Hydro hides reason for smart meters

I am wondering if anyone is as dizzy as I am, from all the spin being put on the smart meter issue by BC Hydro and other vested interests.

I am wondering if anyone is as dizzy as I am, from all the spin being put on the smart meter issue by BC Hydro and other vested interests.

A few examples: Hydro literature boasts about creating up to 300 new jobs, but fails to mention the inconvenient reality of the far greater number of jobs lost through this automation program.

They tell us that “everybody” is making the change to smart meters. This is the “monkey see-monkey do” argument.

Hydro is already touting “savings” of at least $30 to $40 million in the first two years of the program.

However, even if true, this would mean the meters would “pay for themselves”  in a mere 50 or 60 years — assuming, of course, that there was no interest charged on the original $930 million required to implement the project.

A major issue not receiving nearly enough attention is security. Hydro assures us that nobody will ever be able to tell which appliance you are using at a given time.

What does concern the truly professional thief is patterns of usage; particularly periods of very low consumption which would indicate a family is away, perhaps on vacation, making the home an ideal candidate for a break-and-enter.

Any claims or promises by Hydro that signals so cavalierly broadcast in open air cannot possibly be intercepted and hacked by techno-savvy crooks are of course specious.

In an era when an English teenager is able to successfully hack insanely protected United States government computer systems, and we are warned about special card readers that can pick up private information from your credit card chip, just by passing very close to you on the street, any claim that any openly broadcast signal is “secure” cannot possibly be seriously considered.

BC Hydro understandably is saying as little as possible about the real centerpiece of the smart meter program: differential power rates.

Hydro intends to charge premium usage rates for power consumed at times when you most need it.

This is why, despite vague nonsense about “saving money,” most users in systems now fully implemented find their bills go up significantly.

Of course, you have the alternative of cold cuts and cold showers, but how smart meters facilitates that “choice,” which is what they claim, is beyond me.

Nobody in their right mind would argue against spending money on our electrical infrastructure, to do everything in our power to make it as safe and reliable as possible.

However, to tout the smart meters as “an essential part of our hydro infrastructure” is an egregious abuse of the term. They are not infrastructure; they are nothing but an obscenely expensive bill collecting device, and to spend almost a billion dollars just to make it easier for Hydro to collect money from us is an outrage.

Dave Conrad



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