Refusing a BC Hydro smart meter will cost holdouts as much as $35 per month.

Smart meter opt-out fee much lower in U.S.: MLA

Weaver says comparison shows BC Hydro has no justification

BC Hydro’s planned fee of $35 a month for people who continue to refuse wireless smart meters is “outrageous” and isn’t justified based on what other jurisdictions charge, according to B.C.’s lone Green Party MLA.

Andrew Weaver (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) said the proposed charge for manual meter readings is as high a many people’s entire power bills.

“People perceive it as price gouging,” he said, adding the fees should accurately reflect Hydro costs and not generate extra profit.”

Weaver pointed to some U.S. states that have similar opt-out programs from smart meters but charge much less.

California charges $10 a month after a $75 up-front fee, while low-income customers pay $5 a month after a $10 initial fee.

Maine charges $12 a month for analog meter readings, after a $40 initial charge.

BC Hydro’s fees still require approval by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

Weaver said he’s urging the regulators to reject the $35 fee here based on the disparity with charges elsewhere.

Holdouts here can also opt to take a smart meter with the transmitter disabled for a $100 one-time fee followed by $20 each month.

Maine’s radio-disabled smart meter option costs $20 up front then $10.50 a month.

Weaver said he doesn’t oppose wireless smart meters but added Hydro must provide a reasonable opt-out.

He said BC Hydro’s price would be more logical if it were charged not monthly but on each actual meter reading every few months.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fernie SAR responds to two calls this weekend

The calls reported an injured mountain biker and an abandoned kayak

The Fernie Academy hosts virtual art show

The school’s annual Mother’s Day Art Show went online through The Arts Station

Funding available for Elk Valley charities coping with COVID-19

Almost $110,000 is set aside to be distributed by the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies

Elk Valley businesses reopen after months of closures

Opening with restrictions, local services keep health and safety a priority

Mental health and COVID-19: going forward

Dr. Tyla Charbonneau offers some mental health advice for moving into our new normal

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read