Letter: Where’s our option to opt out of smart meter?

If utilities elsewhere are re-installing analog meters, why can’t B.C. Hydro?

To the editor:

How have we come to the point that BC Hydro can cut someone’s power in order to bully them into accepting a device that makes them ill?

When I first called about smart meters in 2009, BC Hydro told me that they would respect my doctor’s advice to keep my home as low of harmful electromagnetic radiation as possible, that mine was not the first call, and that engineers were working on options to help customers who are sensitive to radio-frequency radiation.

In 2010, the Energy Ministry’s office and BC Hydro both reiterated the commitment to accommodating sensitive individuals, and I was again reassured that engineers would find a solution and a wireless meter would not be installed on my home.

Since then, many B.C. customers have been misled and sometimes intimidated into accepting a wireless meter, even as more and more doctors and public health officials warn of the health risks.

Many other Canadian [1] and US [2] jurisdictions are mandating that all customers must have a choice.

If utilities elsewhere are re-installing analog meters, why can’t B.C. Hydro?

Why did BC Hydro choose to stop looking for less harmful solutions and start bullying customers?

A. Churchill,

Surrey

[1] Quebec: Next- Generation Meters—Hydro-Québec Sets Terms for Installation of Meters Without Radio-Frequency Emissions, Montreal, March 14, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ – http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/937433/next-generation-meters-hydro-quebec-sets-terms-for-installation-of-meters-without-radio-frequency-emissions/

[2] California* (fees under legal challenge), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii* (no fees), Illinois, Louisiana, Maine* (fees under legal challenge), Maryland, Michigan, Nevada*, Oregon* (some areas have a fee, others are free), New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont * (currently no fees), Virginia, Wisconsin.

(The states with * have finalized the decision to offer opt-outs; some are working out the details. Other states are in various stages of legal challenge. Many more states and provinces, including Ontario, already allow opt-outs for medical reasons.)

 

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