BC Hydro Implements Smart Metering Program to Modernize Grid

| Client story

BC Hydro, one of North America’s leading providers of clean, renewable energy, has partnered with Capgemini to deliver a smart metering solution. As part of modernizing BC Hydro’s delivery infrastructure, the program will focus on attaining operating efficiencies, improving reliability, increasing customer service, and reducing pressure on utility rates.

The Situation

With a customer base of over 1.8 million on the west coast of Canada, BC Hydro, the country’s third largest electricity utility, manages approximately 18,000 kilometres of transmission lines, 56,000 kilometres of distribution lines and 260 substations in British Columbia. However, like many utilities, much of BC Hydro’s infrastructure is more than 50 years old and has not kept pace with the rapid growth of technology and other demands on the system. By upgrading the grid, BC Hydro aims to improve their distribution operations and deliver significant benefits to their customers.

The Solution

In order to achieve this, BC Hydro has initiated the Smart Metering Program, and as a first step towards modernizing BC’s electricity grid, the utility will replace over 1.8 million conventional meters with smart meters by the end of 2012. By improving safety, reliability and customer service, reducing electricity theft and wasted electricity, and enabling conservation tools, BC Hydro is anticipating the program will deliver overall benefits of over $1.6 billion CAD (approximately €1.22 billion), with at least $500 million in net benefits to help reduce rate pressures for BC Hydro customers. BC Hydro has partnered with Capgemini’s Smart Energy Services (SES) to deliver the system integration; solution architecture; program management; deployment support; and operations support services in designing and delivering a program that will replace more than 1.8 million meters with smart meters.

The Result

The Smart Metering Program will deliver the following benefits:

  • Keeping rates low. BC Hydro can operate more efficiently with smart meters by reducing power loss, which will benefit BC Hydro’s customers by helping to keep rates among the lowest in North America. Smart meters will save BC Hydro customers about $70 million over the next three years alone.
  • New customer tools to manage energy use and save money. Customers and businesses will have access to new smart meter enabled tools that they can use to manage and conserve their energy use, helping them save money.
  • Get the lights back on faster and more safely during power outages. Right now, when the power is out, BC Hydro requires customers to call in to let them know. Smart meters will automatically send an alert to BC Hydro when the power goes out, so that crews can get to the outage and restore power faster.