B.C. Hydro finally owns up to defective smart meter

One day in early March, Trapper Cameron’s father-in-law came home from walking the dog to find B.C. Hydro workers on his lawn and up on his roof.

They had come for Cameron’s new smart meter, which they had ripped off the wall of his home.

“The meter just kept going around and around and around,” the Kamloops resident told me. “They told me it was ringing up about five or six times the actual power I was using. I guess they thought I had a grow-op or something.”

The workers took the smart meter away and installed a new one.

And now B.C. Hydro is admitting — for the very first time — that one of its celebrated new smart meters was grossly over-charging a customer for electricity.

“It wasn’t working properly — it was very strange,” customer-care director Jim Nicholson told me, adding B.C. Hydro has launched an investigation into the “anomaly.”

The smart meter was installed at Cameron’s house Jan. 5 and removed March 9. During that two-month period, the smart meter measured 48,285 kilowatt hours, which works out to a bill of more than $4,800.

“It’s outlandish — just crazy,” Nicholson said. “It was running at an incredible rate.”

Nicholson said B.C. Hydro discovered the malfunctioning meter and removed it before Cameron received an inflated bill.

But that’s not what Cameron says. The trucking company employee told me he got a bill from B.C. Hydro at the end of March for more than $1,000 — about six times higher than his usual bill.

“I thought, ‘Holy crap! I’m not paying this!’” Cameron said. “I called B.C. Hydro right away and they cancelled the bill.”

He said B.C. Hydro sent him a new bill for around $180.

Hundreds of Province readers have contacted me with stories of B.C. Hydro bills that doubled, tripled, quadrupled or spiked even higher — all after receiving a new smart meter.

But B.C. Hydro has insisted its smart meters are working perfectly and have fiercely denied widespread customer complaints of over-billing.

B.C. Hydro said anyone with a high bill must have consumed more power during the winter, and Energy Minister Rich Coleman called stories of over-billing smart meters “an urban myth.”

But now that B.C. Hydro admits Cameron’s smart meter was over-charging him in Kamloops, the spin is changing.

“Like any kind of electronic equipment, you’re going to get some that just go weird,” Nicholson said. He said Cameron’s smart meter is the first with a confirmed malfunction out of one million meters installed so far.

Nicholson said Cameron’s one-in-a-million meter is now undergoing an electronic autopsy at a Vancouver lab. He said B.C. Hydro has alerted Itron, the American manufacturer of the meter, which is tracing records at its South Carolina factory.

But NDP energy critic John Horgan said that’s not enough.

“This program is off the rails,” Horgan said. “We need an independent investigation.”

I’m personally not surprised B.C. Hydro finally admits its smart meters are capable of over-charging customers. There have been way too many stories of hyper-inflated bills that defy explanation.

Now it’s time for the B.C. Utilities Commission to get involved, before any more B.C. Hydro customers get ripped off.



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

New Westminster shooting Sikh Wedding

Sikh wedding shooting trial postponed for a year due to “matters that arose”

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The trial over a prominent Surrey broadcaster’s connection with a shooting at a 2010 Sikh wedding came to an abrupt halt…
Continue Reading »

Toronto-Vancouver-Punjabi

SAFA brings “India Live” to Vancouver’s block party on Granville Street

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s not-for-profit South Asian Family Association (SAFA) is bringing a new kind of festival to the downtown core that will offer…
Continue Reading »

India-Canada

Indian women’s hockey team beats Canada 4-2 in Glasgow

IANS Glasgow – The Indian women’s hockey team beat Canada 4-2 in the opening match of the Commonwealth Games here Thursday. The match started in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Today in History – Aug. 7

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 7: On this date: In AD 117, Roman emperor Marcus Trajan died at age 65. His…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Aug. 6

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 6: On this date: In 1623, Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare, died. In 1691, Henry…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Aug. 4

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 4: On this date: In 1586, a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I was uncovered. Anthony…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »

Greece

Tipsy British tourist asked to leave church after mistaking it for a disco

CEN AGENCY A tipsy British tourist had to be asked to leave a church in Crete where he started dancing after local kids told him…
Continue Reading »

Kolkata-India-cruelty-abuse

Private tutor mercilessly beats child, CCTV footage sparks outrage (w/video)

IANS Kolkata – A shocking video of a private tutor mercilessly beating a three-and-a-half-year-old child, caught on CCTV footage, has sparked outrage across the country….
Continue Reading »

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi beauty

Gallery: Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

VANCOUVER DESI Longines Ambassador of Elegance Aishwarya Rai Bachchan attended the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014. Take a look at photos from the opening ceremony….
Continue Reading »

Slam! The Tour  poster Horizdesi

Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone gear up for Bollywood extravaganzas in Vancouver, Toronto and the U.S.

IANS New Delhi – Superstar Shah Rukh Khan is ready to shake a leg with his fans in the US after a gap of 10…
Continue Reading »

Actress Alia Bhatt attends the Highway premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

Alia Bhatt feels she’s too young to team up with Bollywood’s Khans

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood’s reigning Khans are in their late 40s and 21-year-old Alia Bhatt feels she needs to look more matured to look convincing…
Continue Reading »