According to the Party, “BC Greens support development of a Smart Grid, of which Smart Meters may be one small and expensive component. If we are to encourage conservation, many other things need to be in place long before a decision is made to purchase a different kind of meter. The type of meter should be the last part of the plan and only implemented if they are proven cost effective and safe.”
BC Greens’ position is that feed-in-tariffs, time of day pricing, incentives for conservation, and a distributed grid must all be in place before switching meters. “A cost benefit analysis needs to be presented to the public. BC should not follow Ontario down the road to higher costs and no net benefit. As well, wireless technology poses a potential risk to health and the environment and further research that is independent of industry funding is needed.”
In a statement, the Green Party cites research by Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, who studies the biological effects of environmental contaminants.
Dr. Havas agrees the implementation of the wireless smart meters should be stopped. “Instead of promoting wireless technology, we should be promoting wired technology and reserving wireless for situations where wired in not possible. We need to recognize that microwaves are harmful and we cannot use this technology in a frivolous manner. If smart meters are placed on every home, they will increase our exposure to radio frequency radiation–a potential human carcinogen–and this is both unwise and unsafe.”
Green Party leader Jane Sterk adds, “The smart meter program is another example of unsupportable assumptions based on industry lobbying rather than best practices. Greens believe all public policy should be evidence based and founded in the Precautionary Principle. BC Hydro’s wireless smart meter program violates that principle. There are environmental, privacy and security concerns as well as the potential for adverse health risks. This is an issue that hits at the heart of democratic rights. Individuals have no ability to opt out of a program that may impact the health of those with electro-magnetic sensitivity.”