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Meter Security and Your Privacy

Protecting your privacy

In B.C. your personal information is protected by law. We collect your name, address, and electricity use information to set-up and manage your account, and bill you for the power you use. All personal information we collect is managed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act).

Our electricity meters record your electricity use. They don't give us access to any real-time information, don't tell us if you're home or out and can't tell us which appliances you're using. What we see is your total and hourly electricity use, and information about the quality of your service, such as voltage information.

Graph showing sample whole house load, March 21 to 27, 2011

Securing our metering system

Protecting your privacy means making sure our metering system is secure. Just like you protect your computer and banks protect their online banking systems, we're taking the necessary precautions to protect our grid.

We followed industry best practices to design a secure metering system. It employs multiple layers of security, both within the meters themselves and in the end-to-end network, to ensure there's no single point of vulnerability.

The meter doesn't store any personal identifiers – no names or addresses. The data it does record – your electricity use – is protected by security certificates and encryption. This protected data is then transmitted through secure channels, and processed in secured facilities. Access to your personal information is restricted by rigorous access control policies and access is monitored to ensure these policies are followed.

This ‘security by design' system has been tested by independent 'ethical hacking' security services, and they haven't found any significant issues. We'll continue to ensure our system is secure through ongoing testing and upgrades.

B.C.'s Privacy Commissioner is satisfied with our work

In 2011, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia examined our work and said we had taken the right steps to protect your information.

Our meters measure your electricity use accurately

Our electricity meters are tested to make sure they meet the federal accuracy standard of 0.2% – a standard set by Measurement Canada.

Our meters continue to be tested for accuracy throughout their lifecycle. If any of these sample meters fail our testing, all of the meters if that meter group are removed from service. If the sample meters pass, the meters are resealed as accurate for a number of years.

If you're concerned about meter accuracy

If you receive an unexpected bill, use the online electricity tracking tools available in your online MyHydro account. You can see the amount of electricity you've used and compare your recent bill to the same billing period in previous years to see if your actual usage has changed.

The most common reasons for increased bill amounts are colder weather, buying new appliances, hosting guests and making home repairs. See other common reasons for a higher than expected bill.

If you've taken a look at your bills and are still concerned about meter accuracy, please call us.

If you remain concerned about the accuracy of the meter, you can ask us to remove the meter at your property and send to Measurement Canada for testing. There's no charge if the meter is found to be faulty, but if the meter is measuring accurately, you'll be responsible for the testing fee of $181 plus tax.