NSP gets approval to roll out $133 million smart meter program

The province's Utility and Review Board (UARB) has approved Nova Scotia Power's plan to upgrade all of its customers to smart meters.

The UARB says the $133 million project will not be paid for through an increase in power rates, instead, the cost of the program is expected to be offset by savings over the meters' 20 year life span.

Nova Scotia Power says the smart meters will capture customers’ energy use as frequently as every 15 minutes, with data being sent to NSP several times a day through secure, and private wireless network.

Once the new smart meter network is up and running, NSP says customers will have access to more information about their daily energy use, more efficient power restoration during outages and more accurate billing by virtually eliminating bill estimates.

Current analog meters require manual readings in-person, and, according to the UARB, the switch to smart meters means roughly 70 people will lose their jobs.

Customers who want to stick with the current analog meters will be able to opt out of the smart meter program, but the UARB says there may be a fee for that.

Nova Scotia Power has until August 31 to provide the UARB with the full details on opting out.

The utility will spend the next year building and testing the project's secure communication network with meter installation expected to begin in late 2019.

A copy of the board's decision can be found on the UARB website.