Conservation Voltage Reduction Research and Demonstration Pilot Project
NB Power has partnered with Siemens, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the National Research Council (NRC) on a Grid Modernization Research and Demonstration Pilot Project to study how we can conserve energy in New Brunswick by means of voltage reduction.
Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) is a proven technology used by utilities to better manage distribution system voltages in order to improve grid efficiency, all without compromising power quality.
Approximately 5,000 NB Power homes and businesses in specific areas of the province will be a part of this research and demonstration pilot project over the next 12 months. Out of these 5,000, approximately 700 customers will require upgraded meters, which will be installed at no cost to them. These meters have been used in other jurisdictions to carry out similar pilot projects.
This project will allow us to determine and measure the potential to reduce voltage to obtain energy savings, peak reduction in the future and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, all which will help make New Brunswick greener.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will this impact me?
Approximately 5,000 customers will be part of this research and demonstration pilot, the majority of which will see no impact at all. Out of these 5,000, approximately 700 customers will need to have their meter upgraded in order for us to gather the data needed for this research.
If you require a meter upgrade or your existing meter base needs repair, we will repair it at no cost to you. The meter replacement typically takes about 10-15 minutes.
Your bill will continue to be read and billed on a monthly basis. Your meter will be read manually during the period of the project.
If the voltage to my home or business is reduced, will this mean that my equipment may not work properly or be damaged?
No. During the research and demonstration pilot project, the voltage at the meter will be monitored by NB Power’s control centre to ensure that it stays within the limits prescribed by the Canadian Standards Association.
What kind of meter will be installed as part of this research and demonstration pilot project?
For this research, we need to upgrade you current meter to a smart meter that can send NB Power your energy consumption on a more frequent basis as well as voltage data – this cannot be done with the current meters. There are over 71 million similar meters deployed across North America. In the US, more than half the country is using this type of meter. These meters are also already in use in New Brunswick, including in Perth Andover and in Saint John.
Do these meters use radio frequency technology?
Yes. These meters use radio frequency technology. According to Health Canada and the World Health Organization, radio frequency does not pose a risk to the public. Your safety is our top priority, and we would not install any equipment that could be dangerous to you. Exposure to radio frequency from these meters is much less than that received from microwave ovens (313 times higher) or cell phones (12 000 times higher).
Is the meter safe?
Yes. The same as your meter today, the new meters are certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for safety.
How long will this meter stay on my home or business?
Although your new meter will no longer measure voltage once the pilot is complete, it will remain on your home or business and operate like a regular meter (to collect your consumption data for billing purposes). We will notify you when the pilot is complete.
Will there be any direct cost to me for the installation of the meters?
No. There will be no cost to you to install the new meters. This project is funded by NRCan and NB Power.
Will my bill change?
No. Your bill will not go up or fluctuate as a result of this pilot project. CVR will have no impact on your consumption. NB Power will continue to read and bill you on a monthly basis, no different than we do today.
Is the information provided from the meter accurate?
Yes. The same as your meter today, the new meters are certified by Measurement Canada for accuracy. It is a requirement for all utilities in Canada to adhere to standards set by the Canadian Electrical Code – this will not change.
What data will be gathered for this project?
The only information that NB Power will gather through these meters is related to the voltage in customers’ homes in order to correlate the impact voltage might have to consumption. Only your meter number, voltage and consumption data will be collected.
How long will the project last?
Once all of the approximately 700 meters have been installed, the project will last 12 months. This will allow us to capture data during all four seasons.
What will happen with the data gathered for this pilot project?
All information is sent through NB Power’s secure network and is collected by the National Research Council (NRC).
Will my personal information be protected?
We are committed to protecting the privacy of our customers and maintaining the confidentiality of all personal information collected.
Any personal information collected is handled in accordance with corporate policies, our Code of Ethics and New Brunswick’s Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
For more information on this project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.