Opinion Editorial

Kent not feeling better about his Smart Meter

KENT WALTON

Hydro Smart Meters are in place and it's been almost eight months since my Smart Meter has been operational.

Let me tell you, I'm really impressed! Our household has been labour intensive trying to adjust our way of living so that we can utilize the Smart Meter to its potential.

In the process, Hydro even convinced me to turn in my old beer fridge which has been in the family forever. It sat in the unheated garage year after year functioning flawlessly.

During the Great Refrigerator Round-up sponsored by those same people pushing the Smart Meters, I had my old fridge collected. Two fridges later, I have discovered that the new fridges may be more efficient but they do not operate below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in an unheated garage.

Modern units must be wrapped to add insulation to allow the fridge to function.

New fridge number one was returned since I wasn't going to pay for a special insulating package for a spare fridge in the garage.

Enter fridge number two, which more or less functions. In extreme temperatures it does work, although erratically. During hot or cold spells it must be checked regularly to assure that all the liquids stored on the bottom shelf have not frozen nor the items on the top shelves are not too warm.

Oh, for my old fridge to back in place! We have a 20- year-old

freezer in the garage, and there's no way Hydro is getting their hands on that if they have a Freezer Round-up!

Next there was the thermostat that Hydro installed to save me more money. Three thermostats later, innumerable visits from my furnace man, Hydro and $400 in extra billing, I have a functioning unit once more.

It turns out that the super efficient thermostat installed by the Hydro was not compatible with my furnace.

Back to the Smart Meter!

It was a real struggle to whip my family-- that's me and the wife--to readjust our unprecedented use of electricity to fall in line with the thinking of the Smart Meter. After months of struggling and badgering, nagging about lights, late-night dish washing, and laundry drying during the midnight hours, we have come to a very brilliant conclusion.

It's just not worth the effort!

In return for all our wonderful endeavours, we have been rewarded with Hydro bills that amount to just about the same as they did without the Smart Meter. After comparing the totals from November when my meter went into effect, I have discovered to my chagrin that all our efforts really have amounted to just about zilch!

Since I started using the Smart Meter, we have moved most of our usage to off-hours. However, not accounting for the cost of new appliances and the service work it seems that we saved about $12 this billing from where we were before all the changes.

That's enough to take one of us to the movies!

News bulletin! This month a new 10% government relief discount was implemented and that probably is the actual difference. So much for our efforts!

Currently the electricity costs about $60 while the rest of the $130 is for delivery, regulatory charges, smart meter debt, retirement charges and of course our beloved HST!We pay more for the extra fees than what we pay for the product.

Where's the logic?

Don't you just love how we are charmed into saving money? It has cost me more than a $1,000 to save that $12. But as the environmentalist pointed out, "Don't you feel better for it?"

Reading by candlelight, Kent Walton can be reached at ebreflections@rogers.com.



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