New Brunswick — After a rejection in 2018, the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities board have recently approved NB Power’s $110-million smart meter proposal.
Colleen d’Entremont, president of the Atlantica Centre for Energy, applauded the revised plan.
“The first time around we were concerned about the fires, lack of impact on conservation, inflated costs, poor connectivity in rural areas, customer complaints, and short lifespan of the meters from the same company in the 2014 Ontario Auditor General’s Report.”
When asked how the revised plan changed her opinion, she replied, “Oh, I really don’t care anymore. They even increased the budget by $18 million. I’m just tired of these meetings and want to have a job after the election.”
With the meter’s increased capability to collect information about location and power consumption, residents are concerned about their safety and security.
“What if some pervert can tell when I’m doing laundry and wants to stare at my knickers out on the line?” shouted Wilma Stevens from her porch in Stanley. “Now go away so I can get back to my Facebook survey with the date of birth, interests and income level of every member of my household!” She then posted a selfie with our news van to Snapchat and Instagram with her full name and GPS coordinates.
Other residents have concerns that the new meters will emit dangerous levels of radio frequencies.
“Keep it away from me! It’s throwing off my vibrations!” said Miramichi’s leading Reiki Master Cleo Powers. “With my microwave, Wi-Fi router and cellphone I keep pressed to my face, it couldn’t possibly be safe to place that transmitter on the outside of my house. No thanks. I must defend the Chi’s chi.”
NB Power CEO Gaëtan Thomas says customers want more accurate data, but that accuracy comes at a price.
“Of course bills will increase. For years we just took the discs out of old Viewfinders and let them spin inside a glass fishbowl. Did you really think someone was reading your meter?! The equation was so easy. Big house? Big bill. Little house with chimney and clothesline? Little bill. Blame those tree-hugging solar power and electric car-loving nerds for screwing up a good system.”
With the new meters, residents will also see tiered time-of-day billing with reduced rates late at night and early in the morning when energy demands are low.
When asked for comment, school bus driver and self-proclaimed “early bird” Josh Grondin exclaimed, “Woo-hoo! I’m warming my underwear in the microwave every morning!”