SaskPower is giving smart meters another shot, despite the failure of the program the first time around.
The Crown corporation’s CEO said it’s working on a program to get them back into the system.
Mike Marsh said smart meters for their commercial and industrial clients, like oil field sites, will start being installed in the coming year
“We currently do not have a residential smart meter that will be deployed in 2017 — perhaps later in 2017 — but right now it looks like earlier in 2018,” said Marsh.
He said it will likely take several years for all of the residential meters to be installed.
“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.”
The original smart meter program was halted in 2014 after several of the meters caught on fire. All 105,000 meters which had been installed were removed by March 2015 — the cost of which was expected to be around $15 million.
“There were no houses that caught fire. So let’s not exaggerate,” said Marsh while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
There were 10 fires reported in all, some of which melted siding on homes.
Then-CEO Robert Watson resigned shortly after the program failed.
Marsh said SaskPower has worked with meter rating agencies and has developed a strong meter specification, “probably the best one in Canada.”
He explained the industrial and commercial meters have been tested in the field over the past year, and the residential meters will be similarly tested when they become available.