Saturday, 23 February 2013

Smart Meter, only as Smart as the Human who installed it

Have you ever thought about actually checking your hydro meter reading against your BC Hydro bill to see if it matches?
How about checking the actual meter number with the meter number listed on your BC Hydro bill?  Although BC Hydro hates to admit they make mistakes, they did make one in our case.  The actual meter # 4122752P263  does not match the one on our bill.

You will find the Meter# listed on your bill under the heading Meter reading information on the left hand side.  Ours was off by one number.

We have only owned this house in Kelowna since Aug/12.  The house is empty, no appliances, no lights are on, the only power being used is from the fan on the gas furnace.  Our first Hydro bill was $121., the next $479???  That's when I started asking questions.   BC Hydro agreed that the $479 did seem high, and advised us to get someone to read the meter and get back to them.  BC Hydro will not go and double check for you.

I spoke to the neighbors who had noticed that the construction workers were plugging extension cords into our house and my sister went and checked the house for us at the end of December and confirmed muddy foot prints leading from a construction site to our outdoor plug.  I then contacted the Developer who investigated, and acknowledged the error, workers had been using our power and they promised it would not happen again.  Now we'd have to wait until the next bill came in to figure out an appropriate amount of reimbursement.

But the next bill was even higher $ could this be?  I called BC Hydro again, they mentioned that the smart meters had just become active for this last billing.  The chance of the meter being wrong was less than slim, it would more likely have been wrong when a human had read it.  We have all heard bad stories about these smart meters so I was skeptical.   But again, the only thing we can do is check the meter ourselves.

The developer insists they have not used our power, and offered to go check our meter for us.  We were about to drive up to Kelowna (a long drive on a snowy highway) when we received an email with the photo of our meter, from a nice man who works for the Developer.   We were all surprised that not only was the meter reading way off, the actual meter # was not the one we were being billed for.

I called BC Hydro again, they too were very surprised and will now be investigating.  We do not have to pay the last bill, they will contact us when they figure out what the bill should actually be.  I am more than relieved, this was really getting frustrating, but my happiness is going to bring anger to one of my new neighbors............the meter # we were being billed for belongs to one of them.

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