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Just got my hydro bill $983


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#61 vandervalk

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:49 PM

Last years ours was $400 for 2 months. New smart meter installed about 2 months ago. This period.. $600. $100 a month more than we paid last year and we don't have anything magical going on.
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#62 Mike K.

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:02 PM

What is your rate for kwh this year compared to last? Like sparky mentioned, hydro has increase by over 30% over the past 24 months.

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#63 skeptic

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:20 PM

Last years ours was $400 for 2 months. New smart meter installed about 2 months ago. This period.. $600. $100 a month more than we paid last year and we don't have anything magical going on.

There is no time-of-use differential in place so I suspect this is a combination of the increased (general) rate and your usage. I know there are people who claim these meters can be very inaccurate but I have difficulty believing that based on the very simple physics involved in metering. My old (dumb) meter failed last September, but it's failure mode was to stop spinning altogether! I now have a smart meter (which is still dumb because the infrastructure hasn't arrived in my neignborhood yet) and the rate at which it is clicking up seems pretty consistent--I'm looking at KwH, not $.

#64 sebberry

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:58 PM

How do people use up $300 worth of electricity a month?

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#65 martini

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:02 PM

Chek News has been reporting on this. I noticed the comments under the segment on facebook had quite a few customers also facing big hikes.
Often getting that lame excuse of a 'cold winter'.

I am not looking forward to March 17th. That will be my first smart meter bill.

What are people to do who don't have money for an electrician? I'm very concerned for seniors and low income. Heck I'm the working poor. I can barely get by as it is.

I have been fighting Hydro for over the last year or two doing everything under the sun to reduce my usage. Nothing has worked! My kwh never seem to go down even with turning the breakers off to my baseboards, only using LED bulbs, and cold water washes.
We rarely use the range oven for cooking.
Last summer I didn't use the dryer for almost 2 months! No change!

ETA:The Check facebook page posted the video and comments on Thurs the 8th. There's 36 comments complaining of the same thing.

Keep us posted selector. Good luck to you!

#66 sebberry

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:37 PM

Quick comparison on my consumption pre and post smart meter:


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#67 skeptic

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:41 PM

I now have a smart meter (which is still dumb because the infrastructure hasn't arrived in my neignborhood yet) and the rate at which it is clicking up seems pretty consistent--I'm looking at KwH, not $.

Nov/10-Jan/11 (old dumb meter, still spinning at that point): 2199 Kwh. Nov/11-Jan/12 (new smart meter, pretending to be a dumb meter): 2266 KwH. Not exactly fodder for a conspiracy theory. I really think the people claiming the smart meters caused their bills to spike need to look closely at the rate structures they are comparing and KwH usage.

#68 martini

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:44 PM

I wonder what component inside the old meters was allowing for inaccurate measurement of power.


On another note - I have been told that the smart meters used by BCH have a usable lifespan of about 10-15 years.


What was the lifespan of the analog ones?

If the new ones have to be replaced every 10-15 years...how cost effective is that compared to the way we were doing things?

#69 skeptic

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:50 PM

Quick comparison on my consumption pre and post smart meter:

These numbers (daily average vs. monthly consumption) don't compute. Daily average = monthly consumption/# days so the proportional difference should be the same but they are not. Also, are you heating your home and/or hot water with hydro? Variance in heat/hot water demand can easily reach 20% depending on weather and showering/laundry behaviour!

#70 skeptic

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:15 PM

What was the lifespan of the analog ones?

If the new ones have to be replaced every 10-15 years...how cost effective is that compared to the way we were doing things?

My old analog meter lasted 9 years. That might be an outlier in terms of lifespan but frankly, a meter is a meter. There is no reason to expect a smart meter to have a statistically shorter life span than an analog meter.

I don't usually speak in support of faceless (and frankly, rather lead-footed) quasi-government bureaucracies, but in this case I think BC Hydro is getting a bum rap. Dumb meters are no longer being manufactured and BC Hydro's arguments in favor of smart meters as enabling greater efficiency in the network are pretty convincing.

Furthermore, there was recently an outage at my house due to a crow crashing into a pole transformer (no kidding) and when we called BC Hydro they said "well, no one else has reported an outage so you'll have to prove it to us by (a) visiting your neighbors to see if their power is off and (b) switching off all of your circuit breakers for 20 minutes and then switching them back on to see if that resolves the outage." The latter demand was the most stupid diversion from a complaint I have ever encountered. A smart meter would have reported the outage for me. In this case BC Hydro got a dozen other calls within a few minutes and they admitted there was a problem. It still took them 12 hours to fix it.

Finally, I think the reason most people oppose smart meters is the prospect of time-of-use billing. BC Hydro says they have no plans for that but they are probably not being entirely truthful. Time-of-use billing will enable BC Hydro to even out demand by penalizing peak usage. They have to provision power to meet peak demand so if they can flatten the peaks the peak capacity demand will be reduced. There is no free lunch--if BC Hydro has to build new capacity everyone has to pay for it. Government services and subsidies--whether they be health care, education, ferries or energy--are not "free." They have to be funded by taxpayers. If the aggregate cost to taxpayers can be reduced by charging people who want premium access (whether it be ferry trips to the Gulf islands or peak-period electricity) then that's fine with me.

#71 Sparky

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:40 PM

Our new smart meter was installed last Wednesday. I am going to keep a very close eye on these crooks.



#72 Sparky

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:59 PM


That was extremely funny. His knuckles are almost dragging on the ground.

#73 Bingo

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:10 PM

How do people use up $300 worth of electricity a month?


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#74 sebberry

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:25 PM

Also, are you heating your home and/or hot water with hydro? Variance in heat/hot water demand can easily reach 20% depending on weather and showering/laundry behaviour!


I have one small baseboard heater in my bedroom that gets used. Only at night and it's on a programmable thermostat. Gets very little use.

Hot water is a gas boiler shared by the whole condo building.


I'm also surprised that I got bumped up into the second tier for billing. I thought it was supposed to penalize energy hogs? If it's that easy for me to get into the second tier I can't see how a family of two, three, four has any hope of saving energy.

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#75 skeptic

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:00 AM

I'm also surprised that I got bumped up into the second tier for billing. I thought it was supposed to penalize energy hogs? If it's that easy for me to get into the second tier I can't see how a family of two, three, four has any hope of saving energy.

The first tier (currently 66 cents/KwH) applies to the first 1376 KwH. The second tier starts at 1377 KwH and is 96 cents/KwH. I don't think using more than 1376 KwH over a two month billing period can be called being an energy hog. If you go around your condo and estimate the consumption of your various electrical devices I think you'll get to 500 KwH/month really quickly. From the chart you posted earlier you are knocking on the door of tier 2, and I agree there is no way a family with kids could stay in tier 1 without taking extreme measures to conserve energy.

The problem I have with hydro's tiered pricing is it doesn't reflect reality. Similar to CRD water supply, hydro generation and transmission is a fixed sunk cost, and they have to provision for the peaks. So charging for energy the same way the government calculates income tax--increasing the rate with consuption (income) is absurd. It also sets the scene for a repeat of what happened with CRD water--the demands that we reduce consumption of this automatically (no cost) renewing resource were so successful the CRD had to raise rates to maintain the (fixed) revenue required to run the system. So now we are paying more per litre of water as a reward for using less! Likewise, if people take extreme measures to stay out of the higher hydro tiers, then hydro will have no choice but to raise the lower tier rates to compensate.

Hydro should focus on flattening the demand curve, not reducing aggregate demand. As I've mentioned, time-of-use billing encourages people to SHIFT consumption, not necessarily reduce it. That is the key to minimizing future investment while fully supporting demand.

#76 martini

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:54 AM

I'm also surprised that I got bumped up into the second tier for billing. I thought it was supposed to penalize energy hogs? If it's that easy for me to get into the second tier I can't see how a family of two, three, four has any hope of saving energy.

Only resident on tier one lives in a cave with a trouble light.

#77 martini

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:57 AM

It also sets the scene for a repeat of what happened with CRD water--the demands that we reduce consumption of this automatically (no cost) renewing resource were so successful the CRD had to raise rates to maintain the (fixed) revenue required to run the system. So now we are paying more per litre of water as a reward for using less! Likewise, if people take extreme measures to stay out of the higher hydro tiers, then hydro will have no choice but to raise the lower tier rates to compensate.

Hydro should focus on flattening the demand curve, not reducing aggregate demand. As I've mentioned, time-of-use billing encourages people to SHIFT consumption, not necessarily reduce it. That is the key to minimizing future investment while fully supporting demand.


Agreed.

#78 sebberry

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 08:02 AM

Asking people to shift consumption is one thing, asking them to realign their entire lives is another.

The reason why residential consumption jumps at 6pm is because that is when it is dinner time. And I don't think industrial use will shift either.

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#79 skeptic

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 08:55 AM

Asking people to shift consumption is one thing, asking them to realign their entire lives is another.

The reason why residential consumption jumps at 6pm is because that is when it is dinner time. And I don't think industrial use will shift either.

I have a condo in Phoenix and the time-of-use billing there defines off peak as 7 pm - Noon (next day) and all day Saturday and Sunday. It's not hard to shift some consumption into that period.

#80 Sparky

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:53 PM

We are not using any hydro today on the penninsula. 100% conservation.

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