Time for Creston Valley residents to fight smart meters

Web Lead

To the Editor:

Creston and area residents may not yet be aware of the Fortis BC plan to replace electric analog meters with a wireless “smart” or “advanced” meter, part of the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project to be done on all homes within the near future.

The Aug. 16 Advance includes their public notice of application for this AMI project. From the website www.ecolighten.com: “Following in the footsteps of BC Hydro’s smart metering roll-out, Fortis BC recently filed an application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project. Released on July 26, the application outlines the plan for AMI including the costs, the benefits to customers and the public consultation process. Advanced meters or ‘smart meters’ provide a number of advantages for consumers and the utility alike, including real-time access to energy information, reduced estimates for billing, quicker notification of outages and electricity theft reduction, which costs millions annually. …

“A few high-level bullets on the AMI program include:

“•Number of meters — 115,000 meters exchanged in total;

“•Cost — $47 million AMI program;

“•Timing — Meter exchanges would begin in 2014 and be complete by the end of 2015;

“•Environment — Eliminates 191,000 tonnes of GHG emissions from meter reading vehicles.

“•Theft prevention — Electricity theft costs Fortis BC about $3.7 million annually.”

Creston residents should also become aware and informed of the hundreds of documented problems, hazards and potential dangers associated with these new meters. The smart meters have been installed in many states in the U.S. and many cities in Canada. To date, there are reports of huge cost increases in electricity bills, numerous fires and fire explosions, sickness in people and animals, dead bees and plants, and damage to appliances and electronics, pacemakers, along with safety, security and privacy problems.

If you haven’t heard about this yet, start becoming informed about these dangers by visiting www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca. The reports are staggering and shocking! You will not want one of these meters on your home or work building.

Time is of the essence, and you must register your comments by Sept. 7 with the BCUC (www.bcuc.com ). Why didn’t they give people more time for this process?

It’s good to know that the Regional District of Central Kootenay has passed two resolutions this year supporting an opt-out provision for these meters.

Please, Creston and area residents, also continue to voice your concerns with your town council or regional district over these not so smart wireless meters. Ask for a moratorium as Osoyoos and 53 other B.C. cities have done. BC Hydro and Fortis BC apparently have the ability to alternatively use non-harmful wired smart meters,. as is being done in Ontario, to collect and transit data instead of forcing biologically harmful microwave radiation upon people and the environment.

Sharon Sadler