Toronto Hydro on track with smart meter installation

Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — November 19, 2007 – Canadian utility Toronto Hydro has committed to installing 400,000 smart meters in 2007 – and as of November 1st had already deployed 388,000 meters, with a time-of-use trial announced earlier this month and due to begin some time in 2008.

The utility recognizes that the stable supply of electricity in the province is critical to its economic future, but building new generation facilities is only part of the solution. Reducing the amount of electricity consumed is just as important, and it believes that a smart meter is one of the tools that will help to achieve this. A smart meter will record how much energy is used and when it’s used, and help customers manage electricity costs if they switch electricity use to times when prices are lower.

The time-of-use pilot project will cover some 50,000 homes. These consumers will pay more for electricity used during the hours of 7 am and 10 pm, and will enjoy a discounted rate for power used outside these hours. The new smart meters, which collect data in 15 minute intervals, are enabling the variable pricing.

The shift to a premium price has not been welcomed by all consumers, however, and several interest groups have complained that they are required to pay for the meters. Toronto Hydro and other utilities say that all consumers will benefit from the improved information coming from the smart meters, which will enable them to get a better idea of consumption trends, manage the electricity system better, and allow them to respond more quickly to outages.