CST News Feed

Smart Meters and Grids


SMART METERS and GRIDS OVERVIEW

MAILING ADDRESS for BC HYDRO SMART METER CLASS ACTION: 
Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
PO Box 52061
Beacon Ave. RPO
Sidney, BC V8L 5V9

EMAIL address for Greg Reimer, BC HYDRO:  greg.reimer@bchydro.com



Sep 23
2014

" . . . In fires with little damage, NV Energy simply replaces the meter, cleans up any staining and paints over sooty walls. In fires with more significant damage, the company hires its own inspectors, who find a different cause than city investigators.  

"That's what happened to Sara Macias. The blaze that destroyed much of her home in January 2013 started in the electric panel on the outside of her garage, according to the city fire investigators.  

"Macias said her insurance company inspector found the same origin. But NV Energy's inspector found the fire started inside the garage, she said.  

"Her home has been rebuilt, and she said the insurance company and the power company continue to wrangle over who is financially responsible for it. NV Energy Director of Smart Technology Gary Smith said that fire was determined to have started inside the garage and that Macia's insurance has not filed a claim against the company.  

"In the meantime, Macias refused to allow NV Energy to install another smart meter, opting to pay a higher monthly bill for the traditional model. . . .

  • Big Problem 
  • Conflicting Reports 
  • NV Energy: no pattern 
  • Electrician points to overheating relays 
  • What you can do




Sep 19
2014

Human Rights Tribunal does not accept evidence that EHS exists (British Columbia)

Electroyperensitivity (EHS) has been rejected as a disability by the Human Rights Tribunal of BC (September 18, 2014)

Sad news.  CSTS Human Rights case was dismissed by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. This was a class action on behalf of people with EHS, whose doctors said that they should avoid RF and not have smart meters.

Even though EHS is a recognized by the Human Rights Commission in Canada, the Americans with Disabilities in the US, and as a disability in other countries, the Tribunal chose not to accept evidence but rather to base its decision in large part on the evidence the BCUC accepted in the Fortis application.

Fortis BC paid a company (Exponent) to defend the smart meter. Exponent is a "product defense company" and has defended some of the most dangerous products in the world - pesticides, agent orange, asbestos, etc and now microwave radiation. They buy scientists who will produce reports saying anything is safe. One of their people said that our bodies emit more radiation than does a smart meter and the BCUC accepted that, while rejecting testimony from world renowned experts like Dr. Martin Blank, Dr. Isaac Jamieson and Dr. Meg Sears.

It's a sad day when the government is allowed, by the Human Rights tribunal, to come between a patient and his/her physician, but this is what has happened. Here is the decision for you to read.

This makes it more urgent for us to fight this re. fires, fee discrimination, and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The other class action lawsuit against BC Hydro over smart meters is still ongoing. That one represents all customers of BC Hydro (residential and business) who are unhappy about any aspect of the smart meter program (i.e., getting one if you didn't want it, getting one and later deciding you don't want it, being harassed and bullied for refusing to get one), whether or not you currently have a smart meter.

Join the Class Action HERE for residential customers.
Join the Class Action HERE for commercial customers.

News Coverage and Poll:  Tribunal ends Anti-Smart Meter case (24 Hours Vancouver) 

NB the poll results for "Do Smart Meters Pose a Health Risk" at time of this posting are

728 votes - 85% YES, 4% NO, 11% I DON'T KNOW but I don't trust BC Hydro assurances




Sep 15
2014

PRESS RELEASE - STOP SMART METERS MASSACHUSETTS

National Grid cut off electricity for non-payment, resulting in death of 6-year-old girl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Stop Smart Meters Massachusetts

 
Contact: Patricia Burke 508-376-5360  

The death of a 6 year-old girl in a NY home where National Grid cut off electricity for non-payment has amplified human rights and environmental activist group Stop Smart Meters Massachusetts' request for an investigation into the expense to ratepayers of the Department of Public Utilities smart meter mandate. The group has also called for an audit of the controversial $48M, 15,000 meter Worcester pilot program, which is 5 times larger and far more expensive than the Green Communities Act mandate.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the NY death due to the use of an indoor propane heater. The Chicago area Advanced Metering Infrastructure Health Impact Assessment, conducted in partnership between the National Center for Medical Legal Partnership at Boston Medical Center , and Citizens Utility Board noted that customers deprived of electricity often turn to unsafe alternatives, endangering health and safety. Wireless smart meters enable two-way communication between the utility and the home. 111 municipalities in Quebec have called for a moratorium and/or free opt out. Germany has rejected smart meter deployment. In the UK, the Committee of Public Accounts issued a report Sept. 9 casting doubt over the validity of the smart meter rollout, raising concerns over the cost-benefit to consumers and the ability of the energy market to keep costs down. Nations including Italy, the site of the Vatican leukemia lawsuit, opted for safer, faster; more secure hard-wired technology. Italy is not collecting private usage data from customers. Lakeland, Florida; Saskatchewan, Canada; Pennsylvania, and Oregon have removed thousands of smart meters due to fire hazards.

The Worcester pilot program, which included 242 microwave antennas, has been delayed due to contentious zoning battles regarding placement of towers in residential neighborhoods. Despite the fact that the pilot program has not proven smart meter effectiveness, the DPU has already mandated the technology for MA investor-owned utilities, estimated at a cost of over $7B to ratepayers.

Tim Knauss of Syracuse.com reported that in NY, "For the past decade, in good times and bad, National Grid has reported more than 200,000 customers a month - roughly one in seven - who are at least two months behind on their bills. Each year since 2006, National Grid has terminated between 49,000 and 61,000 residential accounts for nonpayment in its Upstate territory, which extends from Albany to Buffalo. For some customers, there is "a permanent level of unaffordability built into the rates,'' said William Yates, a senior financial analyst at Public Utility Law Project.

Larry Rulison of the Times-Union reported, " National Grid is forecasting that by the year 2029, the average residential electric bill, including electricity, delivery charges and taxes and fees, in upstate New York will rise from $89.62 a month to $132.38 -- an increase of 47 percent. And while the increase includes the expected rise in National Grid's operating costs, much of it is going to come from the rise in wholesale electricity costs over that period. Wholesale power prices could nearly double over the next 15 years, National Grid believes, growing from roughly 6 cents per kilowatt hour to nearly 11 cents." Central Maine Power requested an 8% rate hike increase instead of promised savings after statewide smart meter deployment.

Informed activists caution that the costly technology is untested, has not been monitored for environmental and health impacts, and relies on FCC guidelines that have not been reviewed since 1996. Concerns are mounting that consumers will be forced to pay for the technology twice, once for the initial installation, and then for the replacement cost once the shortcomings of the system are readily apparent.

The Department of Public Utilities relied on the testimony of tobacco scientist Peter Valberg from the product defense firm Gradient, while reports such as the Seletun Scientific Statement recognize biological harm occurring at radio frequency exposure levels far below US exposure guidelines, which have never been tested for children, pregnant women, the infirm, medically vulnerable, or elderly.

The Berkshire-Litchfield Environmental Council, which provided testimony in opposition to smart meters for MA DPU docket 12-76 stated, "The smart grid is increasingly understood as an over engineered, ill-advised, financial boondoggle at taxpayer expense, capable of endangering the security of the entire national grid, violating constitutional privacy protections and endangering public health. In addition, the smart grid/metering has not been found to save energy when all the new variables in the system are factored in. Plus, time-of-use pricing is largely punitive to those who can least afford it. Time-of-use pricing is fundamentally a Wall Street model designed to maintain shareholder profits as we transition to more energy efficient models that will reduce demand."

Investigate Worcester MA Smart Meter Pilot Program


Please sign this petition on behalf of Worcester residents:

The Worcester National Grid Smart Meter Pilot program exposes the community to unprecedented risks in violation of local democracy.

Will you sign this petition to Attorney General Martha Coakley?




Sep 13
2014

Girding the Grid: Educating Leaders Is Key

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Risk Awareness article - first posted November 2013

This information should be sent to every MP, MLA, every media person - asking why so little is being done about the interconnectedness of the electricity grid.   With every major US agency warning that a catastrophe equal to or worse than a nuclear fallout will happen if the grid is interconnected, why aren't governments taking precautionary steps to ensure that utility systems are not so vulnerable?


"According to a recent report sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. power grid is under threat from nation-states, organized crime syndicates, hacktivists, and terrorists. More needs to be done to protect the nation's power grid and mitigate these threats. A little more than ten years ago, a tree branch triggered one of the worst blackouts in U.S. history affecting around 50 million people; about a year ago, the effects of Hurricane Sandy caused widespread outages in NYC. Today, the electrical power grid continues to be a prime concern for the government and private utility companies. The grid's problems handling "natural disasters" make the threat of sustained and purposeful disasters even more disconcerting. Possible man-made threats stem from cyber attacks as well as electromagnetic pulse (EMP). The DOE is not alone in its concern; a recent survey by National Geographic revealed citizens do not have confidence in the grid's security or in the government's level of readiness. Three-quarters of the survey's respondents expect the U.S. to face a "catastrophic cyberattack" during their lifetime, and over 50 percent believe the U.S. is unprepared for such an attack.  

The DOE-sponsored study shows a number of ways in which power-grid networks are vulnerable to foreign or domestic threats. Indeed, North Korea is currently pursuing EMP technology and views cyber attacks as general-use weapons to target key institutional and infrastructure systems. Iran and various non-state actors could also pose a direct threat to U.S. grid security.  

Importantly, investing in security means investing in people. U.S. power companies should provide continuous cybersecurity training to personnel to improve grid security. Instead of top-down mandates, Congress should empower local and private entities to educate citizens and employees in cybersecurity.  

Grid security also depends on a culture of leadership. This means educating executives and company boards about cybersecurity. A recent Ernst & Young survey shows senior business leaders' increasing involvement in cybersecurity. An upcoming Heritage report will focus on how to encourage utility leaders to learn about cyber threats and improve grid security.

Heritage's report will also show the need for information sharing to reduce costs and minimize threats to businesses, while increasing an executive's decision-making abilities. Congress should build off private initiative and enable effective information sharing about the current threats against the power grid.  

Congress should thoughtfully address these issues before the lights go out.

Brett Ramsay is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. 




Sep 11
2014

Quebec Campaign against "Smart" Meter Deployment

Health Effects of Radiofrequency Emissions.

Hydro-Quebec still attempting to charge opt-out fees despite government resolutions and lack of safety evidence.

"On October 5, 2012, the Energy Board of Quebec gave the green light to Hydro-Quebec to begin the Phase 1 of the deployment of "new generation" meters on all buildings in the metropolitan area of Montreal. Then on June 13, 2014, it approved their deployment elsewhere in Quebec, after refusing to reconsider the health effects of the radiofrequency emissions (pulsed microwaves) of these devices, despite the hundreds of testimonies it received about this, and without ordering an impact study, despite repeated requests to that effect.

" . . . If all of this above has convinced you to resist, know that you are not alone. Over 5700 Quebecers have signed a petition indicating their desire to not contend with such a risk. To join them and learn more, visit JeGardeMonCompteur.com. Be sure to read the testimonials of people already affected. And talk about this to others, even if, unfortunately, for many it's already too late... "




Sep 10
2014

CLASS ACTION (Lawsuit) PACKAGE (updated June 21)

Updated Links to Participation Forms, Q and A and other information for anyone opposed to BC Hydro's Smart Meter Program

BC Hydro Tactics Update
for BC Hydro customers who are wondering what is going on with BC Hydro as of May 1, 2014

Opt-Out Sign for Analog in preparation for meter exchange (seal expiry announcement from Hydro) 


1. CLASS ACTION

COMPLETE THIS FORM TO PARTICIPATE:

Residential PARTICIPATION FORM 
Commercial PARTICIPATION FORM

Questions and Answers


2.  IMMEDIATE ACTION:

DECIDE
Response to BC HYDRO's Current BILLING practices


READ

Legal Actions Update April 10, 2014

Dealing with the Deadline and Beyond

Realities to Consider 


SEND

RESPONSE to BC Hydro's "Choices" Letters

OR 

OPT OUT REGISTRATION NOTICE   
Still useful for those who have had a smart meter imposed upon them without their consent. 


ATTACH
Opt-out Sign for your ANALOG


3. WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?

* Check out the postings under BCUC/BC Hydro Class Action 
on this website for ongoing news and updates.  

4. TAKE ACTION IN YOUR COMMUNITY

FLYER

Mini Class Action Participation Form

Mini Q&A 





Sep 2
2014

BC's energy minister admits smart meter FIRES ... but will do nothing

PRESS RELEASE: Coalition to Stop "Smart" Meters - July 30, 2014



JULY 30, 2014    For immediate release

BC's energy minister admits smart meter FIRES

... but will do nothing

Energy Minister Bill Bennett admits to smart meter fires in British Columbia, but rather than do anything, he expresses disappointment that Saskatchewan is taking action to protect its citizens.


On July 30 Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bill Boyd called a halt to the smart meter program, demanding removal of 105,000 meters after 8 "failures", that include fires and exploding meters. www.globalnews.ca/news/1483134/saskpower-ordered-to-remove-all-smart-meters-in-the-province/

"I think the concerns about safety are paramount here, the concerns are significant enough, anytime families are at risk in Saskatchewan, actions have to be taken and that's why we've directed SaskPower accordingly," said Minister Boyd.


In British Columbia, where we've had more "failures", which have also included fires and exploding meters, Bill Bennett and BC Hydro consistently have refused to acknowledge the danger and, instead, put the blame on homeowners' meter bases and wiring. It doesn't matter why a home burns after a smart meter has been installed - whether it was because the inexperienced installer damaged the base or that the meter heated up due to design flaws. The fact is that property and lives have been put at risk and our government is refusing to protect us.


Bennett is sorry that Saskatchewan is taking this action. ""It's unfortunate that Saskatchewan is doing what it's doing..." Why? Because it shows that some provincial governments are more concerned about their citizens than others. It puts BC to shame. www.cknw.com/2014/07/30/while-saskatchewan-yanks-its-smart-meters-bc-wont-do-the-same/  


Finally Bennett is admitting there have been fires due to smart meters in BC. This is a first, but it's way too late. Fires have been occurring for the last 3 years, and Hydro and Liberals have denied it. The evidence has been hidden and people have been living with a fire hazard on their bedroom walls. He's told Hydro to find out how many have occurred. That may be difficult because no agency is tracking them.


Why is Bennett asking for a count? Is it just because he feels he must do something? Saskatchewan doesn't know why the meters have caused fires - they are taking action because fires have occurred. We have had many fires and incidents in BC, and nothing has been done to protect us. Instead the program has been protected with lies and cover-ups. Do we not deserve the same precautionary action as Saskatchewan?


The Coalition to Stop Smart Meters asks, "Please tell us, Mr. Bennett, what is the right number, how many homes must burn before you will stop this dangerous program??"




Sep 2
2014

The Truth About Smart Meter Fires and Failures in British Columbia - INTRODUCTION

Executive Summary (ES) for distribution - Click link to view the FULL REPORT

"It is vital that all of you help to get this smart metering program stopped NOW, not next year, NOW. Here is proof that smart meters are fire hazards. We must demand that they be removed from all homes. Even if you don't have one on your home, in all likelihood there is one near you. Fires spread.

"Why has there been denial that this risk exists? Profit, greed, corporate pressure, incompetence?

"Once we give this evidence to our MLAs, they cannot say they didn't know. They have a duty to do all they can to get these things off homes immediately, or else they become as guilty as Bill Bennett and Hydro.

  • Please, print off a copy of the Executive Summary (ES) and write your covering letter. 
  • Please, take the time to hand deliver this to your MLA - hopefully handing it directly to him/her. 
  • Please take a second copy of the ES and ask him (or the person taking delivery) to sign, as proof that they did receive it. 
"Share this information widely. We can't allow the cover-up to continue.

 Sharon Noble

CLICK LINK to view FULL REPORT




Sep 2
2014

B.C. Hydro Press Release Refuted (August 26, 2014)

Opinion piece: A rebuttal to BC Hydro's press release of August 25, 2014

In response to the recent Fire Report sent to media outlets in BC, Hydro released a press release in an attempt to refute it, without directly addressing it, saying that the smart meters are improving the safety of the $$mart grid.

Please note that Hydro does not deny that fires have occurred: 
http://www.bchydro.com/news/press_centre/news_releases/2014/new-meters-making-electricity-grid-safer.html
   
Attached is a rebuttal that Sharon Noble, Director of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters in BC, has sent out to every media outlet and newspaper.

Please circulate it to your newspapers, and your contacts, too. Thank you!




Sep 1
2014

FortisBC Smart Meter OPT OUT Registration Notice (updated)

for FortisBC ELECTRICAL customers specifically - originally issued in August, 2013

FortisBC's Electricity Utility provides electrical service to approximately 111,500 customers in the south central part of the province including Kelowna, Osoyoos, Trail, Castlegar, Princeton and Rossland.  They also service approximately 48,000 customers through the wholesale supply of power to municipal distributors in the communities of Rossland, Summerland, Penticton, Grand Forks and Nelson.  This OPT OUT is for all of FortisBC's electrical customers.

N.B. This form is NOT for BC Hydro customers.  Although Fortis provides gas services to BC Hydro customers, it does NOT supply their electricity.  

This Opt Out Registration Notice is the means whereby you can register your choice to decline a FortisBC smart meter. It is designed to be used by anyone, with or without a "smart meter", who chooses to opt-out of Fortis B.C.'s AMI (smart metering) program.

The notice can be downloaded, printed off and distributed to friends and acquaintances in the areas above who receive their electricity from FortisBC.  Other good places to distribute this information is in health stores, health professionals' offices, businesses or any other receptive public venue served by FortisBC.  





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Meetings and events on the issue of wireless technologies in homes and communities throughout North America.


Click the button above to sign our online petition to return to hardwired computers in schools.



Click the button above to sign our online petition against Smart Meters in British Columbia.

Smart Meter Petition (Hard Copy)

Download and print this petition form -- Refuse Smart Meter Installation.

Send completed petitions 15 signatures per page to:
Una St. Clair

fax:
1-866-824-8865

e-mail: una@citizensforsafetechnology.org