Utilities Commission dismisses application against smart meters

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) has issued a decision dismissing an application by an anti-smart meter group to place an injunction on the project. The BCUC dismissed the group’s premise that the technology used in the new meters exceeded the authority of the Province’s Clean Energy Act.

The decision came earlier this week as the BC Hydro smart metering project neared the halfway mark of installations with what the utility descriebd as “widespread customer acceptance of the meters and their benefits.”

BC Hydro has installed over 890,000 new meters to date. That represents just under half of its 1.85 million customers.

“Over 99 per cent of customers are accepting a smart meter and more than 1,800 customers who initially asked for their smart meter installation to be put on hold have agreed to have one installed after being provided with more information about the program,” Hydro said in a statement released Thursday.

BC Hydro is responsible for providing safe, reliable power to British Columbians and smart meters are part of that responsibility by helping modernize BC’s electricity infrastructure.

Smart meters will, Hydro says, help:

  • Keep rates among the lowest in North America by helping BC Hydro operate more efficiently;
  •  Getting the power back on faster in the event of an outage; and
  • In the future making it possible for customers to track and manage their own power use through a free and secure customer web site and thereby save money on their bill.

The statement said Hydro’s new meters have been confirmed safe by health and science authorities including BC’s Provincial Health Officer. Smart meters communicate for an average of one minute per day and the exposure to radio frequency over the lifetime of a smart meter is equivalent to a 30-minute cell phone call.

BC Hydro’s smart meters are well below Health Canada’s exposure limits and the precautionary limits set by Switzerland, the country with the most rigorous standards in the world.

For more information on BC Hydro’s smart meter program, please visit www.bchydro.com/smartmeters.