BC Hydro sets out AMI business plan


Vancouver, BC, Canada — (METERING.COM) — January 20, 2011 – BC Hydro’s smart metering program business case shows that the benefits exceed the cost by CA$520 million (US$525 million) in today’s dollars.

And the net present value remains positive even if all the costs are incurred but only the BC Hydro operational efficiencies are realized, or if all the benefits are achieved at the low end of the estimated benefit range.

These details are laid out in a 44 page document compiled by BC Hydro outlining the business case for its Smart Metering and Infrastructure Program for customers and other interested parties.

The benefits are attributed to four primary areas – operating efficiencies through more efficient use of distribution assets and streamlining of business processes, energy savings through improved system control, operational efficiencies and providing customers with new options to better manage their electricity consumption, revenue protection through recovery of revenue and reduced theft; and capacity savings through reduced peak demand and capacity constraints.

Almost 80 per cent of the quantified benefits result from BC Hydro activities. If customers take advantage of the conservation tools to be implemented by the smart metering program, the overall benefits increase significantly.

BC Hydro is to start rolling out its smart meter program this year and expects to complete installation for its approximately 1.8 million customers by the end of 2012. The Ca$930 million (US$933 million) program also includes a smart grid component, due for completion in 2014, which will include in-home feedback tools

Over the next three years, BC Hydro will be investing CA$2 billion per year to build and renew dams, generating facilities, and transmission and distribution networks to ensure a safe and reliable supply of power continues to flow to BC’s homes and businesses. A key component of this investment is the Smart Metering Program, says the document.

BC Hydro vows to maintain the existing rate structures throughout the meter installation process. Any new rate structures will be subject to public consultation and review by the British Columbia Utilities Commission.