Smart Meter FAQ’s
Between now and 2025, Ontario must build almost a whole new electricity system. This includes replacing about 80 per cent of our current generating facilities as they retire over time, and expanding the system to meet future growth. Building new supply and conservation is vital. That’s why the province is introducing new tools like smart meters that measure hourly electricity use, so electricity prices can be different at different hours of the day. These prices are referred to as Time-Of-Use or TOU prices. They better match the way prices work in the electricity market, and will encourage us to think more about how and when we use electricity. With a smart meter and TOU pricing, you’ll be able to reduce your electricity during the higher rate (on-peak and mid-peak) periods and shift your electricity use to lower rate (off-peak) periods. During a week, 64% of hours are off-peak hours. When we’re all using a lot of electricity at the same time we create ‘peak demand’ periods. Supplying electricity at those peak periods has consequences:
- Adds to our electricity costs – because higher demand often means higher prices.
- It’s hard on the environment – because meeting peaks may require the building of additional electricity generation plants.
- It adds to the amount of new generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure Ontario must build; and consumers must pay.
- It puts a strain on our electricity system.
As we move consumption away from the more expensive (peak) times of the day, we can help Ontario reduce its peak demand. TOU prices are set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and are adjusted every six months – for the winter and summer periods, or November 1st to April 30th, and May 1st to October 31st, respectively. Brantford Power customers have been charged TOU prices since November 1, 2011. TOU pricing rewards you for using electricity during low-demand periods whenever possible.
Time-Of-Use Prices and Hours (effective May 1, 2018)