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NEWS RELEASE · 17th April 2012
MLA Robin Austin
MLA for Skeena Robin Austin stood in the Legislature today in support of a motion calling for the the Government to direct the B.C. Utilities Commission to do a full and comprehensive review of the Smart Metering Program.

“I believe at least a thousand meters have had to be pulled out because they were suspect. So much for them being super smart,” said Austin. “They were suspect — a thousand meters across British Columbia.” In Skeena there have been numerous reports of abnormally high B.C. Hydro bills since the installation of Smart Meters.

“In my riding of Skeena, here's what has happened since this smart meter program has gone in. People have contacted my office with claims that their bills have gone up, not by 50 bucks or a hundred bucks, but they've gone up by 200 and 300 percent.” said Austin.

For seniors and other families on fixed incomes, the stress of rate increases has been compounded by even higher bills since the installation of smart meters.

“It is fundamentally wrong to go to a senior who's on a fixed income or go to somebody who has a family and is trying hard and struggling to pay their own bills and to suddenly say that some erroneous $400 or $500 electricity bill has to be paid while B.C. Hydro looks into it.”
Comment by James Ippel on 22nd April 2012
I believe it were the radioligists reading the results that were the problem. Even with the errors made, they did make early detections, and save lives.
It is unfair of you to pick on human error to try and prove a point. Why don't you concentrate on the success stories as well. Every cloud has a silver lining, and we must think positive. It does save lives.
Comment by mbw on 22nd April 2012
Uhhhh - have you taken a look at the latest research on mammograms? More harm than good, it turns out.
Comment by James Ippel on 20th April 2012
I commend you for your attitude, but find it questionable. X-rays are a method of detecting life threatening deseases early, and I believe the good overrules any bad effects. Modern x-ray technology has such a minor negative effect that it is probably not even measurable, and the results may well save your life. If we had x-rays everyday, I would agree that there could be severe damage. Many a cancer patient is alive today because of radiation, and thankful for it. It is measured, and a body can be subjected to only so many radons in a given period of time, and this is rigidly monitored, especially in the treatment of cancer patients.
Would you refuse radiation treatment if it meant saving you life and spending more time with your loved ones?
Comment by mbw on 19th April 2012
Just so you know: I have a cell phone that is only turned on in dire emergencies; I have always refused routine x-rays at the dentist and haven't had a chest x-ray since 1970,. We threw out the microwave and removed the clock radio from the bedroom. I figure it's my right to decide to add Smart Meter EMFS to this list in my effort to reduce cumulative exposure.
Mr. Smart not so smart
Comment by Mr. Peters on 19th April 2012
I am very cognoscenti of the fact that Corix does the installation of the meters. I am also cognoscenti of the fact that they are not electricians, they are merely someone who endured a short course on how to install a meter. One has to assume that they actually are doing it correctly, an assumption I am not welling to make.

I personally know several meter readers and they actually enjoy their jobs, they like being outside.

I will continue to refuse the meter as long as I can.
Comment by Smart? on 18th April 2012
Everyone apparently has that right to refuse the smart meter being installed,. But I think you should check your information as it is not the meter readers that install your "smart meter". I'm sure that those people enjoy getting off their "fat asses" while they are constantly out in our weather (whether its 40 below, or 30degrees) to read YOUR meter, so YOU can have electricity. As well, Im sure they enjoy their jobs and dont want to lose them as the smart meters come into effect. Get your facts straight. Corix installs, BChydro has meter readers in which all they do, is READ your meter.
Apocalypse Now
Comment by James Ippel on 18th April 2012
When I visited family in the Netherlands in 1976 my Aunt related how their electricity was measured during the day and during the night. At night it was cheaper, consequentley she turned off her hot water heater during the day. She used gas to heat water for daily household needs (dishes, etc). Laundry was done using water heated at the lower night time rate.
As for radiation: I listened to a program featuring a scientist who poo pooed this idea. You can get more radiation from using your cell phone for 30 minutes that you would get from standing beside your smart metre 24/7 for 20 years. Are you going to give us your cell phone, quit having your teeth X-rayed at the dentists(possible link to oral cancer), no longer have chest X-rays? Take a chance, you are not going to live forever no matter what you do.
not so smart meters
Comment by Gilda on 18th April 2012
we are not happy eithe with the so called smart meters.
Smart meters in Europe?
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 17th April 2012
Jim where do you get your info? I was in Scotland 20 years ago and you still had to manually put coins into the meter to pay for your electricity.I highly doubt they had the technology 40 years ago .What ever your answer is I will neither agree or disagree.
never mind EMFs
Comment by mbw on 17th April 2012
And please do not get me started on the possible dangers of electro-magnetic fields.

Ya, ya, some of you will poo-pooh it, but the bottom line is, we do not know the long-term effect of EMFs and Smart Meters are one more way of adding to that load, in a manner w have no control over.

easy for you to say
Comment by mbw on 17th April 2012
... if you can afford to pay your bills which many low-income people struggle to do.

So in the meantime their hydro will get cut off with all the attendant problems and maybe if they are (un)lucky enough, next year they will find out Hydro was wrong and reverse their bill that they could not pay and since they had their electricity cut off, are now facing debt to catch up.

Gotta luv Peters!
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 17th April 2012
There's nothing better than the need for humans to pull their job description. After all...the need for humans vs computers ensures job security, right?

Gotta luv Peters' comment that the crew have to physically attend his house to pull a reading!

Way to go!
Another Voice
Comment by James Ippel on 17th April 2012
I neither agree or disagree with the installation of the Smart Meters--YET!
Mine was installed in December, and so far I have noticed a reduction in my costs. Was my old meter defective, or is my new meter defective? Before I pass judgement I will wait till I can compare at least six months of consumption.
Mr Austin commented that at least 1 thousand meters had been recalled because they were defective, but what I saw reported in the media is that these meters were recalled for verification that they were working properly. Hydro claims this is their way of insuring that the meters work. I will wait for the results.
Please take all factors into account. Last winter was colder that the winter before. I have increased my fuel consumption by 25% (Pellet Stove), and I don't know how much my electric heating costs went up till I do a total winter to winter comparison. I still do not consider winter to be over when it comes to heating.
Lets give them a chance, they have been using them in Europe for the last 40 years.
No "Smart" Meter at my house
Comment by Mr. Peters on 17th April 2012
This is why I have refused to allow them to install on of these meters. To date my refusing them access has worked and when it does not work I will shield the cabinet in which it sits so that they will still have to get off their fat ass to come and physically read my meter.

If it is not broken do not fix it. There was nothing wrong with the old meters.
not so smart is right
Comment by mbw on 17th April 2012
Our bill went up as well - we were averaging $42/month and suddenly it was $100. I thought I had missed a payment and 3 bills later I am completely & utterly mystified by how they bill and record one's payment. Now suddenly I am in a credit-situation of $12 which is even more maddening. and have you ever tried talking to Hydro about how to decifer your bill? It's unbelievably confusing.

I am still apopletic with anger that Corix came onto my prperty w/o asking and installed the meter when we were not home to defend our right to refuse it. I have spent months calling and writing to Corix, Hydro and the Smart Meter program and copying everyone from the Premier on down with no action other than repeated offers to explain to me why I need to love Smart Meters.

So go Robin! Let's get the entire opposition standing up in the legislature and reverse this - we can do it - remember the HST.
Smart Meters
Comment by shirley on 17th April 2012
We started getting double billed from BC Hydro starting late last year and after 3 phone calls and speaking to 3 different customer service agents,their final answer was "with the installation of smart meters, a pattern has to be formed before the smart meters get "on track with billing" so please have patience..
Not Happy
Comment by SC on 17th April 2012
In March, we had our highest bill in the 7 years we were in this house. Even when we were away for 2 weeks on vacation, our bill was higher than normal. Something has to give.
Comment by HomeOwner on 17th April 2012
We too have seen an abnormally high increase in our Hydro Bills.

We have been at the same location for over three years, do the same things everyday, every season and this year it was excessively high. NOT IMPRESSED!