Not so smart

Hydro's new smart meters not a smart move

BC Hydro is planning to replace our existing analog meters with smart meters – a microwave radiation device and will make meter readers superfluous.

There will be 1.8 million smart meters operational in B.C. by 2012 at a cost of approximately $930 million.

There has been virtually no consultation with the public in advance of this multi-million project.

Experts say that over the past few years there has been an exponential increase in public exposures to wireless technologies (cell phones, cell towers, wireless internet, etc.), without  proof that this technology has no harmful health effects.

Citizens for Safe Technology says this, “There is mounting evidence worldwide, contained in reputable peer-reviewed and published studies and journals, showing adverse biological effects from low-frequency, radio frequency fields.”

BC Hydro, however, claims that “there are no demonstrable health or environmental effects from exposure to low level radio frequency.”

Daniel Hirsch, a senior lecturer on nuclear policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, admits that it is still uncertain what the health effects are from RF radiation, but that given the lack of proof that they are safe, smart meters are an involuntary experiment on a very large population. We are not being given a choice.

Dr. David Carpenter is also unequivocal about the fact that there is no evidence that smart meters are safe and have no adverse health effects.

He is a public health physician, a graduate of Harvard who worked for the New York state department of health for 18 years, and was responsible for administering the program in electromagnetic fields.

“We have evidence from other sources of radiofrequency exposure that demonstrates convincingly and consistently that exposure to radiofrequency radiation at elevated levels for long periods of time increases the risk of cancer, increases damage to the nervous system, causes electrosensitivity, has adverse reproductive effects, and a variety of other effects on different organ systems.”

BC Hydro also implies that smart meters will save us both energy and money. Randy Hillier, Member of Provincial Parliament in the Ontario Legislature, on Aug. 2, referred to them as, “smart meter tax machines,” pointing out that his constituency office hydro costs have doubled since their installation.  Only the customer can save energy, through conservation efforts.

If you don’t tell BC Hydro that they may not change your current meter, they can rely on “implied consent.”

We can, however, take action to stop them from installing a smart meter until issues of health and privacy have been resolved to our satisfaction.

• Download the smart meter action kit: (Pull-down menu: Communities, Governments).

• Send BC Hydro a registered letter denying them the right to change the current meter (BC Hydro and Power Authority, David Cobb, chief executive officer,  333 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver, B.C., V6B 5R3).

• Talk to the community groups you belong to and make a joint presentation to your local government, persuading them to stop the installation of these wireless smart meters until more is known about them.

• Sign the petition,

• Write or phone your MLA.


L. J. Warrington, Vernon