In this May

Fee proposed for smart meter deniers

Energy minister contemplates fee to pay for analog meter readers for those refusing smart meters

 

VICTORIA – Energy Minister Bill Bennett says there are about still 60,000 BC Hydro customers who are still resisting installation of wireless electricity meters, and he wants the utility to offer them manual meter readings, for a price.

 

“What we’re contemplating at this point is that maybe we can deliver a digital meter that has the radio turned off,” Bennett told reporters at the B.C. legislature Thursday. “We just feel that we don’t want to bully people into taking the smart meter if they don’t want it.”

Modifying the meters for different customers and sending out human meter readers would generate costs that should not be borne by the vast majority of customers who accepted wireless meters, Bennett said.

He offered no estimate of the cost, but predicted that more people will drop their opposition rather than pay for extra service. Bennett said he agrees with B.C.’s medical health officer that signals from wireless meters are not a health hazard, but he doesn’t want them forced on people who believe otherwise.

NDP energy critic John Horgan said he is pleased the government has finally agreed with his position that people should be given another option. But he wants the issue referred to the B.C. Utilities Commission to set the price, so customers aren’t “gouged” to pay for other cost overruns at the utility.

“We said before the election that an opt-out provision was appropriate,” Horgan said. “It’s done in other jurisdictions. Quebec is leading the way here in Canada. It’s about time.”

With 96 per cent of wireless meters installed, customers in some areas are receiving daily usage information on their BC Hydro customer web pages. Smart meters send a radio signal equivalent to a brief mobile phone call to report usage, and also signal when power is interrupted.

Digital meters also detect when they are tampered with, and the quality of electrical supply.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: What summer 2020 is like in Revelstoke

Contributors submit their favourite photos from this summer

Celebrate wildflowers next week in Revelstoke

Tourism Revelstoke is hosting a wildflower festival with various activities Aug. 9-16

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigating the circumstances of the man’s death

LETTER: Revelstoke does not need proposed Hay Rd. development

The development calls for 60 housing units

Which streets in Revelstoke have the most crashes?

The data was recently released by ICBC

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Masks urged for some students returning to Vernon schools

Phase two sees students return full-time Sept. 8

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Water draws Okanagan artists together for exhibit

Gallery Vertigo open house Saturday for Spirit of Water

Most Read