Smart-meter foes being punished for their stand

I learned that nearly 70,000 smart meters were being read manually as of Jan. 1, 2014

Editor, The Times:

Via a freedom-of-information request, I learned that nearly 70,000 smart meters were being read manually as of Jan. 1, 2014.

As of Sept. 1, 2014, nearly 50,000 smart meters are still being read manually.

I have also learned that many BC Hydro smart meters will be read manually more or less permanently.

Those customers are receiving the same service as those with analog meters, but are not being charged the $32.40 per month fee ($64.80 per reading).

This practice is definitely discriminatory under the Utilities Commission Act, which states all customers must be charged the same rate for the same service.

How can anybody justify this unfair practice?

Some people say it is pure extortion and a punitive measure from Bill Bennett, minister responsible for BC Hydro.

It definitely needs explaining to the people of British Columbia as to how a Crown corporation is allowed to treat its customers in this manner, which is illegal under the Utilities Commission Act and runs counter to Bennett’s own directive.

I believe people are being punished for taking a moral stand and this is a sad thing for democracy in B.C.

Guenter Gottloeber

Kamloops, B.C.