I have been watching this smart meter issue for years and am still stunned that people are upset about the charge for manual meter readings.
First of all I cannot understand how people in an age where everyone has a cell phone, there are WiFi signals everywhere, we live with EMR from radio stations and transformers and every electric motor, and still believe that this minute signal is going to kill them. Let alone the million years of electro magnetic radiation that mankind has experienced from our sun which apparently has not wiped out mankind.
Still I realize that there are people that have unusual beliefs. There are people that believe the world is flat, there are those that believe UFOs are watching us and there are those that believe little bunnies deliver Easter eggs.
Nice thing about our society is that people are allowed to have these beliefs, but they must be prepared to pay for them.
I think BC Hydro was very generous by saying if you do not want a smart meter reading of your electric consumption, you can opt for a manual alternative. But this means an employee getting into a car and driving to your house, getting out and walking to your meter and manually writing down the readings, returning to the office and manually entering this in the system.
How could anyone think this is not an extra cost?
If you order something and do not want to wait for mail you can order it to be delivered by courier and would expect to pay extra. So it should be the same for those that want manual reading of their meters.
The extra cost is not bullying (as depicted in your recent editorial cartoon); it is just a charge for special service.