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COVID-19

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As you know, the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt by individuals and communities around the world. Given the rapidly changing environment, we must all do our part.

Measurement Canada (MC), an agency of the Government of Canada's Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is taking the next steps to protect the safety of our people and communities by reducing services across our offices effective March 16, 2020. We will continue to work to deliver our legislative mandate, programs and services, while also taking measures to reduce the potential for the spread of COVID-19 and the impacts on our clients and stakeholders.

MC takes its obligations regarding the health and safety of its employees very seriously. As a result, it has advised its employees of the following based on the current advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada (this advice is subject to change):

MC expects regulated parties to take similar measures.

Because the situation is constantly evolving, our plans may change, and if they do, we will let you know. This information will be updated when there are changes to the agency's approach and when service delivery begins to return to normal operating conditions.

List of services

Type approvals

The Weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act require that scales, gas pumps, electricity and natural gas meters, and other measuring devices used in financial transactions based on measurement be approved by MC. These type approvals require the physical evaluation of a prototype device.

MC's approval services laboratories have resumed their type approval services with a minimum number of staff. The laboratories have started accepting type approval applications as well as receiving prototype devices at our testing facilities at 151 Tunney's Pasture Driveway in Ottawa and shipping them from there.

When the laboratories are fully operational, MC will make every effort to maximize its operations, respond to client needs and deliver services according to its service standards.

Questions? Please send an email to MCInfo at ic.mcinfo-infomc.ic@canada.ca.

Standards calibrations

The Weights and Measures Act and Electricity and Gas Inspection Act require that physical standards of mass, length, volume, gas flow, pressure, temperature and electricity used to certify the accuracy of measuring devices be calibrated and certified at intervals prescribed by regulation.

Many MC calibration laboratories are now open, but operating with minimal staff. Those in Ottawa are currently accepting and calibrating the following types of standards:

If you wish to know if a calibration service is available, please send an email as per contact information below.

MC will allow certain test (local) standards (e.g. weight kits) and measuring apparatus (e.g. electricity meter test consoles) that cannot be calibrated, and that have passed their recertification date to continue to be used by MC accredited or registered authorized service providers for examinations and verifications. Only test standards and measuring apparatus whose recertification date is between March 1, 2020, and September 1, 2020, can be used past their recertification dates. Some standards may continue to be used without prior permission, while others can only be used once permission has been obtained from MC's Engineering and Laboratory Services Directorate. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Questions? Please send an email to MC's Engineering and Laboratory Services Directorate at ic.mcinfo-infomc.ic@canada.ca.

Inspections performed by MC before the device is placed into service

If your inspection is scheduled, an MC official will be in contact with you to determine whether the inspection can proceed or must be rescheduled.

If an inspection will proceed, industry cannot ask our inspectors and officials to sign various documents such as visitor request forms and COVID-19 screening forms before entering its facilities. Inspectors will also not be expected to follow specific directives before entering a place for inspection. As you are aware, MC officials are not present at establishments as visitors, but rather, as inspectors under MC's legislation, which allows them to enter any place in which they have reasonable grounds to believe that an activity regulated by MC legislation is conducted, for the purpose of verifying compliance and/or preventing non-compliance.

MC employees are required to follow the policies, procedures and terms of employment established by their employer. Additionally, MC inspectors are not obligated to share personal information with regulated parties regarding their personal travels or health conditions.

MC understands the concerns of industry with respect to COVID-19 and the exceptional circumstances that currently exist. The purpose of this notice is to inform regulated parties of some of the measures that it has put in place regarding the COVID-19 situation. These measures are informed by MC's obligations regarding the health and safety of its employees, which derive from Part II of the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Regarding the COVID-19 situation, MC is also taking into consideration the advice and recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Treasury Board.

Any requests can be made by sending an email to MCInfo at ic.mcinfo-infomc.ic@canada.ca.

Meters due for replacement or reverification

In March 2020, MC temporarily suspended the requirements for meter replacement and reverification. Utilities and other contractors with meters due for replacement or reverification were encouraged to suspend the removal of meters at residences and other public places while COVID-19 efforts are in place. MC indicated that it would develop a schedule in collaboration with meter owners to ensure that meters impacted by this temporary suspension are brought into compliance in a timely manner following the return to normal operations.

Over the last number of weeks, Canada has seen the reopening of businesses and the economy with the implementation of different phases throughout the country. As public health measures and restrictions continue to evolve in each respective jurisdiction, so do requirements and guidelines for worker safety and the public.

MC and its industry partners have been working collaboratively on developing and implementing a risk-based framework that aims to facilitate the replacement and reverification of meters that are more likely to create energy consumption errors for consumers while taking into account public health measures and restrictions. As public health and safety is a top priority for MC, any meter that shows a lower risk of measuring inaccurately can stay in operation rather than be subject to the typical mandatory reverification or replacement plan. However, meters that are more likely to create measurement inaccuracies or have shown signs of unreliable measurement may be subject to replacement and reverification.

Meters can continue to be removed from service for a variety of reasons; however, additional directives related to COVID-19 issued by local public health authorities must be followed. In instances where public health measures related to COVID-19 can't be adopted, MC will not enforce meter replacement. If a meter is being removed for a reason other than those listed or you feel that public health measures cannot be adopted, contact your utility provider about your concerns.

Questions and answers on meters due for replacement and reverification

  1. What is a risk-based framework?
  2. A risk-based framework helps to determine the risk and probability of measurement inaccuracy for in-service residential and commercial meters as they get closer to the end of their service life. The duration of a meter's service life is variable and depends on its long-term performance reliability, past performance when reverified and conditions of use (e.g. supply pressure, outdoor/indoor environments and service conditions).

  3. What should utilities do when they can't access meters?
  4. All meters that aren't accessible due to public health authority measures relating to COVID-19 must be identified and the reason(s) for their inaccessibility documented. Examples of reasons include the following:

  5. What do consumers do if they have concerns about a meter replacement?
  6. Typically, utilities and other service providers remove a meter to:

    If your meter is being removed for a reason other than those listed, or you feel that public health measures related to COVID-19 can't be adopted, contact your utility provider.

Filing of a complaint

MC will continue to accept complaints of suspected inaccurate measurement. A preliminary investigation into the complaint will be performed based on the information provided by the consumer and other data MC has at its disposal. Depending on the results of this investigation, MC may schedule an inspection at a later date. In all cases, the consumer will be advised of the actions MC will be taking.

Provision of technical guidance

MC technical specialists and program officers provide direction and guidance on the application and interpretation of the acts, regulations, policies and procedures as part of their regular activities. There will be no change to the process for this type of service.

Questions? Please contact the MC official you have worked with in the past or email MCInfo at ic.mcinfo-infomc.ic@canada.ca.

Submission of inspection results

The Online Reporting Application (ORA) Support Desk is operating as usual.

Questions? Please contact the ORA Support Desk at ic.ora-adel.ic@canada.ca.

Audit and oversight of authorized service providers

MC holds assessment meetings and performs audits, follow-up inspections and recognized technician evaluations of authorized service providers recognized to certify scales, gas pumps, as well as electricity and natural gas meters.

Planned audits and other oversight activities of authorized service providers will be conducted in alternative ways wherever possible. You will be contacted by your MC representative concerning audit and oversight activities.

If an audit will proceed, industry cannot ask our auditors and officials to sign various documents such as visitor request forms and COVID-19 screening forms before entering its facilities. Auditors will also not be expected to follow specific directives before entering a place for inspection. As you are aware, MC officials are not present at establishments as visitors, but rather, as officials recognized under MC's legislation, which allows them to enter any place in which they have reasonable grounds to believe that an activity regulated by MC legislation is conducted, for the purpose of verifying compliance and/or preventing non-compliance.

MC employees are not in a position to sign COVID-19 screening forms or similar documents, or to be directed by industry. MC employees are required to follow the policies, procedures and terms of employment established by their employer. Additionally, MC inspectors are not obligated to share personal information with regulated parties regarding their personal travels or health conditions.

MC understands the concerns of industry with respect to COVID-19 and the exceptional circumstances that currently exist. The purpose of this notice is to inform regulated parties of some of the measures that it has put in place regarding the COVID-19 situation. These measures are informed by MC's obligations regarding the health and safety of its employees, which derive from Part II of the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Regarding the COVID-19 situation, MC is also taking into consideration the advice and recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Treasury Board.

Renewal of your recognition to perform inspections will proceed as normal.

Questions? Please contact the MC auditor assigned to you.

Training of authorized service provider recognized technicians

With the exception of training to become authorized to use the online application to report inspection results, mandatory training for technicians is temporarily suspended. If you had registered for a training course, an MC representative will be in contact with you to discuss options available.

Questions? Please contact the MC auditor assigned to your organization.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on businesses and the communities they serve is unprecedented. MC is making significant efforts to change, where it can, its program and service delivery in an effort to help businesses in these difficult times. We will continue to update this information to address changing circumstances.

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