Radio-off option for advanced meters

When advanced meters are radio-on, they provide many benefits. They enable us to provide your bill without estimates and offer you tools to help you more easily understand your bills and better manage your electricity use. By transmitting energy consumption information to us, advanced meters also reduce the need for manual electricity meter readings and provide important operational information to us.

We encourage you to take advantage of these benefits, but also respect your right to request the radio-off option.

Radio-off option

If you choose the radio-off option, you’ll still have an “advanced” meter, except the wireless transmissions will be disabled. This means the meter will not be able to wirelessly send consumption information (how much electricity you use at your home or business in total) to us. Instead, a FortisBC employee or representative will visit the property to manually download data from your meter. 

Before you choose

Before you make a decision to go with radio-off, review the following table to see the differences between an advanced meter with wireless ability and a radio-off meter. 

Advanced meter Radio-off meter
Hourly consumption informationAvailable online in near real time Only available after manual meter read
Power outage notificationImproved outage notification to FortisBC and response timeMust call FortisBC during power outage
Support for home area networks and displaysYes (this option will be available soon)No - option requires wireless transmission of information
Cost to customerNo costAn $88 administrative fee, $18 per meter read

Radio-off fees 

If you choose the radio-off option, there will be associated costs. This means a one-time setup fee to reconfigure your meter to a radio-off meter and a bi-monthly per-premise meter reader fee.

The fees ensure the majority of customers will not be responsible for covering the actual costs of manual readings. The fees have been approved by the British Columbia Utilities Commission and include:

  • One time: if you choose a radio-off meter, you’ll be charged a one-time, per-premise setup fee of $88. This recovers the administrative and infrastructure costs associated with the installation of a radio-off meter. The fee will be charged on the first customer bill after the radio-off meter is installed.
  • Each meter read: a per-read fee of $18 that recovers the cost of manually downloading the consumption and operational data from a radio-off meter will be charged. This covers the vehicle and labour costs incurred for the ongoing manual meter reading process. The per-read fee will be charged for each manual meter read.

To request the radio-off option, call us at 1-866-436-7847, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak with a customer service representative. If you change your mind, you can go back to a standard advanced meter. The only charge will be a final per-read fee.