Some SaskPower bills double after smart meter installation
SaskPower says readings are accurate for power consumption
Before her new smart meter was installed, Chelsey Lemke was paying
about $75 for power every month for her 1,100 sq. ft. bungalow in Regina.
Then in the summer of 2013, her old power meter was removed and a new
smart meter was installed. Her first bill after that was more than $1,000.
"Since then, I've seen nothing (on my power bill) under $180 a month,
and some months it's $300, some months it's $280. It's double what
we were paying before," said Lemke.
The smart meter is supposed to make everything easier for the
customers and provider SaskPower. However, some customers have
been left feeling frustrated and paying significantly higher bills just like
Old power and gas meters are being replaced by smart meters across (external - login to view)most of Saskatchewan
The digital meters will eventually send information directly to SaskPower
and SaskEnergy, eliminating the need for manual meter reading and
Approximately 80,000 smart meters have already been installed; the
full 500,000 will be installed by the end of 2016.
Some of the 80,000 customers already upgraded are getting shocking
bills, like Lemke following the installation. Lemke said she called
SaskPower's customer service line after getting her first inflated bill
but didn't get much help.
"They have nothing to say about it,"
Lemke went on to paraphrase,
"this is exactly what you're using and that's the end of the story, if
you want power this is what you're paying for it."
Lemke maintains her family wasn't consuming more power and
didn't add new electronics to their home.
"I don't know what's happening that all of a sudden your power can
double when you're using the exact same amount in the exact same
Lemke's family has actually been cutting back on their power use
since then; she said it hasn't really helped.
"After I got that bill for a thousand dollars, we started unplugging
everything that we weren't using. We did a bunch of research
online about phantom power and ghost power."
Lemke called the situation ridiculous and wants a better
explanation from SaskPower.
"I don't think it's a fair enough explanation to just say 'well
that's what it is.' There's something wrong, there's something
amiss, there's something that's counting faster than it should
be, or something's happening because there's no way that I've
gone from using 500 kilowatts to 1,000 or whatever they're
saying it is."
According to SaskPower, the average household in
Saskatchewan uses about 725 kilowatt hours a month.
Lemke isn't alone; Ashley Haus ran into the same situation.
The smart meter on her home was installed three months
ago. Since then, her bills have also doubled.
"Our first bill was over $300...and then each month since,
it's been consistently over $100 - at least $120 each month,"
Haus explained that before the new meter the bill had been
closer to $50, and like Lemke, she says her household hasn't
changed their power usage.
"I was trying to think back to see if we were using more power
here or there but I couldn't think of any type of area where we
were using more power."
When asked about the problem, SaskPower President and CEO
Robert Watson said the provider hadn't heard much at all from
Rest of story here: Some SaskPower bills double after smart meter installation | News Talk 980 CJME (external - login to view)
Oh Yeah.....from the LINK above:
At least one of the customers said they were told by SaskPower's
customer service representatives that the new meters are just
more accurate than the older meters, so that's why there's a
. But, according to Watson, there is no difference
in the accuracy of the old meters and the new meters