SaskPower repairs meter boxes in 'several hundred' homes, expands inspections

SaskPower has inspected the power meter boxes and electrical cables in about 1,400 homes and found several hundred of them needed repairs.

Older homes are at greatest risk of meter box fires

If you're meter is tilted like the one in this image, it could be because ground settling has pulled down the electric cables (Supplied by SaskPower)

SaskPower is expanding its effort to inspect homes in Regina that are at risk of meter box failures as a result of ground shifting. 

According to a news release issued Friday, the utility provider said crews have inspected about 1,400 homes in the city and found several hundred required repairs to meter boxes and electrical wiring. 

SaskPower announced earlier in the week all repairs would be paid for by the Crown.

Repair costs unknown

On Friday afternoon, spokesperson Jonathan Tremblay said in an email to CBC News that the final cost is unknown, and that the inspections completed to date have been done using temporary fixes and existing resources. 

He said crews will return to homes with temporary fixes and install permanent ones. 

A power meter caught fire on the side of a house on Parkland Drive in Regina on Sunday, July 23, 2017. (SaskPower)

For the past week, SaskPower workers have focused on inspecting homes in Glencairn, Uplands and Normanview, which are older neighbourhoods. 

Tremblay said plans to widen the inspections does not mean all homes in the city will be checked, just those with underground service and some spots in newer neighbourhoods.

It will also begin inspecting homes in Moose Jaw. The city is also being affected by the dry conditions that are causing the ground to shift and electrical wires be pulled from meter boxes.

Older homes are at greatest risk of meter fires when this happens, while newer builds will more likely experience a power outage if wires are pulled down, Tremblay added.

SaskPower said last Sunday was the last time a meter box caught fire. So far, fire crews have responded to five meter box failures this summer. 

Residents are encouraged to check their power meter boxes and see whether the unit has tilted, which might indicate a cable has shifted. 

If this is the case, residents are asked to contact SaskPower at 1-888-757-6937.