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

ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artists showcase a range of mediums

“Into the Forest” will feature everything from watercolours to quilting

Divers explore the deeps of Sproat Lake using vintage equipment

Heritage Hard Hat Divers will have a maritime heritage exhibit in Port Alberni

EDITORIAL: In face of tough week, Port Alberni first responders deserve our respect

Last week was a difficult week for first responders in the Alberni Valley…

Alberni group focuses on stigmatization as biggest barrier to opioid crisis

Community session planned to raise dialogue on opioid crisis response

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Cannabis sales up 25% in November as overall retail sales fall 0.9%

Cannabis store sales totalled $54 million in the first full month of legal recreational pot sales

LNG Canada support far outweighs protests, CEO says

Andy Calitz vows completion on schedule at B.C. Natural Resource Forum

B.C. Green Party leader calls for Assistant Deputy Speaker to step aside

Weaver alleges whistleblower was fired after looking into the Liberal MLA’s expenses

B.C. man says he was evicted due to ‘personal vendetta’ against his toddler

Matt Astifan says he has tried to do what he can but a young child will always make some noise

Case of B.C. man caught with 27,500 fentanyl pills thrown out due to Charter breach

‘Ambiguous’ signal by drug sniffer dog Doodz leads to B.C. Supreme Court decision

B.C. animal killer Kayla Bourque guilty of breaching conditions

Bourque is expected to be sentenced on Feb. 8

Men allegedly tied to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug busts

Nanaimo RCMP have made multiple arrests and seized drugs, weapons and cash

VIDEO: Soon-to-be-extinct caribou moved to B.C. interior

The three caribou are being held in pens north of Revelstoke

Most Read