Misinformation on smart meters

Re: Something wrong with smart meters, Letters, April 25, 2012.

Re: Something wrong with smart meters, Letters, April 25, 2012.

In response to Sharon Noble of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters: The information about smart meter billing contained in my letter of April 18 is 100 per cent accurate and can easily be verified by contacting B.C. Hydro. The one million smart meters B.C. Hydro has installed to date are, in fact, currently being read manually for billing purposes by human meter readers.

Any electronic data these installed smart meters may be transmitting is not yet being used for billing because the backend computer systems for managing the data are not yet in place.

I can only assume from her letter that Ms. Noble is unaware that the smart meters B.C. Hydro are installing have a digital readout on their faceplate which allows them to be read manually.

And as with the mechanical meters that have been in place for the past 50 years, manual readings of smart meters are subject to the same human transcription errors that have been commonplace for decades.

So far, B.C. Hydro reports that the vast majority of complaints about high bills following the installation of a smart meter have amounted to people not really knowing their own electricity consumption history.

Other billing complaints have ended up being due to “estimated bills” which were estimated too low in one billing period and resulted in an unexpectedly higher than normal “catch up” bill in the next billing period.

A few complaints have also been due to simple data entry errors which, as noted above, are inherent in reading meters manually — mechanical or digital.

What I would really like to know, therefore, is why no one in the media ever does a follow up story once the real cause of a high hydro bill has been determined?

As of right now, only one case of high billing in B.C. out of the one million smart meters installed has been due to a malfunctioning smart meter. I think that’s a story worth telling and one that would definitely serve the public interest.

David Field

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy




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