Article on smart meters did not tell whole story

Now, I realize how figures can be manipulated, so I'm not necessarily swallowing this whole

Editor, The Times:

I read Tom Fletcher’s article (“Smart meter system finishes under budget,” Jan. 28 issue) about the BC Hydro smart meter project being “officially complete” and “$153 million below the original budget”. (The future cost of replacing all these meters, whose life-expectancy is at least 10 years less than the analog meters, is not mentioned.)

Now, I realize how figures can be manipulated, so I’m not necessarily swallowing this whole, but I find it interesting that the article notes there are still 13,320 customers who have refused to accept smart meters, “opting to pay a monthly fee.”

Well, we didn’t actually opt for the fee; we just refused to part with our safe and reliable, long-life analogs that don’t emit EMF – the fee part was imposed as a kind of extortion or punishment for not playing their game.

A little math: my $408/year extortion fee times 13,320 ‘refuseniks’ yields BC Hydro $5,434,560 a year to offset their expenses; and don’t let them tell you this is for meter readers.

Meter reading was always been included in the service provided (even though they are not really needed, with today’s communication devices), and there are countless ‘smart’ meters in rural areas still being read by meter readers.

While I appreciated the ‘privilege’ of being allowed to ‘opt out’ (though I never opted in), I resent the fact that  B.C. residents ‘in the know’ are paying a higher opt-out fee than anywhere else in the country, or indeed, in North America.

Should a ‘refuseniks’ falter in his/her resolve, there is a $55 charge to ‘opt in’ to the smart meter program. And should BC Hydro decide to force the issue, there is a $65 “failed installation charge” if a customer refuses forced meter exchange or obstructs access.

BC Hydro also has demonstrated that they have the power and will to cut service (winter or not) to a customer who refuses to pay the extortion fees (despite years of loyal service payment); then, when the non-compliant customer has been whipped into submission of ‘back payments’, s/he is then charged an exorbitant fee to be reconnected – to a ‘smart’ meter!

It sure seems like a David versus Goliath story; I hope it ends the same way.

I never thought our government would allow its citizens to be subjected to such obvious extortion when trying to protect their privacy, security, safety and health.

P. Gregson

Clearwater, B.C.


Just Posted

This morning’s road conditions

Watch for slippery sections on much of Highway 5

Editor, The Times:

District of Clearwater invites local organizations to participate in Hockey Days

Playing Pickleball could just be your New Years resolution

By Judy Klontz Many people make a New Years resolution with good… Continue reading

Horsing around on skis

A skijoring practice is set for Jan. 19 at Smokin True Ranch

Editor, The Times:

Last year wasn’t a complete write-off

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read