Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Smart Meter II

I talked once before about the new electrical "Smart Meters" that our power company is installing. These meters incorporate a cell phone and read themselves. There are privacy issues involved and there is a movement to stop the installation of these hi-tech devices.

Well, my son had these new meters installed on his house a couple of months ago. His bill has always averaged $300 per month. He runs his shop off the house power so his usage has always been higher than normal but it always averaged $300. His first bill after the new meter was installed was $600 for one month! He just assumed it was an error and called to get it fixed. Before long his second bill came in for another $600! He now owed them $1200 for two months! He called to complain and they said the reading was based on usage and was correct. He asked them to test the meter and was told they would not. He could have it tested at his own expense but the bill must be paid in the meantime or his power would be cut off. No negotiations.

He then got the bill for the meter on the vacant suite. Not only is the suite vacant but the power is not even connected at the breaker panel in the suite as the inspections have not been completed. The power company says the empty suite has used $400 worth of electricity in two months!

He called again and after explaining the situation, they reversed this charge. He then suggested that they may have a batch of faulty meters but got nowhere with them. The battle continues but he had to give them some money to avoid being disconnected. They are not interested in discussing the problem. Their attitude is, just shut up and pay!

They have not yet started replacing our meters in Campbell River and I am going to put a sign on mine telling them they do not have permission to change it. Stay tuned.


  1. That doesn't sound good at all. We've had a smart meter on our place for a couple years now, and there was no difference in the bill at all. I was a little concerned at first, but wasn't there to deal with it.
    Good luck.

  2. Not acceptable! Maybe he should go to the media with the story.

  3. Croft, I have been reading about all of these faulty meters and I too will place a sign stating that I do not authorize the change of meters.

    There is a strong movement here, in the Greater Vancouver Area, to have these new meters banned.

  4. He should go the BCTV and report his story to "? On Your Side". THis morning, BCTV news reported that Vancouver City COuncil were debating a motion to allow Vancouverites to opt out of Smart Meters.

  5. Croft -- Contessa is exactly right. Before this gets out of hand, I would also consult with an attorney, preferably one who has sued the power company before. The media would know who that might be. He needs to spend a little extra money to have the meters tested by a private company recommended by the above attorney. The attorney would then send a "cease and "desist" letter regarding sending bogus bills. Once this problem has been corrected, then the attorney would send the power company a bill for your expenses. Also, when too many people are having the same problem and the power company does not correct the problem, these people join together in filing a legal complaint (which, of course, the media will become privy to!!). You would be surprised how fast the power company replaces or repairs that meter.

    (in South Carolina)

  6. Croft, We had our smart meter installed this morning.Skip asked the installer if our bill would go up,and was told that the smart meters aren't faulty, that it is the old meters that are not accurate anymore.

  7. Her in Ontario we are having some issues with the meters. The utility went through 3 smart meters over the winter, we got estimated billing and some billing at the previous fixed rate (a bargain!). The meters stopped sending info and I guess there are no meter readers remaining to check.

    The meters are a rip off, at least here in Ontario, if you calculate the cost of electricity(say for a 100 watt light bulb)over 24 hours using the old and new rates guess what?? The smart meters and different time of use rates result in a higher bill!

    A rate increase disguised as a conservation initiative!

    Al (almcc)

  8. hey good morning croft ,just to say we have smart meters here in ontario and it has dropped our hydro bill quite a bit ,now we use the hydro at the low peak times for laundry and such ,not sure for the air this summer ,but ,anyways we didnt have an option as to take or not ,just came home one day and they were installed ,no forward and no letter ,,ok good to read your blogs.

  9. Scary stuff! Don't you just love a monopoly! "We don't care, we don't have to." Hope they can get that stupidity straightened out without too much hassle.

  10. We pay ahead on our electric bill in Xico, Veracruz to cover the six months we are not here. A couple of years ago we stayed away longer than planned, We ended up ONE PESO (about 8 cents US) short to cover the bill before we returned. CFE (Mexican electric company) shut-off our power for the one peso dependency.

    We had been paying in advance for some 5 years without a problem btw. There was a 300 peso fee to reconnect the electric.Pretty heartless on this side of the borders too I would say.

    PS. I am sure this does not make you feel any better - me - well maybe a little ;-)