BC Hydro of Canada has selected Itron to rollout approximately two million smart meters over the next two years. The company says the smart meter program will save roughly $70 million in the first three years by keeping rates lower than they would have been under current circumstances.
Under the $270 million contract, Itron will supply its OpenWay brand of smart meters and associated data management software over a network powered by Cisco. The smart meter program will support two way communications between utility users and BC Hydro, allowing for a variety of information exchanges.
Itron highlights a few areas that will provide greater costumer service, including: updates on outages, automated meter readings, power use data analysis, and alarm systems for operational problems and possible theft. While electricity theft may not seem like a large concern now, if more and more people choose to install EV charging stations in their homes, it may become a bigger issue.
BC Hydro claims its smart meter system will ultimately save ratepayers $500 million, but as we’ve noted on several occasions, many consumers still don’t understand smart meter technology, and others are worried about the potential hazards of the units and the data they collect.