Hydro-Québec to meet with CSLers about Smart Meters June 19
Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
June 12, 2013
Hydro-Québec will be meeting with Côte St. Luc residents from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday June 19 at Côte St. Luc city hall to answer questions regarding letters residents received about the installation of Smart Meters at area homes to measure electricity consumption, Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather announced.
Smart Meters are described as a more advanced method of measuring consumption.
Bilingual invitations are being sent out to all Côte St. Luc residents for the coming meeting. Many residents in municipalities throughout the island of Montreal have been expressing concerns about possible health issues related to emissions from the new meters. During a Côte St. Luc District 2 meeting hosted by Councillor Mike Cohen at city hall, Housefather said he had also heard similar concerns from residents.
“I called Hydro-Québec to the carpet, and really laced into them, for the fact they didn’t advise the city before they sent out letters to our residents,” the mayor said. “I found that was very inappropriate on Hydro-Québec’s part that they went ahead, trying to do major work in Côte St. Luc without first coming to the city, which is supposed to happen under our protocol. Hydro recognized this, apologized and assured us that won’t happen again. They had that problem in other cities as well.” Housefather also said that he, as well as Councillor Steven Erdelyi – who is a scientist – read a great deal of material on the meters. “It definitely looks to me like there is no health issue here,” the mayor said. “I don’t want to do Hydro’s work for them in convincing you of that, but I really believe the emissions coming from this are far less than the emissions coming from other things we have in our homes on a regular basis, whether it’s our wireless networks or microwaves. There’s a big cost savings for Hydro to [install the Smart Meters], because they don’t have to have someone come onto everybody’s premises to read the meter.”
The mayor added that Hydro is sending out proper, bilingual information on the Smart Meters.
On the other hand, Housefather pointed out that Hydro has instituted a high fee for people to keep their current meters. “I don’t think many people will exercise this delightful option and pay them $1,000 more a year to keep the old meter.”