Thursday, November 20, 2008

Smart Meters - Pay for your electricity and get cancer! Dumb meters!

Hi All
Does this sound like a good government scheme? Pay for your electricity (about the same old price), get cancer and other illnesses from exposure to microwave radiation emitted by the meters?
Here is some more important information about 'Smart Meters'. The theory being provided to the public, is that they will be able to save electricity and money by using it at off peak times. If you review the figures and information below, you will soon understand that it is mostly a false pretense and citizens will likely be paying the same price as before, maybe even more!
Take a look at the electric oven energy costs printed in the table below. Most people will be cooking their meals in the late afternoon and early evening and they will be using electricity during the peak time or the mid peak time. In that case, the cost of using the oven will actually go up higher with the smart meters. In a family setting, lots of other electrical devices will also be used during the peak hours, televisions, refrigerators, furnaces, lights, computers. All these things are likely to cost more during the peak times and only limited savings are likely to be made during the off peak periods.
The expense of installing millions of these meters is going to be paid by home owners, forced to pay without any choice. We will be paying for the cost of removing and scrapping a perfectly good meter, the cost of manufacturing a new meter and the cost of installing a new meter. All this expense will be for little or no real savings and even more galling, we will be exposed to dangerous microwave radiation throughout the day and night. We may even be saddled with the cost of exchanging the Smart (dumb) Meters for the old type meters when serious health effects become apparent in the future!
We have often witnessed mistakes by governments, but this one by the Ontario Government is starting to look like one of the biggest blunders yet. Why is our health being placed at such great risk for a limited, or non existent benefit of a Smart Meter?
Martin Weatherall

Electric Stoves

Since an electric stove is also a heavy electricity consumer, it makes sense to maximize every hour of use. For example, try to plan meals that allow more than one dish to be cooked in it. Or, consider using another option like a microwave or toaster oven, whenever you can.


Today per kWh

TOU per kWh

Tier 1

Tier 2




Electric Oven







Electric Stove - oven + 4 burners







Toaster Oven







Microwave Oven







Will I see a Smart Meter charge on my bill?

The cost of the Smart Meter initiative will be recovered through the electricity rates paid by all customers in the same way that costs for existing meters and services are recovered today.

Will I see lower electricity bills?

With time-of-use rates, you'll see the results of your conservation efforts – and you'll save money if you can

shift your heaviest electricity use to off-peak hours. Equipment like air conditioners, electrical heating, space and water heating as well as ovens, dryers and even lighting for example, can use a great deal of energy.


To create a conservation culture in Ontario and become a leader in energy efficiency, the government is facilitating a number of key initiatives:

  • introducing flexible, time-of-use pricing for electricity;
  • targeting to reduce Ontario's projected peak electricity demand by five percent by 2007;
  • commiting to install a smart electricity meter in 800,000 homes and small businesses by the end of 2007 and throughout Ontario by 2010; and
  • introducing legislation to enable implementation of the government's smart metering initiative and conservation targets.

The smart metering system includes an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Meter Data Management and (Meter Data Repository MDM/R) functions. An AMI is the infrastructure within which date- and time-stamped hourly meter reads will be remotely collected and transmitted daily to a utility's control computer and, eventually, to a centralized MDM/R.

The MDM/R will provide a common infrastructure for receiving meter reads from all AMI in Ontario, process the reads to produce billing quality consumption data, store and manage data, and provide access to such data to interested parties. The Energy Conservation Responsibility Act, 2006, sets out the broad purposes and objectives for MDM/R.

Smart meters are different from net meters. You can obtain more information about net meters in the Renewable Energy section of the Ministry of Energy's website.

Smart Meters in Condominiums

Smart metering and smart sub-metering in condominiums is part of the government's smart metering plan.

To enable smart metering and smart sub-metering in condominiums, the following two Ontario Regulations were made under the Electricity Act, 1998 and the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, and are entitled:

  • Installation of Smart Meters and Smart Sub-Metering Systems in Condominiums; and
  • Licensing Sub-Metering Activities
Installation of Smart Meters and Smart Sub-Metering Systems in Condominiums
  • If a condominium's board of directors wishes to proceed, this regulation facilitates the voluntary installation of smart meters and smart sub-meters in condominiums without requiring an amendment to the condominium's declaration.
  • This regulation also provides the Ontario Energy Board with the authority to set criteria or requirements for metering technology used in condominiums and to ensure that the technology is capable of measuring electricity consumption or use in accordance with time of use rates and minimally is capable of measuring electricity consumption or use in hourly intervals.
  • This regulation applies to both existing condominiums and condominiums under development.
  • Other than the authorization for the Ontario Energy Board to set criteria and requirements which is in force now, this regulation comes into force on December 31, 2007.
Licensing Sub-Metering Activities
  • To enhance consumer protection, and ensure appropriate safeguards are in place, this regulation requires commercial sub-metering entities that provide condominiums with smart meters, smart sub-meters, and any associated services to be licensed by the Ontario Energy Board effective December 31, 2007.

The regulations are available on our Electricity Regulations page.

These regulations were a product of extensive public consultations over 2006 and early 2007 which included posting of draft regulations on this web-site for public comment and receiving significant feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. Please click here to view these comments .

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

As part of the government's smart metering initiative, the Ministry of Energy engaged a Technical Advisor to lead the development of high-level specification for AMI. The specification was posted on the Ministry's website for a two-week period in late November 2005 to solicit comments from interested parties. The Ministry also held six public consultations sessions across Ontario on the draft specifications. In total, 184 participants representing 45 different entities attended. During the consultations, many questions were raised and helpful feedback was provided. Revisions to the draft high-level specification were made as a result of this consultation process as well as feedback received during the first wave of AMI procurement.

Criteria and Requirements for Meters and Metering Equipment, Systems and Technology
  • O. Reg. 425/06 (Criteria and Requirements for Meters and Metering Equipment, Systems and Technology) made under the Electricity Act, 1998, as amended to implement a change to the AMI specification..
  • The existing Functional Specification for an Advanced Metering Infrastructure dated July 14, 2006 has been amended to remove the requirement that potential AMI providers have 5,000 units deployed in the field. The new version is AMI Specification Version 2 []
  • This will ensure that the next round of AMI procurement is able to access the latest technologies that have received approvals since last summer.
  • Distributors still have the obligation to ensure that any AMI procured is able to reliably comply with the AMI functional specifications. Requirements to be able to connect to the MDMR remain in place.

For copies of the amending regulations and the revised AMI functional specifications, please see our Electricity Regulations page

Smart Meters: Cost Recovery
  • There are two new regulations amending O. Reg. 426/06 (Smart Meters: Cost Recovery) made under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998.
  • The amendments make it clear that distributors can recover costs, subject to Ontario Energy Board approval, for Smart Metering Entity enrolment and connection requirements – in essence plugging into the MDM/R.
  • Secondly the amendments provide clarity around recoverability of costs associated with conventional meters that are replaced as a result of the smart metering initiative.
  • Finally, the amendments clarify that the first five distributors integrated with the Smart Metering Entity's MDM/R system will be able to recover costs, subject to Ontario Energy Board approval, relating to supporting the IESO's finalization of the design and requirements of the MDM/R.

The regulations are available on our Electricity Regulations page

In August 2006, the Ministry introduced regulations pertaining to smart metering that identify authorized metering activities, prescribe procurement principles that must be followed by distributors, govern the recovery of distributors costs relating to smart metering, and identify priority installations. The regulations are available on our Electricity Regulations page.

Meter Data Management / Repository (MDM/R)

To further the government's smart metering initiative, the Ministry of Energy posted draft specifications for the MDM/R functions to solicit feedback. Interested parties were invited to send written submissions for a three-week period ending June 30, 2006. The Ministry appreciates the level of detail provided in the responses received. Public consultation sessions on the draft specifications were also held during June 2006 and a great deal of feedback was received. In all, over 75 people attended the four sessions; their participation is appreciated.

Click here to read the feedback received through the consultations.

IESO Smart Metering System Implementation Program

The Ministry of Energy has entered into an arrangement with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) whereby the IESO will support the government's Smart Metering Initiative by coordinating and project-managing implementation activities. The IESO's Smart Metering System Implementation Program specifically pertains to the delivery of the MDM/R functionality, including all interfaces between the MDM/R and local distribution companies' AMI and customer information systems. The Backgrounder document describes the responsibilities of the IESO, Ministry of Energy, local distribution companies, and the overall project governance model. Click here to read the Backgrounder.

Be sure to monitor the IESO's website pertaining to this work at

The Ministry expanded the IESO's objects to provide it with the authority to support the government's smart metering initiative as contemplated in the Backgrounder. This regulation is available for download on our Electricity Regulations page.

Last update: February 21, 2008