Saskatchewan utilities SaskPower and SaskEnergy are deploying Sensus’ FlexNet™ communication network along with almost 1 million electric meters and gas modules throughout the province’s 600,000 km2 service territory, the company has revealed.
The project began in October in the capital of Regina and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.
“Our customers at SaskPower and SaskEnergy were looking for a flexible and secure platform that would support their continued growth,” explained Sensus president Randy Bays. “Our technologies will help them reach their environmental goals while delivering improved operational performance and savings from day one.”
The Sensus network will be the foundation for multiple applications, beginning with meter reading and billing, and includes new electric smart meters and a two-way radio module upgrade to existing natural gas meters.
Data collected from the meters will allow SaskPower to bill its customers every month based on actual consumption – instead of estimates sent four times a year. The automatic readings will save the company $1.7 million in fuel and other vehicle related costs per year and reduce its carbon emissions by 1,500 tons, which is equal to removing 375 vehicles from the road.
The battery-powered electronic modules will enhance gas meters so SaskEnergy can record usage on a daily basis where monthly bills will be based on actual, not estimated, usage. Added benefits of the system include customers seeing cost savings sooner related to energy efficiencies initiatives, billing questions resolved more efficiently, no manual on-site reads and simple and quick tenancy changes when preparing to move.
SaskPower estimates that the system will pay for itself in 11 years and SaskEnergy expects a cost recovery for its portion of the project within seven to 10 years.