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NEWS RELEASE · 17th November 2011
BC Conservative Party
John Cummins and the BC Conservatives are calling on the government to end Hydro's ill-advised plan to install smart meters across the province.

"British Columbians are upset about smart meters, and rightly so," said John Cummins, leader of the BC Conservatives. "They do nothing to protect the environment, and the only people who stand to gain from smart meters are the Liberal insiders who get juicy contracts to install them."

Despite BC Hydro's mounting debt of $2.2 billion, the crown corporation continues to pursue this costly endeavour. In the face of clear opposition by the citizens of British Columbia, Hydro is embarking on an expensive ad campaign, reminiscent of the Liberal's failed HST campaign from earlier this summer.

BC Hydro and Minister Coleman claim that the meters are being used to educate us on our energy consumption, not to increase electricity bills by charging extra for peak period energy consumption. The government will only guarantee the meters will not be used to charge for time of use consumption until the next election.

"And then what?," asked Cummins. "Charge British Columbian families a premium for power to cook their supper because supper time is a period of peak energy consumption?"

"The smart meter initiative goes beyond simple monitoring of consumption. It is clearly the intention of this Liberal government and BC Hydro to announce higher billing charges at peak periods after the election. People are going to be punished for performing normal, everyday tasks that they cannot do at other times because they go to work or school."

"The Liberal government should never have let BC Hydro proceed with its smart meter program. It is a terrible initiative that will ultimately cost the tax payers of this province dearly."
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 18th November 2011
The difference might be in the source for power. If, as we do in BC, it is dependent on hydro electricity then you can't shut down the whole generating plant to save money because there is less use. If you shut down a generator then you just spill the water. Where is the saving? All the transmission systems still need to be fully loaded.

The only way this smart meters makes any sense ie. will save the consumer money, is if consumer starts sleeping by day and working at night. How likely is that? So a two-tiered price structure is highly possible. Then the question is: For what purpose?
@ Judah - no tinfoil hat here!
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 18th November 2011
If you have been watching this unfold and read all of these posts then you would know that meters were installed when people were not home. They had no opportunity to object. I personally witnessed this when the Corex truck came around. This also not as easy as having dinner at 7.

Secondly, BC Hydro revenue is all based on the principle that if somebody pays less, then somebody else pays more. Most people sleep at night and work during the day. You advocate changing people's schedules, not because it cost more to generate a kwh during the day but because there is a surplus generating capacity at night. Costs are the same. So if cost are the same, why does one group of consumers pay more when another pays less.

Thirdly, this could be a very subtle way to subsidize business. Plants who run a night shift would pay less and since BC Hydro must meet its cost, those who can't go on shift will pay more.

Ever since WAC Bennett started BC Hydro we have enjoyed lower hydro rates, some of the lowest in North America. Suddenly BC Hydro has a massive debt and a full $1 billion of that comes out of smart meters that are suppose to save us money. Save us money? We could stop buying IPP power at double what it sells for on the market.

I am no conservative but on this issue John Cummins has it right.
Comment by Martin on 18th November 2011
In Germany were I grew up they started charging different rates at different times in the early 70's (without smartmeters).
Night times(rates) were the lowest, but then people installed storage heaters and the peak consumption occured after mightnight, so the rates changed again.
Comment by Judah on 18th November 2011
Seems like a lot of confusion in these comments. Whats wrong with being charged more for peak time usage? Think about it. It will make it cheaper and more effective to wash your clothes at night, or to cook dinner at 7, or 4, or whatever it may be. They do this all over the world and throughout North America, it will only be a matter of time before they do it here. Take the tin foil hats off people. You had the right to refuse the smart meter installation. And considering the Corix trucks were here in Terrace for the last 5 months there were many opportunities for you to speak up.
Question +
Comment by Dave on 18th November 2011
There are a couple of Dave's commenting on the Daily - hope we don't get mixed up.
How do these smart meters report?
Cell phone? If so who got that contract Telus, Rogers, NWTel? Also if so why are they installed where there is no cell service?
Do they report through the grid? If so why are they installed in communities not on the grid?
Just another waste of big money probably to insider manufacturers (bet their not Canadian made) and installation companies and how many meter readers just lost their jobs??
Dey terk er jerbs!
Comment by Mr. P. Martini on 18th November 2011
And what of the plight of the humble meter reader?
I am sorry my meter....
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 17th November 2011
I am sorry my meter is so stupid, but that is just too bad. I have not yet finished admiring my brand-new-stupid-analog-meter that I saved a really long time for. I hired contractors, who ordered appropriate, fancy "upgrade," had my power turned off for a day.....blah, blah, blah. I was told this would support electrical safety. Blah, blah, blah. Why doesn't Walmart take on the marketing of "smart meters?"

not a happy camper
Comment by mbw on 17th November 2011
What do you think?

I now have two smart meters on our property, installed without my express consent when we were not home.

I am trying to get them removed and everyone is falling silent. Even my MLA is apparently helpless in the face of it all, offering little more than moral support.

Am I mad? Oh yes.
Question to ask
Comment by Bryon Heighington on 17th November 2011
Ask this question to all the candidates that are running for municipal office.
" Will you put Terrace on the list of other BC communities saying NO to the Smart Meter and not allow them to be installed and have the ones that are installed to be removed."
Maybe this will help people make up there mind on which candidate is right for you. As for me I am not in favour of them.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 17th November 2011
Referring to the comment: "It is clearly the intention of this Liberal government and BC Hydro to announce higher billing charges at peak periods after the election. People are going to be punished for performing normal, everyday tasks that they cannot do at other times because they go to work or school."

I read somewhere that BC Hydro has stated they have no intention of doing this. Now if they take their lead from the government.....they wouldn't? Would they?