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

Grassfire threatens Sooke home

Quick action by local firefighters quickly extinguished flames

Tomato planting controversy inspires Victoria author’s book on transforming cities

Woman behind the Collinson street mural pens third book

Victoria Humane Society needs volunteers after flood of puppies and kittens

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read