Helping BC Energy make the most of smart meters

| Client story

The contrast was stark. Here was a company that supplied the energy of the future – clean, plentiful, sustainable. And yet, its efficiency and reliability was hindered by infrastructure that was five decades past its best. 

Partnering with BC Hydro to modernise its electricity grid, we helped the company replace 1.8 conventional meters with smart meters. The upgrade boosted operating efficiencies, reliability and customer service, and reduced pressure on utility rates.

The situation

Over 1.8 million customers on the west coast of Canada relied on BC Hydro, the country’s third largest electricity utility, for their power. But the infrastructure – 18,000km of transmission lines, 56,000km of distribution lines and 260 substations – badly needed updating. While demands on the system had increased, parts were still more than 50 years old. 

The solution

BC Hydro initiated the Smart Metering Program, replacing over 1.8 million conventional meters with smart meters. Capgemini’s Smart Energy Services delivered the system integration, solution architecture, program management, deployment support and operations support services. The program led to better safety, reliability and customer service while reducing theft. What’s more, it promoted conservation and prevented electricity being wasted.

The results

  • Anticipated overall benefits of over $1.6bn CAD (approximately €1.22 billion), with at least $500m in net benefits to help reduce rate pressures for customers.
  • Low rates. Smart meters reduce power loss, which in turn helps keep rates among the lowest in North America – saving customers about $70m over three years.
  • New customer tools – helping customers and businesses manage their energy use and save money.
  • Quicker restoration of power during outages. Smart meters will automatically send an alert to BC Hydro when the power goes out, so that crews can get to the outage faster.