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

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read