How Smart Meters Work

Unlike your existing residential meter – which only measures the total usage during a given billing period – smart meters can distinguish the time of day the energy was used and sets varying prices for different times during the day, night or weekend.  Smart meters are now being referred to as time-of-use or interval meters because of their ability to bill consumers with prices that vary with time of use.

The goal in smart metering is to raise the awareness about the cost of power and to encourage consumers to “spread” out their usage over times when prices may not be as high.  Rate plans will be designed to provide consumers with a price incentive to manage their electricity usage.

Smart meters have many benefits to both consumers and utilities.  Smart meters will help to pinpoint exactly which customers are experiencing power outages, which will greatly reduce the response time of your local utility when dealing with power outages.  Smart meters will also eliminate the need for meter readings. Instead, the information will be sent directly to your utility.

How To Read Your Smart Meter Display

 The display on your new Smart Meter will scroll through different screens of information.  To decipher what these screens mean, download the following help document:

pdf Smart Meter Display 119.89 Kb

FAQs


How do I get a Smart Meter?

Norfolk Power is rolling out the implementation of the new meters based on several technical criteria. As a customer you need do nothing, a Smart Meter will be provided for and installed depending where in the schedule you fit. The schedule will be based on several factors mostly geared to reduce implementation cost and inconvenience to customers.  The Smart Meter program at Norfolk Power is in progress, and tentatively scheduled to complete by 2010.

 

Will the Smart Meter cost anything?

Norfolk Power will factor the cost of Smart Meters into its rates. There is no direct fee for Norfolk Power to install a Smart Meter on your house.

 

Will my electrical bill go up?

This depends on you. Although there is no cost for the Smart Meter itself, once one is installed you will be notified when you will start to be billed on a Time of Use basis. What this means is that the price of electricity per kWh will vary depending on when you use it.

Although Norfolk Power is currently not billing based on Time of Use rates, current rates established by the Independent Electricity Market Operator can be found by visiting their website:  IESO Time of Use Pricing

With Smart Meters, those who strive to conserve and shift their usage to off-peak, weekends or holidays will benefit the most. Currently those customers see no price advantage no matter what time of the day they use power.

 

Do Smart Meters offer any other advantages?

The particular technology that Smart Meters employ is based on a wireless system. That means that meter information is read automatically and remotely every day. This helps reduce our cost and keep the overall cost of implementing Smart Meters as low as possible so as to minimize the impact on electrical distribution rates.
 
Additionally, because this system is wireless and the nature of the electronics in each Smart Meter, Norfolk Power is automatically and immediately notified when an outage occurs (customers are always encouraged to call in when an outage occurs). This means we can respond faster to outages and diagnose problems better.
 
Theft of power and Marijuana grow-ops have become an increasing concern. These types of operations cost everyone as they increase distribution rates. Smart Meters will give Norfolk Power tools to detect this theft of power at a much earlier stage.
 
Overall Norfolk Power feels that Smart Meters not only provide the data customers need to manage their electricity bill but also help manage your local electrical utility’s operating cost. It is Norfolk Power’s goal to take advantage of all these features to keep rates as low as possible.

Smart Meters

 

smartmeter.pngA Smart Meter records how much electricity you use based on when you use it  (typically hourly), and communicates this information automatically via wireless and other technologies.  In contrast, conventional electricity meters are read manually and measure only how much electricity is used between readings. (typically one or two months)

Acting on a mandate from the Ministry of Energy, Norfolk Power began installation of smart meters in June 2009 with completion expected in December of 2011.  The application of Time-of-Use pricing started in July 2011 for many of the residential and small commercial customersr in our service territory.  If you have specific questions regarding the applicaiton of Time-of-Use pricing against your interval usage,you are welcome to contact our office directly.

There are many benefits of Smart Metering, including:

  • You'll be able to take action to manage your electricity bills.
    With attention to how and when you use electricity, you'll be able to contain or reduce your costs.
  • You'll get real feedback about your electricity use.
    Your electricity bill will show how much you consumed within each TOU period.
  • You'll get more precise electricity bills.
    The bills you receive will be based on the hourly reading taken and sent by your Smart meter

Time-of-Use Rates

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has established residential and small commercial time-of-use rates.  Electricity prices charge per kilowatt-hour (kWh) change throughout the day.  The different pricing period of "On-Peak", "Mid-Peak", and "Off-Peak" were set based on how the cost to produce electricity in Ontario varies by the time of day, day of the week and the season.

Below is a chart outlining the three TOU periods and the price for each.
(Prices effective May 1st, 2014)

2014 summer time of use periods

Link To 10 Smart Meter Lane(Click on chart for larger image)

  To learn how shifting your electricity useage makes sense, visit 10 Smart Meter Lane .

For More Information...

About Ontario's Regulated Price Plan and TOU pricing:

About our electricity system and supply:

On How to use electricity wisely:

Energy Audits

 

Energy Audits are a great way for your business’ electrical systems to become more energy efficient and save money.  An audit will analyze information from a wide variety of electrical uses and appliances from heating and ventilation systems to lighting and general office equipment. 

saveONenergy FOR BUSINESS

®Improve your bottom line with the following incentives offered by Norfolk Power:

 

The Savings are looking UP! Through the Small Business Lighting Program you can save on energy costs by making your work space more energy-efficient.  Qualifying businesses can get up to $1,000 worth in FREE lighting upgrades.  Plus get access to further incentives.                                    

 For more information click here or call 519-426-4440 ext 2242.


 

The Retrofit Program provides businesses that replace their equipment with high efficiency equipment and install new control systems with financial incentives in order to improve the efficiency of operational procedures and processes.

 A primary barrier keeping building owners from participating in a retrofit is capital costs associated with the purchase and installation of new high efficiency equipment. The Retrofit Program incentives make participating possible, allowing you to install and benefit from newer, more efficient solutions.  Taking small steps to conserve energy in your business will help improve your bottom line and pay off for those looking to respond to growing market pressures and increased national and global competition.

There are three ways to conserve energy with this program:

  1. Prescriptive Track: Lets you select from a defined list of end-use measures that come with a  corresponding per-unit incentive.
  2. Engineered Track:  Based on your business` reductions in peak demand and/or electricity consumption, a series of preset calculation worksheets will determine the amount of your incentive.
  3. Custom Track:  Technology, equipment and system improvements not outlined in the prescriptive or engineered track are evaluated on their demand and energy performance. Incentives are paid after the savings are measured and verified.

 For more information about the Retrofit Program Click Here or Call 519-426-4440 Ext 2242.


  

Audit Funding can help you achieve and exceed your business goals through Audit Funding incentives, which include up to 50% of the audit cost. This in turn can help businesses achieve greater efficiencies in the performance and maintenance of high performance buildings. 

By understanding how energy is being consumed in your business, you can get a jumpstart on reducing operating costs and improving the performance of your building. Steps that can be taken to qualify for incentives through a complete energy audit assessment include equipment replacments, changes in operations practices, participation in demand response initiatives, building systems projects, envelope projects and other opportunities for improvement.

For more information click here or call 519-426-4440 ext. 2242. 


    

The High Performance New Construction Program targets new construction and major renovations in the planning stages and rewards building owners and architects with incentives to keep from exceeding the electrical efficiency standards outlined in the Ontario Building Code. The incentives offset the cost of energy-efficient measures, achieve lower long-term operating costs, improve marketability and enhance occupant comfort. Through design assistance and incentives, energy efficient equipment for lighting, space cooling and ventilation, building costs are lowered, have less of an environmental impact and continue to be a comfortable place to be.

For more information Click Here or call 519-426-4440 Ext. 2242.


  

Demand response programs compensate participating industrial and commercial businesses for reducing their energy demand at specific times of power system need. It is an increasingly recognized system for reducing the cost of power and the need to build additional electricity generation capacity. By reducing your equipment electricity use, generating your own power or shifting to an off-peak period, your business can incorporate Demand Response into your energy cost-management strategy. Your business is eligible to participate in Ontario's Demand Response program in two ways:

  1. Demand Response Voluntary DR1: This voluntary initiative is a flexible way for you to earn monthly payments only when you choose to take part in activation notices.
  2. Demand Response Contractual DR3: This contractual initiative offers higher incentive rates in return for your firm commitment to take part in activation notices.  

   peaksaver®: If your business has central air conditioning and an annual electricity demand of less than 50kW, you’re invited to participate in this load management initiative.

For more information Click Here or call 519-426-4440 Ext 2242

 


 Air conditioning can be costly to operate and maintain, particularly if you have a large Chilled Water System. Now there are options for immediately reducing your electricity bills and, over time, lowering maintenance and replacement costs. With the Existing Building Commissioning program for Chilled Water systems, funding is available for:

- Hiring an expert to analyze the Chilled Water System and make recommendations for increasing energy efficiency

- Buying and installing metering equipment

- Implementing the recommended upgrades

For more information click here or call 519-426-4440 ext 2242


  

The PROCESS & SYSTEMS upgrade program is designed to help you find and hold onto major energy savings. It includes the valuable financial incentives and technical expertise that you need to upgrade your key systems and make improved energy management a part of how you do business.
 
 It’s all about modernizing your systems for enhanced productivity and product quality as well as saving on energy costs. It’s also about giving a substantial boost to your energy productivity and  taking control of your energy, so you can create a long-term competitive advantage that reaches across your entire organization.
 
This program is designed to provide you with major funding and technical expertise to help you:
  • Find your best opportunities to save.
  • Modernize your key systems not only for energy efficiency, but also for enhanced productivity, product quality and reliability.
  • Take charge of your energy with an on-site expert, so that your savings will continue to grow annually.
  • Equip your team with accurate, up-to-the-minute data about your energy use, so that you can stay informed and responsive.
  • Create a real, sustainable competitive advantage through energy management best practices.

For more information click Here or give us a call at 519-426-4440 ext. 2242

 


 Click Here to read about Norfolk County businesses that have taken advantage of the incentives given out through different saveONenergy conservation programs!