Hydro Ottawa Smart Meters – keep your eye on the kws
**Should you suspect your Smart Meter is defective and you’ve not gotten anywhere with the utility you may wish to contact Measurements Canada before you request the utility remove the meter. Measurements Canada offers an area where you can register a complaint and have your issue looked into. Be aware though that there could be charges involved in this process. If you are facing a possible faulty Smart Meter issue please feel free to share your story so that others may benefit as well. Good luck!**
I know…I know…this is off the blog’s overall topic agenda again but I can’t resist – if this post helps even one single person who may have a similar issue – then it’s definitely worth the off topic mention so I appreciate your bearing with me on this one.
As we’ve just gone through this situation and are still attempting to complete it, I wanted to ensure that the word got out that Hydro Ottawa is actually aware (but not admitting publicly) that 1st Generation Smart meters installed from 2006 to 2007 can be subject to motherboard failure. This results in the meter calculating kw use at double (if not more) than has actually been used by the home.
There’s more to our story regarding lots of erroneous kw readings but one that is most telling deals with a specific month. August of every year since living here (since 2004) our home has run in the 1800-2100kw range during that month and has operated under normal family conditions. In stark contrast, in August of 2008 our home according to Hydro Ottawa, ran at a kw use of 5404 (80.66 kws average daily). The difference between the historical readings and this particular reading however, was that in July – August of 2008 our home looked abandoned. We shut down everything we possibly could to attempt to determine what was eating up kw’s at such a rate yet nothing we did seemed to make a difference.
Our most recent billing which has taken us into the winter months, came in at 2378kws – that’s with laundry, stove, microwave, freezer, fridge, dishwasher and furnace all operational. Even lights and tv are now possible. This reading is from the new 2nd Generation meter installed on our home August 29, 2008. Can you see the difference? ;)
Hydro Ottawa readjusted our history and wiped out hydro readings from Dec 2006 to July 2008 and replaced them with the readings from the faulty smart meter. Over 38,000kws was spread out over a period of time which included 8 months when the smart meter did not even exist on our home. They applied a meager credit which is suppose to reflect the amount of hydro we have paid since Dec 2006 yet the credit falls months short of the actual amount we paid.
So, if you or someone you know is experiencing historically “out of wack” smart meter readings, monitor and meter your home use and note every thing you use, for how long and the date – purchase an Energy meter and plug it into every electrical based object you can and take readings. Lots of them. You will likely be impressed with how accurately you can actually read your home in comparison to a defective meter. Meanwhile contact the Hydro Ottawa metering office and request your meter be tested for malfunctions. Insist they remove it and replace it with a 2nd Generation meter. Hydro Ottawa won’t pay attention to the drop in kw use the new meter displays but you will definitely see the difference if you have been dealing with a faulty 1st Generation meter.
Then, with all your records in place – Complain. We are certain our meter is not the first reported to Hydro Ottawa due to the information we obtained, so it is quite possible there are others experiencing this type of situation who have simply run up against a brick wall and have decided to move rather than continue with the hassles. Believe me, we considered doing just that – the problem however, is who is going to want a house whose single hydro bill is equal to a 2nd mortgage payment every billing period?
I’d like to hear from anyone else who has had this situation transpire – after all misery loves company, but there is then also the ability to leverage those experiences into action that may see Hydro Ottawa being required to take this situation far more seriously than they currently are.