New fees are coming for B.C. homeowners who refuse to have a smart meter installed.
The BC Utilities Commission has approved a $35/month fee that BC Hydro can charge to those who want to keep their analog meter, starting Dec. 1
It has also approved a one-time $100 set-up fee and a $20/month operating fee for those who keep the smart meter, but have the radio transmitter turned off. That starts April 1, 2014.
A third charge , one of $65, will be levied starting Oct. 25 to homeowners who fail to let crews install a meter on their property.
All the charges have been approved on an interim basis, and could change if the utilities commission decides.
Hydro has applied for them to cover costs for people who opt out of the smart meter grid.
The new fees are already being attacked by local anti-smart meter groups who are calling them undemocratic.
Sharon Noble is the director of ‘The Coalition to Stop Smart Meters,’ and she says the fees have enraged those who previously were on the fence about the meters.
She says, “I’m getting more than 300 emails a day from people who are absolutely livid about this. People who didn’t mind getting a smart meter for health reasons, they were concerned about democratic choice, these people especially are furious.”
She also points out a number of U.S. states where people had the choice to keep their old analog meter, without facing any additional fees.