Letter: Hydro responds

Smart meter rationale explained by BC Hydro project officer

Re: “Clarification on smart meters,” Sooke News Mirror, Sep 12.

Smart meters communicate using radio frequency signals that are similar to what has been used for decades in televisions, radios and other common household devices. B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, Health Canada and the World Health Organization all confirm the wireless meters pose no known health risks.

Planetworks Consulting, a certified engineering firm located in North Vancouver, has conducted independent testing on the meters that isolated the smart meter from other sources of radio frequency common to our everyday lives. The testing confirmed that a BC Hydro smart meter communicates for about 1.4 seconds per day and has a power density of 2 microwatts per square centimeter. These results have been signed, sealed and certified by a professional engineer.

These signals are far below Canadian guidelines and are even below the strictest precautionary limits in the world, set out by Switzerland.

We investigate every customer billing complaint thoroughly. In the vast majority of cases – over 99 per cent – we are able to sort it out by looking at the customer’s consumption history. In some cases, we make mistakes such as data inputting errors and inaccurate bill estimates. Once the new smarter system is in place these problems will be eliminated as there will be no more routinely estimated bills or manual meter misreads.

The accuracy of our meters is also overseen by Measurement Canada, a federal consumer protection agency.

Further, we are responsible for ensuring the safety of all our electrical grid equipment, including meters. We are accountable to the BC Safety Authority and all meters are regulated by the American National Standards Institute, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Smart meters are an important part of upgrading and modernizing the electricity grid which delivers power to almost 1.9 million customers and supports our economy. They will also get the lights back on faster during power outages and provide customers with tools to conserve energy and save money.

Upgrading the electrical metering system and grid will deliver $1.6 billion in savings to British Columbians over the next 20 years and help keep our rates among the lowest in North America.

Gary Murphy

Chief Project Officer, Smart Metering and Infrastructure

BC Hydro

Just Posted

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

Sooke distillery wins an international award for best gin

After less than four years, Sheringham is racking up the awards

Pacific FC to face off against HFX Wanderers FC at inaugural match

First game at Westhills Stadium on April 28

West Shore lands Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Event coming to Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort Spa in February 2020

BC Housing remains open to modular housing in Saanich, but acknowledges slow regional up take

Only one project with 21 units underway in the Greater Victoria

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

Most Read