Those who choose to stick with their old meter will pay a monthly unspecified fee to cover the cost of reading the meter as well as supporting both systems.
Another option would be to have a digital meter installed, but with the radio off. That would incur a one-time cost to modify the meter, along with a monthly reading fee.
Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, says the decision to provide opt out options came from public concern, and adds that it was important that the cost be borne by the user, and not subsidized by the rest of its customers.
“This decision finds an appropriate balance between addressing the concerns raised by people who have put their meter installation on hold, while ensuring that the majority of customers who have a standard smart meter will not be paying for those who select an opt out option,” he says. “I believe that this is a fair and reasonable solution for all British Columbians.”
B.C. Hydro will be responsible for establishing the costs, but will be reviewed by the B.C. Utilities Commission to make sure the Crown corporation is only recovering the costs of providing and servicing the options.
At this point, 96 per cent of B.C. Hydro customers have smart meters installed, while 60,000 installations have been delayed by customer request.