Green light for Nova Scotia Power’s $133m smart meter plan
June 19, 2108
The Nova Scotia Utility & Review Board (UARB) has approved Nova Scotia Power’s plan to upgrade all its customers to smart meters that will provide detailed and timely information about energy use.
“This is an important step forward that will enable our company to better serve our customers,” said Karen Hutt, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power. “Smart meter technology will allow us to create a more modern energy grid capable of supporting future innovation for years to come and help drive our objective of providing the best customer experience possible.”
The $133m project to upgrade its existing analogue and digital meters to smart meters comes at no additional costs for customers. Once the smart meter network is up and running, consumers should experience benefits such as access to more information about their daily energy use, more efficient power restoration during outages and more accurate billing by virtually eliminating bill estimates.
Over the next 20 years, switching to smart meters should reduce costs in the electricity system by approximately $38m, which will help Nova Scotia Power continue to provide rate stability to customers.
The latest smart meter technology will capture energy use in intervals as frequently as 15 minutes. These data will be sent several times a day to Nova Scotia Power through a safe, secure and private wireless network that will be built as part of the project, whereas current meters require manual readings in-person.
After carefully reviewing the board’s decision and conditions included as part of regulatory approval, Nova Scotia Power plans to spend the next year building and testing the secure communications network as part of the project. During this time, meter installation planning will also be underway and further information will be communicated to customers on smart meters and how they can increase their benefits.
The utility says its customers will be contacted well in advance of any installation activity, which is expected to begin in late 2019.