Smart meter opt-out programs may be needed to “defuse” opposition, Chartwell report says

Electric utilities across North America may need to gauge public sentiment and offer opt-out programs to opponents of digital smart meters, according to an Atlanta-based research firm that works with the industry.

Poll

Should B.C. Hydro give customers the option of opting out of the smart meters program?

Yes 88%
456 votes
No 10%
52 votes
Unsure 2%
8 votes

“To defuse opposition from smart meter foes and allow utility companies to move forward with grid modernization plans, utility leaders may have to consider creating smart meter opt-out programs regardless of the validity of opponents’ concerns about health, safety and privacy,” a January 24 news release on Chartwell’s website states.

This is the basic finding in Chartwell’s new industry report, Smart Meter Opt-Out Programs 2012.

“Some utilities may be forced into creating such programs,” the release states. “In May, Central Maine Power was subject to the first regulatory ruling by the Maine Public Utilities Commission that required a smart meter opt-out program. The California Public Utilities Commission could become the second regulatory body to require an opt-out program for Pacific Gas & Electric, with a decision date of Feb. 1.”

So far, B.C. Hydro has refused to allow an opt-out of the program initiated in 2010 by the B.C. Liberal government to install 1.8 million meters in homes and businesses provincewide. This despite the fact, at the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual convention in Vancouver last summer, municipalities passed a motion asking for a provincewide moratorium, pending greater study of potential health risks and privacy concerns.

On January 19, the Kansas-based American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued a letter stating that there was sufficient public health risk and they “have an obligation to urge precaution”.

The letter also asks for an immediate moratorium on smart meters, along with public hearings, and that utilities “provide immediate relief to those requesting it and restore the analog meters”.

Comments (19) Add New Comment
Veritas2
There is an opt out possibility....disconnect from BC Hydro.
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Ron Dawson
Consider the facts:
- The 'Clean Energy Act' allowed this project to be brought in the back door, without oversight of the BC Utility Commission OR your MLA - this $1 Billion dollar project was never discussed or voted on by the peoples representatives. It is entirely undemocratic
- You would be shocked if you understood the extent to which you can be electronically monitored in your home
- the technology is not safe. There are raging debates ongoing in academia about the dangers of RF radiation. You have no option - BC Hydro is wiring this thing to the side of your house and you will be radiated 24/7.
- This is just the start. Next there will be a wireless gas meter, then a wireless water meter, then you will need new wireless appliances.
- 50% of us get cancer, 25% of us die from it. The World Health Organization has categorized this radiation at a 'possible carcinogen'. Are you happy with BC Hydro toying with your health for their profit?
- The ambient level of RF radiation will be exponentially increased, you will receive it from your meter, your neighbours meters, and collection towers in your neighbourhood. You cannot escape it.
- Some BC Hydro Board of Directors are in benefiting directly from this project.
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Dianne
Disconnecting from BC Hydro should not be the only option if one is concerned about health risks with Smart Meters.

Smart Meter Opt-Out Programs should be an option for us in BC.
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Brian T
Actually all of this should be an opt-in! this is where they are trying to fool us
The whole "your option is to get off the grid comments' are a shame, for an essential service essentially saying "if you dont like the way hydro is wasting your money and taking democracy and rights and safety from you then get off the grid"

come on
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Dennis Creighton
Smart meters and the arguments that support them are not smart. And contrary to what some my believe Hydro is not the environments new knight in shining armour.

OK, I'll admit that I'm cynical. But there's plenty of examples of government and corporate deceit to short circuit the entire Canadian power network. So I get suspicious when BC Hydro becomes concerned about the environment. And while some of the warnings about Smart Meters appear trivial, if you think a rate hike of 50% is trivial, there's good reason to be concerned.

Sure, radio waves may not keep us awake at nights but World Health Organization and Health Canada advisories cannot be ignored. Whatever the odds are, I don't want to be the guy found in medical journals. So I'll take the necessary precautions, within reason, even if Hydro is telling me there's nothing to worry about. Like they'd say otherwise.

And while wrapping our heads in tin foil may protect us from electromagnetic radiation, it won't help against hackers- foreign or domestic. To date, power companies have not undeniably stated that cyber attacks on AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) systems aren't possible. Thus allowing for such possibilities as fraudelent billing to computer savvy crooks identifying when a homeowner is away. In a 2009 US Department of Energy report it stated, "Since these devices are outside the utility's physical security perimeter, they are at high risk of compromise." And because they're a low cost invention, there are no significant barriers to prevent hackers from attacking them.

Of course, the main reason you should be leery of wifi metering is the cost. In my opinion, BC Hydro is intent on having us pay the enormous upcoming bill to revise the grid. A revision necessary to support industries, like future natural gas development. According to Ben Parfitt, author of "Fracking Up Our Water, Hydro Power and Climate" BC may need three Fort St. John Site C size dams to supply the energy required for further natural gas drilling. Of which, 55% of the gas collected will be exported to the Alberta's oil sands, because you need a lot of power to remove heavy oil from sand.

Ironically, by supporting the Smart Meter scam, environmental groups and naive reporters are actually furthering the environmental wasteland. How do they like them green apples?

As for those who keep pointing to BC's power transfer from Alberta, and south of the border, as proof of our gluttonous ways; it just isn't the case. In fact, Hydro exports electricity to Alberta during peak hours and only imports power when consumption is low- at night and at discounted prices. Let's face it, it's a convoluted systems designed to keep the consumer confused, while mega profits roll in at our expense. But don't take my word for it, read "Plans for Renewable Energy- Spin and Lies for a Global Energy Grid" by Joyce Nelson and decide for yourselves.

Contrary to what the gullible may think rate hikes, Smart Meters and higher commodity costs are not good for most British Columbians. Least of all for those on fixed incomes, the working poor and unemployed, of which Hydro plans to add another 400. Unless of course, you think that living in dark, cramped spaces while riding on public transit in second-hand clothing to shop at scantily stocked food banks is a good idea. To me, BC Hydro's apparent love-in with the environment is neither green, cost effective, nor smart. Their armour is a lot tarnished.
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LR Floyd
Some important articles to read:

The problems with Smart Grids by B. Blake Levitt and Chellis Glendinning - Energy Bulletin - March 18, 2011:
- http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-03-23/problems-smart-grids

UN Agenda 21, Sustainable Development Power and Control: Smart Meters and your Health by Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Canada Free Press - October 03, 2011:
- http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/40922

Getting a read on smart meters by Rob Wipond - Focus - September 2011:
- http://focusonline.ca/?q=node/260

[BC] Dispatches from the urban meter wars by Rob Wipond - Focus Online - November 2011:
- http://www.focusonline.ca/?q=node/283

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has submitted a letter calling for a halt to wireless smart meters on January 19, 2012:
http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/halt-smart-...
or
- http://aaemonline.org/images/CaliforniaPublicUtilitiesCommission.pdf

Health Risks Associated With SmartMeters by Poki Stewart Namkung, M.D., M.P.H., Health Officer, Public Health Division, County of Santa Cruz, Health Services Agency, California, USA - January 13, 2012:
Santa Cruz County, California, US Website:
- http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/bds/Govstream/BDSvData/non_legacy/...
or
Public health official report on smart meters - EMF Safety Network - January 19, 2012: - http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=6959

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: Fact or fiction? by Stephen J. Genuis/Christopher T. Lipp - University of Alberta/Faculty of Medicine-University of Calgary - Science of the Total Environment - November 2011:
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleListURL&_method=list&_Ar...

Cyber-security of power grid in 'near chaos,' report says by Ian MacLeod - The Ottawa Citizen - Novembr 15, 2011:
- http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Cyber+security+power+grid+near+c...

The Mix: Cyber-terrorism's Threat by Thalia Assuras - energyNOW! - August 14, 2011:
- http://www.energynow.com/video/2011/08/15/mix-cyber-terrorisms-threat
(Anchor Thalia Assuras talks with former CIA Director James Woolsey about the security measures being used to counter the threat and how smart grid technology could make the country more susceptible to attack.)
&
The Mix: Cyber-terrorism's Threat by energynownews - YouTube - August 16, 2011:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lF3eywqD-I

Smart Grid Privacy and Security Risks Loom for Agencies by Dan Verton - Aol energy - August 05, 2011:
- energy.aol.com/2011/08/05/smart-grid-privacy-and-security-risks-loom-for-agencies/

Black Hat: Water Smart Meters Vulnerable Too by Stefanie Hoffman - CRN - August 03, 2011:
- www.crn.com/news/security/231300172/black-hat-water-smart-meters-vulnera...

Smart Meter Fires and Explosions - EMF Safety Network:
- http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=1280#comments

Damage to Appliances - Stop Smart Meters BC:
- http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca/html/?page_id=2613

PG&E's Big Confession - EMF Safety Network - November 03, 2011:
- http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=6030
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Rating: +7
Fighting Grandma
My roommate just recently was diagnosed with cancer ~ he has been working around the smart meter for about a year and this cancer just pops up out of the blue. It is so general that the oncologists cannot find it's origin! Then I find out about the SM and a lot of health issues start to make sense. These things are deadly and they know it!!! We need a national uproar to get these things removed. Does anyone know of any class action lawsuits against the public utilities for the harm from these things are causing our health?
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patsy baker
It is ridiculous that we have to fight for our health rights if smart meters are a health risk.
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Strategis
Stupid meters are a threat to our privacy, a threat to our health, they are excessively expensive, they have no environmental benefit, and they are a step towards a Big Brother society where the government can shut off power to our home or business at will from a central place for mere "thought crimes" or any other form of insubordination to central police state control over every aspect of our lives.
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EM
Check out the capability of the ZigBee Chip in the Smart Meter. Ability to monitor and read identification device data, other appliances in the home etc. etc. This is a spy machine not a hydro meter. Full disclosure and public open forum is absolutely needed here. Our Democratic Rights are being trampled on here. All polls I have seen show that the folks that are informed about this issue DO NOT WANT IT. Canadian Government, BC Government, BC Hydro are not disclosing the true extent of this initiative nor the full costs to implement it. The Smart Meter and Grid is the starting point of a very elaborate program. Where is the discussion on this ? This whole program is being jammed through with no full disclosure.
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Canadian Citizen
What we really need to do is get rid of Christy Clark and Rich Coleman
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Helen Michell
Come on people, stand up and opt out of this deadly program, of the smart meters. Too many people are dying from some sort of cancers.
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Rating: +5
Sharon S.
Christy Clark deleted my comments on her facebook page and deleted me as her friend .. guess she didn't like what I had to say. BC Hydro better not do anything with my hydro meter ... I have a dog who protects my property and I'll let him go if they try.
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Arlene E.
There are 2 things Gordon Campbell was involved with, HST & Smart Meters, both of which were implemented. But guess what Gordie got for his efforts? A nice cushy job in ENGLAND!!!! Left the country. Wow!
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Champlain
this is bs, my meter has doubled, my dads, doubled, my friends quadrupled, his hydro was cut off today because they had informed him that his ,omthly $100 bill monthly has now gone to $400, i have been doing research for weeks contacted mla, energy directors, and i cant even get in contact with bchydro, they put me on hold and then after 20 minutes i get cutoff! i was told to get them to come and do an accuracy test, but then i have heard stories of bchdro just giving people the run around.....
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Thomas Van Dyke
Do you know any smart meter opt out programs in Tennessee or west now. I really want to get rid of it. Thanks. Does anyone know more people in Tennessee?
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Thomas Van Dyke
I meant to say West Tennessee.
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Thomas Van Dyke
my email is tom69302006@gmail. com
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Tobias Gathergood
What did Thomas Paine Say? “That government is best which governs least.” In many ways so true.
The choice in this matter of 'smart meters' should be the individuals, as in so many things. Not that of a corporation giant, nor of the government. We have too many choices that are forced onto us the public, the people, the country, "for our own good", by special interest groups looking for the next billion dollars of pocketable income, slowly and slyly taking control of government processes to enrich themselves, . And the government? Well follow the money.
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