Despite thousands of people being in the dark for upwards of 40 hours after a massive windstorm over the weekend, BC Hydro claims its smart meters actually led to shorter outages.
Greg Alexis, who is in charge of the smart meter program, says the device automatically triggers a notification that power went out, but he can’t say how much time was saved overall.
“It would be hard to put that into, I don’t have an exact figure around that, generally speaking, with smart meters, once we are able to identify that the customers have been restored, it allows us to move onto the next trouble call even quicker.”
Alexis maintains the devices lead to shorter outages.
“The great thing about smart meters is before, when crews would restore power, sometimes they would have to drive around a customer’s neighbourhood abit to make sure everyone was back on line. Sometimes what would happen is there would be a second or third outage within an outage, and when we get back to the centre, we would have to go back out again. Now, with the smart meters, we won’t leave until we know the customer has been reconnected.”
He says because of technical issues with the website, information released in a PDF format was inputted manually, so that’s why some customers were missed.
1.9 million customers in the province now have a smart meter.