Red Deer resident refuses smart meters

Resident is concerned about the health implications

Lori Curran continues to stand firm against smart meters.

The Red Deer resident most recently said no to a smart meter to replace her water meter. In 2012, she had ATCO Gas remove the natural gas smart meter from her Riverside Meadows home.

“I believe it’s not good for your health. We are constantly bombarded with these electromagnetic frequencies,” said Curran who is holistic nutritionist.

“I know there is a lot of like-minded people because I work in the health industry and work at a health food store. A lot of people that are concerned about their health talk about these things.”

In 2014, the city contracted Metercor to replace approximately 1,500 water meters per year at homes and businesses.

According to the city’s website, the new meters were being installed to improve customer service and billing accuracy, upgrade outdated or aging equipment, promote sustainable practices and increase operational efficiencies.

Automatic Meter Reading, or smart meters, use wireless technology similar to cordless phones to deliver data from a water meter inside a home or business to meter reading staff collecting data as they drive by. The meters send a quick, low-level radio frequency signal triggered by a handheld device.

Without a smart meter, meter reading staff must enter a property to read the remote reader located on the exterior of a home.

Curran said a lot of people don’t agree with her, but she wants to be careful.

“I never had a cellphone for a long time. Now I have one but I don’t ever carry it on me. And I have my computer hooked up to a line. I know there is Wi-Fi bouncing all over, but this way I don’t get it as much. I have a line on my home phone, not a cordless.”

She said ATCO Gas charges her $200 a year because she doesn’t have a smart meter which she doesn’t consider fair. Refusing a smart water meter will cost even more — $450 per year.

“That is a tremendous increase financially for me just trying to do something healthy for me.

“I could very easily take a picture of my meter and send it in which is what you do when you’re in the country. You could e-mail it in so they didn’t have to drive out to your farm.”

Extra charges have yet to be added to her bill. She expects to see them when the city is finished installing all its new water meters.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com