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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Dry-grad cancelled, Elgin Park students make donation to food bank

Students donate $1,800 to food bank after being forced to cancel graduation event

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

‘It’s just the language of it,’ Surrey businesses association says of COVID-19 ‘charge’

But Surrey Board of Trade says it’s good that businesses are being ‘clear and transparent’

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read