VICTORIA – BC Hydro has installed 93 per cent or 1.73 million of 1.87 million smart meters. To ensure the final seven per cent of smart meters can be installed, the Province is extending the deadline under the Clean Energy Act from Dec. 31, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2013.
Shortages in qualified labour, equipment and specialized meters, plus customer concerns, prevented BC Hydro from fully installing all smart meters in 2012.
The additional time will enable BC Hydro to complete the work and address as many customer concerns as possible before finalizing smart meter installations.
Smart meters are expected to pay for themselves by delivering $1.6 billion in benefits over 20 years. These are savings that BC Hydro will not have to collect from customers.
Research has shown that some of the new tools available through smart meters will enable customers to conserve up to 15 per cent in energy costs. Smart meters will make possible new conservation tools like secure online customer accounts and optional in-home devices that will provide homeowners with up-to-date information about power use.
Once smart meters are fully installed and operational, they will also let BC Hydro know of an outage immediately, so power can be restored faster.