Fact sheet

Smart Metering program

  • The Smart Metering program was an important and necessary investment, helping BC Hydro modernize its aging electricity system. Since 2011, BC Hydro has installed 1.93 million smart meters – more than 99 per cent of customers have a new meter.
  • The program was completed on-time at the end of 2015 and about $150 million under budget. In the first five years of the program, smart meters delivered $235 million in benefits. Smart meters are expected to deliver $1.1 billion in benefits in total.

Benefit: theft detection

  • Several years ago, BC Hydro determined more than 60 per cent of grow ops were stealing electricity from BC Hydro. This cost BC Hydro customers about $100 million per year.
  • That’s why BC Hydro took a number of steps to combat theft, including smart meters, distribution system inventory, analytics and enhanced field inspection.
  • The program's business case projected a reduction in electricity theft to peak at 75 per cent by the end of fiscal 2016. Smart meters have exceeded that by reducing theft by more than 80 per cent.
  • Theft detection benefits paid for the cost of the theft detection portion of the program within 12 months.

Benefit: conservation tools

  • Nearly one million customers are using tools enabled by smart meters to save them money.
  • With smart meters, customers can view their hourly and daily energy use through their free online MyHydro account.
  • Customers can also use home energy monitors that show real-time electricity use in kilowatt hours, dollars and cents.

Benefit: outage detection

  • Smart meters help crews restore outages faster after major storm events.
  • BC Hydro can now remotely check meters in an area to ensure power has been restored, allowing crews to move to the next outage sooner.

Benefit: accurate billing

  • Smart meters are providing customers with more accurate bills.
  • Ninety-eight per cent of customers with smart meters are receiving automated bills thanks to remote meter reading. This has made customer bills more accurate due to reduced manual meter reads and bill estimates.

Benefit: safety

  • Smart meters are making our system safer.
  • More than 3,000 pre-existing unsafe meter socket conditions were repaired during meter exchanges by a certified electrician at no cost to homeowner.

Benefit: distributed generation

  • Smart meters have laid the foundation for more widespread use of small scale, green distributed electricity generation including solar and wind power.
  • Over the past several years, the number of residential and small business customers installing solar panels under our Net Metering program increased significantly. There are more than 850 customers using solar panels across the province.

Contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468