I would like to respond to some misinformation that was recently published about the safety of BC Hydro’s smart meters.
BC Hydro is responsible for safely keeping the lights on and this is a responsibility we take very seriously. From our customers to our crews restoring power outages after storms, safety is our number one priority.
The new meter used by BC Hydro provides improved surge protection – up to 575 volts while digital meters only protects up to 385 volts. The old electromechanical (analog) meters do not offer any surge protection.
Further, our installers have identified over 2,000 cases where homeowners had pre-existing unsafe meter socket conditions. All of these potential safety hazards have been repaired by a certified electrician at no cost to the homeowner.
Addressing broken meter sockets mean a safer electrical grid and this has been confirmed in a report authored by the President of the B.C. Fire Chiefs. The report shows electrical related fires in residential structures are rare and have actually declined in British Columbia since we started installing new meters in July 2011. The report is available on line at www.ufv.ca.
BC Hydro has to meet rigorous safety standards for all of our grid equipment – including meters. Our meters are regulated by Measurement Canada, and are compliant with the American National Standards Institute, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
We have been exchanging meters for over 50 years and are committed to delivering power safely to our customers, now and in the future.
Chief Project Officer, Smart Metering and Infrastructure