Smart meters make sense

Sandra Radcliffe

January 15, 2002

 

Re Clear away barriers for smart electricity meters, Letter, July 8.

Tom Adams of Energy Probe wrote that “some utilities are making great strides upgrading to smart meters.” I am sorry to say that Toronto Hydro is not one of them.

For the last 10 years, my family has actively participated in Toronto Hydro’s power-shift program. Under a time-of-use rate philosophy, our electricity usage was measured using one of these smart meters. The rates that we paid significantly varied depending on when we used the electricity. Peak daytime rates were punitively higher. So our laundry was saved up until the weekend; the dishwasher timer was set for a midnight cycle; oven use was kept to a minimum during the week. All little things, involving minimal effort on our part, but we reaped the benefits with savings of about $250 per year.

So what happened to our smart meter? One month before the electricity market opened, it was removed and a regular one was installed. And what has happened to my family’s good habits? With no financial incentive, I find that we have become complacent and are now doing things at peak hours that we would have done off-peak two months ago. When one of the power marketers offers a contract using a floating commodity rate, I plan to be first in line to talk to them.

Sandra Radcliffe
Toronto

 

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