Meter reading: One of Canada's most ambitious advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) projects will help support unprecedented economic growth in Saskatchewan, Canada as the provincial electric and natural gas utilities deploy a Sensus communication network and almost 1 million electric meters and gas modules.
Sensus, a leading provider of clean technology solutions, will install its FlexNet communication network throughout the province's 600,000 square kilometer service territory.
"Our customers at SaskPower and SaskEnergy were looking for a flexible and secure platform that would support their continued growth," said Sensus President Randy Bays. "Our technologies will help them reach their environmental goals while delivering improved operational performance and savings from day one."
The Sensus network will be the foundation for multiple applications, beginning with meter reading and billing, and includes new electric smart meters and a two-way radio module upgrade to existing natural gas meters.
Data collected from the meters allows SaskPower to bill its customers every month based on actual consumption -- instead of estimates sent four times a year. The automatic readings will save them $1.7 million in fuel and other vehicle related costs per year and reduce their carbon emissions by 1,500 tons, which is equal to removing 375 vehicles from the road.
The Sensus FlexNet system is an interoperable infrastructure platform based on open standards and supports multiple applications. It serves as a dedicated and secure two-way communications highway that reaches all points in a utility's service area. All data is protected and secured in local SaskPower data centers.
The battery-powered electronic modules will enhance gas meters so SaskEnergy can record usage on a daily basis where monthly bills will be based on actual, not estimated, usage. Added benefits of the system include customers seeing cost savings sooner related to energy efficiencies initiatives, billing questions resolved more efficiently, no manual on-site reads and simple and quick tenancy changes when preparing to move.
The project began in October in the capital of Regina and will continue throughout the province until the summer of 2015.
SaskPower estimates that the system will pay for itself in 11 years and SaskEnergy expects a cost recovery for its portion of the project within seven to 10 years.