Under a magnifying glass – BC Hydro – smart meters – Site C project

Millions of dollars being spent with NO power savings in the forceable future

To the editor;

First, let me congratulate Tom Fletcher in his article published in the Star/Journal July 17, 2014.  This is an unusually, unbiased article about BC Hydro and its ‘projects’ by this author, who (though much more talented than I), usually does not write just a good balanced report in this area (my opinion).  This does not always apply to other areas he writes about (again, my opinion).

Some of his previous works in this area (especially smart meters) appear to be either poorly researched, or politically slanted.  Since he appears to be a professional of some talent and experience, I believe the latter, not the former to be true.

That said, let me present dome information and thoughts to you – do your own research, and then be the judge.

Smart Meters:  Fact – they are being implemented world wide.  Yet, because of: (a) health concerns due to dangerous emissions, closer to microwave frequency than to an am/fm radio bands, (b) no ENERGY savings have yet to be seen once an area has been fully implemented,  © security concerns (any system using any type of outside input can be breached eventually, just ask the banks and credit card companies, etc.). (d) personal privacy concerns.

Some countries, states in the USA, towns in North America and some 60,000 homeowners (BC Hydro’s statement) in B.C., myself included, have refused smart meter installation.

The few facts that have been shown to be true in this BC Hydro project are: (1) it costs millions of dollars to implement, (2) smart meters may have a five to 10 year lifespan (probably one half to one third of the ‘old’ analogue meter lifespan)  (3) BC Hydro is not acting in its owners (citizens of B.C.) best interest  (4) Smart meters appear to be a change, not an upgrade to the system

The bottom line is – millions of dollars being spent with NO power savings in the forceable future or perhaps never!

Site C: Energy Minister Bennett stated on Global TV news recently that – Site C is not required right now, but MAY be in five to 10 years, due to increased PROJECTED demand (or words to that effect – my capitals).  This projected demand does not, I believe, take into account the explosive improvements in many fields of alternative energy and increased individual use of these, decreasing the demands of the system.  It probably does not also take into account what an upgraded network of transmission lines (thus reducing line loss) and improved or upgraded generation systems at the dams (they talk of upgrading 50 year sites and yet, much has improved and changed in even the last five to 20 years in those areas).

The bottom line is – billions of dollars will be spent, when only millions may be required, as an upgraded system would probably handle a projected demand that may not occur due to technological (not Smart Grid) advances.

OUR bottom line is – We pay higher hydro (28% in raises over five years) for new projects (costing more than upgrades to the old system).  THEN possibly in six years someone will propose to us to upgrade the old system (some dams, gene ration stations, substations and transmission lines) because, “the old infrastructure will not handle the new output and/or new demand!  The old cart before the horse syndrome, not proper planning and management for the future?

P. Spear

Barriere, B.C.