Hydro One Networks and Hydro One Brampton commenced smart meter installations in late 2006, in support of the provincial government's goal to have a smart meter in every home and small business in Ontario.
Smart meters, when teamed with time-of-use pricing, will provide a financial incentive for people to shift some electricity usage from on-peak (higher cost) periods to off-peak (lower cost) periods. Ontario is introducing time-of-use rates to help consumers better manage electricity costs and to contribute to energy conservation by reducing their electricity use during peak times. Hydro One Networks and Hydro One Brampton customers will start to convert to time-of-use pricing in 2010.
"Smart meters, when combined with time of use rates, are central to creating a culture of conservation in Ontario," said Energy Minister George Smitherman.
"They provide real time information, helping Ontario consumers make smart decisions about how and when they use electricity. The rates reflect the reality that electricity costs the most when demand is highest. Shifting electricity use to low demand times can help consumers manage their energy costs."
"Smart meters will provide our customers with opportunities to participate in time-of-use and other electricity demand management initiatives and collectively, make a significant contribution to energy conservation for this province," said Laura Formusa, President and CEO of Hydro One. "We are pleased to have reached this important smart meter milestone and to support the Province's smart meter initiative."
"Smart meters and time-of-use pricing will make wholesale changes to how and when our customers use their electricity," said Roger Albert, President and CEO of Hydro One Brampton. "Giving our customers the tools to make smart energy use decisions is one of the most powerful ways to help this province reach its green potential."
Approximately 400,000 more Hydro One customers are scheduled to have their smart meters installed. As smart meters are installed and communications established, Hydro One will switch customers to automated meter reading, thus reducing the need to access customers' properties, eliminating estimated billing, and reducing vehicle emissions associated with reading meters manually across Hydro One's huge service territory. Both Hydro One Brampton and Hydro One Networks are well on their way to reading some meters remotely and are already saving costs associated with meter reading.