Saskatchewan

Smart meters making a comeback in Saskatchewan after massive recall

Smart meters will be making a comeback in Saskatchewan, after thousands of them were pulled off homes and businesses in a massive recall two years ago.

105,000 meters pulled from homes and businesses after fires

SaskPower removed 105,000 smart meters, a process that was estimated to cost $47 million. (CBC)

Smart meters will be making a comeback in Saskatchewan, after thousands of them were pulled off homes and businesses in a massive recall two years ago.

The government ordered its electrical utility to remove 105,000 meters after more than half a dozen unexplained fires.

In 2018, SaskPower says it will be ready to bring the technology back.

"We have developed a very strong meter specification, probably the best one in Canada to date," says Mike Marsh, SaskPower's president. 

He says the company has spent the past year testing commercial and industrial meters. 

Marsh says residential meters should be available for testing over the next 12 months or so and SaskPower will begin installing them in 2018.

After that, Marsh says it will take several more years to install them all.

"We're going to be changing the deployment strategy to do fewer every year and taking probably five or six years to deploy, instead of doing mass deployment," Marsh said.

The Opposition's critic for SaskPower, Cathy Sproule, notes the original company which sold SaskPower the meters, has since been bought out.

The government said it had reached a deal with Sensus to cover the $47-million dollar cost of the recall.

"I would suspect given the failure of the last go-around that SaskPower will be extra careful in ensuring that people are protected and their residences are protected with any new technology," said Sproule.

Marsh said SaskPower has spoken to Sensus and its new owners, and the deal will still be honoured.

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