Price of smart meters the real concern

A lot of letters have been written about BC Hydro smart meters, some with pseudo science, alarmist propaganda and doubtful information.

A lot of letters have been written about BC Hydro smart meters, some with pseudo science, alarmist propaganda and doubtful information. On both sides.

My concern lies mostly on the cost of the meters residents will be forced to pay. One News article quoted BC Hydro stating meters will cost about $150 each installed, and another $50 or more for upgrading the grid and other infrastructure.

Considering the meters use technology that has been around for at least a decade and some much longer, much of it long since been reduced to cheap over the counter integrated circuits, there is no reason the cost should be anywhere near that high.

BC Hydro and the company they purchased them from can say what they like, but the technology is reasonably simple.

Consider also that smart meters are being used in other countries with much higher populations, and the number of units sold should, in capitalist economies, drive the price down even further. Or would, if BC Hydro and other power companies were truly looking out for its customers.

One company in Italy rolled out a smart meter system for an average of $81 US per system, and that included upgrading the grid and other infrastructure. At least we aren’t doing as badly as a utility in Texas that cost its subscribers an average of $532 each. Of course for BC Hydro subscribers, the bills aren’t all in yet.

I’d like to point out that BC Hydro’s smart meter FAQ asks if “customers will have to pay for the smart meters.” The answer is: “It will not be a line item,” which really doesn’t answer the question. Of course BC Hydro subscribers will pay. Who else would?

Some people are making a lot of money off these smart meters. Somehow I don’t think it’s going to be the average BC Hydro customer.

And to all the people complaining about electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and/or cell phone towers, can I assume none of them own cell phones or Wi-Fi enabled computers, or are aware that even the wiring in their houses produces EMF, which is low compared to televisions, computer monitors or cordless phones?

Mike Davey



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