The results are encouraging in the sense that we now have independent confirmation that these meters meet all standards, said Mike Marsh, SaskPower Acting President, and CEO. That being said, the way these meters failed in the Saskatchewan environment was unacceptable. It is clear that the bar must be raised.
Higher standards are required of a new meter and SaskPower is leading the charge on exactly that front.
SaskPower hired UL in August for independent testing on the model of smart meter installed on residential homes in Saskatchewan. UL is a world-leading body in testing, certifying, and validating electrical meters. Its standards for meters have been adopted as leading specifications for meter use in North America.
The meters were subjected to the performance requirements in the newest industry standard: the UL 2735 Standard for Safety for Electric Utility Meters, which was released at the end of May 2013, and the meters were found to comply.
The UL 2735 standard covers the accuracy and safe performance of smart meters. Testing included things like flammability, water ingress, meter accuracy, exposure to various voltages and operation under extreme conditions.
The test results underscore the importance of committing additional dollars to research and development of a smart meter for Saskatchewan, said Marsh.
In an agreement previously announced on Sept. 9, SaskPower and Sensus specifically agreed to an investment of $5 million toward a next generation meter that meets SaskPowers specific needs.
Any new smart meter designed for SaskPowers use must meet more stringent requirements than currently exist. These requirements, as well as current industry standards, will be subject to independent verification prior to acceptance or installation by SaskPower.
SaskPower continues to remove all remaining smart meters in the province with a deadline for completion of March 15, 2015.