NEWS: Nunavut January 30, 2015 – 7:13 am

Nunavut power utility responds to smart meter worries

“QEC has not encountered any safety issues”


Between now and March, QEC crews are installing 27 smart meters in Iqaluit as part of a pilot project. (FILE IMAGE)
Between now and March, QEC crews are installing 27 smart meters in Iqaluit as part of a pilot project. (FILE IMAGE)


In an effort to quell health and safety concerns, Nunavut’s Qulliq Energy Corp. says its new smart meters are transmitted through existing power lines and not through radio frequency or wireless signal.

The energy corporation announced last month that it’s started a pilot project to install 27 new meters in Iqaluit — the first to be installed in Nunavut.

Following a series of smart meter fires noted in Saskatchewan last summer, Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority just announced it would remove 5,400 of the province’s meters because they pose a safety risk.

The meters have also been the sources of health concerns in some Canadian provinces, where people say the meters can expose residents to electromagnetic radiation.

The QEC says it wants to make clear that it’s installing a different brand and type of meter — one that transmits information through the existing cable power lines, also known as Power Line Carrier Communication.

“QEC has not encountered any safety issues since the implementation of its smart meter pilot project in Iqaluit,” the corporation said Jan. 29.

“As safety is QEC’s top priority, the QEC is closely monitoring is smart meter installation project in Iqaluit,” the release said.

“QEC’s installation crews perform mechanical and electrical inspection of each meter base before and after installing new meters.”

The smart meter technology which the QEC has chosen has been in use worldwide for the past decade, the corporation said, noting that it’s been tested and approved in Canada and the United States.

Before wide-scale implementation, the QEC will have installed 27 smart meters to test on all power lines.

Upgrades to the metering system began Jan. 15 and continue until March 31 from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

The QEC will leave a notice at the door once a meter has been replaced.

According to Natural Resources Canada, which is contributing $1.6 million towards the new meter-installation project, the new meters will also cut costs, reduce fuel consumption and even reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because diesel fuel consumption will fall.