Nova Scotia Power
Schneider Electric Picked for Nova Scotia Deployment
RUTH G. FROM NEW HARBOUR, NOVA SCOTIA ASKED:
NS Power informed us they will be installing new meters this year.
Are these new ones the so-called “Smart Meters” that really aren’t so “smart”?
NOVA SCOTIA POWER ANSWERED:
Thanks for your question, Ruth.
We now only buy electronic meters and are gradually installing them in cases like new service installations or when older meters reach the end of their useful lives. Electronic meters function similarly to analog meters, except they display electricity usage on a screen. However, they are not considered what some call “smart meters.”
Analog meters still service many homes and businesses in Nova Scotia and can be used for many years before they need to be replaced. So to be cost-effective for our customers, we want to ensure we’re getting the most value out of them before they are replaced.
Utilities around the world are in the process of adopting more advanced meters (sometimes referred to as smart meters) that can help customers and utilities better monitor electricity usage in real-time. Nova Scotia Power is exploring a limited pilot project which aims to test how these meters function in Nova Scotia. We want to understand how our customers can best use smart meters to manage their electricity use in real-time before exploring further plans. We’ll be able to provide more information on this pilot as it progresses.
Answered on February 8, 2013 http://tomorrowspower.ca/answer/347/
Equip N.S. with smart meters
New Brunswick Power
4.8 Cost and Revenue Impacts of Smart Meter Implementation
4.7.5 Concerns Raised by Those Opposing Interruptible Service (Smart Metering) Offerings for Residential Classes
Some consumer advocates are skeptical about the ability of low income or elderly customers to respond in a meaningful way to price signals provided by Smart Meter alerts or time of use rates deployed in conjunction with smart metering infrastructure and thus to lower their bills. They also question the notion of charging for metering costs as a fixed charge in monthly bills since such charges affect low use customers more significantly than high use customers. In many cases the proposition that shifting load to off-peak periods will provide significant benefits is challenged. First, it is argued that the shifting of load does not reduce overall energy use. Rather, some argue that shifting load to the off-peak may replace cleaner gas-fired production at the peak with dirtier base-load coal fired generation. Secondly, reductions in peak use may not forestall generation additions enough to offset the disadvantages of an added cost of the Smart Metering infrastructure. In addition, there is the question of whether the price signals from a time of use pricing scheme can actually be designed to reflect actual cost levels in all or even a majority of circumstances. Another concern that has been raised relate to privacy issues. Smart Meters will be able to provide information regarding individual household habits such as when electricity is used, when the customer is at work or away on weekends, or when the customer goes to bed.
As noted above, the recent industry restructuring in New Brunswick has resulted in Disco purchasing energy from its suppliers under contracts that do not vary with respect to price by time of use or even by season. The lack of a price signal from the suppliers makes the argument regarding the reflection of real time cost differentials in pricing somewhat hollow. For Disco, there is no discernable cost difference on a time of use basis for the distribution system itself while there is a small, but measurable seasonal difference in production energy costs. Given these circumstances there will be very little basis for time of use rates and thus no foundation for the primary benefits ascribed to the deployment of a Smart Meter infrastructure, i.e. forestalling the need for capacity additions and encouraging energy conservation. However, Smart Metering offers other benefits as described below, which may justify installation even if these primary benefits are not immediately measurable.
Landis & Gyr TS1 AMR (2010) www.pub.nf.ca/applications/NLH2011Capital/files/application/NLH2011Application-VolumeII-Report33.pdf
Prince Edward Island
Smart meter program moves forward
by Mike Carson August 15, 2011
SUMMERSIDE – The city is going it alone in its pursuit of a costly smart meter program for Summerside.
Smart meters record total electricity consumption hour by hour and will send that information to your utility through either a wireless or another form of technology. With the ability to measure when electricity is used, different prices can apply at different times of the day. With time-of-use pricing, consumers will have a new way to manage electricity use and their bills.
The total cost for this phase was ticketed at $9 million for the initial setup and connection. The remaining 6,600 customers of the Summerside Electric Utility could be phased in to the program over time at a cost of an estimated $16 million bringing the total smart meter program cost to $25 million.
Some time ago Bell Aliant announced its intention to spend more than $7 million to run the same fibre cable to area homes for its Internet service. This same fibre could be coupled with the city’s smart meter program saving the city millions of dollars in cost.
In May council tabled the smart meter program in hopes of negotiating a deal with either Bell Aliant or EastLink to use their fibre optic lines.
Council met earlier this moth to review the plan and came up with an option to undertake the project on a phase-in basis.
With 50 customers in an area, the city will spend $1,935,000 to set the system up. Every subsequent block of 50 or more customers will have to be approved by council. Some members of council felt this would give the city better control of the costs.
“We have the $1.9 million now,” said Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall. “The money’s already in place. That will allow us to get to where we need to be. Once they get this up and running if there’s 50 more that want to sign on in an area then we come back to council to get approval for each one of those.’
Councillors Ron Dowling, Jim Steele, Frank Costa and Peter Holman supported the plan citing the potential the project has for economic development.
But councillors Jeff Sullivan, chairman of the city’s Electric Committee, Tina Mundy and Cory Thomas had real concerns over the expenditure of taxpayers’ dollars and of going into direct competition with the private sector.
“One (concern) is financial,” Sullivan said. “Even though there are cost savings to be realized by the utility on an operating basis, to my mind there are a great deal of up front capital costs that have to be absorbed by the utility or by the city. I think that we need to be extremely cautious when we talk about an expenditure that could start at $2 million and the next phase be a total of $7 million and by the time we’re done we’re up to $25 million. I wasn’t elected on a promise to spend more money.”
Mundy said theoretically the project makes sense.
“Ethically, however, I do struggle with the fact that we will be competing with private business,” she said. “Bell Aliant and EastLink, this is what they do for a living and for us to come in and say we’re going to do it better – I think that’s a stretch. Can’t we do it with partnering with the private sector? I think it can still be done. I don’t think that the project would die if we didn’t do it ourselves.”