Canadian electric utility SaskPower has struck a deal with US smart meter manufacturer Sensus to recoup some of the costs of recalling 105,000 units following fires linked to the products.
The energy company announced yesterday that it will contribute a cash injection of US$24 million towards the US$47 million cost of removing the Sensus Generation 3 meters and replacing them with a basic digital device.
The compensation deal also includes a US$18 million credit for “future metering products” as well as US$5 million towards the research and development of a new meter for SaskPower.
Robert Watson, CEO of SaskPower, defended continuing to work with Sensus even though a review hasn’t been completed and the Crown utility doesn’t know what caused the smart meter problems, according to Canada’s CABC news.
Mr Watson said: “We fully believe that the review is going to show that SaskPower took all the steps necessary — in fact, independent advice, independent verification — all the steps necessary to select Sensus as a good supplier.”
Committed to smart meters
SaskPower also appeared bullish in continuing with its smart meter rollout, albeit a delayed one and far more costly than expected.
Watson said: “It’s important, quite frankly, that we re-install — go back to square one, put back the digital meters that were in there and then start again and come systematically forward to not only design, manufacture, test and verify that this meter is something we can put on our customers’s buildings.”
SaskPower says the new meters will meet Underwriters Laboratories standards and pass safety verification by an independent third party to ensure they function safely in Saskatchewan.
Smart meter probe
As part of the investigation in the smart meters fires, the Crown Investments Corporation released a list of eight smart meter failures occurring between June 16 and August 9 where melting or smoke was present.