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How Your Smart Meter Works

How Your Smart Meter Works

A smart meter electronically tracks how much electricity is used and when it is used, paving the way for time-of-use pricing.

Electricity Consumption in the Digital Age

As digital technologies are increasingly used in electrical equipment and appliances around the house, the time has come to use these same technologies to manage overall electricity consumption.

    Smart meters track the energy use in your home on an hourly basis and send this information automatically to your local distribution company (LDC). By automating the meter-reading function, smart meters deliver a number of benefits:

  • They support the implementation of time-of-use prices. By time-stamping your consumption data, local distribution companies will be able to determine how much electricity was used during off-peak times and how much was consumed during on-peak periods. This capability allows homeowners to find electricity savings by shifting their electricity use.
  • They help LDCs to identify power theft and respond to meter failures and outages more quickly.
  • They provide greater operational efficiencies in local distribution system management, which ultimately help to lower electricity distribution costs overall.

Ontario's Smart Meter Infrastructure

Much like your telephone or internet connection, the smart meter connects you into a wide computer network.

From your home, the smart meter puts into play a series of actions: collecting energy use information, verifying its accuracy and processing it for monitoring and billing. In its role as interim Smart Metering Entity, Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is responsible for the central data repository that will manage the consumption data for residential smart meters.

The IESO is working with LDCs to connect to the meter data repository. LDCs will be integrated into the system on an individual basis as meters and communications systems are ready. Consumers will be notified in advance when Time-of-Use rates are to be phased in.

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