January 22, 2015 2:23 pm
Updated: January 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Thousands of smart meters to be replaced in Ontario

Global News files

TORONTO – Close to 5,500 smart meters in Ontario will be replaced because of a risk they could catch fire.

The Eletrical Safety Authority is directing local utilities to replace the smart meters as a “preventative step” after a review of problems associated with smart meters in Saskatchewan.

The specific meter is the iConA Generation 3.2 remote disconnect meter manufactured by Sensus. The ESA’s review found the model was “susceptible” to failure when there was a build of water and contaminants in the meter.

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“The probability of a serious safety incident in Ontario is low,” said David Collie, ESA’s president and CEO. “We’re issuing our order as a proactive, preventative step. Even if the risk is low it’s better to react now and remove that risk altogether.”

SaskPower, Saskatchewan’s power authority, recalled some smart meters from homes in that province due to the risk of fire last year. More than 100,000 meters had to be removed as a result of nine fires associated with the meters.

The Ontario Energy Board said in August, 2014 the same model is not used in Ontario but 36 of the province’s 77 utilities use other models by the same manufacturer, Sensus Corp.

There have been “no serious safety events” reported in Ontario.

None of the smart meters which have to be replaced were in Toronto.

The recall is the latest controversy to spring from Ontario’s smart meter program. The province’s Auditor General reported in December the program cost nearly $1.9 billion – double the original estimated amount.

There are approximately 4.8 million smart meters in the province.

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