We were disappointed to hear the Regional District of Nanaimo was presented with incorrect and misleading information about the safety of smart meters at a recent committee meeting.
BC Hydro takes the safety of our customers and employees seriously — it’s our top priority as an organization. As a provincial crown corporation, we are also accountable for the information we provide to people.
Smart meters are safe and communicate using radio frequency signals that are similar to what has been used for decades in televisions, radios and other common household devices. In fact, the Regional District offices use Wi-Fi and four minutes in their offices is equivalent to one year of a smart meter.
B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, Health Canada and the World Health Organization all confirm our wireless meters pose no known health risks. Independent testing by certified engineers confirmed a BC Hydro smart meter communicates for 1.4 seconds per day and has a power density of 2 microwatts per square centimeter. These signals are even below the strictest precautionary limits in the world, set out by Switzerland.
Like our road systems, the electricity grid is provincial infrastructure that is governed by numerous provincial and federal legislation and regulations. BC Hydro’s responsibility is to deliver safe, reliable electricity — and the new meters will help us meet that obligation. BC Hydro appreciates the perspectives of municipal governments and we will continue to work with them to understand their concerns and help them to understand the longer term benefits.
BC Hydro operates within the B.C. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and that’s why customers who have concerns need to contact us directly to discuss their individual accounts. While we do not have an opt-out option, we are committed to working with customers to address their questions and concerns and in the meantime we will not install a new meter without the homeowner’s permission.
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