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Smart Meters

Smart meters are electronic meters that measure and record actual power and water usage by time intervals throughout the day, and transmit that data wirelessly over a secure network to a central data management system. With a smart meter, meter reading can be done remotely.

Information on Saskatoon Light & Power’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Meter Replacement Program is presented below. Find out more about  Saskatoon's  Water’s AMI program.

SL&P Smart Meter Deployment Plan
Updated January 4, 2018
 

Neighbourhood

Meter Deployment Status

Adelaide/Churchill

Complete

Airport Business Area

Complete

Arbor Creek

Complete

Avalon

Complete

Brevoort Park

Complete

Buena Vista

Complete

C.N. Industrial

Complete

Caswell Hill

Complete

Central Business District

Complete

Central Industrial

Complete

City Park

Complete

College Park

Complete

College Park East

Complete

Eastview

Complete

Erindale

Complete

Evergreen

Complete

Exhibition

Complete

Forest Grove

Complete

Greystone Heights

Complete

Grosvenor Park

Complete

Haultain

Complete

Holiday Park

Complete

Holliston

Complete

Hudson Bay Park

Complete

Kelsey Industrial

Complete

King George

Complete

Mayfair

Complete

Meadow Green

Complete

Montgomery Place

Complete

Mount Royal

Complete

North Industrial

Complete

North Park

Complete

Nutana

Complete

Nutana Park

Complete

Nutana Suburban Centre

Complete

Pleasant Hill

Complete

Queen Elizabeth

Complete

Richmond Heights

Complete

Riversdale

Complete

Silverspring

Complete

South West Industrial

Complete

Sutherland

Complete

Sutherland Industrial

Complete

University Heights

Complete

Varsity View

Complete

West Industrial

Complete

Westmount

Complete

Westview

Complete

 

Note 

1.  The above plan reflects planned meter replacements for detached residential housing. Meter replacements for apartments, condominiums, and businesses may not necessarily follow the same schedule.
2. The above plan is subject to change.
3. Some left over meter replacements may exist in completed neighbourhoods due to access limitations.

 

AMI Network Devices

Saskatoon Light & Power (SL&P) continues to install data collection devices throughout both SL&P and Saskatoon Water services areas, which enable AMI compatible electricity and water meters to be read remotely.

Data collection devices include Data Collector and Data Repeater devices.  Data Collectors are devices that relay data from the meters to City Hall using SaskTel's 4G LTE wireless network. Data Repeaters are devices that extend the network outside of SL&P's Electrical Service Area to read water meters within the SaskPower Service Areas in Saskatoon. The devices are installed on existing power and streetlight poles throughout Saskatoon.

Data and Repeater boxes

data repeater and box

 

SL&P AMI Network Deployment Plan

Neighbourhood

Network Deployment Status

Adelaide/Churchill

Complete

Airport Business Area

Complete

Arbor Creek

Complete

Avalon

Complete

Brevoort Park

Complete

Brighton

In Progress

Buena Vista

Complete

C.N. Industrial

Complete

Caswell Hill

Complete

Central Business District

Complete

Central Industrial

Complete

City Park

Complete

College Park

Complete

College Park East

Complete

Eastview

Complete

Erindale

Complete

Evergreen

Complete

Exhibition

Complete

Forest Grove

Complete

Greystone Heights

Complete

Grosvenor Park

Complete

Haultain

Complete

Holiday Park

Complete

Holliston

Complete

Hudson Bay Park

Complete

Kelsey Industrial

Complete

King George

Complete

Mayfair

Complete

Meadow Green

Complete

Montgomery Place

Complete

Mount Royal

Complete

North Industrial

Complete

North Park

Complete

Nutana

Complete

Nutana Park

Complete

Nutana Suburban Centre

Complete

Pleasant Hill

Complete

Queen Elizabeth

Complete

Richmond Heights

Complete

Riversdale

Complete

Silverspring

Complete

South West Industrial

Complete

Stonebridge

In Progress

Sutherland

Complete

Sutherland Industrial

Complete

University Heights

Complete

Varsity View

Complete

West Industrial

Complete

Westmount

Complete

Westview

Complete

 

AMI Billing

From July 2016,customers who have already received their new smart meters will have their meters read electronically and will begin receiving monthly bills based on actual, not estimated usage. As the deployment of smart meters continues, the balance of customers will be converted to the AMI system.

Smart Meter Benefits

Benefits to customers

You pay for what you use - Your monthly billing is based on actual use rather than estimates.

You can track your electrical and water use - Timely data allows you to save money by changing your electricity and water consumption habits. You can detect unusual consumption such as water leaks or when large electrical appliances are left on.

Improved service - Meter reading, connects and disconnects are done remotely. Meter readers are no longer required to visit your property.

Benefits to the City

Additional revenues are generated from more accurate metering and reductions in losses due to meter failure.

Reduced labour costs - meter reader visits and some electricity meter connects and disconnects are eliminated. Fuel costs and meter reader workplace injuries due to slips and falls and animal bites are also reduced.

Another benefit for everyone is reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from elimination of manual meter reading. It is estimated that 35 tonnes of CO2e tied to vehicle use will be reduced each year, and reductions from decreased water use are estimated at 3,300 tonnes CO2e, the equivalent of removing over 685 vehicles from Saskatoon roads each year.

Planning for the future

In the future, smart meters could help identify power outages and water leaks more quickly, saving money through the operation of a more efficient system.
 

How Smart Meters Work

Smart meters are equipped with wireless network capability; therefore, they emit radio frequency (RF) waves. These emissions are well below Industry Canada and Health Canada regulations. The RF exposure from the meter is very small in comparison to other RF sources.

Health Canada’s website provides information on smart meters and radio frequency exposure.

 

Questions About Smart Meters

 

How are smart meters different than mechanical meters?

Older meters are mechanical which means they use mechanical parts that spin as electricity is used, and the readout is on small dials that meter readers record while at a home or business. This reading is then used to calculate bills. The older a meter gets the less accurate it can be, which can result in under reporting. Some customers may see an increase of about 0.5% on their bills once the new meter is in place.

Smart meters track consumption electronically and then use a secure network to communicate directly with the City's Meter Data Management System. Smart meters mean your monthly bill will reflect actual use for that month, on every bill, every month. This means they are fair bills with no surprises; customers will not see bill adjustments or large unexpected increases in their bills through the year.

Will more accurate readings mean my bill will be higher?

After the new meter is installed, the actual read on the new meter is about 0.5%, or one half of one per cent higher. Therefore, on average, for a utility bill of $100, residents would see an increase of 50 cents on their bill. With the AMI system, each months' bill is based on actual usage, eliminating large "catch up" bills that can accumulate due to a long, cold winter when usage is higher.

If your bill is higher than expected, this month, it is likely because adjustments were made after the manual readings. That is, you have likely used more power than normal between readings and it is reflected in a larger-than-normal bill. With the AMI System, these adjustments will not happen because meters are read daily and reflect actual usage.

How else will a Smart Meter affect my daily life?

Smart meters also help customers detect any unusual consumption patterns as a result of, for example, leaving a portable electric heater turned on. In the future, the system could also help detect power outages faster, decreasing restoration time. This means improved customer service as meter reading, connects and disconnects can be done remotely. Meter readers will no longer have to visit your property.

Changing the billing with AMI is an opportunity to help customers understand their own usage. Customers will be able to save by tracking their usage and changing their consumption habits. 

As part of the implementation, will there be a web portal or smart meter app residents can use to manage their own electricity and water usage?

We are investigating advanced applications that have the potential to reduce utility operating costs, improvements to service delivery, and reduction in peak energy demand and water consumption. This could include enhanced customer engagement tools through web interfaces, in-home displays, home area networks, and smart phone applications.

However, the costs to create any of these advanced systems are not included in our costs to date, and would require a separate report to City Council in the future, if supported by a positive business case.

What if I don't want a smart meter?

There may be an option to provide you with a meter that does not have a communication function embedded in it; however, you may be required to pay an additional monthly fee for performing manual meter reading.

Are smart meters safe?

Radio frequency (RF) emissions generated by smart meters are well below Health Canada and Industry Canada regulations. The RF emissions from smart meters are no different than for cell phones, except they are generated at much lower levels and only for short periods throughout the day.

Will my billing data be safe if it is being transmitted wirelessly?

The City applies the same privacy protection standards as have always been used. All data collected is used only to ensure accurate billing. Only encrypted meter readings and meter identification are transmitted through smart meters, not your personal information. Saskatoon Light & Power (SL&P) and the City of Saskatoon comply with Saskatchewan's privacy legislation.

What is the total cost of implementing an AMI system?

  • Total capital costs - $24.31 million
  • System operation costs - $22.1 million
  • Total projected savings - $76.1 million
  • The total project paid for within 11.43 years
  • Internal rate of return - 11%

Will any jobs be lost as a result of the use of smart meters?

No, however, meter reader positions will be phased out over the next several years through attrition, retraining and redeployment. Two meter installation positions will also be phased out through attrition. Three new positions are required to operate the system. Overall, nine full-time positions will be eliminated in the long term.