BC Hydro has awarded $73m contract to Corix Utilities for the installation of 1.8 million smart meters in homes and businesses across British Colombia, as part of its smart metering program.

BC Hydro’s smart metering program is part of a multi-year plan for improving safety, reliability and modernizing the province’s electricity grid.

The initiative will see the replacement of 1.8 million electromechanical meters, now becoming obsolete, with new digital smart meters.

Corix said that preparation and staging work for meter installation will commence immediately.

Starting in summer 2011, smart meter installation will begin in several communities throughout the province with completion targeted for December 2012.