacy meters due to attrition, this adds up to at least $14,000,000 that BC Hydro has collected up to now.
BC Hydro claims these fees are necessary to cover the cost of meter reading (even though meters are read only every other month, making the cost $64.80 per reading) and to install certain equipment to allow the grid to accommodate non-transmitting meters. I know very well that the provincial government has enacted Direction No. 4 forbidding you to interfere with the Meter Choice Program. However, there are many, many concerns within the Program that could and should be addressed by the BCUC. The specific questions I respectfully ask you to investigate are these:
- How does the collection of over $14,000,000 for the stated purposes of meter reading and equipment installation, a cost estimated at the time the Meter Choices Program began, compare to the actual costs for meter reading and equipment installation incurred in the last 36 months?
- What equipment has BC Hydro installed to date to “accommodate” legacy meters? Where was it installed, and when? If, as BC Hydro claims, no more analog meters are available and all existing legacy meters will have been replaced with smart meters by the end of 2018, what becomes of this equipment? How can the tremendous expense for this short-term use be justified?
- Most homeowners who still have legacy meters have had their original, still perfectly functioning analog meters replaced by used legacy meters – all of which will expire by the end of 2018 or earlier – taken from other households during the installation of new smart meters. What is the total cost of this pointless exercise? BC Hydro implies that it is Measurement Canada demanding the replacement of expired analog meters, but this is patently false. The meters themselves do not expire – just the accuracy seals. In the past, Measurement Canada required only that meters with expiring seals be sample-tested for accuracy. If the sample passed (as most did), all the meters in that sample were re-certified for another 10 years. BC Hydro adamantly refuses to ask Measurement Canada to re-certify any more analog meters, new or used, even though MC is perfectly willing to do so.
- How much are meter readers paid, and how many of them are there? Why do meter readers read the meters on houses on one side of the street one day and then come back the next day to read the meters of houses on the other side? Why does it take three days (and three ferry trips) to read approximately 60 meters on a small Gulf Island? Why did the BCUC refuse to consider a much, much less expensive policy of self-reporting of analog meter readings every month (by phone, mail-in form or digital photo), with one physical reading per year and hefty penalties for under-reporting or non-reporting?
- Why is the BCUC not challenging BC Hydro’s claim that “the grid won’t work unless everybody has a smart meter”? Have you asked for concrete proof of this statement, or investigated it at all? The grid has been working just fine with many thousands of analog meters in place, not just here but in every other place where smart meters have been installed.
- Why does the BCUC not challenge BC Hydro’s claim that no more analog meters are available anywhere? New analog meters are still being manufactured in the US by several different companies. Why does the BCUC not challenge BC Hydro’s refusal to allow homeowners to purchase their own new analog meters, have them certified by Measurement Canada (at the homeowner’s expense), and have them installed by a BC licensed electrician (again at the homeowner’s expense)? Many, many homeowners have indicated their willingness to do exactly this, only to be told by BC Hydro that their service will be terminated if they do. They cannot blame Measurement Canada for this refusal, since MC has repeatedly said it does not care what kind of meter is in service as long as they have certified it to be accurate.
To add insult to injury, although Measurement Canada explicitly states that the seals do not expire until the end of the calendar year indicated, BC Hydro has been intimidating people with expiring seals into accepting a smart meter (with or without the transmitter turned on) by threatening to cut off their power – and then charge them a $700.00 reconnection fee. This egregious behavior by BC Hydro and/or its agents must stop, and it is up to you to make sure it does.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your detailed response.
Subject: Hydro One Payroll!!!!