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

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

B.C.’s parliament buildings in Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
Surrey gets two cabinet ministers, a parliamentary secretary and government whip

Premier John Horgan’s NDP MLAs were sworn in on Tuesday and the cabinet was revealed Thursday afternoon

Steve ‘Elvis’ Elliott performs for residents of Amica White Rock. Exercise-to-music programs that led to a threat of city fines due to a noise complaint are to resume next week. (Contributed file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Amica White Rock

Peace Portal Seniors Village outbreak declared over

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Brenda Locke trying to breathe life into Surrey’s defunct Public Safety Committee

Surrey councillor’s motion will be up for debate at a future council meeting

The Festival of Lights; Jingle Bell White Rock; and the Lighted Boat Parade all helped light up the White Rock waterfront on Saturday, Dec. 7. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock Festival of Lights postponed

While event founder remains optimistic, the future of this year’s display is uncertain

RCMP logo
Keen-eyed neighbour’s call to police helps stop South Surrey burglary in progress

Mounties were on the way before suspects triggered home alarm

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

The online poster for Joel Goddard, who left his Willoughby home Nov. 10, 2020, has been updated by his family and friends who received word that he’s been found.
Langley man missing since Nov. 10 found alive and safe in Abbotsford

Family of the Willoughby area man had been searching for days. Police find him at Abbotsford Airport

A UBC study recommends an multi-government investment of $381 million to protect 102 species at risk in the Fraser River estuary. (Photo supplied by Yuri Choufour)
102 Fraser River estuary species at risk of extinction, researchers warn

UBC team develops $381-million strategy to combat crisis, boost economy

Most Read