Nova Scotia Power has received full approval from the province's regulator for a $133-million plan to install smart meters throughout the province.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board says the approval of new meters won't increase power rates because the cost of the program is expected to be offset by savings over its 20-year life.
The review board says savings of about $56.8 million will be realized over 20 years because of the lower costs to read meters, with the number of staff who read meters being reduced by about 72 people.
It says about $24.1 million will be saved over 20 years by using smart meters, including an estimated $27 million by offering lower power rates for customers who use power at times when demand is low.
Customers who don't want the meters will be able to opt out and the utility will have to provide up front information on the costs of doing so.
Installation of the new meters is expected to begin in January and be completed by the end of 2020.