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BC Hydro has a new option for customers who’ve put their smart meters on hold.
The government is responding to public concerns about the healthfulness and safety of smart meters by providing options to opt out of them. Costs to opt out are borne by those customers and are not subsidized.
BC Hydro customers who don’t currently have a smart meter have three choices — they can choose the standard smart meter at no cost, accept a digital meter with the radio off (this is subject to a one-time cost to modify the meter plus a monthly fee to read it), or retain an old analog meter (which subjects the customers to a monthly fee that includes the extra cost of reading the meter and cost of instituting duplicate systems).
Costs and fees associated with the options will be established by BC Hydro and reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission.
Smart meters were implemented with the intention of helping BC Hydro improve management of the electricity system. The corporation also asserts the smart meters lower costs, reduce theft, encourage conservation, and automatically detect outages.