Ted Olynyk of BC Hydro recently explained the new wireless smart meters to all three councils in the Tri-port area.

Smart meters are on the way

They’re coming next month and smart meters were on the agendas of all three Tri-port councils

They’re coming next month and smart meters were on the agendas of all three Tri-port councils as a BC Hydro representative made his rounds “putting out the fires” caused by rumours and misinformation about the wireless devices.

“Seriously,” said Ted Olynyk, the Crown Corporation spokesman, “I don’t know where some of these rumours come from.”

“I even heard one that we will know when you’re having sex — we won’t know and we don’t care.”

Olynyk gave his presentations as information to the three councils, but was there was a dissenting opinion in Port Hardy chambers.

Rick Kirkpatrick, an opponent of the meters, had delegation status and asked council to take another look at the new technology.

“I’m suggesting Port Hardy join Alert Bay and 29 other municipalities that are requesting a moratorium on all wireless smart meters installations in the town of Port Hardy until all safety and privacy concerns are met,” he told Mayor Bev Parnham and a three-person council — Coun.Al Huddlestan was out of town, but attended by telephone.

It’s established that meters pulse a radio frequency to collectors for only a fraction of a second several times a day, but some believe that could cause harm.

“I think you’ll find being exposed to radio frequencies is like being exposed to asbestos — the higher the level, the longer the exposure, the more danger,” he said.

“There is no safe levels of asbestos or radio frequencies.”

During his presentation that followed Kirkpatrick’s, Olynyk countered the meters are simple measurement devices that put out such sparse frequencies as not to be noticed.

“In fact,” he said, “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.”

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.

Kirkpatrick acknowledged there are frequencies in the average home, but said people have control over the exposure.

“The consumer can turn off any of the devices, limit usage times and keep newborn and pregnant mothers away — but you will not be able to turn off the smart meters.”

The province is spending $1-billion to replace all the meters in the province and will begin swapping them out on the North Island in February.

“I suggest you think about things like implied consent, computer hacking and your own personal privacy because all the things you do in the privacy of your house will soon be up for sale, “ Kirkpatrick said.

“Worst of all, you’ll have no way of stopping this constant source of new radiation to yourself and your family.”

Olynyk argued there is no evidence or scientific data that suggests smart meters — it’s anticipated more than 200-million of them will be installed world-wide — are a health risk.

“For us smart meters are the global standard and something that’s going on world-wide, whether it’s the installation of smart meters for electricity or the measurement of natural gas in many municipalities on Vancouver Island, they’re using wireless water meters as well,” he said.

Besides, the meters will help keep BC Hydros rates low, said Olynyk, who added B.C. has the third lowest power rates on the continent.

“But coupled with that is the fact we are one of the largest consumers of electricity in the world,”

“We have to build more, buy more or conserve more and hopefully (the meters) will help consumers conserve more electricity because they’ll be able to see in real time what they’re using … on an in-home device,” he said.

“We just collect hourly consumption data, that’s the only thing we’ll see.”

When Olynyk finished his presentation — a good 20 minutes longer than council normally allows — Huddlestan said he saw a big benefit in all this.

“One industry in particular, the aluminium industry, will be selling lots of Reynolds Wrap for people who are paranoid and walking around our streets with tinfoil on their heads.”

The meters are coming but installation can be delayed.

“If you don’t want it, simply put a note on your meter to that effect, and hydro will bypass your home,” said Olynyk.

However, that doesn’t mean all homes won’t get the meters, he said.

For those who post a note, a BC Hydro representative will be in touch to “talk to those who are hesitant and will address all their fears.”

For more on BC Hydro’s smart meter program, log onto http://www.bchydro.com.

 

Just Posted

North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

North Island Concert Society reports on a successful season

It was a successful season for the NICS in terms of increased attendance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The Merry Widow Mountain trail

“Early morning light is best for photos of the face of the mountain”

Kwakwaka’wakw families march in Port Hardy in honour of MMIWG

Red dresses lined Market Street in honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

20th Anniversary of Family Fishing Weekend coming to North Island

Choice of 14 events held on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read