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Old 01-26-2013, 07:52 PM   #126
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Something to that effect. Still doesn't stop people from "asserting their rights". Some of them are pretty articulate... too bad they don't know what their rights actually are. Or aren't.
t
It's not exactly free choice when BCHydro is a government regulated monopoly. Consumers can't just switch companies. So no, I don't really agree with your argument. The primary purpose of a meter is to tell the company how much electricity you are consuming, which can be served by existing technology. If the woman doesn't want the new meters in her home, she should be able to opt out of the program.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:23 PM   #127
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bchydro also need to know when you consume electricity so that they can better optimize the size of their transformers, substations ,etc. (to manage times of peak consumption). The meter isn't just for billing purposes.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:13 PM   #128
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Is it? Says who? You?

There are no true "human rights". Everything we consider "rights" today have been granted by human decisions and agreements over the years, many dating back to the 13th century... but none are truly "inalienable". Parts of the world don't recognize these agreements, and guess what? If you go there, you don't have those "rights" any more.

While it's true that most of Western law grants citizens varying rights to personal privacy... those don't apply here. You can't tell a service provider that you want their service, then deny them access to provide it. You can't call Shaw and tell them you want internet but then tell them the installer isn't allowed on your property because of "privacy" concerns.
Nowhere did I say that the provider had to obey her privacy when it came to a service that they owned. She signed a contract that gave the company the right to maintain and alter their own equipment on her property, unless the owner chooses to sever the service. Her signature on that contract voided her right to ask the worker to leave.

My right to privacy outside of any government, debt, or company contract is untouchable, because I am willing to fight for it.

"Everything we consider "rights" today have been granted by human decisions and agreements over the years"

Decisions and agreements, otherwise known as "mind your own business or I'll make you my business". It IS a right because I, and many others, have said so.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:39 PM   #129
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It's not exactly free choice when BCHydro is a government regulated monopoly. Consumers can't just switch companies.
They can, actually. A friend of mine lives completely off the grid outside of Boston Bar... in large part because it would simply be cost-prohibitive to bring the infrastructure in for the few people in the area. He taps water off the creek up the mountain and runs it through a generator. He has solar panels on his roof. He has banks of batteries to store the excess, and powers 120V devices through a large inverter. It all works quite well. Instead of paying a monthly fee to a single service provider, he pays a one-time charge to assorted equipment providers. He has all the electricity he needs, and completely without BC Hydro.

So yes, technically, it is possible to "switch companies".

Or to do without entirely: my family moved from the Lower Mainland to a cabin on a lake in the Cariboo when I was 10. I lived the first year and a half there with NO electricity in the house (aside from batteries for flashlights and radios). Light came from coal oil and white gas lamps; heat and cooking were provided by chopping and burning wood. The simple fact was, there WAS no electricity running out our way. And we didn't NEED it. Once Hydro put service into the area, we got it hooked up as it is certainly a CONVENIENCE. But that's all it is - it's not a NEED.

People around here survived for decades with a monopoly provider for cable television. They lived with a monopoly provider for phone service. There was always the CHOICE to use it by the service provider's terms, or do without.

And the same applies to electricity: it's a CONVENIENCE, not a NEED. You can choose to live with it by the provider's terms, or do without.

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If the woman doesn't want the new meters in her home, she should be able to opt out of the program.
Yes, she can. She can choose to terminate her contract with with BC Hydro, and simply do without their service. It might not be a choice that she LIKES... but then life if full of choices we don't like. They exist, nonetheless.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:43 PM   #130
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bchydro also need to know when you consume electricity so that they can better optimize the size of their transformers, substations ,etc. (to manage times of peak consumption). The meter isn't just for billing purposes.
Right. It also allows them to easily tell when and where an outage occurs.

This, again, is something all you "city folk" don't get, but there are vast areas of the province where a power outage due to line or system damage could go unnoticed for days or weeks if nobody is bothered or able to report it. Sure, here in the urban areas, if the lights flicker for a moment, Hydro will be inundated with calls... it other areas, not so much.

There was one story I recall from the snowstorms a few years ago, where a rural area outside of Victoria was without power for days, in large part because crews had a hard time finding where the actual damage was to the lines. A "smart grid" system where the meters can report back their status would have made it far easier to quickly pinpoint the fault.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:41 PM   #131
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Local News Story - CKNW AM 980: News. Talk. Sports.

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Don't want a smart meter? It will cost you
British Columbia/CKNW(AM980)
CKNW News Staff | Email news tips to nwnews@cknw.com
7/18/2013

Energy Minister Bill Bennett has unveiled two options for BC Hydro customers refusing to accept smart meters, but they both cost money.
Anyone insisting on keeping the old meters will be charged a monthly fee to cover the inconvenience of having them checked manually.
The other choice is to accept a digital meter with the radio off.
That option will be subject to a one-time charge for modifying the instrument... plus a monthly fee to read it.
No prices have been set, but they will be subject to review by the BC Utilities commission.
Last week, we told you 60-thousand customers are still holding out.
BC Hydro staff claim that amounts to four per cent.
The program is slated for completion by March 1 of next year.
Listening to Simi's segment this afternoon, I had a few thoughts... well, I've had them for a while, but something gelled listening to discussion surrounding the new rules allowing people to keep their old meters, or the RF-disabled new meters...

A common call has been for an investigation into why the meters were pushed through without more consultation... and it occurred to me, Hydro was probably operating with the understanding that this was a fairly innocuous technology that would allow them to upgrade and streamline their system, and honestly didn't foresee the level of pushback they're getting. As such, there was no plan in place initially to provide options. But of course, there are always the alarmists, the anti-authority types, the anti-technology types, and all those others who ascribe all sorts of nonsensical evils to any sort of change, but thanks to the internet, are now able to get all kinds of regular joes riled up with various types of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).

A couple callers had issue with having to pay an extra charge to keep their old meters... I don't know what's so hard to understand: before, there were travelling meter readers that could carry out the task relatively cheaply due to the economies of scale; with the new meters, they're not needed, so if you want someone to make a SPECIAL TRIP to your place to read your SPECIAL METER, then you should be willing to pay the extra cost for that person.

I have to agree with the caller who stated "it's all in their heads" - we've seen stories of people complaining about the meters' effects on their health BEFORE THEIR METERS WERE EVEN SWITCHED. Some complain of constant issues, when the fact is, the meters turn on few a few seconds, a couple times a day, and otherwise the RF component they all fear is not active.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:21 PM   #132
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I have to agree with the caller who stated "it's all in their heads" - we've seen stories of people complaining about the meters' effects on their health BEFORE THEIR METERS WERE EVEN SWITCHED. Some complain of constant issues, when the fact is, the meters turn on few a few seconds, a couple times a day, and otherwise the RF component they all fear is not active.
Just wondering about the quote "the meters turning on for a few seconds, a couple of times a day". Did you get that from one of their releases?
I distinctly remember one of the sales pitches was that they can tell when the power goes out without people having to call them. To do that, I would think that the meters communicate with the mother ship a lot more than a couple of times a day.

I don't have any problems with the smart meter on the outside of my house that is about 3 feet from my head when I'm sleeping. My tin foil helmet protects me from everything!
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #133
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Just wondering about the quote "the meters turning on for a few seconds, a couple of times a day". Did you get that from one of their releases?
I distinctly remember one of the sales pitches was that they can tell when the power goes out without people having to call them. To do that, I would think that the meters communicate with the mother ship a lot more than a couple of times a day.

I don't have any problems with the smart meter on the outside of my house that is about 3 feet from my head when I'm sleeping. My tin foil helmet protects me from everything!
BC Hydro FAQ:
Radio Frequency and BC Hydro's Smart Meters
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Understanding Radio Frequency and BC Hydro's Smart Meters

Safety is our top priority for BC Hydro and is an important focus of the Smart Metering Program. That's why we have reviewed the scientific research related to radio frequency based technology. After decades of research, there are no demonstrable health or environmental effects from exposure to low level radio frequency signals. Here are the facts about smart meters and their low level radio frequency:

Smart meters are active for an average of less than one minute per day.

Residential smart meters are active for a total average of less than one minute per day, which includes the relay of information that may be required for data transmission and coordination between meters. Planetworks Consulting, a North Vancouver engineering firm, has conducted independent testing confirming that BC Hydro's new meters communicate for about 1.4 seconds per day. In fact, the exposure to radio frequency from a smart meter – over its entire 20-year life span – is equal to a single 30 minute cell phone call.

Smart meters communicate using very low power signals.

Unlike other wireless infrastructure, smart meters use very low power signals – about one watt. This is less than 2 microwatts per square centimetre (μW/cm2) when standing adjacent to the meter. A microwatt is one millionth of a watt.

BC Hydro's smart meter signals are far lower than some of the strictest thresholds in the world.

Europe has some of the world’s strictest radiofrequency regulations. Switzerland, for example, has a precautionary limit of 4.5 μW/cm2 for highly sensitive areas like schools and hospitals. In comparison, BC Hydro smart meter signals – at the same distance of 20 centimetres (8 inches) – are less than 2 μW/cm2.

Existing meter boxes act like a reflective shield.

Existing meter boxes, the socket where smart meters are installed, act like a shield that directs smart meter radio frequency signals away from the home.

Radio frequency signal strength drop quickly with distance.

Smart meters are installed outside and the power density reduces exponentially with distance. Three meters (10 feet) from the smart meter, the radio frequency signal drops to less than 0.001 per cent (0.005 μW/cm2) of the Health Canada exposure limits.

In high-density residential complexes, like apartment buildings, the meters communicate with each other using collaborative network technology. Due to the closeness of meters within the meter bank, the cumulative effect peaks at just two times the power density of a single meter. This is equal to spending four minutes in an area with wireless internet over one year.

Like smart meters, collectors use lower power, infrequent, short signals.

Collectors, which receive data from smart meters and send it to BC Hydro, are mounted on existing utility poles 5.5 to 7.5 metres (18 to 24 feet) off the ground and are inactive 99 per cent of the time. The collector also uses extremely low power – about one watt.

B.C.'s health authorities confirm that smart meters pose no known health risk or reason for concern

Dr. Patricia Daly and Dr. John Blatherwick, the current and previous Chief Medical Health Officers for Vancouver Coastal Health, confirm there is no known health risk and no reason for concern over radio frequency from normal cell phone usage. BC Hydro's new meters operate at significantly lower radio transmit power than cell phones and communicate much less frequently. You can read Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall's statements about cell phone use and radio frequency on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #134
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I distinctly remember one of the sales pitches was that they can tell when the power goes out without people having to call them. To do that, I would think that the meters communicate with the mother ship a lot more than a couple of times a day.
OR, if the power goes out, they simply turn on long enough to report it. Not rocket science.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:42 PM   #135
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OR, if the power goes out, they simply turn on long enough to report it. Not rocket science.
Just being the devils advocate here, I love a good discussion, as long as I learn something. Would it be the individual meter that sends the signal? Or the collector on the pole? Just a for-instance, if a backhoe accidentally hits the power line and breaks the connection at the house, would hydro know? I guess they eventually would when it comes that time of the day for it to send its signal.

I like how the FAQ says that the meter box acts as a shield and directs the signal away from the house. My neighbours meter is directly across from mine and only a few feet away. So his meter is sending signals in one direction my way and mine is in a different direction going his way. Kind of a moot point for hydro to bring up. With all that talk about low radio frequency signals and how fast it drops, how can a collector monitor our two meters?
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:42 PM   #136
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Just being the devils advocate here, I love a good discussion, as long as I learn something. Would it be the individual meter that sends the signal? Or the collector on the pole?
I would imagine that would depend on the exact nature of the power loss. Obviously if the system loses contact with the collector, it will know there's a problem as well. Otherwise... meter detects it's lost power, it sends out a little blurb saying, "Hey, got a problem here!" Same idea as you phoning in the outage, just automatic and a lot quicker.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:55 AM   #137
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Why this sudden change? I'm a little confused.....
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #138
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After listening to the argument about smart meters on the radio this morning, I wonder why the people that don't want the meter can't pay to have the meter installed on the hydro pole that is not on their property. It's now away from their house and 20 feet up in the air since no one needs to read it anymore. It may not be cheap to do but sure would put a stop to a lot of the arguments.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #139
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After listening to the argument about smart meters on the radio this morning, I wonder why the people that don't want the meter can't pay to have the meter installed on the hydro pole that is not on their property. It's now away from their house and 20 feet up in the air since no one needs to read it anymore. It may not be cheap to do but sure would put a stop to a lot of the arguments.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #140
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Why this sudden change? I'm a little confused.....
From BC Hydro, you mean? Most likely because offering an (admittedly unsavourable) option is much cheaper in the long run than fighting what would potentially end up either a lengthy court-appeals process.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:07 PM   #141
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After listening to the argument about smart meters on the radio this morning, I wonder why the people that don't want the meter can't pay to have the meter installed on the hydro pole that is not on their property. It's now away from their house and 20 feet up in the air since no one needs to read it anymore. It may not be cheap to do but sure would put a stop to a lot of the arguments.
Because that would be logical, and logic goes out the window with most of these people. If it's not the alleged health effects, it's the alleged "privacy" concerns. If not that, it's just the fact that it's being "forced" on them. Once someone who refuses to be rational has made up their mind, there will be no changing it for anything.

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Why this sudden change? I'm a little confused.....
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From BC Hydro, you mean? Most likely because offering an (admittedly unsavourable) option is much cheaper in the long run than fighting what would potentially end up either a lengthy court-appeals process.
That would be my guess. Throw'em a bone.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:15 PM   #142
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To be honest, I haven't been following this that much as it doesn't affect us in New West.

I had a fleeting thought that, "oh shit, they found that they COULD cause cancer now and by giving people an option it removes liability".

I didn't realize people had taken it to that level (court/suing/etc).
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:25 PM   #143
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Fuck me, why do people keep thinking these things spy on them? No one is spying on you. YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT. Just about everyone involved with implementing the smart meters doesn't even know of your existence. You are a number to them. That's it. They don't care what kind of porn you're watching. NO ONE DOES. You do not matter.

About 10 people give a shit that you're alive. The rest of humanity will go on whether you live or die so do you really think anyone cares that you turn on the washing machine at 3am?

I can't stand the uneducated wackjobs that still think electronics run on pixie dust and voodoo. Cell phones cause cancer? Then don't fucking get one. Don't want a smart meter? Then start digging. You're going to need a waterfall or something to power your house.

Want to know why we don't have flying cars? Because assholes like this hold technology back by refusing to adopt and adapt. If we don't have hoverboards by 2015, you have assholes like these people to thank.

I would've thought the people opposing smart meters would be the people whose jobs they replace like how grocery store clerks are being replaced by self-check out and retail service people are being replaced by....Amazon.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #144
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Fuck me, why do people keep thinking these things spy on them? No one is spying on you. YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT. Just about everyone involved with implementing the smart meters doesn't even know of your existence. You are a number to them. That's it. They don't care what kind of porn you're watching. NO ONE DOES. You do not matter.

About 10 people give a shit that you're alive. The rest of humanity will go on whether you live or die so do you really think anyone cares that you turn on the washing machine at 3am?
That's the kicker: even IF someone could hack your meter and read your energy usage, it still won't tell them what you're doing or what devices/appliances you're using... ONLY HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY YOU'RE USING. A stove or a dryer use close to the same amount of current... no way to tell which it is without actually watching through your windows with binoculars. Hell, someone could get just as much info on your energy usage by watching the spinning dial on your old analog meter.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:07 PM   #145
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Some of the controversy surrounding smart meters is that some residents in the US are suffering from a variety of health issues after smart meters were installed at their residence.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:12 PM   #146
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Fuck me, why do people keep thinking these things spy on them? No one is spying on you. YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT. Just about everyone involved with implementing the smart meters doesn't even know of your existence. You are a number to them. That's it. They don't care what kind of porn you're watching. NO ONE DOES. You do not matter.

About 10 people give a shit that you're alive. The rest of humanity will go on whether you live or die so do you really think anyone cares that you turn on the washing machine at 3am?

I can't stand the uneducated wackjobs that still think electronics run on pixie dust and voodoo. Cell phones cause cancer? Then don't fucking get one. Don't want a smart meter? Then start digging. You're going to need a waterfall or something to power your house.

Want to know why we don't have flying cars? Because assholes like this hold technology back by refusing to adopt and adapt. If we don't have hoverboards by 2015, you have assholes like these people to thank.

I would've thought the people opposing smart meters would be the people whose jobs they replace like how grocery store clerks are being replaced by self-check out and retail service people are being replaced by....Amazon.
Love it!

The only concern on spying that people could possibly have is grow ops. It should light up like a christmas tree in someone's office.

Of course, the first time they send someone out to check, and it isn't a grow op, but its aunt edna and her 20 fridges in the basement, well Global TV will have a field day.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:31 PM   #147
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Some of the controversy surrounding smart meters is that some residents in the US are suffering from a variety of health issues after smart meters were installed at their residence.
Many of which defy the current understandings and/or technologies underlying the meters. Like people who complain of constant headaches at home once the meters are installed (sometimes at the edge of their property) and alleviate the 'symptoms' by putting an aluminum foil barrier between it and their house.

Except that the meters aren't always-on, and aluminum foil does almost fuck all when it comes to EM emissions.


And if people were that sensitive to EM fields of the sort that the Smart Meters use, then they would be dying every time someone used a cellphone near them, or wifi, or...really, if they went anywhere. From my place, I have eight (!) wifi signals, and I live just in a suburban residental home. A single smart meter that's active less than a full minute a day would not do any significant damage relative to the current background radiation that's created by other technologies.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:45 PM   #148
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Many of which defy the current understandings and/or technologies underlying the meters. Like people who complain of constant headaches at home once the meters are installed (sometimes at the edge of their property) and alleviate the 'symptoms' by putting an aluminum foil barrier between it and their house.

Except that the meters aren't always-on, and aluminum foil does almost fuck all when it comes to EM emissions.

And if people were that sensitive to EM fields of the sort that the Smart Meters use, then they would be dying every time someone used a cellphone near them, or wifi, or...really, if they went anywhere. From my place, I have eight (!) wifi signals, and I live just in a suburban residental home. A single smart meter that's active less than a full minute a day would not do any significant damage relative to the current background radiation that's created by other technologies.
Graeme,

When you are not the one suffering from these ill effects, it is easy for you to say what you've said above. But if you are willing to put yourself into some of these people's shoes, perhaps you could understand this a little better.

I happen to be one of these people that do not respond well to the hydro smart meter, and for the longest time, I didn't know it was the smart meter making me feel sick. What happens in my case is, the power meter at my house is located directly on the opposite side of my computer room's wall. For at least 7 or 8 years, I have regularly spend huge amounts of time in my computer room studying for school, working and playing on my computer, etc. without any issues.

Then BC Hydro started implementing the smart meter program, and a smart meter was installed at my house, replacing the old but perfectly functional analog meter that we had. At first, I was completely oblivious to any health effects these smart meters and the EMF might be causing, so I continued my regular routine in my computer room. But soon after the smart meter installation, I started noticing that I was getting chest pains and feeling nauseated, and I had no idea why. The chest pains and nausea continued for another week or two, and gradually I started noticing that the chest pains and nausea would come when I spent time in the computer room. I can probably withstand a good 15 minutes or so before the chest pains come. By the half hour mark, the nausea would make it bad enough that I had to leave the room. This comes directly from my first hand personal experience, and has been repeatedly proven using myself as the test subject.

It took another few weeks before I finally clued in on how the smart meter and its EMF emissions might have been the cause of me feeling sick. A lot of googling and YouTube watching later, I pasted up 2 layers worth of aluminum foil along the entire wall where the smart meter sits (on the opposite side). And what do you know? I don't feel sick in my own computer room anymore.

You can say all of this first hand experience of mine is all in my head. But I will simply tell you otherwise. I am perfectly fine with whatever radio signals and EMFs routers, cel phones, microwave ovens pumps out. But with this smart meter business, it is making me feel sick. People have different bodies that respond differently to external factors. Just because you don't get sick from it doesn't mean others won't.

Last edited by Traum; 07-20-2013 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:55 PM   #149
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^You realize there's already a metal box between you and the smart meter's inner workings, right? And that its wireless broadcast is actually active less than two seconds per day? How can it affect you when IT'S NOT EVEN RUNNING???

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Old 07-20-2013, 12:07 AM   #150
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It's in your head. The smart meter isn't even transmitting most of the time.

You could stand in Chernobyl for a couple hours and not feel sick...why on earth would a tiny signal being sent for a tiny fraction of the day (you might not even be in the room when it broadcasts) is making you sick. It isn't voodoo.
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