Economies of scale should reduce cost of smart meters


London, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — November 6, 2007 – London Hydro is part of a group of utilities based in western and northern Ontario that are banding together to put out a contract for smart meters, in the hopes that a large order will reduce the unit cost. The total number of meters involved is close to 700,000.

Ontario’s smart meter initiative requires that every home and business in the province is equipped with a smart meter by the end of 2010, in a bid to reduce energy consumption through the introduction of demand response measures. London Hydro expects to save costs through the elimination of manual meter reads, the ability to perform connects and disconnects remotely, and faster restoration after power outages, but acknowledges that the more expensive smart meters will take some years before they pay for themselves.

Time-of-use rates will be introduced by 2009, and London Hydro believes that when users get into the habit of waiting until the rates are cheaper before using such appliances as dish washers, it will help to lower peak demand and thus reduce the cost of providing power.

The meters will communicate through a wireless network; manufacturers interested in submitting a proposal have until November 15th to do so.