A letter from BC Hydro states the company has made repeated attempts at replacing a Sicamous resident’s legacy meter, but are unable to due to items she has intentionally placed in the way. (Ruzena Labanic)

Shuswap resident on disability fights BC Hydro smart meter installation

Crown corporation threatens to cut power unless it’s allowed to access, replace analog device

A Sicamous resident is fighting to keep her analog hydro meter citing health concerns posed by newer radio-transmitting meters.

Ruzena Labanic found a final disconnection notice in her mailbox on Friday, Aug. 9. The notice, dated July 31, explains the meter Labanic has is an expired ‘legacy meter’ that must be replaced. The letter states the company has made repeated attempts at replacing the meter but are unable to due to items Labanic has intentionally placed there being in the way.

Read more: Ottawa strikes $40M research deal on 5G technology with Huawei rival Nokia

Read more: Letter: Examining the untested waters of 5G wireless technology

The letter requests that Labanic arranges for “unrestricted access” for the company to exchange the meter, otherwise her service will be disconnected. Labanic also received a monthly $32.40 charge for having the legacy meter.

The disconnection deadline was set for Wednesday, Aug. 14, two weeks after the letter was sent but eight days after she received it.

The notice also lays out Labanic’s options in terms of meter replacement. After paying a $55 exit fee, she can either have a standard smart meter installed, which comes with a one time installation fee of $22.60 and no monthly charges. However, for a non radio-transmitting version of the same meter, the installation cost remains the same but incurs a $20 monthly operating fee. The notice states the fee covers the costs of serving a non-communicating meter.

Read more: Letter: Residents to rally over cell tower concerns

Read more: Protesters push public notification on harms of cell tower radiation

Labanic is adamant she does not want any smart meter, radio transmitting or not, because she is concerned with the potential impact to her health.

“There’s history of fires, there’s history of people getting sick. I personally know two people who got sick after the meter was changed,” she said. “If you’re out of stock then order somewhere else, and if you don’t have it, then give people the option to order somewhere else.”

After an incident in 2,000 left Labanic with health issues causing her to rely on disability payments, she feels she is being unfairly treated by the hydro company.

“Picking on someone who cannot defend themselves, it’s just wrong,” she said.

Read more: Letter: More cell towers, more radiation

Read more: Letter: Stop next wave of wireless

In an email responding to questions regarding Labanic’s request, BC Hydro states it is required by federal law that meters be re-verified and re-sealed every two to 10 years, and that the Crown corporation longer stocks the legacy meters.

“We have a responsibility to ensure the equipment we use to measure our customer’s electricity consumption is operating accurately,” the statement reads. “Meter replacements like this are a standard operating process for us and must be done to ensure our compliance with Measurement Canada and the continued safe and accurate operation of our system.”

Labanic said she asked BC Hydro for more time before disconnection and, as of Aug. 15, her residence was still receiving power.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cyclist struck on Vernon highway

Emergency crews responding, more information to come

New Vernon pastry chef has real sweet tooth

Caken Me Crazy’s owner left the dental industry to pursue the culinary arts

Vernon retirement home holding open house

Orchard Valley will open doors to the public on Saturday, Sept. 21

Vernon realtor captures Okanagan Valley in photo collection

Marty Gilbert’s book, The Okanagan Collection, is available in acrylic, aluminum, or fine art paper

Kootenay jazz performer to take Vernon stage

Holly Hyatt is readying to perform in the Okanagan in October

VIDEO: Police interview with Sagmoen made public

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Métis actor ‘enthralling’ in first lead role

Okanagan Screen Arts Society to screen Falls Around Her Sept. 23

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

South Okanagan school bus driver calls out bad drivers

Bus driver said she sees multiple vehicles go by the bus despite having the overhead lights flashing

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Woman stabbed at least five times in Nelson during random attack

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Most Read