Reducing power use will be very difficult

Re: Smart metering reduces footprint, Letters Dec. 15.

To the Editor,

Re: Smart metering reduces footprint, Letters Dec. 15.

The old analog meter system was a two-tier system in which you paid more for usage above a certain number of kilowatt hours per billing period.

In this way I manage to keep my bills down for five or six months per year.

In the last six months, I have replaced the weatherstripping on my doors, foam filled the voids around them behind the trim and added 12-14 inches of blown in insulation to my attic, but still hit the second-tier billing on the last bill. The amount was almost exactly double the previous bill.

Smart meters will now make programmable thermostats obsolete, at least in my house, as I keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night, 16-17 C.

This is the setting Hydro recommends for a night setting, down from the day setting.

Perhaps in Ottawa, in the past, rates were cheaper on a Sunday, but once smart meters are installed, this will no longer be the case, as they bill on time of day use.

And the highest rate is the time most of us use our power, from about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The only people lucky enough to accomodate such an  unfair billing system will  be those who work night shift, as they will be asleep at peak use hours.

As for the rest of us, I guess if you want to conserve energy then you had best cook that Thanksgiving turkey after 8 p.m. the night before.

A few years ago, Ontario Hydro made a deal with its customers – if they would forego the use of air conditioners during peak summer hours, they would get a rebate on their winter heating bill.

The customers were so successful that Ontario Hydro’s income dropped and they were forced to raise the rates the following winter.

For B.C. Hydro to encourage its customers to reduce usage is disingenuous at best and to reduce your power usage during peak hours will be very difficult without major lifestyle changes.

Perhaps the government should legislate that normal hours of business, commerce, etc. should occur after 8 p.m. and before 6 a.m. Think of the savings.

Oh, wait. Then B.C. Hydro would have to raise rates to maintain its income.

Rod Hancock

Nanaimo