Saskatchewan utilities SaskPower and SaskEnergy are moving forward with province-wide installation of smart meters and upgraded gas modules this fall following a successful 16-month testing period.

SaskPower is installing almost 500,000 smart electric meters, while SaskEnergy will make upgrades to nearly 370,000 natural gas meters. All work is scheduled for completion in late 2015.

“Smart meter installation is a key part of SaskPower’s ongoing work to renew and improve the provincial electrical grid, and one that will bring real benefits to our customers,” said SaskPower president and CEO Robert Watson.

SaskPower’s AMI rollout cost is estimated at $190 million, while benefits are conservatively estimated at $470 million over a 20-year period, beginning when implementation is complete.

“AMI technology improves billing accuracy, which will assist our customers in better gauging their monthly energy consumption,” said Doug Kelln, SaskEnergy president and CEO.  “AMI will also create significant savings in day-to-day operations for SaskEnergy over the next several years.”

The two companies will share the cost of the smart meter infrastructure.