Refusing a BC Hydro smart meter will cost holdouts as much as $35 per month.

Smart meter opt-out fee much lower in U.S.: MLA

Weaver says comparison shows BC Hydro has no justification

BC Hydro’s planned fee of $35 a month for people who continue to refuse wireless smart meters is “outrageous” and isn’t justified based on what other jurisdictions charge, according to B.C.’s lone Green Party MLA.

Andrew Weaver (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) said the proposed charge for manual meter readings is as high a many people’s entire power bills.

“People perceive it as price gouging,” he said, adding the fees should accurately reflect Hydro costs and not generate extra profit.”

Weaver pointed to some U.S. states that have similar opt-out programs from smart meters but charge much less.

California charges $10 a month after a $75 up-front fee, while low-income customers pay $5 a month after a $10 initial fee.

Maine charges $12 a month for analog meter readings, after a $40 initial charge.

BC Hydro’s fees still require approval by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

Weaver said he’s urging the regulators to reject the $35 fee here based on the disparity with charges elsewhere.

Holdouts here can also opt to take a smart meter with the transmitter disabled for a $100 one-time fee followed by $20 each month.

Maine’s radio-disabled smart meter option costs $20 up front then $10.50 a month.

Weaver said he doesn’t oppose wireless smart meters but added Hydro must provide a reasonable opt-out.

He said BC Hydro’s price would be more logical if it were charged not monthly but on each actual meter reading every few months.

Just Posted

Three generations of trauma: Phyllis Webstad shares experience in residential school

The creator of Orange Shirt Day is in the Comox Valley, speaking about the trauma of residential schools

Comox Valley Airport features work from nationally renown artist

A significant new painting “Lions of the Sea,” featuring life-sized stellar and… Continue reading

Comox Valley Hospice Society Ultimate Fifty/50 Raffle winner announced

James Maxwell bought his ticket at Canadian Tire

Dinner, dance in honour of Kenny Shaw

Comox Legion honours one of the Valley’s prominent volunteers

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read