NB Power defends smart meters in front of Energy and Utility Board
NB Power is looking to install a device into every home that monitors energy consumption, but critics say the devices could have serious health implications.
Paul Heroux, a physicist at McGill University, told the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board that he’s witnessed the deployment of smart meters in Quebec. He says the radio frequencies emitted from the devices might cause harm to those with electromagnetic sensitivity.
"These types of equipment generate electromagnetic radiation and it is very positive and a small segment of the population cannot tolerate this radiation," Heroux says.
Heroux says research shows low-intensity radio frequencies are a risk to developing cancer overtime.
NB Power is familiar with health arguments against smart meters, but claims the devices are Health Canada certified.
“It would take the equivalent of standing beside that smart meter for 375 years to get the equivalent than a cellphone would for one year," says Michel Losier, executive director of energy efficiency
SaskPower was forced to remove thousands of smart meters in homes across the province after more than 10 of the 100,000 meters caught fire. Saskatchewan plans to deploy new and improved smart meters this year.
"There's been improvements in installation, in technology and it continues to improve," Losier says.
NB Power says the smart meters will help reduce fossil fuels. Over 70 million are installed in homes across North America.
If approved by the review board, the devices could soon be in New Brunswick at a cost of more than $120 million.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mary Cranston.