Smart meter fires: 9th failure pushes case to cut ties with Sensus


Canadian media has reported a ninth smart meter failure in electric utility SaskPower’s service area, which happened late last week.

After losing power, homeowner Joan Reimer found smoke coming from the Sensus 3.3 Generation meter unit, according to state media CTV.

SaskPower replaced the meter as part of its 105,000 recall of smart meters.

Following a review by the Crown Investments Corporation, the holding company that manages the Government of Saskatchewan’s assets including utilities, SaskPower has until March 15, 2015 to complete the switch from digital to analogue meters.

Sensus-SaskPower relationship

The latest news comes as opposition political party NDP has called for SaskPower to sever ties with US manufacturer Sensus.

Late last month, SaskPower confirmed that it will press on with its smart meter rollout and is working with Sensus to develop a new meter tailored to its needs, local media report.

As part of Sensus’ settlement agreement with SaskPower following the product recall in July 2014, the manufacturer will develop a meter to suit Saskatchewan’s conditions.

It is already working on a new, more waterproof generation of meters.

The report confirms that “at that time, SaskPower and the Government will determine if they are satisfied that a new generation meter is safe and reliable, and only then will resume the smart meter installation program”.

Bill Boyd, the minister responsible for SaskPower, said the utility is sticking with Sensus for the time being because the technology the meters use is “very, very good for a widespread province like ours”.

Plus, Mr Boyd said he believes the problems associated with the smart meters “can be corrected”.