BC Hydro zeroes in on power theft

Application to utilities commission includes cost of "check meters" for areas where people have refused to accept smart meters

Smart meter installer photographs a sign posted to refuse replacement of mechanical power meter

BC Hydro has formally applied to the B.C. Utilities Commission for approval of extra fees for people who refuse to use the utility’s wireless electricity meters.

BC Hydro’s application details costs expected for staff, vehicles and equipment for manual collection of meter readings,  and adjusting the smart grid software and hardware to compensate for non-transmitting meters.

It also estimates the cost of extra checks for electricity theft in areas where mechanical meters remain. Portable “check meters” are to be deployed to find unexplained power losses in those sections of the grid.

“These check meters are $2,000 per unit, and it is anticipated that an additional 200 to 500 units will be required,” the application states.

The 130-page application seeks BCUC approval to impose fees announced by BC Hydro in September.

It confirms that people who keep their old mechanical meter are to be charged $35 a month, while those who choose a wireless meter with the radio transmitter disabled will be charged a $100 setup fee an $20 a month for manual collection of readings, starting April 1.

The BCUC could reduce the fees if it finds them to be excessive, or increase them if that is justified. The $35 per month fee will be charged to customers with mechanical meters starting Dec. 1, and will be adjusted later if the BCUC changes the fee.

A cabinet order issued by Energy Minister Bill Bennett in September instructs the BCUC to approve fees that cover the actual cost to BC Hydro of accommodating people who refuse to take part in the wireless monitoring system for the province-wide electricity grid.

The cabinet order also demands customers be charged for “failed installations,” if technicians are turned away or access to the BC Hydro-owned meter is blocked.

BC Hydro has sent letters to about 60,000 households that have refused smart meters, outlining the options, along with a form to send back making their choice. Those who make no choice will be assigned the $35-a-month default option, effective Dec. 1.

 

Just Posted

Cache Creek council votes to rejoin local transit system

Details need to be worked out, but hopes are that change can be expedited

Ashcroft residents get information at Community Forum

Water treatment plant, recycling, an Eco-Depot, the budget, and more among items addressed

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low-carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Most Read