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REPORTING · 7th September 2011
Merv Ritchie
The following is a complete copy of how the Terrace City Council recorded their discussions regarding BC Hydro’s presentation and the plan to install ‘Smart Meters’ in Terrace. Video of Council members discussing this presentation at the August 22, 2011, council meeting is attached below.

This article is a followup to the two previously posted public service announcements regarding the upcoming UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) meeting this month.

Dear Mayors and Councillors Attending the UBCM

Five More Files and Video Links Reveal Smart Meter Hazards


Deputy Chair L. Christiansen presided. Members present were B. Downie and C. Leclerc. Chair Pernarowski and Members B. Bidgood, B. Martindale and B. Pollard were absent. Also in attendance were H. Nunn, Interim Chief Administrative Officer, and A. Thompson, Interim Clerk.

The Committee of the Whole meeting commenced at 10:30 a.m.


Mr. Gary Murphy, Chief Project Officer, and Ms. Cindy Verschoor, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, both from BC Hydro's Smart Metering and Infrastructure Program were present at the meeting. Deputy Chair Christiansen welcomed Mr. Murphy and Ms. Verschoor and turned the meeting over to Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy and Ms. Verschoor are traveling around the Province providing information regarding BC Hydro's Smart Metering Initiative. The new meters will be installed in the Terrace area starting next week. BC Hydro has been mandated by the Clean Energy Act to replace 1.8 million hydro meters with the new Smart Meters.

The cost of the Smart Meter Initiative is not associated with the recent request by BC Hydro for a rate increase. The Smart Meters will help BC Hydro to gather data regarding energy demands during different periods. With a better understanding of energy demands, BC Hydro expects it can optimize the way the power grid is operated and create efficiencies. The Smart Meter Initiative will not enter into the rate base until the installation is complete, but BC Hydro anticipates a net $500 million financial advantage to the program.

The Smart Meter Initiative will help to prevent the theft of power. Currently an estimated $100 million per year is stolen by grow-ops in B.C.

The new meters will allow BC Hydro to better determine when there is a power outage in an area. The Smart Meters have a "last gasp" signal they will send when losing power and they will also send a message to BC Hydro to indicate when the power is back on. This will assist BC Hydro crews and make repairs more cost effective. Manual meter readers will not be required for the Smart Meters which will save money and increase billing accuracy.

They will be leaving 1% of the meters in the Province with the existing meters, mostly in rural areas and manual meter readers will still need to work in those areas.

The Smart Meters will record a customer's usage in hourly increments so BC Hydro and the consumer will know how much they consume at various times during the day. The information collected by the meters will be sent to a secure, private website so the consumer can see their usage of. the previous day (by hour) and compare it to the aggregate of the power used in the neighbourhood. A customer could also choose to install a device in their home which will show their power usage in real time and help the customer learn about their power consumption habits. These devices will be available on the market in 2013 from private retailers and BC Hydro plans to provide a rebate to purchasers.

Privacy concerns have been raised with the new smart meters. The information received by BC Hydro is only the power usage data, not information about other private activities. No confidential information is kept in the meter and all data sent is encrypted and the meters are equipped with tamper alarms.

The health effects from exposure to radio frequencies have been raised as a concern however there is no causal effect between health effects and radio frequencies. The Smart Meters transmit for less than 1 minute per day and every thirty minutes they send out a weaker pulse to communicate they are still connected. Meter readers will be impacted by this project, but the jobs BC Hydro will need to maintain the infrastructure will increase, so there is expected to be a greater number of jobs created from the program than lost.

The meter change-over for the Terrace area is expected to be complete approximately in January 2012. A letter was sent to every customer to let them know that the meters will be changed. The installer will notify the customer so they can be prepared. It should take about 10 minutes for the installation of the meter and there will be a 30 second power interruption. If there is no one home they will do the work and leave a door hanger on the door to notify the customer when the change-over has been done.

Deputy Chair Christiansen thanked Mr. Murphy and Ms. Verschoor for their presentation.

There were no recommendations.

The August 18, 2011 Committee of the Whole meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

Watch Video of the Councillors discussing this presentation below. Prior to this Video was taken at the August 22, 2011, council meeting the Terrace Daily published an article on the hazards of Smart Meters.

Smart Meters in Terrace - Are We Informed Enough?

Note how some of the Councillors addressed the concerns raised in the article and then disregarded them out of hand without doing responsible due diligence, simply accepting what the BC Hydro representatives claimed.

Video attached directly below!
Fail to see Hydros arguement.
Comment by James Ippel on 9th September 2011
There are methods that can be used to see if there is an illegal Grow Op. The use of Infra Red scopes, wether used from an automoblile or from a helicopter can show the use of excess heat in a home, and a pretty good indicator of a grow op.
FLIR (forward looking infrared) is used to find people lost in the woods, and can be used to hunt for the homes displaying excessive heat. If FLIR can find a person (98.6F) in the vast forests, don't you think it can find a place that is displaying heat at temperatures at probably 110F +?
I am with Shelby on this one. Thieves are stealing before the power gets to the meter, so a smart meter ain't going to make a hill of beans of difference They won't catch anyone stealing power.
As it is, I am really torn. I believe my current meter is ripping me off big time, but will I be better off with a smart meter. Either way I am going to pay more. A lose/lose situation.
PS I got this info from a Hydro employee: 2 kw of power a day in BC pays for all of Hydros cost for the month. Is it true? I don't kow, but definately worth asking your MLA (Skeena) about when he isn't to busy worrying about school closures in the downtown eastside of Vancouver.
Bryon - You can say no
Comment by Tanya on 8th September 2011
check out the website
They have links to emails, letters and specifically a poster to place by your Meter advising Corix/Hydro they cannot replace your meter. I have one posted they came looked at it and left without replacing the meter. It works for now, more need to speak up though in order for it to continue to work in the future. Good Luck and Pass it on!
Thieves don't use they?
Comment by Shelby Raymond on 7th September 2011
I don't get the argument about Hydro being able to recoup the cost of "stolen" electricity...

Every grow-op bust I've seen reported states that the "theives" were intercepting the power BEFORE it reaches the meter....

Aren't people who are "stealing" power after it reaches the meter actually known as CUSTOMERS? I really don't think people who pay for their power are stealing it...perhaps BCHYDRO thinks differently.
Smart meter
Comment by Bryon Heighington on 7th September 2011
What if i don't want to have my meter changed to a smart meter, can i refuse the installers access.If i do refuse them access what legal action will i face.