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 All About Smart Meters

 

The Province mandated that Smart Meters be installed in all Ontario homes and small businesses by the end of 2010. The goal of smart meters is to help raise consumer awareness about the cost of electricity. Smart meters will help Ontario meet its energy needs and goals. Between now and 2025, the province must build a whole new electricity system. This includes replacing about 80% of our current generating facilities as they retire over time and expanding the system to meet our future growth.

 

The Province has also set a very ambitious target to reduce Ontario’s peak demand by 20% or a total of 6,300 megawatts by 2025.

 

Conservation will help us make the best use of our existing electricity resources and slow the growth in our demand. Smart meters encourage us all to think about how and when we use electricity. Smart meters have a huge advantage over Ontario’s old metering devices. Old style meters can only measure the total amount of electricity used over an entire billing period because they are read manually. A smart meter can automatically record when electricity is used. The meter will record your total electricity consumption hour by hour, sending the information to Goderich Hydro. With the ability to measure when electricity is used, different prices can apply at different times of the day. With Time-of-Use pricing, you have a new way to manage your electricity use and your bills.

 

Time-Of-Use Prices

Under the old system, the regulated price you pay for electricity was the same every hour of the day. With new Time-Of-Use (TOU) prices, the price of electricity depends on when you use it.

 

Currently, off-peak prices are roughly two-thirds less than on-peak prices – reflecting the lower cost to provide electricity during periods of low demand i.e. over night.

There are three different TOU prices:

On-Peak (when demand for electricity is highest, roughly 20% of the time.)

On-peak price = 13.5 cents per kWh

 

Mid-Peak (when demand for electricity is moderate, roughly 30% of the time.)

Mid-peak price = 11.2 cents per kWh

 

Off-Peak (when demand for electricity is lowest, roughly 50% of the time.)

Off-peak price = 7.5 cents per kWh

  

Note: these prices are effective from May 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014 

Prices are reviewed before and changed every May 1st and November 1st by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The OEB reviews the rates based on electricity prices over the previous six months, as well as its forecast of future prices over the next year.

 

TOU prices reflect the fact that the cost to provide electricity changes throughout the day. When demand is low, less expensive sources of electricity are used. When demand rises, more expensive forms of electricity production are called upon, making prices higher.

 

In summer, on-peak prices apply during the middle of the weekday (from 11am to 5pm), reflecting the increase in air conditioning use. In winter, on-peak prices apply in the morning (7am to 11am) and evening (5pm to 7pm), when demands ramps up as residential electricity use increases. During the weekends and holidays, all hours of the day are off-peak - TOU Pricing Holiday Calendar

 

How will TOU prices affect my bill?

It all depends on your current consumption patterns and how much electricity you use at different times of the day. Even if you don’t make radical changes in your energy consumption patterns there are a lot of very simple things you can do to conserve energy at all times of the day, see our Conservation Tips page.

 

Note that any reduction in total consumption will also lower other charges on your hydro bill. Your regulatory, debt retirement and delivery charges are also determined by how much electricity you use.

 

For more information on:

Smart Meters – www.smartmetersontario.ca

Demand and the Electrical Grid – www.ieso.ca

Pricing and Energy – www.oeb.gov.on.ca

 
© Goderich Hydro