New year brings new electricity meters to Iqaluit

New “smart” meters can be read remotely


No more need to read electricity meters:

No more need to read electricity meters: “smart” meters similar to this one can be read remotely. (PHOTO FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)

If you live in Iqaluit, the new year will bring something new to your home or business: “smart” electricity meters, the first to be installed in the Canadian Arctic.

The city-wide installation of the new meters — which will cost $3.3 million — follows what a Dec. 23 news release from Qulliq Energy Corp. called a successful pilot project of 27 new meters that started Dec. 1.

The new meters will enable the QEC to read meters remotely, the release said.

And with that automatically-collected customer usage information, manual door-to-door meter reading will become unnecessary. That will eliminate “the potential of human error,” the QEC said.

The QEC also said the new meters will provide information on the times and locations of power outages.

According to Natural Resources Canada, which is contributing $1.6 million towards the new meter-installation project, the new meters will also cut costs, reduce fuel consumption and even reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because diesel fuel consumption will fall.

Upgrades to the metering system will start Jan. 15 and continue until March 31 from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The QEC is asking residents and businesses to make sure that nothing is blocking access to the areas around their existing electrical meters.

The power corp. also warns that “customers should be aware their power supply will be interrupted for approximately five minutes during the meter exchange.”

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