Smart meters a B.C. boondoggle

Smart meters needed, costs returned to users, Letters, May 25, 2011.

I have just read Gary Murphy’s letter on the issue of the cost of smart meters, and a further response is absolutely required. His claim: “The smart metering program is making much needed improvements to our electricity system at no added cost to our customers.”

I am all in favour of BC Hydro upgrading both production and delivery infrastructure of electricity as our expanding needs and economy require, even when there is cost involved.

The smart meter travesty, however, will not deliver a single milliwatt of power to anyone. Rather, BC Hydro is spending this billion dollars not on improving electrical production, but simply on a new way to collect money from us — and there is no cost? There is always a cost, and one way or another, it is the public who will pay it.

I suppose that the smart meters will give BC Hydro a chance to fire many employees, such as the folks who earn their living reading the existing meters, but throwing hundreds of folks out on the street with no employment does not strike me as much of a “saving” on a broader societal scale.

Murphy is right on one point however — somebody will benefit from the new meters. Whoever is being paid a billion dollars or so for the meters, will certainly benefit, but obviously that won’t be anyone in B.C. As the new ferries proved, authorities in B.C. habitually drain massive amounts of our money and resources for the benefit of other countries, be it to China or Germany or wherever, and presumably these meters will provide yet another example of the process.

Aside from that, where all these wondrous “benefits” will occur is difficult to say, and reading Murphy’s letter leaves us no better informed.

Perhaps a change in government would help rid us of this abuse by BC Hydro. I would encourage everyone who is being victimized snow job to pressure their political representatives with the promise of severe retribution at the ballot box for those who will not support efforts to overthrow this ill advised and unnecessary program.

Dave Conrad

Victoria