Random thoughts after a busy week of civic politics in BC

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

72 comments

lobster2.jpg
Sadly, not a single civic politician tweeted out about their lobster dinner at UBCM

As the UBCM civic politicians wrap up their convention for another year, I thought it was time for a few rambling thoughts on what has been a busy week in civic politics. What follows are several issues that made the headlines...and some that didn't.

Smart Meters vs Water Meters

Civic politicos attending UBCM were clearly not pre-occupied sitting in on sessions regarding how to streamline civic government. What else could explain why the big topic of the convention this week was BC Hydro's smart meter program.

That's right, the same civic politicians who are installing costly water meters in their communities voted against the smart meter program. Oh...the irony of it all.

The Most Clever Tweet award from the convention this week was given to intrepid civic affairs reporter Jeff Nagel. His tweet on the topic of smart meters states:

#UBCM delegates vote for moratorium on wireless #smartmeters. Using wireless voting devices.

Lobster vs Wild Salmon

Despite all the alcohol flowing at the various hospitality suites and buffet dinners, not a single civic politician was caught up in a twitter controversy - Sigh. As you can imagine, the combination of good wine and iPhones can sometimes help to shorten political careers.

If you recall, Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal embarrassed herself (and her colleagues) when she recently attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Convention in Halifax. Her tweets extolling the virtues of the fine lobster she consumed went over like a lead balloon with taxpayers.

But I'm still left wondering if she ever did donate the funny yellow hat she was given to a local homeless shelter? Somehow I doubt it.

RCMP vs BC Provincial Police

One of the other big topics at UBCM this week was the breakdown of negotiations between the Feds and BC regarding the RCMP contract. Mayor Dianne Watts and Derek Corrigan linked arms with BC NDP opposition leader Adrian Dix and Premier Christy Clark in a united front against the Feds. Yes, you read that correctly.

Both the City of Burnaby and Surrey have very large RCMP detachments and they are hoping a deal can be hammered out soon. It's rare to see unanimity across the political spectrum on any issue in BC, so this one certainly caught the media's attention.

I suspect a deal will be struck soon and the RCMP will be working in some of our biggest cities for a few years to come.

Gregor vs Dianne

Now that social media is so prevalent, I was watching closely to see how it might impact this year's UBCM convention. I must admit I was a tad underwhelmed. There were times the media onsite were tweeting more often than local politicians.

I must say there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to the online presence of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.

Watts sent our numerous tweets throughout the week and was very engaging with the media and other delegates. She was even using Twitter to drum up support for the emergency RCMP motion that was debated on Thursday. It's quite refreshing to see a senior public official being open and accessible in this way. No wonder nobody wants to run against this popular mayor.

On the other hand, Mayor Gregor rarely - if ever - engages people with his tweets. I'm often left wondering if he actually writes them himself or if it was typed in by one of his staffers. His tweets are almost always one way...and rarely are they in response to someone else's tweet.

If you don't agree with my assessment, just check out His Worship's Twitter feed by clicking here. Take note how many tweets were about UBCM this week. Hint: Answer rhymes with the word lada.

Anton's Austerity vs Vision's Jobs Plan

The NPA's Suzanne Anton was doing her best do rise above all the issues emanating out of the convention this week. She invited local media to a news conference to hear more about her "common sense tax measures" to restore fiscal accountability at City Hall.

Anton announced the NPA prosperity platform will include fiscal and taxation commitments to:

  • return budget surpluses directly to property taxpayers
  • cut at least $1 million in ineffective Vision Vancouver pet projects from municipal budget
  • set a cap for any future operating spending increases
  • continue NPA fair tax shift to help keep Vancouver small businesses competitive

Meanwhile, over at the West Wing of City Hall, the Mayor's communication staff were busy tweeting out about their new economic vision for Vancouver.

It goes without saying the new glossy "jobs" brochure features a prominent photo of His Worship. After all, what would a City of Vancouver report be without a huge colour mugshot of His Handsomeness?

The funniest part of the photo is Robertson is shown with his back to the downtown (where most of the jobs are located in the city) and looking south to the USA. Perhaps a better pose would have been looking west toward Asia/Pacific where the jobs and investment will actually be generated in the next couple of decades.

According to the media release:

The plan provides 160 actions, measures and outcomes for how the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) will work with partners to enhance local economic performance through a variety of business-support programs.

Are you kidding me? 160 action items? Perhaps the Mayor and his team want to take a business course on how to stay focused.

Overall, I have to question why both Vision Vancouver and the NPA chose to make these types of economic announcements during UBCM. They were crowded out by almost every other UBCM related issue this week and as a result got almost no media coverage.

Renovated BC Place

On a final note, BC Place is set to re-open later today. As a BC Lion season ticket holder I am very exciting about returning to "the dome". I think what David Podmore and his team have done is simply spectacular and this "new" venue will provide a huge boost to the local economy.

I'm told that Mayor Gregor and most of his team will be participating in the official re-opening ceremonies tonight and will stay to watch the BC Lions game. Apparently they were provided with complimentary tickets.

What's most interesting is that Vision Vancouver vehemently opposed the City working with PavCo to upgrade BC Place. In fact, the minutes of an October 2, 2007 public hearing reveal that Vision Vancouver gave the partnership agreement a big thumbs down. As they say, that was then...this is now.

I won't be writing anything this weekend, but will be back on the grid on Monday. Have a great weekend!

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on on Twitter @CityCaucus or you can "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/citycaucus

72 Comments

I wonder if Heather Deal went out on the street and had a hot dog from one her street vendors, I doubt it!

The biggest thing coming out of this thing is smartmeters and time of day billing which is inevitable.The people of the whole province are getting screwed.

@gman
I must share a funny story with you, we now have the smart meter...since I'm on a fixed disability pension.I'm fearful my bill will be unaffordable..

I've been sitting in the dark at night with a candle, and waiting til later at night to make dinner..

The other night I went to the kitchen in the dark, tripped over the cats bowl sending kibble flying. I then stumbled over the kitchen garbage can, knocked over the recycle bin bouncing off the counter back into the stove sending dishes and pots and pans flying. Landing unceremoniously on my butt in the middle of the floor.

So I figure I broke 45 dollars worth of dishes and saved 50 cents in hydro..sigh... I bet it looked hysterical to the poor cat that didn't come out from under the bed for hours afterwards..

Wait, why can't VV turn down a partnership request but still enjoy the stadium? Wouldn't that have been like declining to take on the Olympic Village liability but also being happy if it were completed? I think we all would have screamed bloody murder had Vancouver Council dragged the City finances into stadium upgrading... Not wanting to pay for it does not equal not wanting it.

@George - Ouch, quite the spill! The good news is that you don't have to worry about time of day billing, at least for now. For now, it's off the table. Expect it to rear it's head again in 5-10 years. But yes, for now, you're fine. No need to worry about it - carry on as you were. :)

@ Andrew
my pride was definitely hurt.. I figure we have 2-3 years before they start the time of day billing so I'm in training. By the time it arrives I might be senile with bad habits, as it is I fall asleep with the TV on all night, need to buy a timer.....;)

George,I hope you didnt break the cats dish.

And George I think I understand what you are saying,this is a huge hit on the poorest of the poor and for those that can afford it mmmmmmm not so much,if five bucks at the end of the month is a big deal for some imagine if you double their hydro.

@gman
cat dish was metal..not the first time I've pulled that maneuver:)

Yes the extra couple dollars will effect many.
I've been very careful since the 2 tiered pricing came into effect.
Perfect example Max has been talking about the residents in the OLY Village and the 12.50 charge on their hydro every month by the enviro company ...$12.50 to print the bill..

The solution from Vision was to hire people to teach residents how to read their bill. The charge was then lowered to 9.50....
To someone living on 900.00 a month, that is bread and milk for 2 weeks, and maybe a can of tuna...or in my case the kibble comes before me.LOL

Jeff Nagel hit the nail squarely on the head re: smart meters. We're surrounded by wireless devices. We use them with gusto every day, and smart meters are no different. Look at the lineups for new IPhones etc.

If you want to trace opposition and fearmongering around smart meters, look no further than the COPE 378 union over at BC Hydro that represents the 400 meter readers who will no longer be needed.

COPE 378 is the most shameless public sector union in the province when it comes to spreading misinformation. And they're managing to conscript civic politicians into becoming modern day Luddites (knowingly or unknowlingly).

How many of those civic politicians who voted for a smart meter moratorium received campaign funding and support from local Labour Councils and public sector unions such as CUPE and COPE 378? That would be an interesting analysis for someone to do, and likely very enlightening.


hydro meters / technology ...no one is talking about the hundreds of millions to install the meters, how long to recoup that, also they have a limited life ,I heard 10-15yrs, as opposed to the current metes, 30-40yrs,,,,
Alot of the on air coverage has not been about the coming increases in time of day usage fees - its been about the safety of the "electronic waves" , and the holes being left in the homes after the removal and install of the new units, (then the construction crew is booked 2 weeks later to repair the hole) ...is that costs included in the cost of the meters?
Also while on Cortes, I learned about the honey bees, and how science is unsure why so many thousand are dying ....Suzuki and others say, humans have 3 years after the bees go.....The most recent science is looking at the link between the cell / wifi waves and the correlation with the dwindling bees..... The hydro meters - sound like they emit lots of wave also,,,, has anyone anywhere examined this link and the effect it may have on bees - I am not too bothered if they know when I open my fridge or turn on my dishwasher.... ...I will ponder this as I walk the beaches of Cortes later this year.... ahhh perhaps none of this matters, the mayans say Dec 21, 2012 may be the "end" .... save us gregor

I agree that the extra cost of electricity and water are a real burden for many people. And we may need to provide subsidies to help people through. But this does not mean smart meters are a bad idea. They are necessary to send clear cost signals to users. Thinking we can subsidize everyone's water and electricity use forever and avoid price signals is not realistic. I want to know when it is more expensive to use electricity and I want to reduce water use.

I find it amusing that in some instances, we are emphatic that we want people to know the true cost of what they use - to the penny. At the same time we yell and scream that it is not relevant to assign share of PROBABLE use for city services when it comes to assigning taxes.

I guess it is that green dust thing that makes one OK and not the other.

Meters go in a socket. You change them out by pulling out the old one, and putting in a new one. It's always been this way. You think meters never need replacing? You are required by law to provide access to the meter to BC Hydro. Stories about having holes cut in their houses for smart meters are completely bogus.

As for emissions, I've participated in real-world tests of cell phone emissions, and they're anywhere from 10-1000 times more than smart meters. People complaining about the dangerous new radiation from smart meters are complete idiots or complete liers or both.

What's the big deal about time of day billing? We pay for lots of things based on time/demand: airline tickets, hotels, theatre ticket etc.

If you live in an apartment and your neighbor starts doing laundry at 3a.m.thats a problem.The W.H.O. has classified them as a 2B,they wont commit to the safety either way.One meter on the outside of a house may not be a problem but again if you live in an apartment and your kids bedroom is next to the meter room there could be 50 or more buzzing away a foot from their bed.As far as the bees and bats are concerned the science is still not settled on that either,but some people are seeing some changes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI0JJgKkyzs

And this also seems to be a problem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah3nNo89-NU

incredible gman,
I was only concerned about the cost, I had never thought about the other hazards.

Hey George,imagine 20 or 30 of these things blowing up in a wood framed walkup apt.I can think of a lot better ways to spend a billion dollars than setting up the public to be ripped off.And isnt it strange they bypassed the Utilities Commission,you think their worried the commission would have to accept some not so flattering studies mmmmm

gman..
I live in a wood framed 3 story walk up..

Hey George,so do I.You might find this interesting,the 2B class is a bit of a catch all for carcinogens it includes things like DDT and mercury. http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf

exactly my point, and I was just making a suggestion based on what I had heard re cell towers....then there it is ....hard to refute,,,,but it is worthwhile taking time to do more scientific studies....and to foo - no one said anything about amounts or more or less energies from different sources,,,,twist the message. and to everyman - do you pay taxes of fees yet - give your head a shake we are taxed and "fees" to death...there is not a bottomless pit of money,,,,this new income I guarantee will come in after the HST is gone...and will pad the government coffers again....trust me they are smarter than they let on.....

2B is more of a catch-all for things that cannot be proven to cause cancer.

Mercury is not a Class 2B carcinogen, methyl-mercury compounds are. But you know what else area Class 2B compounds? Caffeine, coffee, coconut oil, engine exhaust, pickled vegetables, fibre optics, Styrofoam, talcum powder, nickel coins, white paint, HIV, Schistosomiasis, artificial hips, and the entire occupations of carpentry and joinery, textiles, printing, etc. etc.

Microwaves and EM field are nothing new. There has been more than 100 years of scientific study on the health effects of them, and not a single robust study indicating any risk to human health.

Get some perspective, gman, and quit with the fear-mongering.

PatJ
Could you please post a credible link to verify that info for me ..

How about the IARC of the World Health Organization, the agency that puts out the classifications?

http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/ClassificationsGroupOrder.pdf

"Jeff Nagel hit the nail squarely on the head re: smart meters. We're surrounded by wireless devices. We use them with gusto every day, and smart meters are no different. Look at the lineups for new IPhones etc."

You're completely ignorant of the facts.

1. The fact that we are currently "surrounded by wireless devices" does not make them any safer. it just adds to the danger. Wireless is still a new technology. The full negative health effects on society are pending, and once the health results start coming in in 5 -10 years, it won't be pretty.

2. The Smart Meters put out MORE powerful wireless radio-frequency radiation than wifi and cellular technology. That, in conjunction with a huge proliferation of the technology through "smart meters" adds to their extremely negative health effects.

But don't listen to me. Listen to the experts...

Declaration of Dr. David O. Carpenter, M.D, submitted in the United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division, June 1, 2011. Sage Associates letter to Susan Hackwood, Ph.D., Executive Director, California Council on Science and Technology and Lora Lee Martin, Director, Strategic Policy Initiatives and Government Affairs, California Council on Science and Technology: Letter of comment on Smart Meter Report:

“Conclusions of the report are inconsistent with the report's more balanced warnings about possible risks to health. The overall legitimacy of the report is cast into doubt as a result. ...Further, it can be concluded that the continued roll out of wireless smart meters may increase public health risks on a widespread basis and should be reconsidered in light of the existing scientific evidence and public health warnings for such chronic exposures to pulsed RF”.


Olle Johansson, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Karolinska Institute), Professor (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden in a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, July 9, 2011:

“Many smart meters are close to beds, kitchens, playrooms, and similar locations. These wireless systems are never off, and the exposure is not voluntary. The smart meters are being forced on citizens everywhere. Based on this, the inauguration of smart meters with gruding and involuntary exposure of millions to billions of human beings to pulsed microwave radiation should be immediately be prohibited until 'the red flag' can be hauled down once and for all”.


“The electromagnetic field is the perfect secret agent: you cannot see it, you cannot smell it, you cannot hear it, and its effects are slow but relentless.”

- By Volter Hertenstein, MP Bavarian Parliament

Educate yourselves.

http://www.nowpublic.com/health/dangers-smart-meters-devvy-kidd

"Jeff Nagel hit the nail squarely on the head re: smart meters. We're surrounded by wireless devices. We use them with gusto every day, and smart meters are no different. Look at the lineups for new IPhones etc."

You're completely ignorant of the facts.

1. The fact that we are currently "surrounded by wireless devices" does not make them any safer. it just adds to the danger. Wireless is still a new technology. The full negative health effects on society are pending, and once the health results start coming in in 5 -10 years, it won't be pretty.

2. The Smart Meters put out MORE powerful wireless radio-frequency radiation than wifi and cellular technology. That, in conjunction with a huge proliferation of the technology through "smart meters" adds to their extremely negative health effects.

But don't listen to me. Listen to the experts...

Declaration of Dr. David O. Carpenter, M.D, submitted in the United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division, June 1, 2011. Sage Associates letter to Susan Hackwood, Ph.D., Executive Director, California Council on Science and Technology and Lora Lee Martin, Director, Strategic Policy Initiatives and Government Affairs, California Council on Science and Technology: Letter of comment on Smart Meter Report:

“Conclusions of the report are inconsistent with the report's more balanced warnings about possible risks to health. The overall legitimacy of the report is cast into doubt as a result. ...Further, it can be concluded that the continued roll out of wireless smart meters may increase public health risks on a widespread basis and should be reconsidered in light of the existing scientific evidence and public health warnings for such chronic exposures to pulsed RF”.


Olle Johansson, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Karolinska Institute), Professor (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden in a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, July 9, 2011:

“Many smart meters are close to beds, kitchens, playrooms, and similar locations. These wireless systems are never off, and the exposure is not voluntary. The smart meters are being forced on citizens everywhere. Based on this, the inauguration of smart meters with gruding and involuntary exposure of millions to billions of human beings to pulsed microwave radiation should be immediately be prohibited until 'the red flag' can be hauled down once and for all”.


“The electromagnetic field is the perfect secret agent: you cannot see it, you cannot smell it, you cannot hear it, and its effects are slow but relentless.”

- By Volter Hertenstein, MP Bavarian Parliament

Educate yourselves.

http://www.nowpublic.com/health/dangers-smart-meters-devvy-kidd

Pat J On the health issue I really dont have an opinion because I dont think its been studied enough.As far as fear mongering Im not,I posted another persons real life observation,a video of a meter that burned and a link to the W.H.O. that says its a class 2B which states there are possible health risks so people could read it themselves.I think when people say we are already surrounded by cell phones and wi fi its a bit of a red herring because we dont know if we may reach a saturation point,then what do we do,spend another billion to fix it? My beef is with the cost,privacy issues,time of day billing,lack of transparency,not going in front of the Utilities Commission and what really bugs me is when someone voices their real concerns they are called names and ridiculed.If I was wrong on the type of mercury,I stand corrected,thats why I linked the report.There is another thing they dont tell us which is that these meters piggyback on each other so if the meter is out of cell range it links through the next door meter and so on down the line until it ends up at one thats in range and that meter sends the info for all the rest,so it will be sending for a lot more time than they are telling us.Remember they used to X-Ray your feet when you went to buy shoes and said its no problem,how did that work out?I have a choice to use a cell phone,put wi fi in my house or put my nose against the micro wave but with smart meters I dont.I dont see what the big rush is and why not have a choice to optout?

Also PatJ,at the meeting they voted 55% in favor of a moratorium because they wanted more info and were basically told to piss off we know whats best for you.

and here is a good source on the Wi-fi health care scare:

http://www.skepticnorth.com/2011/09/why-wifi-why/

Sorry PatJ but I have another also,I understand that the pot growers love these thing because their easy to hack,no more cutting and rerouting cables and worry about that pesky meter man coming around.And that raises the question of national security,whats to stop another unfriendly government from hacking the grid and shutting down everything?It seems the more I look into this the less simple it is.

What business is it of the UBCM whether or not BC Hydro puts in smart meters? They should stick to their own issues.

Personally, I will be glad when smart meters are fully installed. Then I can better manage my own power usage, and lower my power costs further. If others don't want to use the information they can access from their smart meter to do so, fine, they can carry on in their old ways.

It will be years before we get time of day billing IMO, but that will be welcome as well. We are going to have to pay higher power rates whatever happens, simply to replace aging infrastructure. If time of day billing can influence demand, it would be a good thing. Again, if some don't want to take advantage of it, then they can decide to simply pay more for their power usage. But by taking advantage of it, some of us will reduce our costs, or at least reduce the impact of the inevitable increases.


PatJ I didnt find your link very enlightening,as I said I dont like the name calling,and just because this guy says he studied it is not so reassuring.I cant say for sure but I would think most of the thousands of studies which he didnt bother to site are industry generated.But like I already said my concern is with cost and the many other things that come into play.

JeffL,do you really need a little meter on the wall to tell you how much power your using,why not take two minutes and go around your house and unplug all your chargers,computers,night lights and anything else you dont need,then go outside and see how fast the meters spinning.You could save us all a billion dollars,thanks.

Pat J
was the sarcasm necessary,it really does turn one off from a civilized adult conversation.

If you think smart meters are safe, you're deluded.

http://www.nowpublic.com/health/dangers-smart-meters-devvy-kidd

Before I follow your link, let me guess. One or two anecdotal stories of poorly-defined symptoms (headaches, dizziness, forgetfulness), some reference to the WHO Class 2B, and a “study” by Dr. Magda Havas.

Here is a good story of Dr. Havas’ research skills:
http://www.emfandhealth.com/EMF&Health%20EHS%20Poor%20Studies%206.html

gman:

Potgrowers (and others who steal power) won't love these things. Even if they bypass the meter(as they do now) their tampering can be flagged and reported by the meter itself. Even better, if there are 10 houses supplied from a transformer, and one house has its meter changed to steal power, the meter on the transformer won't balance with the power being reported by the 10 meters on the houses. So, BC Hydro can see that there is a problem, unlike today.

The current system is like a storeowner having zero inventory control, and simply tallying what customers carry out of the store, except in this case the product isn't physical and visible. It is a silly way to run a business. And from the consumer perspective, we don't know how much we are using until 30 days later. If our cars worked that way we wouldn't have speedometers, we would just get speeding tickets mailed to us and over time hope that we learned what the correct speed was. Why shouldn't we have real time reporting of consumption for both the seller, and the consumers who want to know?

Jeff L,if you hack the meter it reports a lower reading and hydro has no idea where the power goes,if you bypass the smart meter no meter reader will come by your house and check or notice the stink of your grow.Im very leery of the governments figures on power theft also. http://www2.canada.com/story.html?id=5007200

If you hack the meter they know the meter is hacked. If the meter doesn't self report it, the fact that the houses on the street report a combined power consumption different than the meter at the end of the street is a red flag. Very unlike today, where BC Hydro doesn't know how much power you are consuming at any time, just what you are reported to have consumed in the prior period.

I don't believe BC Hydro theft figures either. I wouldn't rely on that payback contribution, myself. Not that it is necessarily high or low, just that it is a guess. Essentially, they really don't know how much power is being stolen, and that in itself is a huge problem. Would you run a business where you didn't know how much of your product your customers were consuming, or if everything was working (unless a customer phoned you to tell you the lights went out)? They are selling something that they can't measure in real time. So, they can't manage in real time.

Jeff L if you look up hacking smart meters there are thousands of hits.They wont know if its been hacked or not because they will still receive a reading although it will be false.Here are four ways right here http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2009/09/01/four-ways-hack-smart-grid Hackers are very good at what they do and where thers a will theres a way.They have hacked almost everything thats come out from banks to X boxes.When your average joe figures it out hydro might end up loosing money.

I have no doubt that it is possible to hack into a smart meter. But so what? Every computer can be hacked. Why would anyone need to hack into your electricity meter? They could just hack into your bank account and see how much you pay BC Hydro every month, it would be just as easy.

But if one or more meters are adjusted (hacked) to provide false consumption figures, those consumptions figures won't balance with the other meters in the distribution system. Pretty simple concept. Are you suggesting that every supply side meter back to the generation source will be hacked? To save on or to simply know one person's monthly billing? Why not just hack into BC Hydro's computers and give yourself a credit on your account? If someone has that much time they should just hack Lotto Max or something with a bigger payback.

The real problem is that many people don't understand power distribution and meters, they don't understand EMF, and they are generally afraid of government. All that combines to produce fantastic conspiracy theories and scare tactics that work to prevent us having a better understanding of our consumption so that we can (individually or collectively) better manage our consumption. And if we could manage demand, we could delay or eliminate the need for additional generation facilities.


Jeff Im sure you have heard the phrase "Im from the government and Im here to help" or George Bush saying "Your doing a heck of a job Brownie".Its not about being afraid Its about holding their feet to the fire.I cannot remember ever having a brown out in BC,as a matter of fact we sell a lot of power south of the border now.85% of our power is clean green hydro and when site C goes ahead we will be awash in power.Every day we invent more and more power efficient items and use less and less power.When the entire globe is facing recession,that could last many years, is this really the time to spend a billion dollars on something that will cost us forever and effect poor people the most.And by the time the world recovers it will be time to replace all the meters again because their ten year lifespan is over.And when your neighbor starts their laundry at 2a.m.you might want to rethink this thing also.But Im sure it will keep good Chief Chu busy on callouts breaking up fights amongst neighbors.And if you really think growers wont find a way around these things you truly are in a fantasy world.

Our power demands are growing, and that is before the first electric cars have had any impact. Individual items consume less power, but we are all buying more of them, unfortunately. We can build new dams (like Site C) but that won't happen at our very low current electricity rates. We have those low rates because of investments made by previous generations. Right now, the cheapest way to deal with growing demands is conservation. That will actually help the poorer in our society the most. I am surprised that you would consider saddling that most vulnerable sector of society, as well as all the rest of us, with higher rates in future because of wasting power, assuming that somehow we will be 'awash' in it.

So if everyone starts to only use power in the off peak then that would make the off peak the new peak and make the old peak the new off peak.

So if everyone starts to only use power in the off peak then that would make the off peak the new peak and make the old peak the new off peak.

So if everyone starts to only use power in the off peak then that would make the off peak the new peak and make the old peak the new off peak.

gman...true, I never thought of that...

so in reality if we wait for awhile when everyone switches to the off peak hours making it the new high peak hours ...

we could sneak back to regular hours and outwit and outlast everyone...lets not tell everyone our plan ;)Brilliant!

George are these meters so darn smart that they can cook my spuds faster?And I can just hear the conversations going on,"Honey go look at the gadgit on the wall and tell me if the light is on"

LOL...

Hey George maybe it will tell you if the cats been surfing the net when you go out,but wait that would make the meter a rat and the cat might eat it,I hope its non toxic.

to be honest gman my one sloth kitty has figured out that if she sleeps on or very close to the computer she has her own personal heater...

hummm need to monitor that, good point..

Nice work trying to derail the conversation.

Finished with the EMF and hacking scares now?

There is no gadget on the wall for most of us, there is simply a secure web page with our own power consumption on it.

I just love the irony of people complaining about near real time information being delivered over web pages. By posting their complaints in near real time on web pages.

Jeff L
I notice you are a new poster to our community here on CC or a regular troll that has changed his/her moniker

...gman was using a little humor, we do that from time to time to interact with each other..lighten up ...nobody likes a bully..

"So if everyone starts to only use power in the off peak then that would make the off peak the new peak and make the old peak the new off peak."

Stone age thinking. We could fix your above problem with dynamic assignment of peak rate times. If your spud eating (or laundry)was not required to be at a fixed time, your future smart appliances could cook your spuds (or wash your clothes) when it was cheapest. Or, more importantly, when peak demand wasn't occuring. Thus saving building new power stations, which are required first for peak loads, not average loads.

Yes, I know you were being funny, but you left an opening that an electric trolley bus could be driven through (at off-peak rates of course)

George:

You posted while I was posting, so the messages are overlapping.

No bullying here. Just some humour. Sometimes hard to do without emoticons, but maybe it will come through.

No, I have never posted under another name. You will find me here and on FAB's site, among others. You don't need to call me a troll. And not everyone who disagrees with one's point of view is a troll anyway.

Jeff L
I totally agree about the emoticons, it would make it so much easier...sorry for the troll remark, but I have been watching and have had some concerns about some of your remarks...
I tend to be very protective of my friends..:) will try to use a more open mind..Thanks for the post back..

So Jeff I guess the conversation at your house will be "Honey turn on the computer and see how much power we are using...errrr....no.....wait!!!! Funny I would have thought you would spend the $258 to buy the TED 5000 home energy monitor.And Im not changing the subject,I even went to hydro's site to see if we have any grave shortages in the future and what they say is their on track so there will be none.And if you could show me a credible study that says smart meters have actually done what they say I would read it,I could find none.But what I did find is that their not very accurate and its very common that they overbill. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/02/idUS406816379420110502

Thanks George,I came back this morning and was surprised it was getting nasty.But I also gave some thought to the health issue,Im in the west end and if I recall correctly in the 80's there were 40,000 people per sq.mile,that seems like an awful lot of meters in a very small area on top of all the other things we're bombarded with.I would say its a unique situation and maybe we should optout.

Oh and Jeff if you could tell me where I could get this smart spud cooking machine that would be nice.But the problem is I still cant eat until 10pm so if I want to go to a movie,concert,show or anything that starts at 8pm Ill have to go hungry.So it would seem the only thing we can save on is laundry and Im sure the neighbors are going to be impressed.

No need for a separate energy monitoring system if you want to use the data from the smart meter. Save your money. I have my BC Hydro bill down to the $44 per month range most months, and that includes running two heat pumps, so I can't foresee a payback for a $258 device. But thanks for the suggestion.

As for the claim of "not very accurate and it's very common that they overbill" I read your link. 0.08% failure rate. 1600 meters recalled out of 2 million installed. And an implementation problem that resulted in overbilling. Like that has never happened before. What do you suppose the failure rate is of the existing meters? I doubt that it is zero.

You could lobby for an opt-out provision, but it would get expensive if you were one of the few customers still paying for manual meter readers.

Given the population density in the west end, your concern should perhaps be banning cell phones (at many times the power of a smart meter) before expending effort to restrict smart meter deployment. And getting all the wireless computer networks and cordless telephones turned off in your building, as they are the same frequency. If your worry is based on a health concern, that is. My smart meter would be in the basement of my condo tower, so I won't be able to access it directly, even if I was concerned about the signal from it. But I can pick up 20 or so wireless networks in my living room.

"Oh and Jeff if you could tell me where I could get this smart spud cooking machine that would be nice.But the problem is I still can't eat until 10pm so if I want to go to a movie,concert,show or anything that starts at 8pm I'll have to go hungry. So it would seem the only thing we can save on is laundry and I'm sure the neighbors are going to be impressed."

Read about new smart appliances here:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/04/lg-thinq-linqs-your-smart-appliances-with-wifi-and-smartphone-ap/

The biggest demand we are going to need to manage is electrical vehicle recharging, in my opinion. But personally I would program dishwashers and similar appliances for off peak. I don't hear my washer/dryer/dishwasher in adjoining rooms, so I am not clear how neighbours would hear them.

Think about your weekly and monthly peak loads, and not just your own daily peaks. And could any commerical loads be shifted to off-peak hours?

"if you could show me a credible study that says smart meters have actually done what they say I would read it"

How about the multi-year study with several BC communities that BC Hydro ran? It is more applicable than many US studies, since our issues here aren't about capacity as much as they are about peak demand.

http://www.bchydro.com/news/articles/press_releases/2007/successful_program_leads_to_energy_savings.html

Summary presentation here:

http://www.vaasaett.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/BC-Hydro-Conservation-Initiative.pdf

Jeff L,some might say thats an industry study,whatever.What I would say is the "2000 Recruits" are the type of people who were very aware they are a part of some great experiment and did their best to make it work,yet a full 37% still showed no gain and the average saving was only 5 to 7% depending.But they go ahead and use these numbers to model a projection of a savings of 44000 households,Im sure your familiar with G.I.G.O. I would say when the general public is forced to participate that for some cost is not a problem or they dont want to feed their kids at 9 or 10pm or dont have the ability to change their schedule,these numbers will drop by more than half.So have you convinced me its a good idea to leave my kids and grand kids a billion dollar hole and "possible"heath risks for a non problem,not one bit.But you have "peaked" my interest enough to write some letters.By the way congrates on your $40 hydro bill,which further confirms my belief that people can reduce their power use if they are so inclined and if their not they wont.I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

"a full 37% still showed no gain and the average saving was only 5 to 7% depending.But they go ahead and use these numbers to model a projection of a savings of 44000 households,Im sure your familiar with G.I.G.O"

Let's go back to what the study said. It showed a better than 11% reduction in energy use in peak hours, over a two year study period. It showed a 5%-8% reduction in consumption during winter months. It never said that 37% showed no gain. It did say that 63% saved money at the variable rates they used for the study. If you want to maintain revenue, and some users save money, obviously others will spend more.

You can't take the facts as presented and conclude that 37% showed no gain. You are looking at figures for total consumption, winter consumption, peak hour consumption, and peak loads, then concluding that the pricing information is equal to the power consumption information. False assumption.

What the study showed is that it is possible, in BC, to shift loads based on variable pricing models. That is what smart meters are designed to allow a utility to do. That was the question you posed, have they ever worked. They obviously don't save power by themselves, rather they allow users to reduce their power consumption. And it worked for the population studied. I would even go so far as to say that it is a credible study.

If we don't reduce consumption, just imagine how high our power bills are going to go. Site C isn't free.

Yeah, one of the funnier tropes in this debate is that somehow Smart Meters are a sneaky way to increase power rates. This is wrong on so many levels. BC hydro can raise rates without the need for Smart Meters. Sure, they have to demonstrate to the Utility Commission that they are not making too much money, but I don’t think that is going to be a problem these days, and I’m not sure how you imagine the metering technology impacts their ability to raise rates. And why do you assume that the ultimate goal of BC Hydro is to unnecessarily raise rates? They are not a for-profit organization, they do not pay dividends to shareholders. They do not transfer profits to the Provincial government. The worst thing they do with their money is pay wages to British Columbians and buy equipment and services from BC companies. This grand conspiracy lacks a plausible benefit.

Talk about dumb and dumber,its a billion dollars of borrowed money in the middle of a global meltdown and nobody has been able to post a link to any place where these things have been installed that says they have lowered peak power use.There are millions of dollars in installation contracts that will go to private companies who are government friendly,they can tell what your using in your house and sell that info to advertising companies,your bill will go through the roof to pay for this crap and it wont do anything to balance loads that we dont have already.Im sure I could sell you guys a bag of crap if I called it smart or green or sustainable crap.Are you voting liberal next election if they change their name to the smart party?

Hey gman....I thought compost already was a bag of crap...LOL

Hey George your right again,its unreal after so many comments they have not one shred of evidence but are willing to give up so much because of some religious belief in saving the world from some imagined threat based on pure propaganda.Peace.

gman, you are incorrect. I posted a link to a report that documents where these meters did lower peak power use. In BC. It was posted below, at 12:01 on Oct 5. And then when you misread the study, I provided you a correction, at 4:02 pm, to which you haven't responded yet. Except to claim that there is no study that shows a reduction in peak hour usage. As a reminder, the study showed a better than 11% reduction in peak hour power consumption.

Yes, it costs money to install smart meters. It also costs money (borrowed money) to build the Site C dam that will, as you eloquently put it, leave us "awash in power." Wouldn't it be great if we could delay the construction of the Site C dam? Think how much we could save in interest charges.

Not sure what to say about the installation contracts being given to private companies. Would you prefer to expand the civil service temporarily to do the installations? Are they that much more efficient?

"They" can tell what you're using in your house? Really? How is that accomplished? It sounds just a little paranoid. In reality, they can tell how much power you consumed, same as today. They can just find it out more frequently, without sending a meter reader around. "They" don't want to know about your spud cooking.

You are simply ranting now.

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