Smart meter opt-out fees too high

My past extortion fees of almost $2,000 were for naught, and BC Hydro is quick to pass on the incurred expenses

Editor, The Times:

The promise that no one would have a smart meter forced on them was not true and now B.C. has the highest opt-out fees of anywhere.

With this punitive opt-out plan, customers have to pay an extra charge, and yet are still saddled with the very meter they have paid to avoid, due to the ‘expiry of the seal’ and a mysterious disappearance of any replacement analog meters.

My past extortion fees of almost $2,000 were for naught, and BC Hydro is quick to pass on the incurred expenses of the program to a special class of customers. With an opt-out rate of 7/10 of one per cent, most businesses in a competitive environment would absorb such minor expenses as the cost of doing businesses – especially companies that placed a high value on customer satisfaction.

But BC Hydro does not operate in a competitive environment and does not fear losing customers. The approximately 0.14 per cent who have requested ‘signal off’ (after being forced to accept a smart meter, and even pay an additional fee for the confiscation of their analogs) are being charged a continual fee, even though there are 2.7 per cent of customers with smart meters that have to be manually read, who are not being charged. So much for BC Hydro’s claim, “We like to treat everyone equally.”

Just as the BC Utilities Commission was emasculated regarding the smart meter program, so it was prevented from using its discretionary powers with the Site C dam. Thus, the Liberal government seems to have got us in a real mess in both areas, having successfully prevented the BCUC from revealing what a financial disaster both projects would be.

I know where my vote is not going, this coming election!

Petrina Gregson

Upper Clearwater, B.C.