Friday, January 15, 2016

Dumb meters? Dumb Liberals

Smart meters are the gift that keeps on giving to Ontario’s opposition parties, providing them with a club with which to beat the Liberal government over the head, year after year.

Unfortunately, they’re also the gift that keeps on taking money out of the pockets of electricity consumers, with no end in sight.

In the latest snafu, 36,000 rural smart meters aren’t transmitting their data to Hydro One, because local Wi-Fi signals aren’t strong enough. If smart meters can’t transmit data, they become dumb meters.

First, Hydro One has to send out meter readers to physically record their data on site, the practice smart meters were supposed to end.

Second, hydro customers with dumb meters can’t take advantage of time-of-use pricing and have to go back to the old billing system based on the volume of electricity used as opposed to when it’s used.

If it was only 36,000 meters not working we’d be inclined to cut Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government some slack, since there are 4.8 million installed across the province.

But it’s not just about 36,000 faulty meters.

It’s that the cost of installing 4.6 million ended up being almost $2 billion, double what the Liberals said it would cost.

Why did that happen?  (more...)

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