Smart meter complaint rejected
The B.C. Utilities Commission has dismissed an complaint by an anti-smart meter group trying to put a stop to BC Hydro's installation of the meters.
Citizens for Safe Technology applied to the commission in late December seeking a "freeze" on the installation of wireless electricity consumption meters. Lawyer David Aaron argued that the province's Clean Energy Act exempts the installation from commission approval, but the legislation doesn't cover the "wireless and snooping component of the smart meter program."
The commission found that the term "snooping" referred to a radio chip in each meter that would only be activated if the customer wishes to install an in-home feedback device to show electricity consumption readings from the meter on a small wall display.
Once the smart meter system is complete, BC Hydro customers will be able to review their consumption by logging into their online account, which currently displays BC Hydro bills and a summary of manual meter readings and estimates of consumption. The in-home display is an option to make tracking consumption more convenient.
In its submission, BC Hydro said the chip is not capable of collecting or storing data, "real-time collection and monitoring of detailed information" or remote control of networked appliances or systems.
The commission also noted that the provincial legislation did not prescribe any particular kind of meter, but left the technical details to BC Hydro engineers.