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.

Just Posted

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

Saanich to hear update on regional sewage treatment plant

Likely subjects of presentation include fate of trees along Grange Road, costs

Canadian students are smart cookies

Canadian teachers also among highest paid in the developed world

Local fundraising initiative addresses tampon recall

Period Posse checking donations during 10-day campaign

Langford light up celebration was the biggest one yet

The city spends about $25,000 annually on Christmas lights

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Most Read