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

Veterans’ Affairs minister sits down with Kelowna vets

Seamus O’Regan said government changes are improving benefits for Canada’s veterans

Okanagan tourists undeterred by smoke

Diverse array of tourist experiences paying dividends

Stream of federal Liberal ministers and MPs to pass through Kelowna this week

In addition to ministers making announcements, the Pacific Liberal caucus will meet in the city

Crews continue mop up at Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire

Firefighters are working alongside the military to extinguish the wildfire near West Kelowna

Organized labour’s annual Labour Day picnic slated for Sept. 3 in Kelowna

The North Okanagan Labour Council will host the event in Mission Creek Park

UPDATE: Air quality improves slightly

Breathing conditions are improving, though still not ideal

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha as pilgrims conduct hajj rites

More than 2 million pilgrims carry out the final rites of the hajj in Saudi Arabia

White Spot records B.C. Pirate Pak record day

Popular B.C.-Alberta event raises more than $116,000 to send kids and adults to Zajac Ranch

Evacuation alert for Dark Lake Valley area

There are 21 properties are affected

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

Troops heading to Lumby/Cherryville to lend a hand with wildfires

Canadian Armed Troops expected to be in the area by the end of the week

Thieves target tires and rims in Shuswap

Salmon Arm RCMP report two recent incidents, a van used in one theft was stolen in Surrey

Most Read