January 30, 2013
Smart Meter News
customers now have smart meter option
Submitted by Orion Engar from Times columnist
Hydro appears to be backing away from plans to force smart meters on unhappy
customers, but it´s unclear if people can completely opt out of the program,
as suggested recently by Liberal MLA Gordon Hogg.
Both Hydro and Coleman refused Tuesday to address whether an opt-out program
for smart meters exists or had been suddenly created. Hogg also refused
NDP energy critic John Horgan called the change in position a "pre-election
Hail Mary" by the Liberals to get Hydro to back off smart meters until after
the May provincial election.
"At the start of January, they were going to go to the parapets and battle
it out. And now they've made a political calculation to say, 'We'll delay it
a few months until after May,' " Horgan said.
"It says, we don't want to agitate you right now, but if we win the
election, be assured
we're coming back and sticking a smart meter on your house."
Liberals need to clarify their muddled position on smart
initiative 'rife with discord'
Released by the BC NDP
Liberal government must clarify their muddled position on smart meter
installations and tell British Columbians just what options they have when
it comes to the smart meter program, say the New Democrats.
“One week customers are receiving threatening letters saying the meters will
be installed no matter what. The next week the energy minister pens an
opinion piece saying B.C. Hydro won’t install a new meter without the
homeowner’s consent,” said New Democrat energy critic John Horgan. “Which is
it? You can’t have it both ways.”
A statement issued this week from Liberal MLA Gordon Hogg’s office says
“Minister Coleman advised Gordon that individual home owners, who had not
yet had a smart meter installed on their home, would not have to have one.”
The statement goes on to say, “You will not be ‘forced’ into having one or
be in fear of it being installed when you are not home.”
Horgan said a call from his office to B.C. Hydro failed to clarify the
issue. A B.C. Hydro spokesperson was not aware of any written policy
regarding the energy minister’s comments.
“People in British Columbia are feeling harassed by the Liberal government
and B.C. Hydro contractors,” said Horgan. “The energy minister needs to be
clear, or that frustration and anger will continue to grow.”
Horgan said if the Liberals allowed the independent B.C. Utilities
Commission to look into a compromise that works for everyone, much of this
confusion could have been avoided.
“The smart meter initiative – a billion dollar expenditure – has been rife
with discord from the beginning, and the independent utilities commission
has been barred from overseeing the process,” said Horgan. “This Liberal
government is tired, and isn’t up to the challenge of addressing the
concerns of British Columbians."
B.C.’s New Democrats are committed to restoring the regulatory role of the
B.C. Utilities Commission, and will take practical steps to get B.C. Hydro
back on its feet to bring greater stability and proper long-term planning to
British Columbia’s energy policy.
Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice