What is a Smart Meter?
Currently, most homes are equipped with a meter that measures how much electricity was used during a billing period, typically one or two months. A smart meter on the other hand, records how much energy is used and when it was used, therefore allows different electricity rates to be applied during different times of the day. This empowers you, the customer, to regulate your electricity use during peak times and shift use to off peak times where cost of electricity is lower. The smart meter will enable you to control your energy costs by switching the time you do certain energy-using activities away from On-Peak to Off-Peak usage.
What are the Benefits of Smart Metering?
Here are just some of the benefits you’ll see as soon as your smart meter is fully operational and Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing is in place:
- You’ll be able to take action to manage your electricity bills. With attention to how and when you use electricity, you'll be able to contain or reduce your costs.
- You’ll get real feedback about your electricity use. Your electricity bill will show how much you consumed within each TOU period – and, in the future, detailed information may be available to you via the Internet or by telephone.
- You’ll get more precise electricity bills. The bills you receive will be based on the hourly readings taken and sent by your smart meter.
Do I have an option to be billed on Time Of Use Rates?
Once a smart meter is installed and hourly interval data is communicated, your billing will switch to time of use rates. A customer can choose not to be on time of use rates. Having hourly interval data from a smart meter, a customer may choose to be billed at Ontario Hourly Price (and Global Adjustment). A customer can make this request at email@example.com
Will everyone get a smart meter?
Residential and small commercial (GS < 50 kW) will have a smart meter installed.
Where Will the Meter Data be Stored?
The Government of Ontario's current plan is to develop and then host a central meter data repository, which is know as "Smart Metering Entity" (SME). All Local Distribution Companies (like NPEI) would transmit customers' hourly smart meter data to SME on a daily basis.
Once the Government's meter data repository (SME) has been put in place and tested, the plan would be to allow all consumers to have access to their previous days meter data by 8 a.m. the following day. With access to your previous days meter data, you will be able to make personal choices to change your electricity usage patterns in order to take advantage of the time of user rates.
Will I See a Smart Meter Charge on my Bill?
The cost of the smart meter initiative will be recovered through the electricity rates paid by all customers in the same way that costs for existing meters and services are recovered today.
How Long is It Going to Take to Install My Smart Meter?
Approximately 10-15 minutes.
Will I See Lower Electricity Bills?
With time of use rates, you’ll see the results of your conservation efforts – and you’ll save money if you can shift your heaviest electricity use to off-peak hours. Equipment like air conditioners, electrical heating, as well as ovens, dryers and even lighting, for example, can use a great deal of energy.
Where can I get more information about smart meters?
For general information on smart meters visit the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s website at www.energy.gov.on.ca. If you are interested in finding out more about smart meters and time-of-use pricing, click here.