04/02/2015 10:52 EDT | Updated 06/02/2015 05:59 EDT

Potentially hazardous smart meters removed from Ontario homes - all but one

TORONTO - Ontario's Electrical Safety Authority says all but one of the thousands of smart meters that posed a potential fire hazard have been removed from homes in the province.

A review was conducted after there were reports last summer that at least eight meters caught fire in Saskatchewan.

The safety agency says the problematic Saskatchewan meters are not used in Ontario, but local utilities were ordered to discontinue use of a similar model and gave them a deadline of March 31.

The ESA says 5,109 meters were removed across the province, and only one remains in the Sarnia area, where a homeowner is not able to provide access to the property for the indoor meter to be removed until later this month.

The agency found that the Ontario model — a Sensus 3.2 meter with remote disconnect — is susceptible to arcing within the components if water, moisture or other contaminants get inside.

Smart meters are used to measure time-of-use electricity consumption for most residential and small business ratepayers.