I am appalled by the treacherous tactics implemented by the Liberal government and BC Hydro throughout this entire smart meter program, including but not limited to:
· The Liberal government’s decision to implement the smart meter program without public consultation or oversight by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC):
· The aggressive position taken by then Energy Minister Rich Coleman to impose the controversial devices in spite of the health and privacy concerns raised by the province’s citizens and various public interest groups;
· The outright lie set out in BC Hydro’s January 2013 form letter that was sent out to the smart meter holdouts, that the smart meter grid could not be operable unless all analog meters were swapped out for smart meters … yet today there are still 60,000 holdouts receiving “estimated” invoices for hydro usage, while smart meter holders receive bills reporting “actual” usage;
· With the election looming earlier this year, the Liberal government reverses its position and advises that smart meters would not be imposed on homeowners who continued to refuse their forced installation;
· The continued lie that smart meters provide “automatic outage detection” as clearly reflected in Hydro’s Smart Metering Program Meter Choices mailout sent to holdout homeowners in July 2013.
· Now the imposition of a punitive $35 monthly fee, to commence Dec. 2 for all holdouts wishing to keep their analog meter to supposedly cover the costs of manual meter readings, when for the last 35 years we have been paying electricity rates that included the cost of reading our analog meter;
· Energy Minster Bill Bennett having issued a cabinet order to the BCUC in advance of Hydro’s application for smart meter fees, instructing the BCUC to approve extra fees to smart meter holdouts. While the BCUC retains its ability to lower the fees if it sees fit, it is further instructed not to eliminate them entirely or make any changes to how Hydro runs the smart meter program;
· Hydro is mandated to pay annual dividends to the Provincial Government — $545 million this year alone.
I’ve come to the realization that these tactics are regularly and increasingly utilized by all levels of government and that the public is left with little recourse.
As a result of being on a limited fixed income, I am left with no choice but to accept the installation of your smart meter.