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 meter installation

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

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

Student raises council’s awareness of ways Salmon Arm can support LGBT+ people

Councillor expresses appreciation for presentation based on family member’s experience

Salmon Arm’s request for red light camera on Highway 1 draws attention of province

Years of lobbying for camera at Trans-Canada Highway intersection might be generating results

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP surprised by Conservative leader’s resignation

Arnold predicts Conservative party will remain united in its quest to become government

VIDEO: Your favourite Christmas light displays in the Shuswap

Residents recommend decorated homes worth checking out

‘A pretty big deal’: Salmon Arm prepares for the ultimate hockey fan experience

City awarded new hockey net/hoop by Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

Vernon bylaw says Frosty has to go: store owner

Vernon Teach and Learn told to take down inflatable snowman

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

In Photos: Young Sicamous dancers move to the music

Rec program dance class hosts year end recital.

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Junior Salmon Arm bowler advancing to provincials

Young Lakeside Bowling team represent city in zone competition

Most Read