Exploding smart meter heats up Queen's Park
Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli. (Toronto Sun files)
An exploding smart meter prompted a grilling of Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli Thursday in the Ontario legislature.
Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski questioned the safety of the devices after one charred the outside of a brick home last Sunday.
“If a smart meter in Collingwood could catch fire and explode despite your assurances, how do we know there are not tens of thousands more just like it in the province of Ontario, waiting to go off?” Yakabuski said during Question Period.
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is investigating the incident and has not determined if the meter, the installation or some other cause is to blame, Chiarelli said.
In January, the ESA ordered the removal of Sensus Generation 3.2 remote disconnect meters which were similar in design to smart meters implicated in several Saskatchewan house fires.
The Collingwood model was not one of those impacted by the order.
Collingwood resident Veronica Onyskiw told Postmedia Network her smart meter, located close to her home’s main gas line, became a “ball of fire.”
“There are people all over this town with wood structures and they have these so-called smart meters attached to their houses,” Onyskiw said. “I really think this is a very serious threat ... I think it’s something people should know about.”
Yakabuski said smart meters, which were installed on homes across the province at the order of the Ontario government, have failed to produce the promised savings through time-of-use electricity pricing.
“Now we learn that these devices may burn without warning and burn a ratepayer’s house down,” he said, demanding to know the government’s plan of action in response to the incident.
Chiarelli noted that this was just one of 4.8 million metres installed in the province, and the government will await the result of ESA’s investigation.