Smart meter

The City of Saskatoon is hosting open house meetings on smart meters this week. (Courtesy City of Saskatoon)

The City of Saskatoon is getting ready to upgrade its metering system for utilities, a move it says will benefit all residents.

The city is installing the smart meters right now and is expected to have them online in 2015. People will be charged for their actual usage rather than estimated usage with the current manual meters.

On Friday, the city held a news conference to dispel myths about the machines.

Kevin Hudson, a manager with Saskatoon Light and Power, said the new meters will not cause cancer.

"Some customers are concerned about things such as radio frequency emissions and possible health effects from those," Hudson said.

According to Hudson, all of the information gathered will be kept confidential.

"All of the data from the meters is transmitted over a secure network and is encrypted and is only used for billing purposes," Hudson said. "There's no personal information transmitted."

Some people may have seen a larger than usual utility bill in the past few months, which the city says is because of a manual meter read. 

By changing to the smart meter system, the city says it will be able to monitor and adjust electricity and water consumption habits.