SaskPower pilots residential smart meters

  • March 16, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

After safety testing and installing 35,000 commercial and industrial smart meters, Canadian utility SaskPower is now piloting its process for residential smart meters.

“We’re looking forward to providing our customers with the many benefits of smart meters,” said Shawn Schmidt, vice-president at the Saskatchewan utility. “For those who sign up, smart meters eliminate the need for estimated meter readings, provide detailed information on how an individual is using power in their home and, over time, will improve SaskPower’s response to outages.”

Residents in a number of communities are being selected to assist with establishing a solid concentration of meters in a geographical location to help gather outage information, and to improve reliability. Also, those participating in SaskPower’s net metering programme and all customers who’ve received a notice that their meter is due for replacement are encouraged to sign up. All residential users are welcome to apply. Both the meter and installation are at no additional cost.

The meters have been tested for safety and quality according to SaskPower’s own standards. Now, the utility is looking to validate meter deployment, communication, scheduling and procurement procedures. It is also looking to assess how concentrated groups of meters within a community communicate and provide additional visibility into what’s happening on the power grid.

More than 1500 SaskPower employees and over 2200 customers who had requested one over the past year will receive a meter as part of this pilot.

Since 2017, SaskPower has developed its own safety standard for these smart meters. To date, the company has installed more than 35,000 smart meters on businesses throughout the province, with no issues.

Over the past seven years, SaskPower has worked hard to find meters that meet its standard, develop additional process improvements and complete thorough meter testing. A third-party testing facility, Met Labs, has also verified that the meters the company is using meet this standard. Met Labs is a North American service provider for product safety approvals and regulatory certification of electrical products.