Hydro smart meters an economic, safety risk

I am writing to express my concerns regarding BC Hydro’s plan to install smart meters to every B.C. home by the summer of 2012.

Although I applaud the effort to conserve energy and do as much conservation as I can, there are other issues at stake here.

Namely, the fact that these meters use wireless transmitters, which rely on signals in the microwave spectrum similar to cell phones and Wi-Fi computer systems.

This band, between the 900 Mhz and 2.4 Ghz range, has been shown in numerous independent international studies to have effects on human health at power levels even below those commonly used to transmit these signals.

Aside from that, the experience with smart meters in California has not been encouraging.

Part of the problem is our civilization is currently layering one form of electromagnetically powered device over another, so the effects are cumulative. By introducing yet another layer with smart meters, we are setting the stage for more widespread chronic illness and eventually cancers of various kinds.

An issue in California is smart meters apparently are not at all accurate and have resulted in numerous incidences of conflict between the utility company and clients who say they have been grossly overcharged.

The utility then relies exclusively on the smart meter reading, somehow assuming it can’t make a mistake, and holds customers to account. So far 38 counties in California have banned smart meters due to inaccuracies and health and privacy concerns. BC Hydro could be asking for far more trouble than the minor savings these meters provide are worth, in terms of disputes with customers.

It appears our B.C. Liberal government is prepared to push through legislation once again designed to help the corporate sector through its new Clean Energy Act, under the guise of being environmentally friendly.

There is no opt-out clause in this Act for customers who may be sensitive to electromagnetic radiation through smart meters. That is like saying, “You will accept our air pollution and like it whether you want it or not.” Without any other options, it hardly seems like a “free market” economy.

Interestingly this month, the Council of Europe has called on the European Parliament to pass legislation which would see a drastic reduction to all sources of electromagnetic pollution.

In the proposed legislation it states to “take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours.”

It also said to pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” persons suffering from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas.

Tammy Jeske

Colwood