FortisBC secures fees for AMI hold outs

The utility company will be installing approx 9,700 smart meters in the Greater Trail area in 2014.

FortisBC customers who choose to have their meter read the old fashioned way will be paying more for the service later this year.

Following the BC Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) decision on Dec. 19 that approved certain fee structures,  FortisBC confirmed customers who opt for a radio-off smart meter will be subject to an $18 bi-monthly fee to cover the cost of manual meter reading.

Additionally, a one-time $60 fee will be charged to any customer who chooses the radio-off option before meter upgrades begin in their region; which increases to $88 for customers who hold out until meters are installed in their area.

“Right now we are receiving phone calls at our customer contact centre from those expressing a desire to receive the radio-off option,” said David Wylie, FortisBC’s corporate communications advisor. “We are finalizing the application form that will be available for download on our website to request radio-off which means disabling the wireless transmission.”

The utility company will install 5,000 new meters in Trail homes and businesses and a further 4,700 to electrical customers throughout Greater Trail in 2014 as part of its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project.

“Existing analog and some of our digital meters will be replaced because they are nearing the end of their lifespan,” explained Wylie. “We expect to begin installing advanced meters in the summer and expect to be done by the end of 2015.

“Customers will receive a letter 30 days ahead of time informing them when their meter will be installed.”

FortisBC filed its radio-off AMI meter option application with the BCUC in August, with the AMI decision requiring the company to file an application for opt-out provisions by Nov. 1.

In its application, the company proposed that customers may choose to have a radio-off AMI meter put in place at any time with a per-premises setup fee of $110 and a $22 charge every two months thereafter to have the meter read. But the Commission’s panel viewed the FortisBC proposal and had concerns about the accuracy of the stated costs and did not accept those proposed fees as being just and reasonable, according to the BCUC Dec. 19 report.

The panel ruled the per-premises set up cost and bi-monthly manual meter reading fee is permanent, however, FortisBC was directed to track the actual number of radio-off AMI participants and the actual annual manual meter reading costs until Sept. 2016 for further BCUC review.

FortisBC maintains the advanced meters, which are similar in appearance to the traditional model, will prevent electricity theft and provide customers with fewer bill estimates.

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read