Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

Smart Meter News

Opt-out Overdue

BC Hydro customers now have smart meter option

Submitted by Orion Engar from Times columnist Rob Shaw

 

C 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 comment.

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."
 

 

News Release

Liberals need to clarify their muddled position on smart meter installations

Smart meter initiative 'rife with discord'

Released by the BC NDP

 

he 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.
 


 


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