Stakeholders in the energy sector are taking a bashing for their program to bring advanced metering to the North American country - and not from anti-smart meter consumer groups but from independent assessors.
First, there were the nine smart-meter related fires in Saskatchewan province. The fall out: resignation of chief executive officer Robert Watson, recall of 105,000 meters, a compensation package of US$47 million.
Second, and most recently, there came the Lysyk report - the findings of auditor-general of Ontario’s legislature Bonnie Lysyk into the smart meter rollout in the province.
The overall soundbite from the annual report on the 4.8 million smart meter rollout was “few benefits for a hefty host” (Smart meters: Canada's auditor says 'few benefits' from US$1.7bn rollout) .
From a lack of cost-benefit analysis to the duplication of the central data office, the findings are devastating for the public image of smart metering technology.
So how did we get here?
One reader commented that the problems that Canada is experiencing is because “Canadian authorities mandated the early adoption of technology that wasn’t ready for prime time.
“The smart meter market was still more VC driven hype than fact and early versions of 'industry standards' weren’t fully baked.”
This reader concludes with a moot point - that many will read the report as a condemnation of the current state of the technology rather than the forced premature wide-spread adoption of an emerging technology.
More from Metering.com
The utility solutions arm of GE has secured a voluntary safety certification for its commercial and industrial smart meters. GE’s Digital Energy worked with global standardization and quality company Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to achieve the safety stamp for its range of C&I units, setting an industry first. UL says GE is the first meter manufacturer that now meets certification requirements for all categories of smart meters – residential, commercial and industrial.
In Canada, Saskatchewan electric utility SaskPower faces further embarrassment as it confirmed that a 10th smart meter installed as part of a province-wide rollout had failed this week due to overheating. The utility said the unit had melted in a similar way to the failure of nine other Sensus 3.3 smart meters since June 2014. The news comes as SaskPower is scrambling to replace 105,000 smart electric meters with analogue models following an order by the provincial government in August this year to recall the products.
US smart grid company Tantalus has made public the level of interest it has received from municipal utilities in its low-cost advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) migration solution. Tantalus reports that the company has engaged with more than 15 municipal and cooperative power utilities across the US that are using encoder receiver transmitter technology and Tantalus' Utility Network to upgrade from one-way communication to automated, two-way AMI.
In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s smart meter acquisition is
In Australia, energy companies in Victoria have received approval to increase annual smart meter fees by up to 28%, according to local media reports. The Australian Energy Regulator last week rubber-stamped smart meter charges for 2015 of between AUD109.40 (US$90) and AUD226.30 (US$187) depending on energy supplier.
US advanced metering infrastructure supplier Aclara Technologies is closing the year with a deal for its power line communications system. Texas-based Lamar County Electric Cooperative Association announced this week that it has ordered the eTWACS advanced metering infrastructure system. The cooperative will deploy the AMI over the next two years overriding its legacy system.
Metering.com is the sister news portal to Engerati focusing on smart metering