Smart meters arrive in Ladysmith

BC Hydro’s smart meters are currently being installed in Ladysmith.

  • Oct. 11, 2011 3:00 p.m.
BC Hydro’s smart meters are currently being installed in Ladysmith.

BC Hydro’s smart meters are currently being installed in Ladysmith.

BC Hydro’s smart meters are currently being installed in Ladysmith.

According to an email from Jennifer Young, media relations for BC Hydro, the work started last week and should take until Feb. 12 to complete.

There are 7,587 homes to be installed with smart meters in Ladysmith.

Young said the process is a simple one, adding most customers don’t need to be home at the time of installation. The install takes around 10 minutes.

According to background documents from BC Hydro, customers should have been notified of the installation.

Young said while most people have been supportive of the meters, BC Hydro is willing to work with people who are uncomfortable having them next to their house.

“Most people are fine with a smart meter on their home, and for the small number who are not, we will work with them on an individual basis to find a solution, which may mean, in some cases, installing it further away from their house, at their own cost. The options and the cost of those options will depend on each customer’s unique circumstances,” said Young in the email.

Cindy Verschoor, manager of public affairs for smart metering, says the meters are completely safe, noting public health officials, including B.C.’s Provincial Health officer Dr. Perry Kendall, have cleared BC Hydro’s meters as OK.

“These meters are communicating for a total of a minute a day at one-onehundredth the power of cellphone,” Verschoor said, noting the meters register below Health Canada and international standards.

“What we’re asking customers is if they do have concerns, please give us a call, let us know. Most of the time we can address customers concerns if we have a chance to talk to them,” she said.

Even customers who have had them installed already can have them moved for a cost.

The box the meter is attached to is the customer’s property and serves as the end point of the energy grid and the smart meter program is part of modernizing a grid not capable of handling the increase of electronic devises people are using, she said.

“The grid was never built to accommodate that,” Verschoor said.

“That is why this is such an important program, it is actually going to make the grid more efficient, more cost effective.”

The energy savings amount to 74,000 homes/year she said.

The call centre number is 1-866-535-5505.

Customers can email smartmeters@bchydro.com.