BC Hydro smart meters are now installed in a majority of homes in the Lower Mainland.

BC Hydro smart meters are now installed in a majority of homes in the Lower Mainland.

Smart meters now in 70 per cent of Lower Mainland homes

More than 1,000 wireless power meters pulled over accuracy fears but most test okay, BC Hydro says

Smart meters are now installed in more than two-thirds of the households in the Lower Mainland.

BC Hydro officials say more than 720,000 meters are now installed in the region with close to 300,000 homes still to go.

The penetration rate is about 90 per cent already in Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, Langley and Chilliwack, according to Hydro statistics.

The new wireless meters are installed in about 74 per cent of Vancouver homes, 71 per cent in Surrey and White Rock,  63 per cent in Abbotsford and Mission, 61 per cent on the North Shore and 28 per cent in the Coquitlam/Maple Ridge areas.

Overall, more than 1.2 million smart meters are installed province-wide and officials say the rollout of their smart power grid is continuing without difficulty.

“We have had some challenges,” said Gary Murphy, chief project officer for the smart metering program.

The Crown corporation continues to field complaints about high bills, but Murphy said in many cases customers were not correctly comparing to the equivalent billing period and many were complaining about bills for usage that actually pre-dated installation of their smart meter.

BC Hydro has pulled 1,057 smart meters from service for testing at the direction of the meter manufacturer, which cited concern about a possible flaw with some meters during manufacturing.

Murphy said at least 700 have now been tested and just 0.5 per cent were found to be outside Measurement Canada’s accuracy standard of three per cent.

Bills are being adjusted for affected homeowners, resulting in credits ranging from five to 10 per cent for consumption while the errant smart meter was operational.

About two per cent of households continue to oppose installation of smart meters, according to Hydro communications manager Cindy Verschoor.

Opponents of the program argue smart meters pose a possible health hazard from adding an extra layer of radio frequency radiation and numerous B.C. city councils have passed resolutions urging Hydro to allow customers to opt out.

“It’s really not viable to offer an opt-out,” Verschoor said, but added Hydro has still not decided how it will respond to hold-outs.

Nobody in B.C. has yet opted to relocate their meter – at their own expense – to a more distant spot on their property, she added.

The B.C. Utilities Commission previously rejected smart meter opponents’ request for an injunction halting the program, although that decision is under appeal.

Newly released tests conducted by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control found a bank of 10 Hydro smart meters forced to all send signals at once – something that doesn’t happen in practice – results in exposure of about four microwatts per square centimeter at a range of 30 cm, compared to seven microwatts for a microwave oven, 9.6 for a cellphone and 15.6 for a baby monitor.

Time-averaged over a day, because the meters only actually operate one minute per day, the tests found exposure from a 10-meter bank in normal operation would be 0.0028 microwatts per square centimeter at 30 cm, dropping to 0.0012 at a range of three meters.

The BCCDC report said time-averaged RF exposure from smart meters at all of those ranges was “low” – less than 0.001 per cent of Health Canada’s safety limit of 600 microwatts per square centimeter of continuous exposure for general public areas.

According to the opposition group Citizens For Safe Technology, 48 B.C. municipalities – including Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and White Rock – have called for either a smart meter moratorium or an opt-out provision.

 

Just Posted

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read