Smart meters ‘like the HST all over again’

Dear editor,

The main problem with the smart meters is that there has been little or no consultation or review surrounding these devices.

Dear editor,

The main problem that I and many others have with the smart meters is that there has been little or no consultation or review surrounding these devices.

I’m not speaking of the concern over radio frequency radiation but in terms of safety, privacy, security, reliability, or even the cost-benefit relationship, considering the hundreds of million of dollars being spent here this is quite alarming.

What happened is the B.C Liberal government rammed a so-called Clean Energy Act through the legislature in the summer of 2010 mandating that B.C Hydro “install and put into operation smart meters and related equipment” at every home and business in British Columbia “by the end of the 2012 calendar year.”

Another consequence of this lovely document was the removal of any scrutiny of the smart meter project, and several other BC Hydro projects, by the BC Utility Commission. In fact the provincial cabinet has specifically ordered the BCUC not to conduct any hearings or investigation into the smart meter program.

Nothing to worry about there, eh?

These meters, even though designed by a Washington State company, are manufactured in that bastion of quality, Communist China, a nation with an abysmal safety record regarding consumer products, never mind their human rights, environmental, and worker health record.

This is the same nation that brought us toys painted with lead-based paint, cadmium jewelry, contaminated drywall, melamine laced pet food and dairy products.

So now we are to assume that these smart meters made in the very same country, in a Chinese-owned factory under contract, with a switch mode power supply, that are not independently tested nor CSA or UL approved, are perfectly safe just because the former Olympic PR men from BC Hydro tell us so?

Because of the electronics, and the fact that they come from the land of shoddy goods, where an old-style analog meter might last 25, 30 or 40 years, you may get 10 years out of a smart meter before it fails and has to be replaced.

The only justification they can seem to come up with as a saving is that they would prevent electricity theft, presumably from grow-ops, at first $30 million dollars worth which then became $100 million dollars, but over 10 years, assuming their claims are true.

So right around the time they will supposedly recoup the cost of installing these things they will be near the end of their useful life. When was the last time you had a television set or computer last more then 10 years? Yet all over B.C. they are changing every meter to the same make and model of smart meter at almost the same time, so when they begin to fail they will do so at almost the same time.

This is like the HST all over again, they ram a policy through with no independent review or public input, and then invent a back story citing dubious benefits to justify shoving in down our throats.

A. Foster