A billion dollars for smart meters to save some of us a phone call when the power goes out? This justification hides the financial risk of smart meters.
B.C. Hydro’s smart meter business case estimate of cost benefit is only a 20 year guess, but is repeatedly stated by B.C. Hydro as a certainty.
They tell me I will save just by having a smart meter because the second wireless transmitter built into smart meters will allow me to monitor my electricity use and make choices in reducing consumption.
But, I can already easily tell when I’m using electricity and my energy bill motivates me to conserve, so a different meter will not improve conservation. It’s not the smart meters that saves power, its behaviour and B.C. Hydro’s business case depends largely on significant presumed behaviour change plus a huge overestimation of energy theft.
Other jurisdictions were “smart” enough to pilot smart meters which showed they did not conserve enough energy and scraped them.
Smart meters need costly maintenance and an estimated 20 year life verses regular meters, that can last beyond 40 years. So, replacing all our perfectly functional regular meters now means another billion dollar expenditure in only 20 years.
The benefits of smart meters seem to be far more for others such as Corix and Itron, than for the public that bears the costs and risk if smart meters don’t show a return on investment.
Unfortunately I lack confidence in B.C. Hydro being honest when it was recently caught by the auditor general using creative accounting methods to hide its debt and show fictitious profit rather than being forthcoming.
B.C. Hydro is our corporation and we are collectively financially responsible for it. Demand the billions be used for actual energy savings or creation, or pay down B.C. Hydro’s huge debt. As we know action is only taken when there are enough voters that speak up.