Smart meter installer photographs a sign opposing replacement of mechanical power meter

Smart meter refusal fees trimmed

BC Hydro customers who cling to mechanical power meters will continue to pay $32.40 a month for manual meter readings

BC Hydro customers who refuse to part with their mechanical power meters will continue to pay $32.40 a month for manual meter readings, with a refund on the balance of the $35 they’ve been paying since December.

The B.C. Utilities Commission ruled on BC Hydro’s smart meter opt-out fees Friday, after an order from the B.C. government required the regulator to approve fees covering all of BC Hydro’s costs.

A $20 a month charge will continue for BC Hydro customers who accept a digital meter with the radio transmission function turned off. The commission cut the one-time fee for disabling the meter radio to $22.60, far below BC Hydro’s proposed $100.

Most of BC Hydro’s nearly two million customers now have fully functioning smart meters, which send daily readings to a collection network and signal when power goes out and comes back on.

A few customers cling to theories that the meters present a health hazard, despite evidence that their signals are weaker than the natural background of radio frequency signals even in remote areas.

BC Hydro’s meter upgrade was exempted from review, but the commission ruled last year on similar equipment for FortisBC’s electrical grid in the Okanagan and Kootenay regions.

Commissioners rejected testimony from smart meter opponents, noting that their spokesmen were unqualified and in most cases repeating false or exaggerated claims in order to sell solutions to the purported hazards.

BC Hydro spent nearly $1 billion to upgrade its grid, forecasting savings from automatic meter reading to faster detection of outages and elimination of power theft from meter bypasses.

The commission also reduced fees for customers who move and request a radio-off meter at their new address. To switch from a mechanical meter to a radio-off meter will cost $77.60, reduced from the BC Hydro’s proposed $100. Going from one radio-off meter to another will cost $132.60, down from the proposed $155 that includes activating the meter in the former residence.


Just Posted

Creepy phone caller threatens women in Abbotsford

RCMP first warned of disturbing calls last month

Mental health a big factor when addressing safety issues

‘I do feel that my kids are safe’ : Tracy Loffler

Canadian culture, gun laws have made life safer in B.C.

Gun amnesties have helped, says Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth

Stopping school violence starts with communication

Some B.C. schools moving to locked doors, identity badges, video surveillance

‘Our schools are safe’

Mission school superintendent Angus Wilson says training, protocols in place

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

Chilliwack’s Spirit Abreast team searching for new paddlers

As dragon boat season approaches, breast-cancer-focused team holds annual meet and greet

Body of missing Australian woman found in Whistler lake

RCMP say they do not suspect foul play in Allison Raspa’s death

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

COLUMN: Fundraiser helps Abbotsford family fulfill $100K goal for BC Children’s Hospital

Five years after setting their goal, Team Miracle Maya surpasses their target

Speculation tax causing concern at Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs

Recreational property owners face hefty bill for 2019 for what some call a ‘wealth’ tax

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Most Read