After being told that his power would be shut off, a South Surrey man has grudgingly agreed to allow BC Hydro to install a smart meter on his house, despite concerns for his health.
BC Hydro says, however, that the new meters pose no harm.
“I never, ever agreed to have a new meter but I ended up saying I will do it under duress because you’re going to cut my power off,” Kurt Sheldan, who lives near the White Rock border, told Peace Arch News this month.
Sheldan said he has stage-four arthritis – “now that’s bone-on-bone” – and has spent $14,000 on a stem cell treatment. His concern, he said, is that the electromagnetic fields possibly emitted from smart meters could “jeopardize my stem cells.”
Prior to switching from an analog system to smart metering system in 2011, BC Hydro consulted with B.C.’s Public Health Officer and Vancouver Coastal Health, who confirmed that the smart meters are safe and pose no health risks, B.C. Hydro told PAN.
“I was concerned about the research and the waves from the meters and I don’t know what is right, what is not right, what is the correct information,” Sheldan said.
He said agreed to the installation of the smart meter after notifying BC Hydro that he was doing it under duress, and that BC Hydro will be responsible for “any past, present, or future health issues that may arise from anything that’s emitted from the new meter you’re putting on my house.”
Currently there are around 2,500 legacy metres with expired seals that BC Hydro is working towards replacing. The removal of these meters, it says, is a requirement of Measurement Canada and ensures the safety and reliability of its electricity system.
“It’s also important to note that a BC Hydro smart meter communicates for 1.4 seconds per day – this means an individual would have to stand next to a meter for 20 years to get the equivalent amount of radio frequency as a 30-minute cell phone call,” B.C. Hydro emailed PAN.
“The majority of our meter exchanges have been successful – about 99 per cent of BC Hydro customers have a smart meter.”