Smart meter completion delayed

BC Hydro has been given another year to complete its wireless smart grid project, with 140,000 smart meters still to be installed

Smart meters are tested at a BC Hydro lab. More than 1.7 million of the meters have been installed.

BC Hydro has been given another year to complete its wireless smart grid project, as it nears the original deadline with 140,000 smart meters still to be installed.

Energy Minister Rich Coleman announced the extension of the Dec. 31, 2012 deadline imposed by the B.C. Liberal government’s Clean Energy Act. Pushed through the legislature in the spring of 2010, that legislation supports sweeping changes to BC Hydro’s expansion using wind, small hydro and other private power development.

In a ministry statement, Coleman cited shortages of skilled labour, meters and other specialized equipment as well as “customer concerns” for failing to meet the deadline for all 1.87 million meters across the province. BC Hydro has been dogged by political and citizen protests about the cost of the refit and persistent claims of various hazards from the meters.

Installers have also encountered meters made inaccessible by construction of garages, decks and other structures that covered them.

Some homeowners who refused replacement of mechanical meters now worry that they will be on the hook for costs if their old meter equipment fails after they refused the upgrade.

BC Hydro spokesman Greg Alexis said the one-year delay, originally signaled in a November finance ministry update, doesn’t change the utility’s target of the 2014 fiscal year to implement the entire system. Meters are only a small part of a province-wide grid that will automatically report power outages and offer customers a real-time display of their power consumption.

The Clean Energy Act was the culmination of former premier Gordon Campbell’s climate and energy strategy. It exempted the wireless meter project, the proposed Site C dam on the Peace River, and an array of private power proposals from scrutiny by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

NDP energy critic John Horgan has said he supports a review of the wireless grid proposal and other major projects by the utilities commission.

Just Posted

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

LETTER: Oppal should delay Surrey’s policing plan until we can vote in new mayor

In case of transition plan, red tape and bureaucracy might actually save Surrey’s skin

TransLink to discuss proposed bus-route changes at White Rock forum

“It is important that the opinions of riders are heard,” says mayor

SURREY EVENTS: ‘Classic Scary Movie Marathon’ for Halloween, and more

Concerts, plays, fundraisers and other events in our weekly guide for Surrey

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read