SaskPower preparing to install 20,000 new smart meters

More smart meters are coming to the province. Twenty-thousand of the meters are set to be installed at commercial and industrial locations. SaskPower says there is still no plan to re-introduce residential smart meters.

There are currently more than 8,000 smart meters at businesses around the province

In 2014 more than 105,000 smart meters like the one pictured had to be recalled and uninstalled after SaskPower determined the meters were responsible for 10 fires. (CBC)

SaskPower is planning to install 20,000 new smart meters at businesses and industrial sites around Saskatchewan.

The Crown corporation is rolling out its plan to move toward a smart grid, where existing power meters will be replaced by smart meters. Joel Cherry, spokesperson for SaskPower, said the new meters will only be installed at commercial and industrial sites. 

The Crown currently has no timeline for residential smart meter installations. In 2014 more than 105,000 smart meters were recalled and uninstalled after they were responsible for 10 fires.

Cherry said the fires were caused by dust and moisture in the meters leading to electrical shorts.

"We've learned from the past and we're making sure that the meters we have now do meet high specifications," said Cherry. "They're not going to be vulnerable to the same sort of issues that happened last time."

New installations are limited to commercial and industrial meters because commercial meters are more expensive than residential meters.

The company responsible for delivering the devices, Sensus, is working with SaskPower to develop a residential model for smart meters.

Cherry said that the new meters will offer more accurate readings for customers, which could translate to cheaper power bills, and that power outages could be fixed more quickly with the new meters as SaskPower would know about problems right away.

According to SaskPower, there are already more 8,000 smart meters installed province-wide.