MONTREAL, March 14, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of its rollout of next-generation meters, today Hydro-Québec filed with the Régie de l'énergie the proposed terms and conditions of an opting-out plan, which will allow customers to have meters that don't emit radio-frequency (RF) energy.
Individual customers will be able to opt out on request, but will have to pay an initial charge of $98 (before taxes) for installation of a non-RF meter and monthly charges of $17 (before taxes) for manual meter reading. These charges ensure that, as is usual in such cases, the costs of opting out are not passed on to other customers. The Régie de l'énergie has already recognized the principle that options exercised by individuals are paid for by those who request them.
Hydro-Québec would like to emphasize that the next-generation meters it plans to install are totally safe. Health Canada and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux have both confirmed that exposure to RF energy from smart meters does not pose a health risk.
Next-generation meter technology offers customers many practical advantages, including remote disconnection and connection when they move and faster outage detection, which means faster service restoration.
In addition, once the advanced metering infrastructure has been rolled out, the project will reduce customer costs by $300 million over the next 20 years, through automation of meter reading. An initial investment of $100 million is required to implement the metering structure needed to support this rollout.
Hydro-Québec will be presenting the entire next-generation meter rollout project to the Régie starting March 19.
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