Monday, December 19, 2011

Smart Meters: What are the risks?

By Dr. Matsen

In many areas, including here in BC, existing analogue electric meters are being replaced with smart meters. There are significant health, safety, and privacy issues involved with the installation of these wireless devices.

The following article titled "Smart meters, what are the risks?" was taken from the Health Action magazine, Winter 2011/12 edition. It explains why we should be concerned about smart meters and what we can do about this issue. The article was written by Jim Waugh, Author & publisher of: “Living Safely with Electromagnetic Radiation.” Consulting in: electromagnetic inspections, mitigation, shielding and low-EMF design. Cell: (604) 788-0743 Web:

Following Jim’s article is a link to a copy of his form letter to BC Hydro giving notice of refusal to allow installation of smart meters. Jim has kindly allowed us to post this so you can use it to send to BC Hydro. Also is a link to a PDF copy of a poster that you can print off and attach to your existing electric meter. The poster is courtesy of Citizens For Safe Technology Society (

Smart Meters: What are the Risks?
by Jim Waugh

No doubt you are aware of the smart meter program that BC Hydro began moving ahead in July. The $930-million program was announced in 2008 by then Premier Gordon Campbell to allow BC Hydro to replace existing analog electric meters with smart meters for all of its 1.8 million customers.

The smart meter program concerns me deeply because there are significant safety, health and privacy issues that BC Hydro is not disclosing to the public. I feel an urgent need to tell as many people as possible why the smart meter program is a really bad idea and what we can do to opt out of it.

Why be concerned about smart meters?

Smart meters using wireless technology are being installed in many American states and European countries (Idaho and Italy used fibre-optic connections ­rather than wireless). The installations have been met with intense opposition from concerned citizens.

Why are these people angry and protesting smart meters with such vigour? They are concerned that wireless radiation from smart meter networks will…. To read the rest of the article, click here: Winter Health Action Smart Meter Article (in PDF format) or here: Smart Meters What are the Risks (in word format).

EMF BC Hydro Refusal Letter

EMF Smart Meters No Trespassing Sign

[For more articles about electromagnetic radiation and smart meters go to:

Jerry Day speaks on smart meters;

Robert Bateman discusses health and Smart Meters 


stopsmartmetersbc said...

The Coalition to Stop Smart Meters and Citizens for Safe Technology Society have joined together to further remedies which will counteract the involuntary and forced installations of Smart Meters upon private property. Lawyers have been hired and are currently assembling actions.

Direct link here, for more info and how you can participate: (or click on "stopsmartmetersbc said")

Anonymous said...

BC Hydro and Corix Utillities are currently installing smart meters in our neighbourhoods.

They're doing this illegally and quietly and without our knowledge or consent. We must take action NOW against this intrusive loss of privacy and the "unknown" health effects, on plants, animals and humans after receiving large doses of radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by BC Hydro's wireless Smart Meter and grid -- several times each and every minute, year after year in our own homes and everywhere.

1) You can refuse having smart meters installed on your property by giving them written notice (Smart Meter Refusal.docx).

2) At the same time, be sure to print the sign (Download here):

3) Print the notice (Refusal Letter for display generic.pdf), fill in your address and protect it along with the sign, with clear plastic bags or have them laminated. Display them near your old electricity meter.

4) They will send you a reply telling you that you must meet with them and jump through hoops. Send them your prepared reply as soon as possible thereafter. (Your reply to BC Hydro.docx)

I urge you to open the web site below from Citizens For Safe Technology before sending your first letter.
The information in this email was taken from CST with the intent to simplify the making of the smart meter kit for my friends. There is way more information and forms, brochures, petition lists for collecting signatures, video and articles on this page.,25,0

Send your letter(s) via email To:,

And copy to Cc:,,,,,, ,, ,

Also copy to your MLA, Mayor and Municipal Councillors.

The above copy and paste version of addresses is the same as the list below, with descriptions.

BC Hydro Smart Meter
Corix Utilities

NDP Energy Critic John Horgan
NDP Deputy Health Critic Sue Hammell,
BC Chief Medical Officer Perry Kendall
Green Party Federal Leader Elizabeth May
Minister of Health, Mike de Jong
NDP Health Critic Mike Farnworth
Minister of Energy Rich Coleman
Liberal BC Leader Christy Clark
NDP BC Leader Adrian Dix
Green Party BC Leader Jane Sterk

Anonymous said...

So, this blog has become a place for special interest groups to advertise?

Lyle Craver said...

I don't think radiation is a valid reason to oppose the smart meters. If you have a cell phone or a netbook making using of wifi you're exposed to considerably greater radiation than the smart meter.

The whole smart meter debate has a lot to do with the HST referendum debate in terms of trusting the government - it's a billion dollars of taxpayer dollars for something whose benefits are not well defined.

A big part of the problem is that Victoria has been mining BC Hydro for 'dividends' for decades under Socreds, NDP and Liberals and there is no reason at all that the Hydro planners couldn't do very nicely with a capital plan not involving P3's had they been allowed to retain their earnings like most businesses.

I don't trust Victoria's handling of BC Hydro and that more than anything else is why I am mistrustful of the smart meter program.

Anonymous said...

Both CNV and DNV have heard a delegation speaking against Smart Meters. Only CNV has passed a moratorium against Smart Meters. Still waiting for DNV response.

Anonymous said...

Get a tinfoild hat and quit your whining

John Sharpe said...


Good to see you on the blog again.

I have to slightly disagree however as I feel the most important reason is due to a lack of a Utilities Commission involvement. Next up or equal would be the privacy issue. And as far as radiation goes it's just one more thing compounding on top of all the other radiation. It's a transmitter not a meter.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the radiation is significant when compared to other household electroncs.

I don't have a "privacy" issue as Hydro already knows my power usage and the Smart metre just breaks it down.

I would like to be able to put my washer/dw/dryer etc. on timers and run them at a low rate hours to pocket the savings.

Also, I want to see the 2 way metres that allow me to generate power at my home and sell it back into the grid. A guy in Seattle is making money from the power company in excess of his annual power expenditure by selling back excess power from his solar panels.

Anonymous said...

The difference between the smart METERS, not metres, and other electronic devices is that they are ALWAYS on. And why should we be paying $1 billion for them at this particular point in time?

The provincial debt and deficit is constantly going up.

Anonymous said...

Only in our society would we be whining about smart meters. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Smart meters broadcast consumption information 3 x per day.\

My wifi is always on.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between useing a simple wi fi and sticking your head into a microwave. And there is the privacy/security issue.

Anonymous said...

So if it's such a big deal drop off the grid

Anonymous said...

Anon Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:59:00 PM,
If you're comparing smart meters to a microwave oven, please have the decency to post links to studies that show that this is the case. Otherwise you're fear mongering and coming off looking quite ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

They won't. WiFi emits a constant radiation far in excess of the 3 brief transmissions made by Smart metres.

Privacy? Typical boogey-man of the sky is falling group.

Hydro's knowledge of my power consumption hasn't been a privacy issue for the last 30 years and I doubt it will be in future.

Anonymous said...

Keating the hypocrite, wouldn’t he be part of the decision that approved the wireless in the city library? Does he where a tinfoil hat when he visits there?

John Sharpe said...

Anon 9:39,

Your comment shows a similar level of one-sidedness.

While I agree Anon 9:59s comment is off the wall and sure enough Hydro has known your consumption of power, don't you think it's possible they would now be able to gather other information? At least look at the other side of the argument:

Jerry Day speaks on smart meters;

Anonymous said...

Good grief, John. Hydro provides a product that is consumed and that consumption must be measured in the most cost effective way.

Could the phone company gather information? How about our water meters? Sewage discharge? TV viewing habits?

I'm prepared to be concerned where concern is warranted but I'm not going to to quake in fear everytime there is a change in our lives.

Anonymous said...

Every house in West Vancouver is on Smart water metres that transmit the water usage info.

Programme started in 1993.

15+ years and so far no reported ill effects of radio waves and no "privacy issues."

Anonymous said...

Skip all the "privacy issues" and "health issues" what about the $billion we are spending on this travesty when we have the highest rate of child poverty in Canada.

Anonymous said...

The estimated installation program cost is $940million.

The estimated 20 cost savings after installation is $1.6billion.

Therefore, Smart meters result in a cost avoidance of $660million over 20 years, or about $33,000,000 per year.

Just think of the new funding available for other projects like child poverty!

Colin said...

I think lyle Craver has covered the points well, the radiation angle is a dead duck (more like a Norwegian parrot, but I digress)Being upfront and honest about the costs, benefits, pro's and cons of the program is the issue. How many jobs will be lost has not really been mentioned.

I did note the commincation industry does not do themselves any favours, when they tried to install the cell tower in North Van, i asked for a diagram showing the signal strength and side lobe energy produced by each antenna, neither the proponent or Industry Canada could provide it, despite the engineers needing such a plan for their design of the tower and antenna placement. Does not build trust when you fail to provide basic information.

John Sharpe said...

Don't know if 7:52 and 9:39 are the same anons, but might as well be. Did you watch the Jerry Day Youtube?

I'm also glad for you that you trust our provincial gov't so much. I don't. This isn't about the sky falling or not wanting change. If it is my choice not to have a smart meter then I shouldn't be forced to have one. It seems like just another unproven experiment and we're the guinea pigs. There are so many things imposed upon us that we have no clue on their long range effect and this could be another one. Bring in a Utilities Commission.

Yes Colin the loss of jobs hasn't been mentioned and is a very good point. I'm sure these anons with the attitudes could care less about that either.

Anonymous said...

The loss of jobs IS what it's all about.

Privacy, microwave danger,...all stuff to throw out there to garner support from the ususal "hysterics" in order to protect redundant workers.

John Sharpe said...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, John.

The first three comments below the article pretty well sum up its merit:

1. This 'story' seems like a bit of a stretch - slow news day ?

2. And the Georgia Straight continues its inane, Luddite-inspired attack on smart meters. Give it up, or stick to reporting Lindsay Lohan's latest antics

3. I don't really give a hoot about smart meters one way or the other. There are no less than 10 different wireless networks in range of my laptop and brain right now, to say nothing of all the FM and AM radio frequencies, and natural solar and terrestrial radio emissions....

John Sharpe said...

Robert Bateman discusses health and Smart Meters

Anonymous said...

Nothing more than celebrity endorsement. Sorry, but how is his 'opinion' (and he admits that he is only speaking his opinion) really worthwhile? He's an artist, not a scientist and is broadly generalizing that all this somehow had something to do with his 'cancer scare'. Sorry, but a bunch of hyperbole and hearsay do nothing to support the argument inn any rational way. But, I forget, this is BC. We're not well known for being rational.