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

Saanich Peninsula Alert launches today

Existing subscribers already moved to new system

Local cadets gain acceptance to RMC

Military careers one step closer

New Star Cinema project approved

Cameo development gets unanimous council thumbs up

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Electoral reform vote in B.C. includes $500,000 each for pro and con groups

A mail-in ballot referendum will take place Oct. 22 to Nov. 30, asking two questions on voting

Most Read