NB Power makes $92M bid for smart meters

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The New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board says the New Brunswick Power Corporation (NB Power) has made an application for a capital project to install smart meters.

In a release issued Friday, the EUB says NB Power estimates the cost of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to be $92.0 million dollars.

The Telegraph-Journal reports NB Power had a $90.7 million proposal for smart meters rejected 12 months ago, because the business case had not been properly laid out, but the EUB did leave the door open for a future bid.

The paper says the utility is returning with a business case it claims will save $31.1 million over 15 years once the switch to AMI is made.

The business plan forecasts smart meters would cost $109.6 million over 15 years, offset by $140.7 million in benefits.

In the application to the EUB, NB Power says around 30% of its meters are analog, meaning someone has to physically visit it to take a reading, while the other meters can be read by someone driving nearby.

NB Power's planned rollout for the meters is to start in the 2021-22 fiscal year, with completion estimated to be in the 2023-24 fiscal year.

The Telegraph-Journal says, if approved, AMI would roll out to about 360,000 residential and commercial customers and would offer consumption information every 5 to 15 minutes.

The EUB release says a pre-hearing conference will be held at the Delta Brunswick in Saint John on Monday August 26, with "interested parties welcome to attend to make representations about the procedure to be followed and any other relevant matters."

A copy of NB Power's application can be found here.

(With files from the Telegraph-Journal)