Meters & Meter Reads

Nelson Hydro Meter

Nelson Hydro owns and maintains over 11,000 electric meters within our Service Territory. Meters measure and record electric energy consumed by a residence, business, or device in kilowatt-hours (kWh) or kilo volt-ampere (kVA).

Nelson Hydro reads meters every 30 or 60 days and bills customers on the difference between the current read and the previous read. This difference, or the current consumption, is multiplied by the approved electric rate and presented as the Current Charges Due on your hydro bill.

About Your Meter

Residential Meter (1)
  1. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Id
  2. Meter Reading Data Display
  3. Electrical Ratings and Other Technical Specifications
  4. Utility Inventory Number
  5. Meter Manufacturer

Meter Types and Read Method

There are currently three types of residential meters used in the Nelson Hydro Service Territory:

  • C1SR: single-family residential, or
  • CN1SR: apartments or condominiums, or
  • C1SDR3: a bi-directional meter used for the Net Metering Program.

Much like how cell phones connect to an external device through Bluetooth, Nelson Hydro reads meters automatically by remotely connecting a hand-held meter reading device to an electric meter to upload the reading data. Nelson Hydro charges a fee for manually reading a meter for customers who have opted out of automatic meter readings. This fee is added to the electricity bill and is described in Rate M-1 or M-2 in the Hydro Services Bylaw.

Radio Communication

Nelson Hydro’s meters communicate using radio signals and frequencies like FM radios, televisions, and cell phones. Meters broadcast their readings once they receive a wake-up signal from the hand-held meter reading device. When the meter reading device is connected, it receives the data from the meter over twenty-five seconds. Meters are read six times (residential and small commercial) or twelve times (large commercial) per year. Nelson Hydro meters use a radio frequency of 915 MHz which is comparable to an LTE Cellular Network. This is referred to as Automated Meter Reading (AMR).

Our meters are regularly and independently tested at Measurement Canada approved testing sites to ensure that they operate within regulations and approved standards.

Technical Comparison

Characteristic CENTRON
(Smart Meter)
(Single Family)
Model Number CVSOR C1A3B C1A3B C3A2H
Used at Nelson Hydro? No Yes Yes Yes
Broadcast Frequency 902-928 megahertz 915 megahertz 915 megahertz 915 megahertz
Power Output 87 milliwatts 147 milliwatts 147 milliwatts 130 milliwatts
Transmit Cycle Repeat Rate every ~6 hours
with the potential
for data access in
25 Seconds once 
every 60-days
25 Seconds once
every 60-days
25 Seconds once
every 60-days

Since 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has required that all wireless communications devices sold in the United States meet minimum guidelines for safe human exposure to radio frequency energy. In addition, federal health and safety agencies including the EPA, FDA, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) consistently monitor and regulate Radio Frequency safety.

Itron meters used by Nelson Hydro meet the FCC, Industry Canada, and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers standards. For more information on Itron Meters please visit

What is Net Metering?

Net Metering is a program whereby customers can offset their electric power from Nelson Hydro with their solar electric generation. Net Metering uses a bi-directional meter to measure how much electricity is coming into the meter and how much customer generation is coming out of the meter. Read more about Net Metering here. Apply for a Net Meter Service to your home here.

What is a Smart Meter?

Smart Meters or Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) meters are mini-computers that periodically transmit electricity status and usage data back to the utility. They are like smartphones. Using smart meters helps utilities better manage the electricity grid, improve customer service, and reconnect electricity to customers faster.


Smart Meters can assist utilities in troubleshooting electrical problems and restoring electrical services faster and cheaper. Customers won’t have to call their utility to report a power outage because utilities will already know of the outage and be dispatching crews to address the problem.

Nelson Hydro does not have any Smart Meter installations at this time. However, they are the new electric utility standard, and as of 2021, 90% of meters in Canada are considered smart meters[1]. BC Hydro has 1.9 million electric smart meters installed across British Columbia[2] and as of November 2022, FortisBC has 144,912 electric smart meters installed within its service territory.[3]