The facts about why we may need to exchange some meters
Are you replacing 88,000 faulty smart meters?
There are not 88,000 faulty smart meters. Like any electronic equipment, we are anticipating having to replace 10,000 smart meters a year for the next four years through normal course of business: broken screens, software upgrades, exterior damage, etc.
The other 48,000 meters will enter Measurement Canada’s routine meter testing process to verify they are measuring accurately. Once the tests are complete, they will reenter our inventory.
Over the last three years, we have tested hundreds of smart meters in independent labs at the request of customers and not one has failed an accuracy test.
Was this work included in the original business case? Does it exceed the estimated cost?
This work is not related to the smart meter program. We issued “requests for proposals” for meter and grid equipment maintenance, Measurement Canada meter testing and meter replacements prior to smart meters. We are simply returning to that practice.
The smart meter program was budgeted at $930 million and it’s forecasted to come in more than $100 million under budget.
Why did BC Hydro issue a “request for proposals”?
The “request for proposals” ensures we have the resources and equipment available to support our day-to-day operations across the province.
How long do the new meters last?
New meters have a minimum life expectancy of 20 years. Like any electronic equipment, some of those meters may need to be replaced over time. These replacements are currently covered under warranty with our meter vendor.
University of the Fraser Valley studies show fewer residential structure fires associated with electrical distribution equipment in B.C. since the installation of smart meters.