What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is a digital meter that’s able to measure how much and when power is being used. These devices contain a two-way communication chip and can send information directly to us. In contrast, regular or analog meters simply log how much electricity is used and need to be read are checked by a utility company employee.
Do smart meters start fires?
No. In 2014, we experienced problems with smart meters of a completely different type. Dust and moisture were getting inside the meter seal, causing them to fail. We now test for exactly this issue in any type of meter we install.
One house fire occurred during our meter installations in 2014. This was the result of an electrical fault, but no smart meter was ever installed at this home.
Do smart meters mean higher bills?
No, all smart meters do is transmit a signal with the amount of power you’re actually using at the time.
Before your smart meter is installed, you may be getting bills based on estimated instead of actual meter readings. Smart meters eliminate this. If you want to get rid of “settle up” bills because your power use tracks higher than your bill, a smart meter is for you.
A higher bill would be a reflection of increased power use, not the meter.
Do radio frequency waves cause headaches and health problems?
Health Canada says that exposure to radio frequency emissions from smart meters do not pose a public health risk. The signal transmits from a meter to the network for a total of 0.04 seconds a day. Tests have proven that radio frequency emissions from our smart meters are lower than many common household devices, including:
- Wi-Fi signals
- laptop computers or cellphones
- garage door openers or remote car starters
How secure is the information being transmitted?
We apply privacy protection standards to all customer data we collect. This includes meter data from smart meters. The data we collect through our meters is used only to ensure accurate billing. Only encrypted meter readings and meter identification are transmitted through smart meters, not your personal information.
Will people lose their jobs because of this project?
Meter reading jobs will continue to be a need as we proceed with smart meter installations. As we install more meters, meter reading needs will decrease. But we're working on a plan to transform our workforce to align with how work will be done in the future.
Will a smart meter mean I get charged more for using power at certain times of the day?
No. SaskPower will not be increasing rates for power at peak times during the day. Unlike provinces with high populations, our power demand doesn’t peak enough for this to be necessary.
Will my smart meter cost me anything?
No. Both the meter and install are at no charge to you.