New Brunswick EUB approves NB Power's smart meter proposal
FREDERICTON -- NB Power couldn’t get the energy and utilities board to go along with its smart meter plan back in 2018.
But the utility came back to the table and now, the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) says the $110-million plan is a go.
Colleen d’Entremont, president of the Atlantica Centre for Energy, attended the EUB hearings earlier this year.
"I think the business case that was put forward by NB Power was superior this time around," d’Entremont said. "I think they gave a lot more detail with respect to the payback for ratepayers and how long that would and how much it would cost. I think that other interveners had some good experts that were brought in, so there was a lot more information available."
Smart meters have been clouded in controversy across North America, with some critics saying the devices aren’t accurate. Others question the safety of the meters and if privacy is protected.
"But this kind of infrastructure is needed in order to move the electricity grid forward, as it has done in Ontario and Nova Scotia and other provinces across the country," d’Entremont said.
The second round of EUB hearings wrapped up in February.
"When the hearing concluded, deliberations began, and then the pandemic hit so at that time, NB Power submitted a motion requesting the decision not be released," said Kathleen Mitchell, the EUB's chief clerk.
The EUB agreed to withhold the decision at that time.
NB Power recently made a notice of motion asking for the decision to be released and the EUB decision was released late Friday.
NB Power is not commenting on the EUB decision right now; the utility says it is looking it over and will have more to say in the days to come.
The project may enter its next stage during the 2020-21 fiscal year.