Toronto Hydro-Electric System (Toronto Hydro) is the first Canadian utility to partner with Google to test Google PowerMeter. Based on the results of the pilot, Toronto Hydro may make Google PowerMeter available to all its customers.
Toronto Hydro launched Time-of-Use rates to the first 10,000 customers just recently.
To fully take advantage of lower electricity rates, customers should shift their energy use to off-peak times like weekends or evenings after 10pm when electricity is only 4.2 cents per kilowatt hour. Having information readily available can help customers quickly identify how much electricity they are using at specific times of the day.
"Toronto Hydro continues to look for ways to help our customers conserve electricity. So far, we have been very successful at launching and driving participation through our conservations programs," says David OBrien, President and CEO of Toronto Hydro Corporation.
"What makes this pilot project unique is that we're empowering customers to see when and how much electricity they use and make decisions on how to change their own behaviour."
When ready, Google PowerMeter will complement the tools already available to many customers. It will provide Toronto Hydro with another channel to intuitively educate customers on how to monitor their electricity use and look for ways to shift their use to off-peak times. For example, customers will see their electricity usage at a glance on their iGoogle home page. If they want more detailed information, like how much electricity they are using on-peak, they can click through to the Toronto Hydro website at www.torontohydro.com/tou
Toronto Hydro has more than 611,000 smart meters installed across the city of Toronto. Google PowerMeter will receive information from selected smart meters and provide users with a snapshot of their electricity consumption.