I would like to respond to some misinformation that was recently published about the security of BC Hydro’s smart meters.
BC Hydro has the responsibility to deliver power safely and securely to 1.9 million customers around the province. That’s why we are installing the best available technology and equipment to meet that obligation.
BC Hydro takes the privacy of its customers seriously. All customer information will continue to be protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This act does not allow for the disclosure of customer information to a third party unless required by law.
The new meters do not provide BC Hydro with real-time consumption information nor can they identify the specific appliance or activity that used the electricity. They record total energy consumption by the hour and send the encrypted consumption data to BC Hydro three times a day. The data is transmitted through secure channels, processed in secured facilities, and managed by rigorous access control policies.
Further, the smart metering program is about more than just exchanging meters – it’s about upgrading the province’s aging electricity grid. Now that 95 per cent of the new meters have been installed, customers are beginning to see the benefits of a more modern electrical system.
For example, smart meters have made it possible for customers to see more timely information about their electricity use through their secure MyHydro account. This new feature allows customers to track their energy use by the hour up to the previous day and see their projected cost for the current billing period. This feature and other conservation tools will help customers conserve energy and save money.
The automated billing system will also eliminate routinely estimated bills and manual data entry errors, ensuring customers are billed only for the power they use in that billing period.
Later this year, customers will benefit from automatic outage detection that will help our crews restore power faster and safer.
We thank customers for their support and patience as we work to modernize our electricity system so we can continue to safely provide the electricity needed to power homes and business around the province every day.
Chief Project Officer, Smart Metering and Infrastructure