Hold BC Hydro to account

Rick Kirkpatrick argues again BC Hydro's drive to install Smart Meters on North Island homes.

Dear editor,

Your readers might have a ticking firebomb on the side of their home.

If any homeowners were away when Corix installed your BC Hydro smart meter, that installation was probably done by a non-certified electrician. Corix may have bent or caused arcing on the meter socket contacts of YOUR meter base. The safest procedure is to turn off the customer’s main electrical breaker. This open breaker will stop any electrical current during the meter transfer.

The latest letter from BC Hydro dated Jan. 4, 2013, tells us they will “ensure your service connects safely because installers will inspect your meter socket and provide free on-the-spot repairs, by a qualified electrician, if an issue is found.”

I would call BC Hydro and have the safety of your meter socket inspected by a certified electrician employed by BC Hydro. There is no way for a homeowner to do this inspection by themselves. BC Hydro should be called and asked to do the FREE inspection. As a customer you may ask for a written report on the condition of your meter base. I do not think BC Hydro will give you any written assurances.

There have been many fires after Corix installed smart meters. BC Hydro has stated publicly that 100 per cent of the fires were caused by the “customer’s meter box” and would not reimburse the homeowners for any damages.

The Gazette reported on Thursday, July 12, 2012 that one of our local bushiness (Supreme Convenience) had a second smart meter that self-destructed. Running a story that puts BC Hydro in a bad light is never a good financial move, but the Gazette ran with the story. Our local newspaper was brave enough to run the story and a picture of the blackened smart meter on the front page. Do you need another reason to ask for the free inspection?

BC Hydro’s Itron smart meters have been known to overheat and cause fires. My response from BC Hydro was “There have been a few incidences involving these meters.” I believe they said about .02 per cent of their 1.9 million smart meters. Not a very big number, until it is your home or business that is burning. Did you know that BC Hydro can remotely turn off your electricity if you do not pay your bill? Did you know BC Hydro can not tell when its state-of-the-art smart meter starts to burn? Where are BC Hydro priorities?

I do remembering debating with the BC Hydro’s Vancouver Island manager (Ted Olynyk) in front of the Port Hardy mayor and council and getting assurances from Ted that BC Hydro would “talk to those who are hesitant and will address all their fears.” (North Island Gazette, Jan. 19, 2012)

I do not think having Corix ripping down a “do not install smart meter” signs and putting in a smart meter after the customer went to work is an ethical way to conduct business. If you build a great product that will benefit and save the customer money, they will beat down your door to use it. I would say spending almost $3 billion without public consent and then “forcing” them to have a smart meter is not a great business practice. What did we get for BC Hydro’s huge expenditure? They tell me they will know when the power goes out. Did they tell you that  smart meters waste power to work and smart meters can not detect electrical bypasses in grow-op houses?

I had a debate with a Hydro person who was a Toyota owner. He told me “I drive a Toyota Yaris and it has been a great car, with no issues. Guess what? They want mine back to repair an issue with the power window that might cause a fire. Does that mean that Toyota is out to kill me?”

What he failed to mention was Toyota provides an excellent written guarantee and warranty. If Toyota suspected anything could hurt a customer, they will recall that entire model and fix the fault. Free of charge. Did anyone get a written guarantee from BC Hydro concerning their Health, Safety and Privacy? If BC Hydro cannot deliver in writing what they are telling us, then I think we should not be forced to accept a product that they will not stand behind in writing.

Make a noise; the slide to dictatorship and denial of democratic rights should be hugely concerning to every single citizen of Canada, no matter if they like microwave device smart meters or not.

Rick Kirkpatrick

Port Hardy

 

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