Smart meters: Not much of a choice

I must say that BC Hydro appears to now be in the extortion business.

I read the Oct. 17 article “Hydro seeks to recoup costs,” and I must say that BC Hydro appears to now be in the extortion business.

They are going to charge $35 per month (for analog meter customers) plus an additional $65 if they don’t get access to the meter?

If BC Hydro is adamant that smart meters are completely safe, why won’t they debate that fact in an open forum? I for one opted to keep my analog meter because I am not convinced they are entirely safe and believe consumers should be allowed a choice without being coerced.

Apparently BC Hydro has chosen for me: Take the smart meter or pay an additional $810 a year to keep a meter that does the job just fine.

Since the smart meter program was introduced in Surrey, BC Hydro has sent me a bill showing an estimate. I have lived in the same location for 16 years and for the first decade of that time, I had no problems with the meter being read. As requested, BC Hydro would call me a day or two before the meter reader was going to be in the area. This way I could ensure they had access to my meter because it is in a unique location and requires advanced notification.

Since 2007, they stopped making those calls. I have spoken to the meter reading department several times about the lack of notification and each time I call, they assure me they will call ahead. It got to the point where I asked them, in January of this year, to send me a list of dates for the entire year as to when the meter reader would be in my area.

It is October now and  they have only read my meter once (in May). In that instance, I just happened to be in my driveway when they showed up… there was no advance warning. Oh, and after they decide they can’t get a reading, they stop sending you a bill, without warning I might add.

So now BC Hydro wants to charge me a monthly fee for choosing to keep my functioning analog meter plus another fee for not reading my meter? That’s just extortion, plain and simple.


Gard Penny, Surrey

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