Both BC Hydro and Fortis, have recently been given the right to allow people to opt out of the change to smart meters. The catch is that anyone opting out will be required to pay the cost of sending out a meter reader.
The only way this would be a fair solution is if BC Hydro and Fortis have been providing meter reading services to date out of the goodness of their hearts, and not charging for the service for the last century.
I don’t believe they have been, so the solution being approved by the Utilities Commission is really to charge double the cost for anyone who opts out.
The suggestion that those who opt out are being subsidized by those who opt in is clearly a divide and conquer strategy. We are all paying for the service regardless of whether one of our neighbours makes a living or the companies pocket the dough.
Since the companies are obviously going to save money by not providing meter reading, wouldn’t it be more fair if they reduced the bills of everyone who accepted smart meters to reflect that saving, since the basis of the rate includes the cost of meter reading? This “solution” amounts to very blatant double dipping.
Why are these companies being allowed to pocket all the benefit from the new technology? The Utilities Commission are either being dishonest, or they got hoodwinked.
They should give this a rethink.