It seems that Tom Fletcher is lost, regurgitating what in effect appears to be Liberal Party (read big business) hype, and it’s chronic (Green Party gets lost in the static BC Views Aug. 3).
Smart meters are a vast waste of taxpayer’s money, and that’s the thin edge of the wedge. For BC Hydro to claim that spending $1 billion, will save $500 million in electricity theft in 20 years is a business case that any schoolboy would dispute. Standard meters have served millions for decades very well, they are not obsolete. The reason to sell smart meters is to sell smart meters and then to sell smart appliances and to generate huge profits for the information and technologies sector. Making the smart meters mandatory is a crucial step in determining who wins the competing system protocols. Energy efficient appliance makers don’t need these meters. Neither does Hydro need to know which appliances we use, when we are in the house, what we cook or how efficient our boilers are. This data would be sold to other companies.
Eliminating thousands of meter-reading jobs during a recession is irresponsible. The Vancouver/Victoria areas account for 4/5ths of BC’s population, so to claim that as BC is twice the size of Germany, inferring that distant consumers cause a large proportion of the monitoring costs, is arrant nonsense. The large increase in the number of outages is largely a result of a reckless reduction in regular inspection and service of the power lines.
We ignore, at our peril, the possible dangers of radiation from smart meters when research into effects from radio waves is in its infancy. The US Environmental Health Sciences dept. has recommended extreme caution prior to installations being made and advises that lack of scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for causing possible environmental degradation.
The bandwagon of “it’s new, so it must be better” is just hype. Last but not least, the old adage of “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” is ignored.
The money should be spent on new generating capacity, and the greener, the better. Scratching around for an instant fix will not add up, and when the money is gone, it’s too late. It will be in the pockets of Corix Capital Management who have the contract for the meters. Where the benefits go after that is another story.
The people of Australia and the Netherlands raised such an outcry against mandatory smart meters, that their governments were forced to abandon the policy. We should do the same.
Hans U.P. Edwards