Hydro-Québec held an open house for smart meters on Wednesday June 12 at our Eco-Café in the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. Residents received the invitations in the mail. A very impressive array of kiosks were set up and a steady flow of residents came through the doors to learn more about these smart meters, which will be installed in homes and buildings over the next several months.Mayor Anthony Housefather and I dropped by to thank Hydro officials (pictured) André Fortier and Jean-Philippe Rousseau for taking this extra step. You can read all about the new smart meters here. Councillors Ruth Kovac, Allan J. Levine and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch were also on site.
Hydro-Québec must replace all its meters throughout Quebec with next-generation models, as its current meter technology is now outdated. Safe and reliable, these new meters have become the new industry standard. Replacement of electricity meters began a few months ago in Greater Montréal. At least 30 days before installation of the new meters, customers will receive a notice and a pamphlet from Hydro-Québec explaining that meters in the area will be replaced within the next few weeks. They don’t have to do anything. The replacement is quick, simple and free.
Right now, most of Hydro-Québec’s meters are electromechanical, with a spinning disc and several dials. They must be read manually and haven’t been manufactured in North America since 2010. Next-generation meters will record and automatically transmit electricity-use data to Hydro-Québec. There will no longer be any need for meter readers to visit customer premises.
More than 120 million next-generation meters have already been installed around the world. The state-of-the-art technology adopted by Hydro-Québec will offer enhanced functionality to customers, including faster detection of outages, which means service to customers can be restored faster. Starting in 2014, customers will be able to monitor their electricity online by logging into their Customer Space on Hydro-Québec’s website.
Secure, certified state-of-the-art technology
The new meters comply with Health Canada guidelines, which set safety limits for radiofrequency (RF) emissions in the environment. Next-generation meters are therefore safe and pose no health hazard. In fact, RF emission levels measured 1 m away from a next-generation meter are approximately 120,000 times less than Health Canada limits.