The Town of Rothesay has opted not to support NB Power’s plan to install smart meters at homes across the province.
At an Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) hearing in Saint John, NB Power is seeking permission to spend 92 million dollars to outfit homes with smart meters or AMI – advanced metering infrastructure.
The Town of Rothesay was asked to consider offering a letter of support.
Mayor Nancy Grant said NB Power sent a package of information to her in the middle of last week, just prior to a deadline for items to be included in a town council meeting on Monday, adding that councillors only saw the materials on the weekend.
Councillors were asked to vote on the request the same day the EUB hearings began.
The request for support was defeated unanimously, although Grant said she doesn’t believe council is necessarily opposed to smart meters.
“This smart metering is not easy for lay-people to understand,” Grant began. “And I think the councillors simply felt that they hadn’t had the time to be able to discuss this and ask questions. It is a very expensive decision.”
Grant said it would have been “much appreciated” for council to have been given the information well in advance, allowing time for discussion, questions or even a presentation from NB Power itself.
“(Council) felt like they didn’t have enough information to support the application,” Grant Said.
NB Power said its smart meter plan would provide a net benefit to New Brunswickers of $31.1 million.
The EUB hearings are expected to continue until next Wednesday.
In the meantime, a spokesperson for the neighbouring Town of Quispamsis said NB Power has yet to make similar request to that community.