Haven't been here in a while, but whenever I think of a way to get out information, I think of this place. I've felt a little outraged by BC Hydro, so I thought I'd let it out here.
If you don't know yet, BC Hydro is planning on replacing every single analog/mechanical meter in all households in BC with new "smart meters" by Dec 2012. I received a very harmless looking letter from BC Hydro telling me they were going to do this to my residence. Yours will be coming soon, don't worry.
The letter makes it sound like this device is safe and will allow you to better monitor your electricity usage while "modernizing" BC's electrical system. So cute!
Very vague indeed.
So I started digging. Turns out these devices are wifi transmitters that constantly transmit your electricity usage 24/7.
Why should that worry you?
1) Personally, I don't like wifi devices in my home. I choose cable internet. I don't like having some corporation forcing me to be exposed to something that has not yet been confirmed as safe. There's certainly enough evidence showing that wifi is not safe out there. Just google it.
2) I don't like BC Hydro knowing when and how much electricity I'm using. Look at it this way, every time you cook, they will know. That means they know when you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. That is extremely valuable information that they will sell to marketing firms. Ever wonder why telemarketers always phone when you are about to sit down for dinner? This will let them custom tailor their calling schedule JUST for you.
3) If this device transmits my energy usage, it won't take long for the criminal element to intercept/hack this information. They will know when you are away from home. They will know when you are on vacation. I think that's pretty scary.
4) This device is going to cost people jobs. It automates tasks that were previously done by meter readers. Considering the economy, this is not the best time for BC Hydro (a crown corporation) to be spending 1 Billion dollars of OUR tax money while eliminating jobs.
5) BC Hydro will probably use this device to charge you more money for electricity. How? By creating variable rates for "peak hours". Yes, that means that from 6pm to 10pm it will cost you more money to use electricity.
Now of course, BC Hydro has their propaganda machine running at full speed. Their will say that opponents of smart meters are grow-op operators. Which I find extremely insulting considering I don't do drugs, and certainly don't grow them or distribute them.
I hate to break it to BC Hydro, but if criminals can get around an analog meter, they will get around a smart meter.
BC Hydro will also say that these meters will help you save electricity. They don't. States that have been using them don't report any significant savings. Even with variable peak hour rates, it just forces people to shift their usage to non-peak hours.
In other words, you'll be doing your laundry at midnight to save a couple of bucks instead of the usual time.
I hate to break it to BC Hydro, but energy conscious people are already doing their best. Having a meter announce it to the world won't make a difference.
OK, so anyone that does any research into this program won't take long to figure out that it doesn't make sense. How could our BC government approve a $1 Billion program without any kind of public consultation? It's simple - follow the money.
There are folks at all levels of government that will personally benefit from this huge expense. In fact, one of the directors of BC Hydro happens to be also employed by a company that owns Corix - the company that conveniently "won" the first $73million contract to install these meters.
If that doesn't stink of corruption and kickbacks, I don't know what does. Want more details and names of the greedy, soulless people that are using your tax money to line their pockets while installing monitoring devices on your house for even more personal profit? Check out these links:
Why Smart Meters are doomed to fail:
What you can do to prevent one of these harmful devices from being installed in your house:
Let your friends know. Let's not turn into an apathetic society that lets greedy corporations walk all over us.
Feel free to discuss.