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General News · 7th September 2012
Dianne Bersea
I know that we are working uphill against strong forces that are determined to create a blanket of wireless networks across BC and throughout much of the world. The Smart Meter is just one more technology that is being implemented without due diligence about it's safety, security and health concerns. I believe the precautionary principle is essential. Why spend hundreds of millions of dollars when other solutions are available? Why destroy the existing technology (which is what's happening to the analog meters)? Why unilaterally install a technology without consumer consent, without full review of the health and long term concerns? Why is it necessary to do the installations by stealth? Why is it necessary to lie about what the meter does and what policies BC Hydro will or will not honour?

I was astonished to see the installation video from Salt Spring Island that had an installer openly and aggressively lying to a homeowner, while witnessed by a group of neighbours and while being part of a live Salt Spring radio program. I know the claim made in that video is a lie as paraphrased here..."just let me install it, it won't emit until all the grid is installed, and anyway, you can opt-out later,". At the instant the meter was installed the meter began emitting as evidenced by a radio frequency reader in the video, and..., just days later I received a letter from BC Hydro that said ..."we do not have an opt-out option." Radio frequency radiation registered at 20,000 micro watts a square meter immediately after installation.

I just watched the video again. The words used include "I guarantee... etc." Verbatim from the video... "You get what everyone is calling a smart meter but but it is a non-functioning smart meter. " When the installer was questioned about the power being disconnected if smart meter not installed. "It is not a threat, it will happen." This is very painful and distressing to watch as the people are continually lied to even after the installers / Hydro reps are challenged.

See this for yourself! This is very powerful stuff!

That an agent of BC Hydro needs to use such aggressive techniques and dishonest techniques to assure compliance is questionable in itself. WHY???

To see the video I've mentioned go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FSDdeXm8dQ

For more info on why Smart Meters might not be so smart go to: http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca

To take action for a moratorium until fundamental concerns have been more fully reviewed go to: http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca/html/?p=1

To sign our local petition visit the Natural Food Coop and ask for the Smart Meter moratorium petition.

We can only protect ourselves. Our government and our service providers do not necessarily have our best interests at heart. As I have already quoted from 2010 Vaasaett Global Energy Think Tank “Evaluation of residential smart meter policies” concluded “1) As a technology, (without appropriate regulation) smart meters provide more benefits to the utilities than to the end consumers.”

Take a stand on this issue!

For a quick take on the basic issues read these points collected by Norm Gibbons:

A SMART METER is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting. Such an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) differs from traditional automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communications with the meter.

Smart meter installations have been associated with several fires in British Columbia. BC Hydro maintains that "the risk of a smart meter installation causing an electrical problem is extremely low" and will assist homeowners if repairs are necessary for a safe installation.

There are concerns regarding the cost, health, fire risk, security and privacy effects of smart meters and the remote controllable "kill switch" that is included with most of them.

The need to purchase equipment and appliances designed to interface effectively with the new meters might be an additional financial burden to customers, especially those least able to afford new equipment when their present equipment works.

The health concerns about the meters arise from the pulsed radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by smart meters. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) published a research paper based on well documented studies showing adverse effects on health after RF exposure. Diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity immediate brought AAEM to caution on Smart Meter installation due to potentially harmful RF exposure.

Privacy concerns focus upon the collection of detailed data about customers and their habits, the accessibility of that data through the utility and possibly, at the site of the meter as well as the potential for sharing of detailed personal information without the knowledge or desire of customers.

Most security concerns center on hackability combined with the remotely controllable "kill switch" incorporated into smart meters.

In November 2011, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities voted in favor of a moratorium to temporarily suspend smart meter installations. The provincial government insists that installations will proceed, based on global standards. As of May 2012, 39 municipalities in British Columbia have passed motions opposing the installation of smart meters. The utility company, BC Hydro, is not legally obliged to abide by these city decisions. Now 56 with a number pending.

On examination of various “smart meters”, U.S. electrical engineers caution that each meter, in addition to an RF radiation transmitter, also has a component known as a switching mode power supply (SMPS). This device is how the unit powers itself, and in so doing, it emits powerful high frequency voltage “spikes”, lasting milliseconds, constantly, 24/7. This is the phenomenon known as “harmonic distortion”, or “dirty power”, and this constant high frequency pulsing, in addition to the RFR for data transfers, travels through wiring systems, causing interference with other electric and electronic equipment, as well as causing harm to living things in its field of exposure. These “transients”, or high frequency harmonics are found to be an important reason that power bills suddenly increase in all areas where this new form of radiating meter is installed, as these bursts of voltage interfere with the accuracy of the meter.

In addition to damage to public health, loss of privacy and risk to personal data security by “smart grids”, another great concern is the issue of the security of these wireless grids. The person in charge of cyber security for the “North American Electric Reliability Corp.”, which manages the North American power grid, Chief Security Officer Mark Weatherford, warns that there is consensus among top cyber experts that “smart meter technology has gotten way out in front of the security technology”. And just as we saw recently in Canada when hackers in China invaded ultra secure Federal departments including Finance and Defense, all wireless systems are vulnerable to cyber attack. Thus with “smart grids”, experts warn that entire areas can be shut down with a few key strokes. And research, engineers have likewise found that the “smart “meters themselves are “hackable”.