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Update: Smart Meters still being Installed despite not be given consent by Homeowners

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http://www.cbc.ca/ne...mart-meter.html

BC Hydro confirmed Wednesday that it is not going to install smart meters without the permission of residents, but it's not clear what the Crown corporation's long term plan is.

The power company says it has already installed 95 per cent of the high-tech devices, and it is going to take some extra time to work with the remaining 85,000 customers who have refused the new meters.

"We think it’s important to take some extra time to work with customers who still have concerns with getting a new meter. In the meantime we will not install a new meter for these customers unless we have their permission," said a statement issued by BC Hydro spokesman Greg Alexis.

All of the meters were supposed to be installed by the end of last year, but thousands of customers objected, citing health, safety and privacy concerns.

Alexis says about 9,000 customers who originally objected to the new meters agreed to have them installed after meeting with BC Hydro reps. Another 35,000 have yet to be installed because of other issues, such as construction delays, say officials.

The delay will likely mean nobody will have a smart meter forced upon them before the upcoming provincial election in May, but it is not clear what is BC Hydro's long term plan for the hold-outs.

Previously, Hydro has said all customers will have to have the meters installed because the system won't work if people opt out.

"With the new system in place, we have no way of getting information from the old meters without setting up a separate, expensive customized system," according to the BC Hydro website.

"If you don't want a smart meter on your house, you have the option of moving the meter to a different location on your property."

    

Minister softened stance last week

BC Hydro's new position comes after the NDP opposition called on the government to clarify its stance on the program, following some statements by Energy Minister Rich Coleman last week that indicated it was backing down on the mandatory installations.

"I am writing to assure your readers that BC Hydro will be working with its customers over the next several months to help them understand the benefits of new smart meters prior to final installation," Coleman said in a statement last week.

"During this time, BC Hydro will not install a new meter without the homeowner’s consent and will work directly with customers to address their individual concerns."

That led NDP energy critic John Horgan to call on the government to clarify the situation for the public.

“One week customers are receiving threatening letters saying the meters will be installed no matter what. The next week the energy minister pens an opinion piece saying B.C. Hydro won’t install a new meter without the homeowner’s consent,” said Horgan.

“Which is it? You can’t have it both ways ... This is a government initiative, it's a BC Hydro initiative and we haven't heard categorically and clearly just what the expectations are for people who don't want a smart meter today."

Horgan is also reiterating an NDP promise to ask the B.C. Utilities Commission to take the entire billion-dollar smart meter program to the B.C. Utilities Commission for analysis if the party wins the May provincial election, something the Liberals have refused to do.

“The smart meter initiative — a billion-dollar expenditure — has been rife with discord from the beginning, and the independent utilities commission has been barred from overseeing the process,” said Horgan

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http://www.cbc.ca/ne...art-meters.html

B.C. Energy Minister Rich Coleman says nothing is off the table when it comes to smart meters.

Speaking at the Vancouver Board of Trade on Thursday, Coleman hinted those holding out on smart meter installation may end up paying for the delay down the road.

"I think what will happen over time, if you look at other jurisdictions, they've looked at different programs so that people could make a decision based on what it may cost in the future," Coleman said. Coleman didn't have specific details on how or when his ministry or BC Hydro would move forward with more installations. "My plan on this all along is let's get through the whole 1.8 million customers, [then] go back and respectfully have a conversation with those customers [who refuse] about the meters, see how many more take them, and then come back to me with the real numbers and then we'll build a plan," he said. BC Hydro said Wednesday it wouldn't go ahead with 85,000 installations where residents refused permission. Last week, Coleman indicated his ministry would back down — at least in the run-up to the May provincial election. All of the smart meters were supposed to be installed by the end of 2012 but thousands of customers objected, citing health, safety and privacy concerns. BC Hydro had said all customers will have to have the meters installed because the system won't work if people opt out.

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Election Ploy. Nothing more. Government doesn't want to angry people with the upcoming Election, thus why they will back off until after the Election. This should be an Election Issue. There are Health, Privacy Issues associated with Smart Meters, but also each B.C. Resident should have the choice of whether they want a Smart Meter or not. Not having a dictatorship telling everyone that you must have one or else. Government has botched this worst then the HST. Regardless of who wins the election, I fear Smart Meters will still be forced on those who don't have one and don't want one.

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But if you already got muscled into installing a smarty and want your old one back........OOOPSY! Sorry we can't do that now.

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My bill increased by ~100% after getting the new smart meter installed. Tried contacting BC Hydro to get them to come check and/or replace the unit and was basically told to go pound sand/that the increase was from my usage despite no major updates/new appliances etc. Hell if anything we've been upgrading to more efficient washer/dryer, lights etc over the past few years.

I also contacted the BC Utilities Commission about it but they just seem like a toothless middle man put in place for customers to vent with no real tangible power or ability to do anything for customers.

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Oh brother if you don't like it don't buy power from them.

People that say they cause health issues are clueless. If the emissions from the smart meter are a health hazard they should turn the electricity off entirely because the transmission of the electricity itself will put out the same emissions. If you want to escape those emissions I would recommend a cabin way back in the woods. And I certainly wouldn't be complaining about it on any sort of device that would allow you to communicate right here!

People that say their bill went up probably had a faulty meter that was under-reporting their use in the past. With the way that they up the rates after a certain number of Kwh (how they come up with that number is a mystery) you don't need to increase your usage that much to get a doubling of the bill.

There is of course a valid conspiracy in that one day this will result in variable time of day rates (which I would greatly prefer since I tend to run all my high draw electronics at night) but would none the less be a lot more fair as it costs more to provide electricity in the day than at night.

Should someone want to avoid having a smart meter for whatever reason I say fine.

But I would allow an opt in for time of day billing to allow people that want to try to reduce their rates by shifting their high power activities to off peak hours. And of course the only way you could get on that program is to have a smart meter.

Edit: P.S. Your power bill is already massively subsidized. Try paying market rates for power and you will see it probably triple.

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Oh brother if you don't like it don't buy power from them.

People that say they cause health issues are clueless. If the emissions from the smart meter are a health hazard they should turn the electricity off entirely because the transmission of the electricity itself will put out the same emissions. If you want to escape those emissions I would recommend a cabin way back in the woods. And I certainly wouldn't be complaining about it on any sort of device that would allow you to communicate right here!

People that say their bill went up probably had a faulty meter that was under-reporting their use in the past. With the way that they up the rates after a certain number of Kwh (how they come up with that number is a mystery) you don't need to increase your usage that much to get a doubling of the bill.

There is of course a valid conspiracy in that one day this will result in variable time of day rates (which I would greatly prefer since I tend to run all my high draw electronics at night) but would none the less be a lot more fair as it costs more to provide electricity in the day than at night.

Should someone want to avoid having a smart meter for whatever reason I say fine.

But I would allow an opt in for time of day billing to allow people that want to try to reduce their rates by shifting their high power activities to off peak hours. And of course the only way you could get on that program is to have a smart meter.

Edit: P.S. Your power bill is already massively subsidized. Try paying market rates for power and you will see it probably triple.

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^ ROFL at the cartoon.

No matter how much they deny time of day billing (and they might honestly not intend it) you can be assured that the policy will change within a decade.

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This. I've had my meter changed for about a year now and I've seen no difference in the amount I pay, which I guess means I had a working old meter before.

The health hazard thing is really absurd as well. If you think the smart meter is going to cause health issues, you probably should also stop using your cellphone or any related devices.

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"If you don't want a smart meter on your house, you have the option of moving the meter to a different location on your property."

BC Hydro charged me close to $14k for a hydro hookup and a new pole on my warehouse, and showed up to do the work about 4 weeks late. I could just imagine how much the quoted option would run a homeowner.

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This. I've had my meter changed for about a year now and I've seen no difference in the amount I pay, which I guess means I had a working old meter before.

The health hazard thing is really absurd as well. If you think the smart meter is going to cause health issues, you probably should also stop using your cellphone or any related devices.

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Could anyone explain how a smart meter is harmful to your health when it is located outside of your home, hundreds of feet away from you? Yet people hold cell-phones to their heads for many hours per week?

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i still got my old meter. hydro guy came around and asked if he was allowed to install i said sure, but he got scared at the 2 english mastiffs jumping on the fence and i wasn't gonna put them in the house :P

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Same here. They would love a new toy to chew on. The Meter reader walks softly and carries two big dog cookies. I have a large sign that fits over the glass part of the meter saying to leave the meter be. My neighbors rate went up less than two weeks after installation.

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In that case they should just assume you have a grow up and charge you a flate rate of $500 bucks a month. If people really don't want the electrical service then they should simply get a generator and off the grid.

The sense of entitlement as though the world owes you cheap electricity is simply amazing!

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Says the pot calling the kettle black. Like our polititions, I would'nt trust hydro to wipe their own ass. Love the way you group people together. Kinda reminds me of Archie Bunker. Your just butthurt because hydro pulled one over you. It's my right to refuse the meter and thats all that matters.

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