The simple solution is to have the refusniks simply read their own meters and report it to Hydro or Fortis.
The old meters can be read by anyone with a Grade 3 education. Many customers in remote locations do this now and see the meter reader once a year.
The $20 fee is simply blood money.
The consumption data for individuals and groups is less valuable to advertisers and industry managers if it is not complete. Schmuck meters are simply a way of sucking more revenue out of customers and changing their consumption habits to reduce peak loads.