The policy of the Government is to install 800,000 smart meters across Ontario by the end of 2007 and for all Ontario consumers to have them installed by the end of 2010.
Why has the province mandated the use of smart meters?
It is estimated that over the next twenty years, Ontario will need to refurbish, rebuild, replace, or conserve 25,000 megawatts (MW) worth of generating capacity — more than 80% of Ontario’s current electricity generating capacity — at an estimated cost of $70 billion. Producing more electricity is only part of the answer. Conservation and demand management will help us make the best use of our existing electricity resources and slow our growth in demand. There are tremendous opportunities to reduce the supply-demand gap through the wise use of electricity — and smart meters together with time-of-use rates will help encourage us all to think about how and when we use electricity.
What is a smart meter?
Smart Meters appear similar to a standard, glass-encased electrical meter secured on the inside or outside of your home. They fit into a standard meter base for most installations. Smart meters measure and store a record of the amount of energy passing through it for a specific time period, usually an hour. The stored data is transferred to a central data storage server every day.
Why would I want a smart meter?
A smart meter provides you with the ability to control your energy costs by moving some of your electricity use to off-peak periods or by lowering your energy use during peak periods. For example, you could set your air conditioner a few degrees warmer during the afternoon and run your dishwasher at night. When you have a smart meter, you will pay a higher price for the electricity you use during periods of high demand, such as during the day and lower prices for periods of low demand, such as at night, on holidays and weekends. The objective is to incent, through economic measure a change in consumption behaviour. Those consumers that are successful in altering their consumption behaviours will be rewarded with lower energy costs. With smart meters and a ‘smart’ price plan consumers will have the ability to control their own budgets and behaviours as they choose.
What happens if I signed a contract with a retailer?
If you have signed a contract with a retailer, the pricing as per the contract will remain in place.
Will I be able to monitor and track my electricity use?
Yes. You are currently able to access your electricity use through the internet by clicking on the following link:myaccount.miltonhydro.com.
I don’t want to have a smart meter installed. Can I refuse?
No. The Ontario government has mandated everyone in the province to have a smart meter by 2010.
How was the rate structure developed?
The following report was published by the Ontario Energy Board. RPP Price Report