Smart Grid Province: Ontario Makes the Vision a Reality

August 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm

As is customary for our modest neighbors to the north, the Province of Ontario is quietly but aggressively implementing the vision of Smart Grid in the real world. Its latest step is to provide specific rules and cost recovery provisions for utilities to deploy the Smart Grid. Just a couple of years ago, Ontario committed to providing smart meters for all of its electricity consumers – 4.5 million residential and small business customers – by 2010. And Ontario is on target for meeting that goal.

Ontario has also promised to provide smart pricing to its consumers, specifically time-of-use pricing. Toronto Hydro, just this month and using eMeter’s software, turned on time-of-use pricing for residential customers. The vast majority of Ontario residents, in fact, are looking forward to the opportunity to save by shifting load to off-peak times, as we found out in running the Ontario Smart Price Pilot in 2007. With IBM, we surveyed nearly 300 customers in the pilot, and 74% said they would rather have time-of-use prices than their existing, non-time-varying prices.

In its latest move, Ontario has issued guidelines to the distribution utilities to prepare plans to implement the Smart Grid.  The rules require plans that “accommodate the connection of renewable energy generation facilities, and the development and implementation of the smart grid in relation to the licensee’s transmission system or distribution system.”  The rules, issued June 15th, will promote both planning and execution, because they include the deferral accounts, funding guidelines, and planning guidelines needed for utilities to make decisions and develop real projects.

Here’s to Ontario walking the walk.

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Entry filed under: Energy regulation, Smart Grid, Time of Use (TOU) prices. Tags: , , , , , , .

Should All Consumers Get Real-Time Energy Usage Displays? Smart Grid Improves Reliability Exactly How?


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