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BC Hydro - general discussion


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#41 Mr_E_Squirrel

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 01:24 AM

According to this article some Customers are just going to buy a $10 cell phone jammer on ebay and the rates will not be raised during peak times.

http://kgoam810.com/....asp?id=1731936


What if there is a glitch with the software and on the coldest day of the year it decides oak bay is behind on their payments and shuts the power off? Right now to turn off power does it require a truck roll is a question this article raises

http://rdist.root.or...-a-smart-meter/

#42 maniac78

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:40 AM

According to this article some Customers are just going to buy a $10 cell phone jammer on ebay and the rates will not be raised during peak times.

http://kgoam810.com/....asp?id=1731936


What if there is a glitch with the software and on the coldest day of the year it decides oak bay is behind on their payments and shuts the power off? Right now to turn off power does it require a truck roll is a question this article raises

http://rdist.root.or...-a-smart-meter/


Wow the guy in the first article is out to lunch. I mean does he really believe that the meter itself is responsible for billing? Jaming a smart meter will only lead to a tech call to fix the "broken transmitter". Once they get the data you'll get a bill like everyone else.

#43 Bernard

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:58 AM

I think the news of the teleconference statement by the CEO that they want to terminate a bunch of IPP agreements is where they can save a bundle.


The IPP deals are expensive at the moment, but BC Hydro has a guaranteed price point for decades to come. As demand rises, and it will rise dramatically in the coming years, the rates for the IPP power will look very cheap.

If the IPPs were not built, we would have to buying a lot more power from other sources such as coal fired power from Alberta or nuclear from California. The rates for the purchased power may have been saved money now, but it also would have meant there was no investment in new green power production. Building new power production takes time and a very clear sense that it is an investment that makes sense.

When the process started, there was an economic boom in the US west, no one predicted this several year downturn in the US. Even with the downturn, simply because the US population is growing, the demand for power is rising and will lead to a dramatic rise in the cost of power. No on is adding much new power and the Western Interconnection sees BC based IPPs as an important source of power in the next ten years.

The rates BC Hydro are paying for the IPP power is much lower than most other utilities pay for green power. Ontario Hydro pays a fortune for solar power - up to ten times the going rate or more. Globally most countries and jurisdictions have decided that more green power is the right way to go, few have done so as well as BC or as cheaply.

BC Hydro also charges some of the lowest rates for power going - we charge as if the old storage dams we have are enough to provide us with the power into the future - the system can not as it stands and whoever builds more capacity will bring that power to the market for a lot more than it costs now. Site C power will cost more produce than most run of the river hydro projects.

Can I predict when the IPP power will be cheaper than the spot market? No, if I could, I could make a fortune. I am certain that within three years BC Hydro will break even with the IPP power and five years they will be making a profit from it. The IPPs may likely be screaming to get out of their contracts then, but they signed on for 20 to 30 years.

#44 Schnook

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:56 PM

no one predicted this several year downturn in the US.

Respected voices have been screaming from the hilltops for a VERY LONG TIME. Go to any second-hand bookstore and you find people have been warning about current events since the 70s and even before. The timing may be off, but themes and causal relationships were well understood. Today the bookshelves are filled. The only place where "no one predicted this" was the Orwellian idiot box.

Most population projections are linear. Immigration has been the only thing propping up American numbers, and the trend is reportedly reversing as immigrants lose jobs and realize the grass is greener back on the other side of the fence. "Follow the money." International capital outflow presages an exodus of foreign workers and their families.

This whole IPP / BC Hydro thing smells to me like a scam resembling Obama's ethanol subsidy. It will be very interesting to look at the names and numbers when they are made public. As Rafe Mair put it recently, this thing could make the Fast Ferries scandal seem small.

#45 Bernard

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:24 PM

In 2005 the rates in the long term contracts were a good deal, in fact in general considered a screaming deal when the spot price was hitting $140/Mwh. In much of east at the moment the IPP rates would be a good deal. In the centre of North America it would be a bit over the spot rate. It is just here in the west at the moment that the spot price is low and therefore the cost of the IPP power is more expensive. It has been low for two years now.

It would not take a lot for the spot market price to rise up enough that BC Hydro would be making a mint from the IPP power if it sold it all. It is green power and it has been secured for a fixed rate, we have decades of certainty for BC Hydro.

The IPPs remain a good deal and each Kwh they produce is one less Kwh of coal fired power that is needed.

#46 LJ

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:32 PM

Wow the guy in the first article is out to lunch. I mean does he really believe that the meter itself is responsible for billing? Jaming a smart meter will only lead to a tech call to fix the "broken transmitter". Once they get the data you'll get a bill like everyone else.


Well he is certainly is a bright fellow, I used to listen to his radio show every night and he has qualifications, degrees and experience up the ying yang.

I think what he was saying is that you would block the transmission that you were using the electricity in the "expensive period", you would still be charged for the electricty used but at the lower base rate.
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#47 sebberry

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:37 PM

The IPPs are located in BC, correct? If so, why isn't BCHydro building these power projects?

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#48 jklymak

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 06:08 PM

Anyone know why the power was out downtown at 3 AM last night (Friday 26 early AM)? Everything went dark, for as far as I could see.

#49 sebberry

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 06:15 PM

Anyone know why the power was out downtown at 3 AM last night (Friday 26 early AM)? Everything went dark, for as far as I could see.


The outage woke me up, and continued to piss me off by way of flashing clocks well into this afternoon.

No idea why it went out. CFAX mentioned the outage, the TC has a small article on it and there's nothing on the BC Hydro website.

Maybe even electricity itself is protesting the smart meters?

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#50 LJ

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 06:21 PM

They said on the news this morning that a breaker had popped.
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#51 sebberry

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:54 AM

Smart meters - why do we need them?

If BCH isn't going to introduce TOU billing (we all know that's not true) why else are they needed?

BCH is now running radio ads touting smart meters as a way to inform them of power outages automatically. I'm guessing public support for these evil things is weak and they're trying to improve their image.

If they're needed for demand management, why are they needed at every house? Why not one per block of houses or neighbourhood?

Why not one on the main supply to a large condo building instead of one for each suite?

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#52 Bernard

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:00 AM

Smart meters - why do we need them?

If BCH isn't going to introduce TOU billing (we all know that's not true) why else are they needed?

BCH is now running radio ads touting smart meters as a way to inform them of power outages automatically. I'm guessing public support for these evil things is weak and they're trying to improve their image.

If they're needed for demand management, why are they needed at every house? Why not one per block of houses or neighbourhood?

Why not one on the main supply to a large condo building instead of one for each suite?


I can only assume that incentives will be offered at some point to use power at non peak times. Right now BC Hydro spends money on getting people conserve energy, spending money on getting people to shift the load would seem to make sense.

#53 sebberry

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:43 AM

I can only assume that incentives will be offered at some point to use power at non peak times. Right now BC Hydro spends money on getting people conserve energy, spending money on getting people to shift the load would seem to make sense.


So when they tell us TOU isn't planned, are we being lied to? Why can't we the ratepayers hold them to that promise?

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#54 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:57 AM

So when they tell us TOU isn't planned, are we being lied to? Why can't we the ratepayers hold them to that promise?


I suspect they will bring it in in a backhanded way. "Discounts" for off-peak won't look like "premiums" for peak times.
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#55 Mike K.

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 02:57 PM

Is there any way for a homeowner to reject the smart meter being installed?

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#56 Sparky

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 03:44 PM

Mike I have no idea if this will work or not, but the friend that sent this to me is very well connected with the meter reading branch of hydro. The idea is to print and post the following notice, and follow the instructions below.



"As you know, it takes something I feel passionate about to send out a mass mailing. It has come to our attention that some areas of Victoria and the province have already had Smart Meters installed. But more importantly, we have also ascertained that we have the right to refuse this changeover to our own personal meter. If you print the attachment and tape it to your hydro meter, it is enough to prohibit installation of the new meters. Whatever your reason, be it concerns regarding health issues, the potential of Big Brother accumulating too much information about what's going on in your home, or a fundamental belief that these will never pay for themselves and need to be replaced way more often than the old meters, this option may be appealing to you. We have also been told that once you post the notice on your meter, a follow-up phone call to Hydro to restate that you do not want the new meter, will cement your instructions."




#57 Bernard

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:36 PM

You know there is legal requirement for BC Hydro to provide you with power - if you do not want a meter then there is no reason the company could not simply cut you off.

#58 sebberry

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 05:57 PM

Is there any way for a homeowner to reject the smart meter being installed?


Rich Coleman once said on Cfax that people could opt out, but I can't find anything anywhere about that.

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#59 jklymak

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 06:37 PM

You know there is legal requirement for BC Hydro to provide you with power - if you do not want a meter then there is no reason the company could not simply cut you off.


Right... if you think the 2.8 GHz signal once an hour is hurting you, you should probably also be worried about the 60 Hz coursing through your body every second. Much safer to not have any power at all.

#60 jklymak

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 06:49 PM

Smart meters - why do we need them?

If BCH isn't going to introduce TOU billing (we all know that's not true) why else are they needed?

BCH is now running radio ads touting smart meters as a way to inform them of power outages automatically. I'm guessing public support for these evil things is weak and they're trying to improve their image.

If they're needed for demand management, why are they needed at every house? Why not one per block of houses or neighbourhood?

Why not one on the main supply to a large condo building instead of one for each suite?


BC Hydro will no longer need meter readers, which is a huge expense. Thats why they are doing this, and that is why they need one meter per home.

I imagine, and hope, that they will do Time of Use billing as well. Why shouldn't they? Electricity at midnight is far cheaper than electricity at 8 AM. Indeed they say as much on their website:

4. Are you introducing time-of-use rates?
BC Hydro will be maintaining the existing rate structure through the implementation period. Any future consideration of new time-of-use rate structures will include transparent public consultation, extensive research on whether there is any long-term need for time-of-use rates in British Columbia, and the independent regulatory review of the BC Utilities Commission.

Its pretty clear from that that they will move to TOU rates, just not right away.

Finally, if you are going to bill per home anyway, you might as well know what the usage patterns are per hour as well. It only makes sense. I imagine there are all sorts of useful correlations they can determine with that information that will make power delivery more efficient. i.e. block X and Y both use 300 kW/h - but block X uses it all in two 2-hr windows, whereas block Y uses it continuously, there are pretty different requirements for the wires, transformers, and switching stations for those two cases (I'm sure they already know this stuff on a block-by-block basis, but you get the idea).

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