Smart meter installation schedule announced for Greater Trail

The Trail to Salmo area will be the first to go wireless after FortisBC rolls forward with smart meter installation this fall.

The Trail to Salmo area will be the first to go wireless after FortisBC rolls forward with smart meter installation this fall.

The company released a timeline for meter exchanges Friday, and confirmed that Greater Trail residents will be contacted by mail prior to the installation period scheduled from September to December.

With this announcement, a local politician remains dead set against the wireless technology but admits those opposed to smart meters are burning out and the rallying force against the FortisBC project is waning.

“At this point the only thing we can do is try to get a bunch of people together and become vocal again,” said Montrose Coun. Mary Gay. “But everyone is so burned out now and nobody wants to step forward to do it.”

Gay is a member of the West Kootenay Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, a group that joined forces last fall after FortisBC received the go-ahead from the province’s utility commission for the company’s $51 million Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project.

She remains a staunch opponent to smart meter technology, citing health hazards related to radiation levels emitted by the wireless networks and the high cost the infrastructure change will impose on the FortisBC customer.

Gay took part in a South Slocan rally on June 14, when about 50 people joined together to support a nationwide protest against the installation of the controversial smart meter.

“I don’t know how the heck this is all going to turn out,” she said. “But it’s disgusting what is happening at the expense of people’s health.”

Advanced meters, which are similar in appearance to the traditional model, are available to anyone choosing the radio-off (wireless) option, but require a $60 to $88 set-up fee and an ongoing $18 bi-monthly fee for a manual meter reading.

The Montrose councillor was ready to submit her paperwork to FortisBC Monday requesting the radio-off option, although she questioned the impact of her decision.

“You’re still getting a lot of the waves if your neighbours on either side of you don’t choose the radio-off option,” said Gay. “But I’m still opting out.

“People don’t seem to care until it’s too late and that’s the sad part of this.”

Those households going wireless with the ‘radio-on’ will be notified by mail this summer, however the customer doesn’t have to be at home during the meter exchange.

FortisBC asks for safe access to the meter and that pets be kept away from the site.

The AMI project affects only FortisBC electrical customers, totalling 130,000 homes and businesses stretching from Princeton in the west, through the Okanagan and West Kootenay, to Creston in the east.

According to FortisBC, smart meters will also prevent electricity theft and provide customers with more information and fewer bill estimates.

Just Posted

Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP start June by nabbing impaired drivers

Latest brief from the Trail and Greater District police

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

No matter your age, the city’s two skate park hosts Jaryd Justice-Moote (left) and Brenden Wright can help you roll into a new pastime this “Summer at the Skatepark.” Photo: City of Trail
Free coaching at the Trail Sk8Park begins next month

The city is rolling into a summer of inclusive recreation by, for… Continue reading

Pastor Tom Kline
‘Why I became a Christian’ with Pastor Tom Kline

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also… Continue reading

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read