A letter from BC Hydro states the company has made repeated attempts at replacing a Sicamous resident’s legacy meter, but are unable to due to items she has intentionally placed in the way. (Ruzena Labanic)

Shuswap resident on disability fights BC Hydro smart metre installation

Crown corporation threatens to cut power unless it’s allowed to access, replace analog metre

A Sicamous resident is fighting to keep her analog hydro meter citing health concerns posed by newer radio-transmitting meters.

Ruzena Labanic found a final disconnection notice in her mailbox on Friday, Aug. 9. The notice, dated July 31, explains the meter Labanic has is an expired ‘legacy meter’ that must be replaced. The letter states the company has made repeated attempts at replacing the meter but are unable to due to items Labanic has intentionally placed there being in the way.

Read more: Ottawa strikes $40M research deal on 5G technology with Huawei rival Nokia

Read more: Letter: Examining the untested waters of 5G wireless technology

The letter requests that Labanic arranges for “unrestricted access” for the company to exchange the meter, otherwise her service will be disconnected. Labanic also received a monthly $32.40 charge for having the legacy meter.

The disconnection deadline was set for Wednesday, Aug. 14, two weeks after the letter was sent but eight days after she received it.

The notice also lays out Labanic’s options in terms of meter replacement. After paying a $55 exit fee, she can either have a standard smart meter installed, which comes with a one time installation fee of $22.60 and no monthly charges. However, for a non radio-transmitting version of the same meter, the installation cost remains the same but incurs a $20 monthly operating fee. The notice states the fee covers the costs of serving a non-communicating meter.

Read more: Letter: Residents to rally over cell tower concerns

Read more: Protesters push public notification on harms of cell tower radiation

Labanic is adamant she does not want any smart meter, radio transmitting or not, because she is concerned with the potential impact to her health.

“There’s history of fires, there’s history of people getting sick. I personally know two people who got sick after the meter was changed,” she said. “If you’re out of stock then order somewhere else, and if you don’t have it, then give people the option to order somewhere else.”

After an incident in 2,000 left Labanic with health issues causing her to rely on disability payments, she feels she is being unfairly treated by the hydro company.

“Picking on someone who cannot defend themselves, it’s just wrong,” she said.

Read more: Letter: More cell towers, more radiation

Read more: Letter: Stop next wave of wireless

In an email responding to questions regarding Labanic’s request, BC Hydro states it is required by federal law that meters be re-verified and re-sealed every two to 10 years, and that the Crown corporation longer stocks the legacy meters.

“We have a responsibility to ensure the equipment we use to measure our customer’s electricity consumption is operating accurately,” the statement reads. “Meter replacements like this are a standard operating process for us and must be done to ensure our compliance with Measurement Canada and the continued safe and accurate operation of our system.”

Labanic said she asked BC Hydro for more time before disconnection and, as of Aug. 15, her residence was still receiving power.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton business icon closing doors after 80 years

The owners of Grant King Menswear are retiring after 35 years

Bag of white substance found near Summerland water park

Resident concerned crystal meth was left near children’s play area

Property crime has been increasing in Penticton since 2014

Of the 5,457 criminal code violations (excluding traffic violations) reported in Penticton… Continue reading

TGIF: Penticton and South Okanagan events listings

Live theatre, concerts, events, art exhibits and more from around the South Okanagan

Casey Affleck’s movie Light of My Life features Southern Interior of B.C.

Film features Academy Award and Emmy Award winners

Osoyoos woman who threatened mom and baby with butcher knife sentenced

Sharon Constance Forner pleaded guilty to one criminal charge and was sentenced

Concerns raised about crossing in Okanagan Falls

RDOS director says safety issues have been raised

Injured hiker rescued in Peachland

The woman fell while hiking Pincushion Mountain on Friday

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Car of missing Victoria pair found in Vernon

RCMP encourage people to call with information, not just post on social media

Families receive support from ‘Living Flag’ fundraisers

A young man and a boy who both live with limited mobility were supported by the Canada Day events

Haida artist to perform at George Ryga Festival in Summerland

Interweavings features music from Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and Bill Henderson

Princeton hosts Western Canada’s only festival devoted exclusively to traditional music

From a Doukhobor choir to folk singers, singer songwriters, Celtic music and… Continue reading

Most Read