Al Dodd is livid that BC Hydro went on his property without permission and installed a smart meter against his wishes.
Dodd, who lives on Daphne Street in Port Hardy and has been firmly against having a smart meter placed in his house for years now, stated he was away on vacation in Panama when a company contracted by BC Hydro entered his garage.
“I received no notification and it was not with my consent that they entered my house,” said Dodd, who added he had three signs posted, one on the door and two inside his garage, that said not to install a smart meter.
He added he did not see this coming, as “A long time ago I talked to them (BC Hydro) on the phone and they said as long as you pay your legacy meter fees (they wouldn’t put in a smart meter).”
His neighbour snapped photos of the contracted company going into his garage on Sept. 5, because his neighbour felt it was “kind of fishy — I’m thinking maybe they knew I was away, but I have no answers to that,” added Dodd.
He noted the smart meter is located directly under his bedroom, and he stated he thinks they are dangerous because they can potentially start fires. “I come from a firefighter family and no smoke detector in the garage is going to wake me up,” he said, adding he will be contacting the Port Hardy RCMP, his lawyer, and a friend of his who is a former Telus employee that is an advocate against smart meters.
“They had no right to do this,” he said. “I’ve paid my fees, I’ve paid my dues, and it’s not only a safety concern — they came into my house without consent and it wasn’t even a BC Hydro employee.”
When asked if he thinks his hydro bill will change now that he has a smart meter installed, Dodd replied, “I know it will,” stating he feels his bill is most likely going to triple now.
When asked to comment, Ted Olynyk, Manager for Community Relations Vancouver Island for BC Hydro, stated the company changes legacy meters out regularly, and all meters are regulated by Measurement Canada to ensure accuracy for the consumer.
“We have about 10,000 meters across the province that will need to be exchanged,” said Olynyk. “New meters will be put in place because we do not use legacy meters anymore. Customers do have the option when we install the new meter to have the radio off so it won’t communicate like a smart meter does.”
As for whether they are allowed to go on customer’s property without their consent, Olynyk said that “As part of the agreement with our customers, we require access to the meter. We have to read it and we have to take the old meters out, because if we don’t then we would be in violation of Measurement Canada and we would face a fine.”
He noted fines from Measurement Canada are typically in the thousands of dollars, and that if customers want power, “you need a meter with the new equipment we are using, which you do have the option to have the radio off.”
Olynyk also said there is no truth to smart meters starting fires. “We’ve actually found it’s an improvement for safety — there have been less fires after changing out the old meters because we are able to go in and clean up things like faulty wiring from the past.”