MONTREAL, Jan. 30, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Hydro-Québec has installed 1,136,000 next-generation meters since the beginning of the project—65% of the 1.7 million meters included in the first phase of the project are already in service. The company is confident of meeting its objective of completing the first phase of the rollout by the end of June 2014.
The smooth progress in the installation of the next-generation meters is reflected in the data included in the most recent quarterly follow-up of the project, submitted to the Régie de l'énergie this week.
- By maintaining tight control over costs, Hydro-Québec has reduced the cost of the first phase by $13 million so far.
- During the fourth quarter of 2013 alone, Hydro-Québec installed 403,000 meters.
- Since deployment began, the percentage of customers who selected the opt-out plan remains stable at around 0.3%.
Safe meters that pose no health hazard
Québec's Direction de Santé publique and Health Canada have both issued notices confirming that next-generation meters do not pose any health risks. In fact, radiofrequency emission levels measured 1 m away from a next-generation meter are approximately 120,000 times less than Health Canada limits.
Direction de Santé publique notice [in French]
In accordance with the Régie de l'énergie's decision, customers who do not wish to have a next-generation meter installed at their homes can opt out by paying the related costs. Customers cannot keep the old meters currently installed in their homes.
Hydro-Québec will soon ask the Régie de l'énergie to reduce the costs associated with opting out. This request is being submitted since the rate of refusal (0.3%) remains stable.
Concrete advantages for customers
Over the next five years, Hydro-Québec must replace its meter fleet throughout Québec with next-generation meters, since the previous technology is outdated and electromechanical meters are no longer available on the market.
More than 125 million next-generation meters have already been installed around the world. Safe and reliable, they incorporate functions that will eventually improve service to customers, including:
- Automated transmission of consumption data
- Billing based on actual consumption rather than estimates
- Faster outage detection
- Ability for customers to monitor their electricity consumption through their Customer Space on Hydro-Québec's Web site.
For more information on next-generation meters, customers can go to www.hydroquebec.com/next-generation-meters.
For further information:
Public Affairs and Media