BC Hydro Smart Meter Deployment Project Profile
BC Hydro is one of North America’s leading providers of clean, renewable energy, and the largest electric utility in British Columbia. It serves approximately 95% of the province’s population, or nearly 1.9 million customers, and strives to balance British Columbians’ energy needs today with those of future generations.
BC Hydro needed to modernize its 50-year old electrical system. Its multi-year upgrade strategy included a Smart Metering and Infrastructure (SMI) Program, designed to improve operational efficiencies, enhance its customers’ experience and deliver social and environmental benefits. To maximize the success of its SMI Program, BC Hydro sought an experienced, dependable partner to replace 1.8 million electromechanical meters with new digital smart meters at homes and businesses across BC in an unprecedented 18 months.
With strong local knowledge and a proven track record of effectively managing SMI deployment projects, Corix was chosen by BC Hydro to implement a safe, reliable, and cost-efficient smart meter solution.
Across North America, Corix has performed more than 18 million meter exchanges, installations and retrofits for various gas, water and electric utilities. Corix had the specialized tools, systems and knowledge required to assist BC Hydro in its transition from a traditional mechanical metering infrastructure to an automated digital system.
Corix worked closely with BC Hydro from the start to develop an execution strategy that fits its precise needs. This included several “Joint Application Design” sessions, where every project detail was planned, captured and assigned. Additionally, Corix implemented a regional approach to the deployment of the new meters that included: hiring locally and ensuring specific community needs were met to address BC’s diverse geographical areas. As the meter deployment progressed, targets were consistently reviewed and analyzed, with appropriate adjustments made to improve project outcomes.
As well as providing smart meter installation services, Corix delivered the end-to-end support services required to seamlessly administer the SMI Program. Solutions included project management, warehousing new meters, training technicians and customer service representatives, quality control, call centre support, and the in-depth investigation and resolution of field issues. To further support the smooth execution of the program, Corix opened seven temporary regional offices around the province.
BC Hydro’s SMI Program also delivered a range of social and economic benefits, contributing an estimated $30+ million in direct wages to the provincial economy.
Four months prior to deployment, Corix worked with First Nations councils, chiefs, and organizations throughout the province to identify the most effective ways to involve and empower First Nations people to participate in the Smart Metering Program and benefit from the jobs it provided. We communicated and cooperated with communities of all sizes to schedule our work around important local events, programs, and traditional practices. We also ensured that every member of the project team participated in cross-cultural awareness training so they could complete their responsibilities efficiently and demonstrate respect appropriately and confidently to everyone involved.
The Bottom Line
By choosing Corix to implement its SMI Program, BC Hydro gained an experienced, effective partner that was able to deliver 1.8 million meter exchanges in 18 months, exceeding all targets and expectations. As a result, BC Hydro was able to fulfil their ongoing commitment to provide its customers with safe and reliable energy services.