Remote-reading Hydro-Québec meters being installed

Remote-reading Hydro-Québec meters being installed

Photo: KristoferbHydro Quebec has started installing the new digital meters, which measure your electricity usage, on residences in Montreal and will be doing the same throughout the province until 2018. By then, they expect to have every house and home connected to a central network from where you can be billed directly without a visit to your home from the Hydro-Québec meter-reader.

The new meters have been a subject of rebuttal from certain people claiming that the new electronic devices can affect health by radiating certain radio frequencies causing cancer or other sicknesses. None of these theories has been proven to be true, but the government has nonetheless decided to allow certain people to keep their old system if they prefer, and only if they’re willing to pay an additional charge to accommodate the extra costs.

Hydro-Québec has already installed 1.5 million of the new meters and of that number 6000 (equal to about 0.4%) clients have so far opted out agreeing to pay an extra charge of $48 for the “installation” and a supplementary service charge of $8 a month on their monthly bill to keep the old system.

Hydro-Québec would like to reiterate that the new system is perfectly safe for the environment and cause absolutely no health problems to living organisms. Hydro companies faced the same problems when it was rumoured that high voltage electrical wires were emitting dangerous radio-waves causing cancer – a claim which has subsequently been disproven.  All municipalities in the province have given the green light to Hydro-Québec for the installation of the new technology and if individuals do not want to abide they must contact Hydro-Québec to set up their new billing system. By 2018 there should be 3.8 million new meters installed across the province at a cost of $1 billion dollars.

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Life in Québec staff writer

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