Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Energy board forced changes despite problems


By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Queen's Park Bureau Chief
Last Updated: September 28, 2010 9:52am

The Ontario Energy Board forged ahead with smart meters and time-of-use pricing even though electricity distributors said it was a stupid idea to rush.

The OEB put the concerns to the Independent Electricity System Operator, and then ordered the distributors to proceed with the mandatory plan.

The order is included in an Aug. 4 memo from the OEB to electricity distributors, released by the Ontario Conservative Party Tuesday morning.

"Representatives of a number of distributors expressed the view that the setting of mandatory TOU dates is premature and inappropriate at this time because of issues associated with the performance and stability of the SME's meter data management and repository," the memo says. "After reviewing the IESO's response, the board is satisfied that deferral of the mandatory TOU dates as set out in the June Proposed Determination is not warranted by reason of MDM/R readiness or performance issues."

TOU pricing, where ratepayers are charged different rates depending on the time that they use the power, has resulted in price hikes to the majority of homeowners, although some people have seen a drop in their bills, according to Toronto Hydro.

It was previously revealed that Ontario Hydro was one of the distributors that raised a red flag about the program.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Tuesday that he was expanding the seniors tax credit to 50,000 more Ontarians to help with rising energy costs and property taxes.

1 comment:

  1. Here's what this article missed:

    The OEB has been asking the utilities for their TOU readiness (that may not be the exact term, but it's their readiness for smart meters, MDM/R integration, and ability to do TOU billing) for a while now (years, not months). The distributors have been giving the OEB dates, but those dates were likely not realistic. The reason for this was that these utilities never thought that the MDM/R would fly; most, if not all, of the utilities in the province have opposed the idea since the start and have been actively (or passively, depending on the clout they have) to have the MDM/R killed so they could build their own data store (and then charge you for it in your rates).

    What's happening now is the OEB is holding their feet to the fire; stick to the dates that were given.


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