Skip to content

Meter types, access, and replacements

Electricity meters are the end point of the large and complex electricity system that serves your home and businesses.

The meters measure your electricity use for billing. And to make sure you're billed correctly, they must pass strict accuracy tests throughout their lifecycles.

Our standard meters are smart meters

In 2011 we invested in our metering system, installing smart meters for 99% of our customers. These meters are our standard equipment. They measure detailed information about the flow of electricity and power you use and create a communications network to send this data back to us automatically each day.

Smart meter fees

  • Set-up fee: none
  • Monthly fee: none

Smart meter features

  • Automatic meter reading
  • Next day consumption data available in your MyHydro account
  • Streamlined move-in/move-out process
  • Automatic outage detection

Other meter types

A radio-off meter is a smart meter that's been adjusted so that it doesn't communicate wirelessly. If you're part of the small number of customers who have these meters, a BC Hydro employee visits your property every two months to manually download consumption data from the meter to ensure you're billed accurately.

This means you don't have access to your home's consumption data in your MyHydro account until after the manual meter reading site visit, and you'll have to call us to report a power outage.


Radio-off meters are only available to customers who need to replace their existing radio-off meter. If you already have a smart meter, you're not eligible to request a radio-off meter.

Radio-off meter fees:

  • Set-up fee: $22.60
  • Exit fee: $55
  • Monthly fee: $20

Fees recover the additional costs for resources, equipment and systems that were automated by our standard smart meters. All fees were reviewed and approved by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

Legacy meters are discontinued equipment that are not available for any BC Hydro customer to request, relocate or purchase.

To review our policies relating to radio-off and legacy meters, see our Electric Tariff [PDF, 3.1 MB]

Meter access and replacements

Please ensure the BC Hydro meter at your property is freely accessible at all times. We may need to drop by to maintain or replace the meter.

Meters need to be replaced if:

  • The meter's Measurement Canada accuracy seal expires,
  • The meter has been randomly selected for sample testing, or
  • The meter is no longer operational for a variety of reasons.

This is in accordance with the Government of Canada's Electricity and Gas Inspection Act. Both BC Hydro and Itron are accredited Measurement Canada service providers and undergo an annual Measurement Canada audit to maintain certification.

Residential meter replacements usually take place Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

You don't need to be home, but there will be a brief outage, so the worker is asked to knock on the door before starting work. The outage will last about one minute.

All our installers are fully qualified and carry photo ID. If you'd like to verify the legitimacy of the worker, please give us a call at 1 800 409 8199.

The condition of the meter's base is your responsibility to maintain. If our installer finds any deficiencies with the meter base, they'll let you know.

Providing unrestricted access to our equipment is a service requirement. Please call us at 1 800 409 8199 if access could be a problem.

Be careful not to block access to the meter. Potential access issues include:

  • Locked gates, enclosed carports, guard dogs.
  • Covers or enclosures over the meter.
  • Property renovations or landscaping that obstruct the space. We require three inches of unobstructed access around the meter lock ring at all times.

If our worker can't complete a meter replacement because they can't access our equipment, a failed installation fee of $65 will be charged.

Meter with clear access Meter with obstructed access 

A radio-off meter can be replaced with a smart meter or another radio-off meter.

At any time

If you have a radio-off meter and would like to switch to a smart meter, you don't have to wait until it expires. Request a smart meter

When it expires

If you've received a notification letter from us indicating that your radio-off meter's Measurement Canada certification has expired, it needs to be replaced. By default, we'll replace it with a new radio-off meter, but if you'd like you can request a smart meter instead. 

Get in touch

If you have questions about meters that aren't answered here, please call the customer metering team at 1 800 409 8199 (toll free) or email us