Straight facts

Smart meters are safe and cost-effective measure

Smart meters are a safe and cost-effective way to modernize the electricity system for the benefit of all British Columbians. Upgrading to smart meters will help keep rates low by creating a more efficient power system and reducing power loss. Other benefits include quicker outage detection and power restoration, and allowing customers to track their own near real-time consumption so that they can find ways to conserve energy and lower their bills even further.

Smart meters are safe. Human exposure to radio frequency dates back over 100 years. After decades of medical and scientific research, there are no demonstrable health or environmental effects from exposure to low level radio frequency signals. While smart meters and cell phones both communicate wirelessly, they have different parameters. Smart meters are located outside of the home, at least a foot away from any residential space. At that distance, the radio frequency exposure is less than half the strictest safety standards in the world, set by Switzerland.  Smart meters transmit data four to six times a day, in total for less than a minute a day.  The cumulative exposure to radio frequency from a smart meter – over its entire 20-year lifespan – is the equivalent to a single 30-minute cell phone conversation.

BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Program was designed after a thorough evaluation of the technology and options available and after extensive discussions with other utilities. The program will deliver significant benefits to our customers, including $70 million in the next three years alone through lower rates.

Readers can learn more about BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Program at bchydro.com/smartmeters.

Gary Murphy,

Smart Metering Program,

BC Hydro