NB Power defends smart meters at Energy and Utilities Board

A smart meter in Moncton NB.
A smart meter in Moncton NB. Morganne Campbell/Global News

NB Power is once again defending its pitch to install smart meters at homes around the province.

Staff testified for a second day at a hearing of the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) in Saint John on Tuesday.

NB Power is asking permission to spend $92 million to prepare and install the advanced metering infrastructure, or AMI, saying the meters will improve efficiency, reduce costs and keep rates low.

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

It’s forecasting a net benefit of $31.1 million over a 15-year period.

EUB Legal and Administration director Ellen Desmond suggested the new meters would be collecting more data and asked who would own all of that information.

Lori Clark, NB Power’s senior vice president of operations, testified that the information collected by the smart meters would be mostly the same as that collected from the current metering system.

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The difference, she said, is the information would be collected more often.

Clark and fellow NB Power representatives, Jill Doucett and Stephanie Langlais, wrapped up two days of testimony Tuesday.

“There are many benefits that AMI brings, and the meters have been rolled out successfully in other jurisdictions,” Clark said after her testimony.

“Sometimes in these hearings we focus on some of the challenges, but there have been successful implementations in many jurisdictions and we want New Brunswickers and NB Power to benefit from the AMI meters as well.”

NB Power inks 3 deals to bring more Quebec electricity into the province
NB Power inks 3 deals to bring more Quebec electricity into the province

Two energy experts from Toronto also testified in the afternoon.

The hearing is expected to last six more days.

NB Power previously sought approval to implement smart meter technology, but that application was rejected by the EUB in 2018.