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30 Fairmont Park Lane S
Lethbridge, AB
T1K 7H7
Phone: (403) 328-1804
Monday, May 03, 2010
The Editor
The Lethbridge Herald
P.O. Box 670
Lethbridge, AB, T1J 3Z7 

Re: Smart Meter Implementation  

Greg Weadick’s column of April 23 indicates that there is no provincial rush toward implementation of “smart” metering technology. He outlines a process of conservative cautious testing and measurement of the worth of these new meters in order to “get it right”. That is a laudable approach. Can we be sure Mr. Weadick’s assessment of the situation reflects government policy?  

Let me repeat Alberta’s “Provincial Energy Strategy” published December, 2008 which suggests otherwise. It states that: “We will promote smart metering, smart grids and better consumption measurement in order to help Albertans better understand their consumption patterns and incent greener responses. We will direct the migration of electrical meters to Advanced Metering Infrastructure”. 

A Lethbridge Herald article (Sherri Gallant, “Meter Issue Riles Council”, 10/04/07) indicates Lethbridge City Council suspects the imitative is moving beyond the test and evaluation phase. City Council voted unanimously to send a letter to Energy Minister Ron Liepert expressing their concerns. 

I suggested in an earlier letter that this initiative might be one of the more sensible the province is undertaking.  That assessment was predicated partly on a possible low cost, relative to benefits, compared with the huge expansion of the transmission system already committed to enable wind power in Alberta.  Baynish Bassett, General Manager of South Alberta Rural Electrification Association Limited, set me straight (Herald 10/04/09).  He pointed out the savings “smart meters” might enable would not likely justify their cost of about $2000 each. 

I do hope that Mr. Weadick, City Council, and Mr. Bassett continue to question the wisdom of the apparent decisions of Alberta Energy to proceed with costly publicly funded projects which have not been proven to fit with the provision of economic electricity for Albertans. Do we really need a gold plated transmission and distribution system which will enable all potential electricity suppliers, regardless of cost, to connect to the grid in the name of competitive electricity supply? It is not enough to simply capitulate to the whimsical musings and recommendations of alternative energy technology enthusiasts and promoters. Solid engineering evaluation of expected costs and benefits should be a pre-requisite.  

Yours truly,



Duane Pendergast


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