Ontario’s electricity sector has begun a broad-based industry dialogue to develop a vision for a provincial smart grid that will provide consumers with more efficient, responsive and cost effective electricity service.

The Ontario Smart Grid Forum launched by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in collaboration with representatives from local distribution companies will bring together leaders from across the sector.

An initial working group, made up of senior representatives from the IESO, Hydro One, Hydro Ottawa, Burlington Hydro and Toronto Hydro, will help define the membership and terms of reference for the broader Smart Grid Forum. New members will be added over the coming weeks to ensure a broad crosssector representation.

The full Forum will hold its first meeting in May, with a final report expected by the end of 008, identifying benefits that will arise from smart grid investments and what needs to be done to enable implementation.

Paul Murphy, president and CEO of the IESO, says that the forum builds on the provincial smart metering initiative to install smart meters in all homes and businesses by 2010.