It’s time to upgrade our natural gas meters
October 15, 2019
A lot has changed since the early 1960s. Back then modern technology in most homes consisted of a record player, a rotary-dial telephone attached to the kitchen wall, an AM radio and a black and white television.
Technology has come a long way since then, and in the process has both enriched our lives and made them easier. But the gas meter technology we currently use in BC hasn’t fundamentally changed in more than 100 years. It still requires someone to manually read individual meters.
We no longer make calls from a phone attached to a wall or climb onto our roof to improve our TV reception. We think its time to update our gas meter technology too.
Benefits of advanced gas meters
We’re exploring a number of ways to modernize our natural gas system for our more than one million customers across BC. One of the ways we’re proposing to do this is by upgrading our existing gas meters with new advanced meters.
Advanced meters use sound waves to measure gas use and would send the information to FortisBC through a wireless network, meaning FortisBC would no longer need to enter customers’ properties regularly to read meters. They’re smaller, have no moving parts and are expected to last longer than existing meters.
They also offer customers additional benefits including access to daily updates on gas use and the convenience of not having gas service shut off during future meter exchanges.
Before we file an application with our regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), we’ll be engaging with communities. One way we’ll do this is by holding information sessions across the province throughout October and November.
The feedback we receive will help us prepare our application. If our application is approved by the BCUC, we anticipate replacing the meters between 2022 and 2026.