Public should be heard on ‘smart meters’

Power and energy authorities world-wide plan to replace current electricity meters with wireless so-called “smart meters.”

Power and energy authorities world-wide plan to replace current electricity meters with wireless so-called “smart meters.”

“Smart Meters” use radio frequency waves to monitor use and transmit information about each household’s consumption.

BC plans to have these installed in every home by 2012.

Digital “smart meters” will eliminate 3,000 jobs as meter readers will no longer be needed.

The information-carrying radio waves, transmitting 24/7, will effectively blanket homes and neighbourhoods with radiation that could adversely affect not just humans but all living systems.

Many people are already experiencing serious health problems and sensitivity related to the electromagnetic fields created by these meters.

However, governments enthusiastically promote these meters as a “green initiative”, enabling companies to monitor peak use times so they can charge more, thus encouraging off-peak use.

Smart meters are expected to cost BC taxpayers $1 billion to install while the savings over 20 years is projected to be $520 million.

Customers’ monthly (power) bills are increasing as much as 300 per cent.

Some U.S. states did pilot projects which demonstrated zero cost savings and so they cancelled the program.  Many municipalities in California have also cancelled the program.

The costs of installing the new digital wireless meters is substantial, their accuracy is debatable, the environmental impact and lack of safety is extremely worrisome and there is much controversy as to whether or not the readings serve to decrease power use or simply to increase power costs to consumers.

Since taxpayers are the ones slated to pay for this program, BC Hydro should be listening to their concerns and cancel this program now.

Failing to do so would just be another example of corporate control where peoples’ health and well-being is being sacrificed for profit.

In the short term government must put a moratorium on “Smart Meters” until an independent stringent review of their safety (or lack thereof) can be completed and made public.

Diana Gostling

North Vancouver