A Nanaimo man has accused B.C. Hydro of trespassing.
Downtown Nanaimo homeowner Jurgen Goering was surprised on Tuesday to find a worker with Hydro had forced his way into the property's locked utility box to install a smart meter.
The Machleary Street home was one of the four per cent in the province to still have functioning analog meters before Tuesday's surprise installation.
As an opponent of the smart meter program, Goering took steps to post signage about his home indicating his desire to keep workers with B.C. Hydro or its contractors from coming on the property, except to take a reading from the meter.
The duplex's four meters are contained in a panel box on one side of the home.
Affixed to the meters was a thick piece of wood with locks on it to prevent the removal of the equipment.
Goering had holes drilled into the face of the panel to allow meter readers to check the numbering.
When he happened upon the Hydro worker on Tuesday, he noticed the assembly had been torn from the panel.
"I said he was trespassing, 'please leave right away,'" Goering said. "He refused to do so." A request for an interview with Bennett was not returned, but a spokesman for B.C. Hydro said customers grant the utility access to the property in their service agreements.
As the owner responsible for maintenance of the equipment, Hydro did not trespass on Goering's property, said Ted Olynyk of B.C. Hydro.
"We have a right and obligation to have access to the meter. .. We need that for safety reasons, in case there's a fire at the place," said Olynyk.
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