Hydro smart meters a scam

Re: Going goofy over BC Hydro smart meters, B.C. Views, March 18, 2011.

Is it still snowing out? One might think so after reading Tom Fletcher’s snow job defence of the new Hydro “smart” meters.  To debunk the arguments on their face:

1. The program was mandated by Gordon Campbell. Given that he is thankfully no longer premier, who cares what he wants?

2. The program is exempt from a B.C. Utilities Commission cost-benefit review. From this we can assume this hideous project would fail such a review, and BC Hydro knows it. All the more reason to kill the project.

3. The existing meters are obsolete. Taking out meters that are still performing their assigned task is scandalous in the face of tight money and every government enterprise pleading poverty. The statement that “eventually” the old meters will no longer be available is irrelevant. They are available now. We can change over when it actually becomes necessary.

4. The meters call in automatically in times of power blackout, saving the customer a telephone call. For a billion dollars, I’ll make the telephone call, thank you.

5. The meters will pay for themselves over time and eventually even show a “saving.” The meters will not pay for themselves. You and I will pay for them. I expect that the money will be taken out of our hides in the form of “premium” power rates charged during periods of high usage.

Furthermore, I fully expect Hydro to scam us with spurious claims that their rates are as stated, when taken over a 24 hour period each day. I predict, however, that they fully intend to gouge us well above the listed “average” rate, for all power consumed at times when people actually need it.

Will you be able to avoid extra charges? Set your alarm to get up for your shower at 3 a.m. Better still, have only cold showers or just wash yourself far less frequently. Have more dinners with cold cuts and salad, and heat up your tea on your camp stove.

Fletcher’s main canard concerns radiation; trying to deflect real criticism by pretending that this relatively insignificant factor is the major objection to the new meters.

Sorry Fletcher, the new meters are about money, not service, and a new way for BC Hydro to extract more of it from all of us, while concomitantly pretending they are not really doing so — a parting curse for the people of B.C. from a premier who long overstayed his welcome.

Dave Conrad



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