Excuse us if we don’t break out the tinfoil hats just yet.
Despite claims by some that BC Hydro’s smart meters will harm our health, or reveal our most inner energy secrets, there is little evidence of either.
Of course that didn’t stop a majority of municipal leaders from calling on the province to make BC Hydro halt its smart meter program – at least temporarily.
But fortunately, the provincial government will ignore the call by the Union of BC Municipalities for a moratorium. Premier Christy Clark said B.C. needs an efficient smart grid to save money on electricity delivery and foster economic growth.
BC Hydro’s Fiona Taylor was in Chilliwack last week to answer questions about the smart meter program. The crown corporation is investing about $1 billion in the infrastructure upgrade, which is aimed at bringing our electrical grid into the 21st century.
The first step is an upgrade of the antiquated utility metres that have been a fixture on homes for more than half a century. As a tool for measuring electrical consumption, they’ve been little use to the consumer. Instead, we count on our monthly bill to tell us how much energy we’ve used.
The smart meters will give us more timely information, allowing us to better budget our energy use. That’s a good first step toward lowering our overall consumption, which not only lowers our costs, but betters our world.
The meters will also give BC Hydro a better idea of consumption patterns and allow it to respond more quickly to power outages.
What they won’t do is allow the utility tell if you’re still using halogen light bulbs, or have that old beer fridge still purring in the garage.
Nor will the meters turn your home into a Fukushima franchise. The signals emitted from the devices a few seconds each day are negligible against the background of radio signals and transmissions that exist in our every day lives.
There is no shortage of things we can worry about.
But really. Smart meters aren’t worth the energy.