Response from Fortis:
We have made presentations in the past to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen about our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project.
Before installing advanced meters, FortisBC required approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), our independent utility regulator. After a thorough public hearing, the BCUC concluded that advanced meters pose no health concern and that the AMI project is in the public interest.
While the RDOS is not the first B.C. municipality to request a moratorium on wireless electricity meters, FortisBC is continuing with advanced meter installations since the project has met all of the regulatory and legal requirements.
Although advanced meters are safe and meet all regulatory and legal requirements, there is a radio-off option for customers who would like to receive an advanced meter with the wireless transmissions disabled. We are committed to working with customers one on one in an effort to resolve the concerns they have.
Electricity meters, like all other utility equipment, do not require approval from the Canadian Standards Association because those standards govern consumer products. Advanced meters are owned and operated by the utility, and are certified by the appropriate regulatory and certification bodies for these types of devices, such as IEEE, ANSI, and Industry Canada, and approved by Measurement Canada.
We have safely installed about 80,000 advanced meters throughout our service area, including about 7,000 in the South Okanagan. Before the meter is installed, we inspect every customer-owned meter base to ensure it is in good working order.
We are installing advanced meters because they open the door to services and options that our customers expect, like fewer bill estimates, monthly billing and improved online account information. They are also the most cost-effective and beneficial way to update electricity meters to meet changing federal guidelines. Over time, the AMI project will provide net benefits to our customers by reducing manual meter reading costs and preventing electricity theft.