Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall is supporting calls for an independent review of BC Hydro’s smart meter program.
Mungall spoke in the legislature this week to back an NDP motion condeming the decision to remove the program from BC Utilities Commission oversight.
“What this motion does is ensure that that oversight, that independent body that works in the public interest, is going to protect the public interest,” Mungall said in a news release. “Residents at the north end of Kootenay Lake are concerned and they want to see a fair process that upholds the public’s interest.”
Legislation to introduce the controversial meters will bypass the utilities commission review process, which Mungall says opens the floodgates to “massive spending without public accountability.”
She adds that some residents report their smart meters have caused their bills to jump 300 per cent, while 1,000 meters have been uninstalled because of such problems.
“Lardeau Valley residents want to see some due diligence,” said Mungall. “They want to see this government take their concerns seriously, and they want to see that the BC Utilities Commission is able to do its job.”
FortisBC, which serves much of West Kootenay, also plans to introduce “advanced metering infrastructure” as well, but will have to apply for regulatory approval.
Nelson Hydro already uses wireless meters to track customers’ consumption, but they lack the same features as the smart meters BC Hydro is installing.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay has passed a couple of motions supporting the rights of consumers to opt out of smart meters.