What you need to know about Smart Metering in Brampton!
Under Time-Of-Use (TOU) pricing, switching your electricity use to off-peak times of the day will help to control electricity costs, and it is certainly better for the environment. However, Time-Of-Use pricing will not come into effect for Hydro One Brampton customers until the installation of all Smart Meters has been substantially completed.
The introduction of Smart Meters and 'Time-Of-Use' pricing for electricity will encourage consumers to shift their electricity use to off-peak, less expensive times of the day.
If you haven't had a Smart Meter installed yet, don't worry, it's coming. You might even already have one as the installation of these meters takes only a few minutes, and is otherwise relatively seamless.
If you have had a Smart Meter installed, your new meter will work just like your old one for now. You don't have to do anything different. And there will be no change to the way your electricity bill is calculated.
Why Change To Smart Meters?
Your old electricity meter was only capable of measuring the total amount of electricity you used over an entire billing period, and it had to be read manually.
Your new Smart Meter automatically tracks, records and sends your electricity consumption, on an hourly basis, to Hydro One Brampton through wireless technology.
With this newer technology, along with the implementation of Time-Of-Use rates, you will be able to monitor and manage your electricity costs, while helping to reduce the impact that on-peak electricity generation can have on the environment.
Time-Of-Use (TOU) Pricing
Time-Of-Use prices vary throughout the day, depending on electricity demand and availability of supply. Under the current Regulated Price Plan (RPP), the price you pay for electricity is the same no matter what time of day you use it. This leaves very little financial incentive for consumers to shift their usage to off-peak times of the day.
With rates that fluctuate at varying peak demand times in a 24-hour period, you will have the opportunity to change your electricity usage to off-peak times when electricity is least expensive.
There are three TOU periods:
Signing Up With An Electricity Retailer
You do have the option of signing a contract with an electricity retailer. Before you sign any contract however, be sure to read through it carefully so that you are aware of all the terms and conditions; not all retail contracts are the same. Most offer a fixed price over a period of time.
Keep in mind that in many cases, consumers may pay a higher rate in exchange for fixed pricing, and that the contract you sign, covers only the cost of the electricity itself. When comparing with prices offered to you by a retailer, remember to compare only the commodity or electricity charge. Be aware that an additional charge, called the Global Adjustment, will apply to customers who have signed with an electricity retailer. All other charges, which include Delivery, Regulatory, and the Debt Retirement Charge, are separate and will be included on your monthly electricity bill.
The Global Adjustment accounts for the difference between the spot market price (the price of electricity at one point in time on the open market), and the price paid to regulated and contracted generators. This difference or adjustment may be positive or negative, depending on the fluctuation of prices in the spot market.
The Global Adjustment is currently factored into the RPP rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and does not appear as a separate line item. This adjustment will also be included in TOU rates when they come into effect.
The adjustment will apply and be added as a separate charge on the bills of those customers who have signed a contract with an electricity retailer.
Visit the website of the Ontario Energy Board for more information on Ontario's Smart Metering Initiative.
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This document was last modified on 09-20-2010.