Connecting customers to their energy usage through smart meter technology

HALIFAX, NS – Nova Scotia Power plans to put the power in our customers’ hands by introducing smart meters for all residents and businesses, providing them with more access to information about how and when they use energy. The company applied to its regulator, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, today for approval of the $133 million dollar project which would see the first smart meters rolled out in 2019.

“We are excited to bring smart meter technology to our customers as we work together to create a sustainable future for Nova Scotia,” said Karen Hutt, President and CEO, Nova Scotia Power. “We know that our customers are looking for solutions to contain energy costs, and smart meters will give them more information, convenience and control over their own electricity usage.”

Customers will not be charged for their new smart meter, and over the next 20 years smart meters will result in $38 million in reduced costs to the electricity system. This cost reduction will help the company continue to provide rate stability for customers.

All customers will benefit from the transition to smart meters – such as improved power restoration – without paying more as smart meters will make our business more efficient, paying for the investment over time. Additionally, those customers who choose to monitor and adjust their usage could save money on their power bills. Ultimately, smart meters will help Nova Scotia Power deliver a better service to everyone.

“The time is right for our company to make this investment as we modernize our electrical grid and explore innovative technology solutions for our customers,” Hutt said. “We have extensively evaluated this project to ensure we can achieve the best value for our customers here in Nova Scotia. Approximately 70 per cent of Canadian homes currently have smart meters, and we have had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others to ensure a successful rollout.”

Smart meters will provide a secure, remote communication of electricity usage between Nova Scotia Power and its customers, enabling a host of benefits. Smart meters will give customers access to their daily energy use online, and provide our Customer Care Centre with up to date energy use information for customers who prefer to interact with us in-person or by phone. Automatic outage notifications generated by smart meters will alert us when power is lost and pinpoint areas affected by outages, resulting in faster, more efficient power restoration.

In addition to more information about their energy use and improved power restoration, smart meters give customers the ability to set usage and billing alerts to help stay on budget. With smart meters, service connections are also fast and convenient and bill estimates for hard-to-access meters (such as after major snowfall) are virtually eliminated.

Smart meters will lay the foundation for future innovative customer solutions – such as enabling the growth of solar, wind and battery storage onto our grid – that will transform the customer experience with Nova Scotia Power. For instance, current customers using solar power require a special meter that must be purchased at the expense of the customer. Smart meters eliminate the need for this cost, encouraging wider adoption by reducing this financial barrier.

Smart meter technology has matured over the past decade, ensuring we are purchasing a more accurate and secure product. The information transmitted by a smart meter is the same energy information currently collected – which does not include any personally identifying information – through a new, secure communications network that will not use or impact customer Wi-Fi.

Today’s energy landscape is changing. Nova Scotia Power is adapting and embracing these changes through innovations including smart meters so that we can continue to safely, efficiently and affordably deliver electricity to Nova Scotians today, tomorrow and for future generations.   

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