B.C. smart meter causing power outages, engineer says
Files complaint that smart meter keeps cutting off his home's hydro
BC Hydro says it's working to resolve a complaint from a Vancouver man who claims the smart meter at his home keeps causing power outages.
Stephen Melvin, an electrical engineer, has complained about the situation to the B.C. Utilities Commission, saying he doesn’t think BC Hydro's customer service team is taking him seriously.
Melvin's 11-page complaint includes a detailed diagram and a section marked "Exhibit A" detailing his correspondence with BC Hydro customer service representatives.
Melvin says he's actually not opposed to smart meters, but he believes his just isn't working properly.
"You know, I just want this to be fixed," Melvin says.
Melvin says he has had at least four 30-second power outages in the past year.
None of his neighbours was affected and he didn't have to switch any breakers to get power back, so Melvin says the process of elimination leaves only one suspect.
"It's clearly the smart meter."
But BC Hydro says it can't be, but Melvin begs to differ.
"I have a PhD in electrical engineering. I have 30 years of experience designing systems like this, and so it's very frustrating for me to say, ‘Look, I know how these things work. It's got to be the smart meter.'"
BC Hydro says it will take another look, but insists that smart meters don't cause power cuts.
"Our team has determined that the issue is not with the meter, but we will send out a power line technician to work through all the scenarios and figure out why this customer is having these brief outages," said BC Hydro spokeswoman Simi Heer.
The installation of smart meters across B.C. have met with stiff resistance from groups who say the devices pose health dangers and risks to privacy.
BC Hydro expects to have 1.8 million meters installed by December.
With files from the CBC's Jason Proctor