Smart submetering code proposed in Ontario


Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — January 9, 2008 – A smart submetering code to enable the delivery of smart submetering in Ontario condominiums is under development by the province’s natural gas and electricity regulator, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

Ontario’s submetering regulations require that persons who engage in the commercial provision of smart submetering systems and services must be licensed by the Board, and the code, which is now the subject of a consultation, is intended to set up a regulatory framework to support the regulations and to impose appropriate standards on the activities of smart submetering providers.

The Board notes that as the provision of smart submetering services is a competitive activity, it intends to provide the minimum of oversight that is consistent with the protection of the interests of consumers with respect to the adequacy, reliability and quality of electricity service as they pertain to the licensed activities of the smart submetering provider. The Board also notes that some aspects of a smart submetering provider’s services are covered by other regulatory bodies, for example the accuracy of the metering device is under the jurisdiction of Measurement Canada and the Electricity Safety Authority has jurisdiction over the standards for the installation of electrical equipment and the licensing system. Moreover the Board has no rate-making authority over smart submetering providers, and the condominium corporation maintains its status as an exempt distributor by recovering no more than its reasonable cost.

Among the more significant proposed terms of the code are that a smart submetering provider can only carry out smart submetering activities in a condominium if it has a contract with the specific condominium to do so.

The Board believes that a provider’s smart submetering system should meet the same requirements as a smart metering system, including the capability of transmitting to the province’s meter data management repository (MDM/R), even though they are not required to transmit to the MDM/R. A smart submetering provider must ensure that the bulk (master) meter for the condominium is an interval meter, and they will be required to implement a validating, estimating and editing (VEE) process, similar to that used for data in the MDM/R.

Regarding standards of business practice and conduct, a smart submetering provider should be required to disclose to the condominium corporation and its consumers any agreement between itself or its affiliate and the condominium corporation or the developer. Moreover all smart sub-metering providers should have conditions of service, documenting their operating practices and connection policies, including the collection and return of security deposits and disconnection and reconnection procedures.

Comments on the proposals are required by January 31.