Do you wonder why Fortis needs Utilities Commission approval for advanced meters, but BC Hydro does not?
Normally a utility must apply to the Utilities Commission to make a large capital expenditure. The Commission then orders a proceeding at which ratepayers and the groups that represent them may scrutinize the proposal and raise any concerns.
But the government short-circuited this process in 2010 through the Clean Energy Act, which ordered BC Hydro to implement smart meters and barred the Utilities Commission from reviewing the plan.
Quite likely BC Hydro’s status as a government-owned corporation encouraged the government to accord Hydro this special treatment. FortisBC, as a private corporation, received no order to implement smart meters, and so its current application is subject to review by the Utilities Commission.
BCSEA supports an empowered Utilities Commission and opposes special exemptions to let BC Hydro or any public utility make major expenditures without public scrutiny.
BCSEA is intervening in the review of Fortis’s advanced metering application to ensure that the meters are cost effective, and to ensure that Fortis pursues to the maximum any opportunities to conserve energy. We want to be sure that the meters are thoroughly assessed, so that the public can be assured that their concerns on all points will be considered when the Commission makes its final decision.
Keep posted through the BCSEA website for news on Fortis’s advanced metering application, as it proceeds through the spring of 2013.
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