Horgan Calls On Campbell To Stop “Smart Metering”
VICTORIA – Gordon Campbell should immediately stop forcing BC Hydro to waste almost $1 billion on his so-called ‘smart metering’ pet project, says New Democrat energy critic John Horgan .
Horgan said Campbell’s scheme to force BC Hydro to install new meters in homes throughout B.C. that would show consumers their real time use of electricity is an ill-conceived waste of money that would be better spent on initiatives to help homes become more energy efficient.
“Campbell claims this pet project is about energy conservation, but in reality it’s another idea he wrote on the back of a napkin without thinking it through,” said Horgan. “I think his real agenda is to drive up hydro rates.”
Horgan said the plan is the wrong direction, especially at a time when the government is wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on cost overruns for so many other of the Premier’s pet projects.
“We have seen Gordon Campbell go from one wasteful pet project to another, from the money-gobbling Trade and Convention Centre to privatized power plants to a new roof on B.C. Place,” said Horgan. “This smart metering project is just one more hit on ordinary people.
“There is no business plan, no evidence that energy conservation will result, and no independent process to vet the Liberals’ theories. This project required special, arbitrary legislation that removed the oversight of the BC Utilities Commission and is an expensive attack on the pocketbooks of people who have been repeatedly forced by the Campbell Liberals to pay more and get less” said Horgan.
Horgan noted that the BC Utilities Commission recently rejected a similar proposal proposed by the private electric utility FortisBC, which serves many Interior communities. The BCUC found in December there is simply no case to support wasting money on smart metering.
“Yet the Campbell government is continuing with its plans to force BC Hydro to do the same thing. Today I’m calling on Gordon Campbell to respect the taxpayers, respect the BCUC, and immediately drop its plans to proceed with another wasteful pet project.
“If we have a billion dollars to spend on energy conservation, it shouldn’t be used for gimmicks. It would be better spent on providing hydro ratepayers with affordable options for energy efficiency such as the home retrofit options proposed by Carole James and the New Democrats.”