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New smart meters not automatically reporting power outages

LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS1130) – If you lost power yesterday during the storm, you still had to call BC Hydro to report the outage, even if you have a new smart meter installed.

Simi Heer with Hydro says that new technology is supposed to notify them automatically, but that isn’t happening yet.

“The team is using them for testing. However, the entire system is not up yet, so we still have meters to install and the smart network still needs to get in place as well.”

She says by next storm season, we should see shorter restoration time and you won’t have to call.

“The new meters will be able to notify us automatically when a problem has occurred and crews will be able to identify problems more quickly as well because the meters will help us pinpoint issues. Now, crews actually, at times, have to do a visual inspection of circuits to see if they can find a problem when an outage has occurred and with the smart meters and smart grid that will be pinpointed for them.”

At one point yesterday, there were 55,000 people in the Lower Mainland without power and Heer tells us crews had to deal with a lot of old technology.

“It’s quite a unique event when you have such a large storm move through a city like Vancouver where there are outages occurring throughout the day and crews are able to restore power to big chunks of circuits and then they move onto the smaller issues and those are things that you just have to knock off one at a time and it does take time.”

This winter season, if you lose power make sure you call BC Hydro to report the outage.