(video) SaskPower Removing Smart Meters

SaskPower Removing Smart Meters

Wed, Jul 30 – A major development for the troublesome SaskPower smart meters. The government is ordering the crown utility to remove each of the 105 thousand units already installed in the province. It comes after eight reported fires linked to smart meters. Mike McKinnon explains how much this is going to cost.


SaskPower identifies 2 more smart meter failures

Saskatoon homeowner Brad McNairn is the seventh of eight homeowners to have a smart meter catch fire

CBC News Posted: Jul 28, 2014 11:27 AM CT Last Updated: Jul 29, 2014 6:29 AM CT


At a media availability Monday morning to report on Saskatchewan’s seventh smart meter failure this year, SaskPower confirmed crews had just been dispatched to an eighth.

SaskPower put the smart meter program on hold after six meters caught fire between May and July this year. Since then, the utility has been investigating.

“When you start having meter incidents, we as a company are concerned,” Mike March, SaskPower’s vice-president of operations, said Monday. “People need to know the failure rates are still within what the industry calls normal, but we are concerned about any failure.”

Smart meters, which are manufactured by Sensus Corporation, allow SaskPower to bill customers for the power they use each month rather than relying on estimates between meter readings. The utility introduced the replacement program in October of 2013 and since it installed more than 100,000 meters in the province before putting the program on hold.

No cause identified

Officials with the utility say they still have not narrowed down a cause for the fires.

“The type of meter failure is really specific in every case,” Marsh said. “In some cases there have been meter socket issues, in the past and I know some of the manufacturers point to that as the reason.”

A company called Grid One Solutions is supervising the deployment of the meters. The actual meter installers are SaskPower employees who are not journeymen. SaskPower doesn’t believe that has anything to do with the failures.

“They are not qualified electricians,” Marsh said. “But in most jurisdictions in North America, a competent worker is what is used to install the smart meters.”

The utility had little information about the eighth smart meter fire except that it happened around 10 a.m. CST Monday in the College Park area of Saskatoon and that it was likely similar to the one that happened Saturday.


Saskatchewan government orders SaskPower to pull out its smart meters

July 30, 2014 Updated : July 30, 2014 | 6:21 pm


SaskPower initially gave people the option of switching back to their old power meters.

About 530 customers took the utility up on the offer.

SaskPower says on its website that it is developing a plan to replace the smart meters quickly and safely.

“The concerns about safety are paramount here,” Boyd said Wednesday. “We believe that any time families are at risk here in Saskatchewan actions have to be taken and that’s why we have directed SaskPower accordingly.”

Mike Marsh with SaskPower acknowledged earlier this week that the situation was extremely serious.

A smart meter records consumption of electric energy in small intervals and can relay the information electronically to a power company. It eliminates the need to estimate bills when a meter reader can’t do a check on site.

(CJME, The Canadian Press)

17:31ET 30-07-14



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SASKATOON MORNING | Jul 29, 2014 | 8:15

Dealing with sizzling smart meters

SaskPower has put its smart meter program on pause after discovering the devices had a tendency to catch fire. But it’s not just an issue in Saskatchewan. The CBC’s Abby Schneider tells us how one U.S. state confronted a similar problem.