FortisBC to apply for smart meter infrastructure

Company preparing application to set up system for smart meter installation

People in the West Kootenay who are energy customers of FortisBC will not be immune to the smart meter installation program currently being undertaken by BC Hydro.

An application to B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) for an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) program is being prepared. Should the BCUC grant FortisBC approval, the utility will initiate replacement of “existing electro-mechanical and digital meters with advanced meters” by 2015, according to the company’s website (

The advanced meters communicate directly with the company and provide electricity consumption information directly to their customers. Under the application, FortisBC expects to install the network necessary to make that communication possible and secure.

However, the people of the region will have some say about how, and if, this happens.

Once an application is filed with the BCUC, FortisBC will then go through a regulatory process which includes public input and ends with a decision.

“Should FortisBC receive the approval of the BCUC, the utility would then move forward with the proposed advanced meters,” said FortisBC corporate communications advisor Neal Pobran in an email.

The possibility of the program coming to the Greater Trail area was news to Montrose council. Mayor Joe Danchuk said Blair Weston, PowerSense technical advisor for FortisBC in the Kootenays, had assured Montrose council they were “backing off” on smart meter installations.

He tried to contact Weston about the possibility of the smart meters coming to the area after reading an article in the Trail Daily Times, but had yet to receive a reply.

“If they are planning (this) then he should be coming in and talking to the residents. I think we need to hear his views,” said Mayor Danchuk.

“As a council we need to be more aware of the pros and cons of everything,” Coun. Mary Gay added. “I know I don’t want them.”

People can find out more details about the project at or learn more about the BCUC regulatory process at

How it works

According to the FortisBC website, advanced meters look similar to existing digital electricity meters, but provide more information.

They are expected to “update and enhance the efficiency of the FortisBC’s electrical system.” FortisBC customers would receive more information about energy use to improve efficiency.

Smart meters digitally measure electricity usage, sending the data periodically (four to six times a day) through a two-way connection to FortisBC. The hourly metering data is available to customers on a secure website where they can monitor electricity consumption.

Interim increase approved

As of Jan. 1 FortisBC customers in the Greater Trail area will see a 1.5 per cent interim increase, recently approved by the BCUC in Fortis’ annual revenue requirement application.

According to FrtisBC, the interim increase will allow the company to invest in the electric system and build infrastructure to meet the future power needs.

On average, a residential electricity bill — using approximately 1,000 kWh — will see an increase on their bill of approximately $1.65 per month.

The 1.5 per cent interim and refundable rate change will apply to all electricity customers of FortisBC and is approved pending the BCUC’s final decision on the company’s 2012/2013 Revenue Requirements Application.


Just Posted

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open the 2021 season on Oct. 8 against the Cranbrook Bucks in Cranbrook, and will have their home opener the next night against the same Bucks. Photo: Jack Murray
BC Hockey League announces 54-game schedule to begin in October

Trail Smoke Eaters open season with home-and-home series versus Cranbrook Bucks

“The Spirit of Family” enhances the Beaver Valley both in the daytime and at night. Photo: Submitted
Family sculpture installed at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall

Locals are encouraged to swing by Fruitvale Memorial Hall to take a… Continue reading

In 1927, swimmers enjoyed a day in the water at the CGIT and CSET Camp in Summerland. While none of the people in this photograph have smart phones, there is some debate about whether a beach image from the United Kingdom in 1943 shows a man using a smart phone. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
COLUMN: The mystery of the time-travelling tourist

Was the man in a 1943 photograph checking his smart phone?

The flotation line at Gyro Park beach in East Trail, shown here during low water, is for emergency purposes only and does not delineate a safe swimming area. Photo: Trail Times file
City of Trail cautions beach users

Gyro Park beach questions should be directed to the roads superintendent at 250.364.0817.

Presently in Canada, it is illegal to be in possession of a personal stun gun. Use of this tool is only licensed to federal and provincial police officers. The personal use of stun guns by unlicensed civilians is considered to be illegal and considered under the Canadian Criminal Code to be the equivalent of a weapon. Anyone found importing or in possession of a personal stun gun and is not a licensed law enforcement officer can be prosecuted under the Canadian Criminal Code. Photo: BC RCMP
Trail man faces weapons charge after police confiscate stun gun

The incident took place on Sunday near downtown Trail

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read