5 Questions with Barb Gilbey on Helping Our Employees Stay Safe
January 16, 2023
Sometimes we need to access your power meter. This tends to be when you’re due for a meter read to ensure your power bill is accurate. We’re transitioning to smart meters that electronically send readings, but until then we continue to read your power meter manually.
A meter reader’s job isn’t always glamorous. They can be faced with bad weather, barking dogs and obstacles in the yard. On average, 20 employees will get injured on customers’ property each year.
We sat down with Barb, Manager of Metering Services, to learn how you can make it safer for meter readers to do their job when they come to your home.
1. Why does SaskPower read my power meter?
The majority of our meters don’t talk to our billing system yet! Until then, we read your meter to make sure your bill is accurate. A SaskPower employee typically reads the meter on your home once every three months if you live in a city or large town, or once a year if you live in a rural area.
2. What can community members do to help keep employees safe?
Remember to maintain a pathway all the way to your meter during the winter. Most meters are located around the side of your home, but your extra effort goes a long way. Use sand or ice melt on icy sidewalks and remove icicles hanging over meters outside. Please also clear ice and snow away from gates, stairs and doors.
Bikes, ladders, tools – whatever you have back there, please remember to keep it away from your meter. Sometimes tools like shovels or rakes can get buried in snow, tall grass or leaves. Invisible items like this are dangerous, especially when they cross the path to the meter. Make sure your yard is clear before the snow comes.
And finally — we love dogs — but they can be anxious when someone they don't know comes into their yard. No matter how friendly your dog is, it needs to be leashed or better yet, kept inside when our meter reader is on the premise. If your dog is regularly kept in your yard, consider reading your own meter and submitting the reading online. Or call us and let us know you have a dog that may get protective, so we know to knock on your door before we access the yard. It's easy and only takes a few minutes.
3. What happens if SaskPower’s unable to read someone’s meter?
Your meter reader will leave a door hanger behind to let you know they were there. It will include instructions to submit your reading yourself. If the meter is not read by us or you, we'll base your bill on an estimate from last year. Sometimes that number can be different than what you've actually used. This could mean a large settle up bill after your meter gets read again. It's better in the long run if your meter is regularly read by you or one of our readers.
4. When will Saskatchewan get smart meters and no longer require manual meter reading?
Eventually, everyone will get a smart meter that sends us readings automatically, but as previously announced we’re experiencing a delay due to global shortages. We’re hoping to get shipments in 2023, but smart meter installations will take a few years assuming we get a steady supply. This means we still need your help for a while.
5. How can people submit their own meter reads?
You can submit your meter reading as often as you’d like. This will keep your bill as accurate as possible.
There are several ways to do this. Submit a meter read:
- through your MySaskPower account
- through the SaskPower App
- online at Submit Your Meter Reading
- over the phone by calling 1-888-757-6937