CST News Feed



Jan 16

"BC Hydro provided the public with misleading financial information in order to justify spending more than $1-billion to install smart meters across the province, claims NDP energy critic Adrian Dix.

"In a detailed letter to Jessica McDonald, the president and chief executive of BC Hydro, Mr. Dix accuses the Crown corporation of inflating a claim that the smart-meter program would lead to more than $500-million in net benefits, largely by reducing $732-million in electricity theft by marijuana grow-ops.  

"In a statement responding to the criticism, BC Hydro has defended the program, saying it is exceeding expectations in helping to reduce electricity theft. But Mr. Dix said that based on BC Hydro reports, three years into the program, the promised savings haven't materialized. BC Hydro installed 1.8 million smart meters in 2012 after presenting a business case that the program would more than pay for itself by more accurately tracking energy use, making the system more efficient and helping to combat the theft of electricity.

"The thing has been in place since the end of 2012. I don't think there's any evidence of a substantial change in grow-op operations or a reduction in electricity theft," Mr. Dix said. "And now British Columbians have to pay the price. I mean, we didn't need to spend a billion on this program."

"In his letter, sent to Ms. McDonald by e-mail on Thursday, Mr. Dix accuses BC Hydro of inflating the cost of electricity theft by grow-ops. He says that in 2004, the utility claimed that total electricity theft from grow-ops was $12-million, but those estimates jumped dramatically - from $50-million in 2006 to $100-million in 2011 - to justify the smart-meter program.

"If you look at what they did, suddenly the amount of electricity theft started to go up," Mr. Dix said. "In fairness to BC Hydro, they were ordered to [move to smart meters]." Then-premier Gordon Campbell "wanted to do it. Cabinet ordered them to do it. And so they had to come up with a new business case to somehow justify all this."

"Mr. Dix demanded an accounting of the smart-meter program from BC Hydro.

"They need a new business case. They need to be honest with people that smart meters are going to be a net cost to the province. They can still defend them if they want, they can say, 'Well, we have to [replace] analog meters, etc.,' but don't continue to mislead people," he said. And Mr. Dix said that if BC Hydro can inflate the business-case numbers for "a massive and costly program" such as the switch to smart meters, it brings into doubt the corporation's projections on other projects, such as the $9-billion Site C dam.

"In an e-mail, Steve Vanagas, chief communications officer for BC Hydro, said the smart-meter and infrastructure program, known as SMI, is working as predicted.

"The SMI business case projected a reduction in theft to peak at 75 per cent by the end of [fiscal year] 2016. We are now expecting to reduce energy theft by 80 per cent or more. We expect that over 20 years, we will exceed our gigawatt-hour targets on energy-theft reduction," he wrote.

"The original business case says the benefit from reduced electricity theft will be between $632 million and $832 million. While we are on track to exceed our theft-reduction targets, the exact value of these savings will fluctuate based on the cost of energy. We continue to expect the savings to be within that original range," Mr. Vanagas stated.

"He said BC Hydro had just received Mr. Dix's letter and will respond to it in detail at a later date."

Jan 12

The Neoliberal Politics of "Smart"

Electricity Consumption, Household Monitoring, and the Enterprise Form (Portland State University)

A report by a PhD student and prof. using BC Hydro as a model on surveillance and profiteering from use of our data.


"This article investigates how digital technologies in the energy sector are enabling increased value extraction in the cycle of capital accumulation through surveillant processes of everyday energy consumption. We offer critical theory . . . and critical political economy . . . as a guide for critical understanding of value creation in ICT through quotidian processes and practices of social reproduction. . . .

"We investigate national and local level "smart grid" campaigns and projects. The "smartening" of the energy grid, we find, is both an ideological construct and a technological rationalization for facilitating capital accumulation through data collection, analysis, segmentation of consumers, and variable electricity pricing schemes to standardize social practices within and outside the home. We look at BC Hydro as one illustration of where such practices are being instituted.  

  • Thinking critically about the smart grid 
  • Prosumption and surveillance 
  • Economic surveillance, informational governance, and neoliberal subjectivity 
  • The smart grid: Smart for whom? 
  • Smart grid deployment 
  • Smart meters and demand management 
  • Smart pricing: Toward instantaneous time-of-use pricing and subject formation 
  • Smart intrusion: Opening homes to government and corporate surveillance 
  • Homo consumo: Discipline and punish 
  • Notes 
  • References 

Jan 1


(updated December, 2015) Links to Participation Forms, Q and A and other information for anyone opposed to BC Hydro's Smart Meter Program

Dec 1

Government and Media Contact Information for BC

as of December 2015- BC MLAs, Civic Info link, First Nations Bands of BC, Media

Contact Emails for Liberal, NDP and Independent MLA's and First Nations Bands, Civic Information and Media Contacts:

Also: MLA Finder with descriptions of specific constituencies, responsibilities and communities

Nov 1

Written Testimony of Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

in Response to Public Service Commission (PSC), Maryland: Includes Symptoms after Exposure to Smart Meter Radiation and The Health Argument for Replacing Wireless Smart Meters with a Safe Metering Technology in Maryland

Testimony of Ronald M. Powell re PSC Order 87184 Case No. 9208 .

Ronald M. Powell is a retired career U.S. Government scientist. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University. During his Government career, he worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. .

"In the Matter of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company for Authorization to Deploy a Smart Grid Initiative and to Establish a Surcharge Mechanism for the Recovery of Cost"

Before the Public Service Commission of Maryland
Case No. 9208

Date: November 7, 2015

Oct 22

Ethics Complaint re National Grid Smart Meter Pilot (US)

Worcester Smart Meter Health Report - October 2015

  • Overview 
  • Executive Summary 
  • Introduction MA Green Communities Act Smart Meter Pilot Program Mandate 
  • Smart Meter Pilot Programs in Massachusetts 
  • National Grid's Controversial Smart Meter Pilot 
  • AMI Smart Meters, Advanced Metering Infrastructure 
  • AMR Automated Meter Reading in Massachusetts 
  • AMR and AMI Risks to Informed Democracy 
  • Smart Meters: Ignoring Early Warnings in Favor of Short Term Financial Gain 
  • Worcester National Grid Smart Meter Pilot Program 
  • National Grid Summary of Smart Meter Pilot Technology to IEEE, April 2015 
  • Worcester Resident Opposition to Pilot 
  • Worcester Politicians' Delay and Lack of Response to Citizen Concerns 
  • Critique of Smart Meter Technology Report Submitted by Dr. Michael Hirsch 
  • Worcester Smart Meter Health Report Discussion 
  • Presentation of Worcester Smart Meter Health Report to Worcester City Council and Community 
  • Worcester Assessor Property Value Report 
  • Addressing Junk Science 
  • Late Lessons from Early Warnings 
  • Why Did the MA DPU and Democratic Leadership Ignore Emerging Evidence of Harm? 
  • Decision-Based Evidence Making 
  • The MA DPU Fraud Complaint 
  • Conclusion 
  • Attachments/Resources

Oct 1

Please find attached, for service upon BC Hydro, the Plaintiffs' written representations in support of their application to amend. These have been filed with the Court today, October 1, 2015. 

ADDITIONALLY:  Application to Amend


    A. Approach to review of pleadings 
    B. Health concerns 
    C. Personal choice 
    D. Charter overview 
    E. Charter, Section 7 - Liberty Interest 
    F. Charter, Section 7 - Security Interest 
    G. Territorial privacy under the Charter, Section 8 
    H. Biological effects trigger Charter rights 
     I. Pleadings applicable to business premises 
    J. Opt-Out Fees, Failed Installation Fees and Service Refusals 
    K. Fundamental Principles of Justice in Context 
    L. Regulation of Electrical Service in British Columbia 
    M. BC Hydro is exempted from regulation in two respects 
    N. BC Hydro exempted from having to obtain a CPCN 
    O. Fortis not exempted from having to obtain a CPCN 
    P. Direction No. 4 exempts BC Hydro from BCUC scrutiny with respect to its "Meter Choices Program" 
    Q. Customer resistance against BC Hydro's installation of RF-Emitting Meters 
    R. Meter Choices Program 
    S. Direction No. 4 authorizes the mandatory imposition of RF-Emitting Meters 
    T. Customer "choice" & Direct Communication during Election Period 
    U. Duress 
    V. RF-Emitting Meters are not necessary to BC Hydro 
    W. Principles of Fundamental Justice - Overview 
    X. Arbitrariness 
    Y. Overbreadth 
    Z. Gross disproportion 
    AA. Lack of parity 
    BB. Lack of democratic process 
    CC. Duress 
    DD. Each element of the cause of action is supported by pleadings of fact 
    EE. The test for determining whether the pleadings disclose a cause of action 


    A. Proposed classes
    B. The test for "identifiable class"
    C. Rational relationship as between (1) the criteria for class membership;
    and (2) the claims advanced on behalf of that class
    D. Rational relationship as between (1) the criteria for class membership;
    and (2) the common issues pertaining to that class
    E. Remaining test elements met


    A. Legal standard
    B. Proposed common issues
    C. Additional common issue and a methodology for determining "reasonableness"
    D. Potential reformulations: the Customer's express position is not material
    E. Application of the test
    F. Variables within a class


    A. Legal test

    B. Whether questions of fact or law common to the members of the

    class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members

    C. Whether a significant number of the members of the class have a valid interest individually controlling the prosecution of separate actions

    D. Whether the class proceeding would involve claims that are or have been

    the subject of any other proceedings

    i. BCUC Exemption by way of the CEA
    ii. BCUC Exemption by way of Direction No. 4
    iii. Consequence of exemption
    iv. Human Rights Complaint

E. Whether other means of resolving the claims are less practical or less efficient

    i. Overview
    ii. The practicalities and efficiencies of class proceedings
    iii. There is a large number of individual claimants, each with a relatively
    small claim for monetary relief
    iv. Expert evidence will be required to resolve the dispute as to whether
    there is a reasonable basis for concern about health risk

F. Whether the administration of the class proceeding would create greater difficulties

than those likely to be experienced if relief were sought by other means

G. Certification fulfills the advantage of access to justice

H. Certification fulfills the advantage of judicial economy

I. Certification fulfills the advantage of behaviour modification

J. Summary of preferability inquiry


A. Legal test

B. Each representative plaintiff would fairly and adequately represent the

interests of his or her respective class

    i. Overview
    ii. Davis and O'Connor as representatives of Class A
    iii. Klein and Halani as representatives of Class B
    iv. Schnurr and Noble as representatives of Class C
    v. Competence of class counsel
    vi. Ability to bear any necessary costs
    vii. Conclusion

C. The representative plaintiffs have produced a plan for the proceeding that

sets out a workable method of advancing the proceeding on behalf of the

respective classes and of notifying class members of the proceeding

D. The representative plaintiffs do not have, on the common issues, an

interest that is in conflict with the interests of other class members



    Schedule A - Assertions of Health Concerns
    Schedule B - Reasonableness of Health Concerns
    Schedule C - Health Canada's Cellular Telephone Advice
    Schedule D - Contested issues will involve competing expert evidence
    Schedule E - Forced installations
    Schedule F - Forced installations - Commercial
    Schedule G - Direction No. 4 and Meter Choices Program
    Schedule H - Direct Communication
    Schedule I - Meter Choices Participation Statistics
    Schedule J - Eligible Customers who refuse to pay (with the consequence that they
    suffer a Forced Installation or a Service Refusal, threatened or actual) e.g. Sylvester
    Schedule K - Eligible Customers who capitulate to the installation of an RF-Emitting
    Meter - e.g. Schnurr
    Schedule L - Eligible Customers who pay an opt out fee to avoid installation of an RF Emitting Meter
    Schedule M - BC Hydro can operate without RF-Emitting Meters
    Schedule N - Quantity of claimants
    Schedule O - Independent claimants without alternative recourse
    Schedule P - Representative plaintiffs' motivations
    Schedule Q - Representative plaintiffs are informed
    Schedule R - BCUC proceedings re: CEA exception
    Schedule S - Human Rights Tribunal Complaint
    Schedule T - Fortis 1 (Universal Opt-outs)
    Schedule U - Fortis 2 - Quantum of Opt-out Fee
    Schedule V - BCUC re: BC Hydro Fees
    Schedule W - July 23, 2013. BCUC Fortis decision, excerpted

Oct 1

CLASS ACTION: Plaintiffs Written Representations - Application to Amend

(October 1, 2015) In the Supreme Court of British Columbia Between: Nomi Davis and Jessica Klein (Plaintiffs) and British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (Defendant)

Please find attached, for service upon BC Hydro, the Plaintiffs' written representations in support of their application for certification. These have been filed with the Court today, October 1, 2015.

ADDITIONALLY: Application for Certification 


A. Orders sought
B. Facts

  1. Defined terms
  2. Direction 4
  3. Impact on the Plaintiffs' case
  4. Reformulated claim
  5. Additional facts
C. Jurisprudence
D. Prejudice to BC Hydro?
E. The Province of British Columbia
F. Rules of Court

Sep 28

First US Public School District Limits Wi-Fi Radiation Exposure to Students and Staff

Ashland, Massachusetts Public Schools have implemented Wi-Fi Device "Best Practices" which include turning the Wi-Fi off when not in use and keeping devices on a table.

" . . . Based on its own review of the matter, the Ashland Public School District is reducing wireless radiation exposures to children by instituting district wide "best practices for mobile devices". Spurred by parent Cecelia Doucette's concerns about the lack of safety data on Wi-Fi and children, the district investigated the issue and developed a policy to substantially reduce wireless exposures to students and staff. Doucette not only brought the issue to the district's attention, but then also worked with state legislatures who introduced two bills concerning electromagnetic radiation this session. The Environmental Health Trust submitted written testimony on MA Senate Bill 1222 after expert scientists presented information on wireless health risks at a briefing at the Massachusetts State House in June 2015.

"Since wireless devices are constantly emitting radiation even when the user is not using the Internet, the instruction to "turn it off when not in use " stops the Wi-Fi antennas from continuously emitting radiation and is one simple way to reduce the radiation dose and exposure time for children and staff. . . .

"This ground breaking policy action by the Massachusetts school district is indicative of the wave of parents raising concerns about Wi-Fi across the country. Ashland, Massachusetts parent Cecelia Doucette wrote an article in Ashland Local Town Pages about these new best practices. Significant news and print media have picked the issue up after Massachusetts parents filed a lawsuit against a private boarding school alleging the school did not accommodate their 12-year-old child's diagnosed debilitating sensitivity to the school's WiFi system.

"Ashland is the first US public school to create such policy on wireless transmitting devices. However, this US Massachusetts school district now joins dozens of schools and governments that have already implemented even more stringent measures to reduce wireless exposure to children. For example, Israel and France have banned Wi-Fi in kindergarten. The European Union recommends wired Internet rather than wireless in schools.

"Right To Know" efforts by local governments are also moving across the United States. . . .

Sep 14

FCC Maximum Permissible Exposure Limits

for Electrogmagnetic Radiation, as Applicable to Smart Meters - Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.

  • History 
  • Current FCC Maximum Permissible Exposure Limits 
  • Interpretation of the Tables
  • Discussion of Examples of Permitted Exposure Levels 
  • Peak versus Average Exposure Levels 
  • Thermal versus Non-Thermal Effects on Humans 
  • Applying the FCC Exposure Limits 
  • Legal Presentation of the FCC Exposure Limits

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Una St. Clair


e-mail: una@citizensforsafetechnology.org