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NEWS FLASH (Nov. 11, 2011): There is now at least one case in British Columbia of a BC Hydro customer having their smart meter installation REVERSED. After much complaint from the customer, BC Hydro sent a service truck to the address in question, and the BC Hydro installer removed the newly-installed smart meter (which Corix had installed two weeks earlier DESPITE the homeowner having a ‘No Smart Meter’ sign posted), and replaced it with an old analogue meter! So it is possible. Never stop advocating for your rights. If one person can succeed, then we ALL can succeed. The identity of the homeowner and the town are being withheld at present simply to protect the BC Hydro employee who could conceivably get in trouble for this action. But this homeowner is a personal friend of mine, and I know the story is true.
They’re heeeere…. Corix is in town (all over Vancouver Island) going block to block and door to door replacing our perfectly good old-fashioned hydro meters with Smart Meters.
Have you boxed in your hydro meter so that it cannot be replaced without your consent? And have you posted your sign beside it saying ‘No Smart Meter’ at your address?
You can see above how I boxed in my meter using an old art project (that had been entitled, ironically enough, “Monumental Erection”). Other people are caging their meters with a wire freezer basket screwed onto their house. And still others are finding a way to padlock it. View the full Photo Gallery here.
However you do it, the point is to prevent the meter from being switched out, but still allow enough access for the meter reader to read the dials on your old meter.
Here is the link to the sign you can post beside your old hydro meter.
But the sign alone may not be enough. Reports are rolling in from all over Vancouver Island of Corix installers blatantly disregarding the posted signs on people’s homes and swapping out the old meter for a smart meter, leaving the sign plainly posted beside it. This is why you also need to box in or cage your old meter to prevent Corix from exchanging it for a smart meter.
One such case occurred in Duncan, BC recently: “We are very upset,” says concerned mother Annette Lampson Duncan in a letter to the editor just two days ago, “especially as we fear for the health of our daughter who sleeps in the room that has the meter on it. The radiation around the meter [extends] 20 feet. It happens every three minutes.”
I know of two personal friends, one in Nanaimo and one in Victoria, who had the same thing done to their homes recently. The Corix installer deliberately ignored the posted sign and went ahead and swapped out the old hydro meter for a smart meter, leaving the sign in place. These are not isolated instances. This seems to be Corix’s installation policy, along with varying degrees of verbal abuse and intimidation toward uncooperative residents. Corix installers are paid by the piece (no installation, no pay) hence their aggressiveness.
There have also been reports of Corix installers ignoring the wishes of tenants. One man on Protection Island near Nanaimo told the Corix installer he didn’t want a smart meter. The installer asked him if he was the owner. The man said “No, but I’ll go get him right now.” And when the tenant returned with the owner, the Corix installer had done the deed and left. It takes a Corix installer a mere 10 minutes to make the switch.
The only way to prevent this abuse of your rights is to physically barricade your meter as described above.
FIVE REASONS FOR REFUSING THE SMART METER ON YOUR HOME:
1. Health Concerns. The World Health Organization classes Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) as a “possible carcinogen.” There are districts and schools in England and Europe that ban wireless technology (WiFi) altogether because of health risks, especially for children. In California, PG&E has begun removing smart meters on homes where people have become sick from them, and is replacing them with old-style analogue meters.
2. Privacy and Personal Security Concerns. Smart Meters, and the information about your electricity usage that they will be transmitting, have the same vulnerability to easy eavesdropping as cell phones, WiFi computers and any other wireless techology. Burglars can use this to determine when houses are unoccupied. BC’s Privacy Commissioner has launched an investigation into BC Hydro’s smart meters because of these concerns.
3. Local Government Opposition. In September, the Union of BC Municipalities – representing ALL local governments in British Columbia – passed a motion calling for a moratorium on smart meter installation. (This motion is not binding on BC Hydro, but it demonstrates a province-wide opposition to the smart meter program.)
4. Job Loss. BC Hydro’s motivation for this much-opposed technological change-over is partly about ‘labour shedding.’ Four hundred meter readers will be unemployed if BC Hydro’s plan to install smart meters goes ahead.
5. Your Hydro Bill. There are reports in US cities of customers whose electric bills are doubling and even tripling immediately after the smart meter switchover. In Richmond, BC a woman recently reported that her typical $100 hydro bill jumped to $500 after installation of a smart meter. She complained to BC Hydro, but Hydro says the bill is accurate. It may be faulty equipment or a weakness of the wireless system itself. But in any case, it is extremely difficult to get your electric company to reduce your bill just because you say it’s wrong.
There is an organized and growing resistance to smart meters in BC and beyond. Plans are afoot to launch a province-wide referendum and possibly also a class action lawsuit against BC Hydro.
In the meantime, do what you can to keep a smart meter off of your house.
For more information, visit Citizens for Safe Technology.
Or read this long but excellent article by Joyce Nelson in the Watershed Sentinel on smart meters and the global energy grid.