Next-generation meters: Hydro-Québec will ask for the Régie de l'énergie's authorization to reduce the costs associated with opting out

MONTREAL, Nov. 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Hydro-Québec will ask the Régie de l'énergie to reduce the costs associated with opting out for customers who do not want a next-generation meter installed. In compliance with the regulatory process, the Régie must authorize the review of opting out costs and set conditions for this option. The company will thus submit such a request to the Régie.

The refusal rate for next-generation meters remains below 0.4%. Since this rate is much lower than the initial hypothesis of 1%, Hydro-Québec wishes to submit a request to the Régie to reflect the planned real costs related to opting out.

The hypothesis submitted in 2012 was based on the experience and practices implemented by other electric power distributors.  With close to 900,000 meters installed, Hydro-Québec is now able to reflect the real costs incurred and to submit to the Régie a request to modify its conditions of service. This request is closely related to a continued low rate of refusal.

Hydro-Québec management and the Minister of Natural Resources held discussions on this matter over the last few weeks. The Minister has been informed of Hydro-Québec's plans.

Meters that pose no health hazard

Hydro-Québec would like to reiterate that next-generation meters pose no health hazard.

Health Canada and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) have both issued notices confirming that next-generation meters do not pose a health risk. In fact, radiofrequency emission levels measured 1 metre away from a next-generation meter are approximately 120,000 times less than Health Canada limits. Ambient levels are also well below normal exposure in urban environments.

In addition, the MSSS's recent reaffirmation of its position in a response sent to a meter opposition group was made public.

Health Canada notice

MSSS notice (in French only)

Comparative table of RF emissions (in French only)

Nearly 900, 000 meters already in service

The deployment of next-generation meters is progressing very well. Hydro-Québec will soon reach the mark of 90,000 next-generation meters installed since roll-out of the technology began last February. Half of the 1.7 meters included in Phase 1 of the project are already installed at customers' homes in the greater Montréal area.

Hydro-Québec has filed an application with the Régie de l'énergie for the approval of the deployment of the last two phases of the project.

To learn more about next-next generation meters, visit meters.hydroquebec.com.

SOURCE: Hydro-Québec

For further information:

Patrice Lavoie
Affaires publiques et médias
Hydro-Québec
514 289-2097


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