NB – Atlantica Centre for Energy to incorporate propane industry’s concerns into recommendations for smart meters in New Brunswick

The installation of smart meters has been an ongoing issue throughout Canada because they have been installed too close to propane tanks already in place. The CSA B149.2 Propane Storage and Handling Code states that propane installations must respect a 10 ft clearance when placed near a source of ignition.

Currently, there is ongoing debate in New Brunswick as to whether NB Power should be permitted to roll out smart meters for its customers. The CPA took the opportunity to respond to a commentary written by Atlantica Centre for Energy President Colleen D’Entremont who was advocating for the province to permit the installation of smart meters.

In her response, CPA President & CEO Nathalie St-Pierre raised the concern that smart meters are considered a source of ignition and they are often being installed too close to propane installations. This is being done at great expense to the industry, with some CPA members having to pay to move their installations to ensure that customers have access to their heating sources in the winter.

St-Pierre suggested that the NB Utilities and Energy Board only use smart meters that are not deemed as a source of ignition, allowing propane installations to remain where they are located. By adopting a smart meter technology that is not deemed a source of ignition, it allows future propane installations to be within the regulated 3ft as opposed to 10 ft. She added that if the NB board chooses a smart meter technology considered to be a source of ignition, they must ensure they and their installers respect the codes and standards.

D’Entremont responded positively to the information, stating that safety is of paramount concern and the propane industry’s concerns were valid. She thanked St-Pierre for providing this data and will be including it into the Atlantic Centre’s recommendations to NB Power, NS Power and the municipal utilities in the region.