BC Hydro smart meters are now installed in a majority of homes in the Lower Mainland.

BC Hydro smart meters are now installed in a majority of homes in the Lower Mainland.

Smart meters now in 70 per cent of Lower Mainland homes

More than 1,000 wireless power meters pulled over accuracy fears but most test okay, BC Hydro says

Smart meters are now installed in more than two-thirds of the households in the Lower Mainland.

BC Hydro officials say more than 720,000 meters are now installed in the region with close to 300,000 homes still to go.

The penetration rate is about 90 per cent already in Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, Langley and Chilliwack, according to Hydro statistics.

The new wireless meters are installed in about 74 per cent of Vancouver homes, 71 per cent in Surrey and White Rock,  63 per cent in Abbotsford and Mission, 61 per cent on the North Shore and 28 per cent in the Coquitlam/Maple Ridge areas.

Overall, more than 1.2 million smart meters are installed province-wide and officials say the rollout of their smart power grid is continuing without difficulty.

“We have had some challenges,” said Gary Murphy, chief project officer for the smart metering program.

The Crown corporation continues to field complaints about high bills, but Murphy said in many cases customers were not correctly comparing to the equivalent billing period and many were complaining about bills for usage that actually pre-dated installation of their smart meter.

BC Hydro has pulled 1,057 smart meters from service for testing at the direction of the meter manufacturer, which cited concern about a possible flaw with some meters during manufacturing.

Murphy said at least 700 have now been tested and just 0.5 per cent were found to be outside Measurement Canada’s accuracy standard of three per cent.

Bills are being adjusted for affected homeowners, resulting in credits ranging from five to 10 per cent for consumption while the errant smart meter was operational.

About two per cent of households continue to oppose installation of smart meters, according to Hydro communications manager Cindy Verschoor.

Opponents of the program argue smart meters pose a possible health hazard from adding an extra layer of radio frequency radiation and numerous B.C. city councils have passed resolutions urging Hydro to allow customers to opt out.

“It’s really not viable to offer an opt-out,” Verschoor said, but added Hydro has still not decided how it will respond to hold-outs.

Nobody in B.C. has yet opted to relocate their meter – at their own expense – to a more distant spot on their property, she added.

The B.C. Utilities Commission previously rejected smart meter opponents’ request for an injunction halting the program, although that decision is under appeal.

Newly released tests conducted by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control found a bank of 10 Hydro smart meters forced to all send signals at once – something that doesn’t happen in practice – results in exposure of about four microwatts per square centimeter at a range of 30 cm, compared to seven microwatts for a microwave oven, 9.6 for a cellphone and 15.6 for a baby monitor.

Time-averaged over a day, because the meters only actually operate one minute per day, the tests found exposure from a 10-meter bank in normal operation would be 0.0028 microwatts per square centimeter at 30 cm, dropping to 0.0012 at a range of three meters.

The BCCDC report said time-averaged RF exposure from smart meters at all of those ranges was “low” – less than 0.001 per cent of Health Canada’s safety limit of 600 microwatts per square centimeter of continuous exposure for general public areas.

According to the opposition group Citizens For Safe Technology, 48 B.C. municipalities – including Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and White Rock – have called for either a smart meter moratorium or an opt-out provision.

 

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

Just Posted

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Sources team members (left to right) Carrie Belanger, Abby Gemino, Tatiana Belyaeva, Yasmin de Joya-Pagal cheer during the 2020 Coldest Night of the Year event. This year’s event will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sources photo)
White Rock’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser goes virtual

Annual walk raises funds for variety of Sources programs and services

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Scott Ackles

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read