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N.B. energy minister ‘disappointed’ with EUB smart meter decision

New Brunswick's Energy and Utilities Board says installing smart meters in the province right now is not in the public interest.
New Brunswick's Energy and Utilities Board says installing smart meters in the province right now is not in the public interest. File / Global News

The energy minister of New Brunswick says he is “disappointed” with the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) declining to move forward with smart meters in the province.

Rick Doucet released the statement on Tuesday, four days after the EUB shut down NB Power’s application.

“We are certainly disappointed that NB Power put forward an implementation plan for smart meters that the EUB found was not in the best interests of ratepayers,” Doucet stated.

“When NB Power wants to invest money, it needs to demonstrate very clearly that its spending will benefit ratepayers. It is the EUB’s role to oversee that process and we appreciate their work.”

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READ MORE: New Brunswick’s Energy and Utilities Board denies smart meter application

The application was part of a marathon public hearing that sat for 31 days over three months.

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The board concluded that the estimated capital cost for the project — more than $90 million — did not constitute a positive business case and therefore was not in the public interest at this time.

WATCH: Smart meter program under scrutiny during annual EUB hearing in Saint John

Smart meter program under scrutiny during annual EUB hearing in Saint John
Smart meter program under scrutiny during annual EUB hearing in Saint John

In his statement, Doucet added that it is the government’s responsibility to have NB Power operate efficiently and reliably, and that electricity rates are kept low.

He also stated that he will closely review the matter to “ensure that NB Power is properly delivering on its mandate from New Brunswickers.”

–With a file from Andrew Cromwell