Conference: Smart Metering Canada 2006
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Presenter: Bob Warden, Echelon Corporation, USA
Abstract: This paper discusses the latest trends and integration of communication technology. Warden looks at how smart meter data can empower consumers, LDCs, the OEB and the OPA and ultimately how smart metering can be a platform for Energy policy.
Manitoba Hydro is teaming up with Natural Resources Canada and Info Energy Inc. to launch a one-year pay-as-you-go smart meter pilot project. Homeowners will be able to buy their electricity on a smart card at conveniently located vending outlets, and insert the card into an in-home display which communicates with the outside meter.
The display presents real-time information, such as how much electricity is being consumed currently, today, yesterday, last week and last month. Consumers gain valuable insight into their energy usage, allowing them to control consumption and save on energy costs.
The government of Ontario in Canada plans to have a smart meter in every home and business by 2010, in an effort to encourage energy conservation. Itron Inc. has won a contract with Wasaga Distribution Inc. to provide the utility with its fixed network AMR technology and CENTRON® solid-state electricity meters.
This is one of the first fixed network installations in the province. The utility is deploying 576 CENTRON meters and two collectors to gather meter data information, as well as repeaters to optimise fixed network coverage, in a trial project to prove that the technology meets the requirements of the Ontario Electricity Board.
Smart card prepayment meters manufactured by Malaysian Intelligence Meters Sdn Bhd (MIM) are finding an international market. MIM has already supplied its Metronix meters to several customers in Malaysia, and installations are presently underway in countries like Iran, Thailand and Bangladesh.
MIM is also in talks with utilities in Singapore and Bahrain. The benefits of pr
The government of Ontario province in Canada is taking action to ensure that the province is able to meet its long-term energy needs. At present the province has about 30,500MW of generation capacity, and forecasts indicate that it will need a further 25,000MW by 2020. A combination of increased generating capacity and conservation efforts will be needed to reach this figure.
As part of the conservation effort, the government has plans to put smart meters into every home by 2010, with an interim target of 800,000 in place by 2007. Three million more meters will be required to meet the 2010 deadline. The Ontario Ministry of Energy has advised that it will deliver functional specifications to the Ontario Energy Board that include:
Can smart meters replace billing?
The general view of customer billing is set in two camps – those who believe the billing cycle is a good marketing and communications channel to the customer, and those who believe billing simply adds cost to the process of customer payments.The true value of using the billing cycle as a marketing channel is now being questioned – not least because most customers are not in the right frame of mind to accept new marketing offers when opening a quarterly bill!
Today a bill is seen by many as an outdated system that adds cost to the payment process. Call centre activity, for example, peaks after a billing cycle. Most of the queries relate to understanding the bill or disagreeing with a meter read or estimation. The result is often an unscheduled re-read (the most expensive kind) and/or a reprocessing of the bill.