Understanding Smart Meters – ENWIN
Smart Meters are Here
As part of a provincial initiative to encourage energy conservation and help Ontario consumers manage their electricity costs, ENWIN is now installing Smart Meters throughout Windsor. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has directed energy providers, like ENWIN, to install Smart Meters in all Ontario homes and small businesses, encouraging the development of a province-wide “culture of conservation”. As Windsor’s energy provider, ENWIN is mandated to complete local Smart Meter installations by early 2011.
Everything Stays the Same
It is important for customers to realize that everything will remain the same, following your Smart Meter Installation: An ENWIN employee will still come to read the meter, EnWin bills will still look the same, and electricity charges will still be calculated in the same way as before. Eventually, the province is expected to switch over to a new rate structure called Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing. But for now, only the appearance of the meter will change.
TOU Pricing is NOT in Effect
Smart Meters are here, but Time of Use Pricing isn’t. Not yet. You will not automatically move to time-of-use rates once your smart meter has been installed. Provincial legislation requires ENWIN to install Smart Meters as one step towards conserving energy and building for the future. Smart Meters will be installed this fall – but that will NOT have an immediate impact on how you are billed for your electricity. ENWIN customers will be billed differently ONLY after the Province requires us to move to Time of Use billing – likely some time in 2012. When a firm date is set, ENWIN will contact customers directly, and make sure you have all the information you need to benefit from the change. At the present time you will not notice any difference in your billing.
ENWIN Respects and Protects Your Privacy
As we move forward with Smart Meter installations, remember that Time of Use pricing is not yet in effect. In the future, when the Province requires ENWIN to move to this new system, Smart Meters will help customers reduce their energy costs by offering clear information about much energy is used at specific times of day. How and why you consume energy will remain, as always, private. ENWIN will ensure you are aware of all changes before they occur, and we thank you for helping Ontario build a brighter future.
Quick, Efficient Installation
Installation only takes a few minutes. A representative from ENWIN’s contractor, Olameter, will knock on your door to inform you that they are there to install your smart meter. Your power will be interrupted briefly, while the old meter is exchanged for a new Smart Meter. If you are not home, the representative will complete the installation and leave a door hanger to inform you that your Smart Meter has been installed. Customers may find they need to reset digital clocks and other electronic devices, following the installation.
Look for the Olameter Logo
ENWIN has contracted with Olameter Utility Solutions to install smart meters in the Windsor area. Customers are asked to look for the Olameter logos on installers’ vehicles and ID tags. Olameter representatives will not ask to see your utility bill, and you will not be required to sign anything.
Reliable and Secure
Smart meter installations are now underway, as part of the Ontario government’s mandate to create a “culture of conservation”, and build a reliable, secure and healthy energy future. When the Province requires ENWIN to move to Time of Use pricing – likely some time in 2012 – EnWin’s Smart Meters will record frequent, accurate meter readings. This will allow customers to take advantage of lower energy prices, whenever possible throughout the day. ENWIN is using the knowledge gained by front runners in the Smart Meter installation process, to ensure your Smart Meter is reliable and secure.
The Smart Energy Future
When TOU pricing comes into effect in Windsor, energy providers will be required to vary prices for electricity according to demand levels at the time of use, with higher prices being charged during peak demand periods and lower prices during mid-peak and off-peak periods. This pricing structure is intended to encourage consumers to think more about how and when they use electricity, and move their consumption away from more expensive times of the day.
Smart Meter, Smart Consumer
Electricity bills will be much more precise, based on the hourly readings taken and sent by the Smart Meter. And “smart” energy users will be part of a new program provincial program that will reduce peak demand, and lessen stress on Ontario’s electricity system.
Time-of-use (TOU) Prices
Time-of-use pricing is changing effective May 1, 2011. (Prices subject to change every 6 months)
Based on typical residential consumption patterns, the estimated TOU bill impact is an increase of about 3.8% on the total bill, or $3.96 per month, for residential consumers who use 800 kWh of electricity a month.
It is expected there will be approximately 3 million customers on TOU billing by June 2011, with more being switched to TOU billing over the summer and through the fall.
10 Smart Meter Lane
Take a tour of 10 Smart Meter Lane to see how you can better manage your electricity costs when Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing comes into effect. This interactive tool shows how running appliances at different times of the day or week can impact your electricity bill.