BC energy minister looks dumb denying meters at fault

Smart meters far from infallible as increasing number of cases are proving.

Energy Minister Rich Coleman has labelled as “urban myth” reports of skyrocketing bills in some homes after BC Hydro installed smart meters.

“This is nonsense,” Coleman told The Province. “They give you a story, we check it out and find out there’s nothing wrong with the smart meter. We find out there’s something like a space heater operating through the winter.”


A space heater can make a bimonthly bill increase to $2,000 from its usual $200 for a 78-year-old senior in Powell River.

And, it must have been one heck of a space heater than caused the bimonthly hydro bill at a Kamloops home to jump to $4,800.

The fact is, as has been shown by zany numbers on the bills, smart meters are not infallible and Coleman and the B.C. Liberals need to greet complaints with a little more respect and a lot less scorn.

Yes, there are undoubtedly instances in which bills that are marginally higher can be attributed to the use of more heat during a cold winter.

But, to suggest anything other than malfunction in cases of hydro bills jumping 10 or 20 times in cost is an affront to the B.C. taxpayer, overburdened as they are by the vast array of fee hikes thrown at them this year — including a BC Hydro rate hike as of April 1, though one that cannot possibly account for staggering sums such as those described here and elsewhere.

Sharelynn Moore, vice-president of corporate communications for Itron, the Washington-based company that supplied BC Hydro with smart meters, said the Kamloops meter is the first it knows of that has been malfunctioning in this way.

Moore said less than 0.5 per cent of smart meters in use have malfunctioned.

We have no reason to doubt her.

But, as the cases in Kamloops and Powell River and elsewhere seem to show, far from being an “urban myth,” even a miniscule ratio of malfunctioning smart meters can make the statements of some politicians look dumb by comparison.

-Kamloops This Week


Just Posted

UPDATE: Trans-Canada Highway reopens after fatal collision west of Salmon Arm

Police collision analysis and reconstruction investigating scene of head-on crash

Man charged in Salmon Arm church shooting returns to court

Provincial Court judge allows two-week adjournment in murder, assault changes

Two girls teams and one boys team to play “B Cup” Provincials in July

The U14 Girls, the U13/14 Boys and the U16 Girls have all qualified for provincials

North Okanagan student relearns how to take steps forward

The Vernon Convocation starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Vernon campus, OC Facebook to stream event

Shuswap Trail Alliance to oversee Sicamous-to-Armstrong rail trail planning

Regional district relies on non-profit organization’s expertise on trail projects

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Sandwiches and mascara could mean driving fines

RCMP say if you cause an accident well eating you could be penalized

Truck smashes fence, building and knocks out power in Okanagan

Two heavily intoxicated men were discovered at the crash scene

Delta cat severely injured in animal trap was likely stuck for days, owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Alleged Okanagan shoplifter tracked down by RCMP

Vernon retail store’s loss prevention officer’s description of suspect helps lead to arrest

District staff consider updated GHG emission reduction targets in Summerland

Residents suggest plastic bag ban, cohousing, having new developments be “solar ready” at open house

No lawyer for man involved in Kelowna crime spree

Stephen Ear Skinner had his court date moved to July 9

HIV tests now part of most Emergency Department blood work

There are up to 15 per cent of “HIV-positive individuals who are unaware of their HIV status.”

Most Read