Sjeng Derkx is BC Green Party candidate for Nelson-Creston.

Green candidate opposes wireless smart meters

Sjeng Derkx thinks FortisBC should offer clients wired-in meters instead.

Nelson’s provincial Green Party candidate doesn’t want wireless smart meters installed in local homes.

Sjeng Derkx thinks the power company should opt for the wired-in meters instead.

“The health concerns of individuals about wireless smart meters are still a matter of debate in the scientific community so Greens only endorse the installation of hard wired smart meters that make use of existing electricity or telephone lines,” Derkx said in a press release.

In July, FortisBC filed an application with the BC Utilities Commission requesting approval to begin installing smart meters on homes and businesses in its service area. If the application is successful, meter exchanges would take place over a two year period beginning in 2014.

Derkx, along with Green Party energy critic Michael Jessen, successfully applied for intervener status to speak against the application at a BCUC community meeting in Trail on November 6, as well as at a hearing in Kelowna in February.

The Greens are also adding their voice to the call for a review of the BC Hydro smart meter program, something Nelson NDP MLA Michelle Mungall requested in the legislature last April.

“Nelson-Creston Greens are very concerned with the way BC Hydro was allowed to implement their smart meter program,” Jessen said, referring to the fact the Liberal government exempted BC Hydro from the BCUC adjudication process on smart meters. “The Green Party is calling for a moratorium on further smart meter installations by BC Hydro.”

Derkx echoed Jessen’s concern.

“Hydro’s smart meter program is costing $1 billion and no alternative uses for that money were considered,” Derkx said, “$1 billion would have funded free home energy retrofits for 50,000 low-income homeowners, for instance.”

Meanwhile, Nelson Hydro has nearly completed replacing 10,000 mechanical metres with digital meters that include a radio-read feature, but are not the same smart meters being installed by other utility companies. The new Nelson Hydro meters emit a 900 megahertz radio signal, while smart meters installed by BC Hydro emit a signal between 902 and 928 MHz.

In both cases, the signal strength is far less than safety limits set by Health Canada.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Perry Siding man drowns in kayaking accident

The death occurred in Slocan River last month

Nelson Innovation Centre opens in Railtown

Centre will provide networking, training and workspace for all things tech

Memories all that remain of Balfour general store

History by Greg Nesteroff: In 1912 a log cabin near Balfour became a store

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Commercial huckleberry harvesting restricted in Kootenays

The province of B.C. has banned commercial-scale picking from July 15 to October 15

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Most Read