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Residents in the Trail-Salmo area can expect to see FortisBC’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) installed beginning this fall, with all other regions expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
The new electricity meters, or smart meters, are expected to allow more billing options and tools for customers, according to FortisBC. The utility company also reminds people that if they do not wish to have the AMI working on their properties there are a couple of options in place.
Customers can choose the radio off option and will receive the advanced meter with the wireless signal turned off, meaning their meter will be read manually. That option comes at a cost of $60, if chosen before installation, and will cost an additional fee of $18 every two months for the manual read. This option requires the customer to sign up and agree to the cost recovering fees which have been approved by the BC Utilities Commission.
If an AMI has already been installed on your property, customers can contact FortisBC and ask to have the radio off program initiated. This will cost an additional $88 dollars, plus the monthly $18 fee for a manual read.
FortisBC will notify customers by mail before their meter is exchanged and residents do not need to be at home for the exchange to take place. While the switch is taking place there will be a brief power outage, only expected to last a few minutes, and once installed customers will receive an information package.
FortisBC will be using advanced meters supplied by Itron, and Corix has been selected to conduct the meter exchanges. These contractors will be easily identifiable and will carry FortisBC identification.
Below is the scheduled timeline for meter exchanges:
· Trail-Salmo area – September 2014 to December 2014
· Kelowna – January 2015 to April 2015
· South Okanagan – May 2015 to July 2015
· Similkameen and Boundary – August 2015 to October 2015
· Kootenays – November 2015 to December 2015
For more information about the AMI project, or the radio-off option, customers can visit fortisbc.com/ami or call 1-866-436-7847.