The District of Peachland is taking issue with the installation of smart meters on the homes of residents’ who do not wish to have them.
Council made the decision to write its concerns to BC Hydro last Tuesday after receiving a petition with over 450 signatures—just under 10 per cent of the population—opposed to the installation of smart meters on their property.
Some of those individuals told council they’ve already had smart meters installed against their will.
“We decided we would write to BC Hydro, pointing out that they had promised that smart meters wouldn’t be installed over a homeowner’s objections until there had been full and satisfactory dialogue,” said Peachland Mayor Keith Fielding.
“We have written the letter saying we expect them to live up to that promise.”
The letter dated Jan. 29 states—based on information received from BC Hydro representatives at the Southern Interior Local Government Association, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and at a Peachland-based public information session—council and residents were under the clear impression smart meters would not be installed over the objection of homeowners.
The letter also notes representatives said every effort would be made to consult with objectors and provide information until the homeowner’s concerns had been satisfactorily addressed.
Peachland resident Alison Moore made several efforts to show her opposition toward the installation of a smart meter on her property, including writing letters and posting signs at the entrance of her farm and above her existing meter. Despite this, a smart meter was installed on her property while she wasn’t home.
“I feel my civil liberties were violated,” Moore wrote in an e-mail to Peachland council.
Despite the letter, Fielding said the district is not necessarily against the installation of smart meters.
“The position council has taken is we don’t want to request the moratorium or anything like that because we don’t believe there is a serious health threat,” said Fielding.
“It’s more just pointing out to BC Hydro that we don’t support the idea of them not living up to their promise to not install the meter against somebody’s objections.”
The letter urges “immediate corrective action” in instances that meters were installed on properties where the owner had taken the proper procedure to refuse installation.
Placing unwanted smart meters on properties also goes against what Energy Minister Rich Coleman has recently stated.
He used his Twitter account Tuesday to say: Position on smart meters is unchanged: BC Hydro will not install a new meter without the homeowner’s consent.