VANCOUVER, BC (NEWS1130) – BC Hydro is blaming labour shortages, customer concerns and equipment shortages for the delay in installing the remaining smart meters across the province. It has now been given a one year extension by the government to complete the set-up.

Cindy Verschoor with Hydro says 93 per cent of meters have been installed . “The meter installations were scheduled for completion by the end of this year but of course we have had some customers ask for a temporary delay while we work with them and so this deadline just allows for a little more flexibility.”

Some people have refused to have smart meters installed over worries about the possible danger of high frequency radio waves, which the meters use to transmit wireless data to Hydro computers.

Verschoor says this will not have a delay on smart meters being able to report power outages automatically, she says that will still be up and running by the end of 2013. “Really it doesn’t have any impact on the people that have meters already and it has no impact on the completion of the program itself.”

According to hydro the smart meters are expected to pay for themselves by delivering $1.6 billion in benefits over 20 years. Verschoor says Hydro will not be receiving anymore funding for the extra time, it will have to work within the original budget.