The 250 meters, installed during the 1996 year, are taken as part of a random sampling program and will be sent to Consumer and Corporate Affairs. In their place, Â“Smart MetersÂ” will be installed.
The old-style meters can only measure the total amount of electricity used over an entire period because they have to be read manually.
Smart Meters are different because they will record total electricity consumption hour by hour. This information is sent to the utility company either through wireless or another form of technology.
In addition, Smart Meters make time-of-use (TOU) prices possible, because customers will be able to determine when their hydro use is higher and make appropriate changes to their consumption if possible.
There are different hydro rates for peak versus off-peak times.
Hydro bills will show how much electricity is consumed within each TOU period, and in the future detailed information may be available via the internet or by telephone.
Hydro bills will also be more precise because they will be based on hourly readings taken and sent by the Smart Meter.
According to the Smart Meters website, Â“(the meters) will encourage us all to think more about how and when we use electricity.Â”
By 2010, every home and small business in Ontario will have a Smart Meter. ItÂ’s a key part of OntarioÂ’s new smart metering system and of building a culture of conservation across the province.
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.